PaleyFest Panel: Robin Lord Taylor Says ‘Gotham’ Corrupts Even the Heroes

“It’s gone full comic book crazy,” said moderator and senior writer at TV Guide, Damian Holbrook, as he opened the Gotham PaleyFest panel.

Season two and three have definitely felt like they were set more in the world of comic books than the procedural show that it was in season one.

p1010573The cast joined Damian and talked about the crazy twists the show is taking. Fans at the panel got a look at Monday’s episode before it aired and the cast had a lot to say about certain characters.

The cast is pretty happy with the shift to the comic book world of the show, Michael Chiklis (Nathaniel Barnes), said: “It’s what comic book fans want.”

Ben McKenzie (James Gordon) spoke about the freedom they get by setting the show in the comic book world and how they’ve been bringing characters and/or duplicate characters back.

“I think what’s great about all these characters is they grow in ways that are unexpected to the audience,” Ben said.

He went on to say that this gives them a lot of freedom to play with the characters. Robin Lord Taylor (Oswald ‘Penguin’ Cobblepot) mentioned that when they auditioned for their roles they weren’t given much information about what they were auditioning for. The producers wanted to see what they brought to the characters and where they really fit. They didn’t want anyone else’s adaptations of the roles to influence their interpretations.

“It’s really hard in this day in age, and being on social media with Twitter in general, it’s really hard to not wonder how people feel about the show. I feel really fortunate,” Robin said.

“It’s important to point out to people that when you put @MichaelChiklis, I see it,” Michael joked. 

“So just bare that in mind,” he added.  

“They love me but they want to fight me, let’s go,” Drew Powell (Butch Gilzean) said of his comments online.

Donal Logue (Harvey Bullock) said that he has a different take on Bullock than what people tell him their takes on the character is.

“Bullock was kind of beaten up, crusty, and crabby but always kind of doing the right thing. You know Jim came in and it really reinvigorated Bullock to believe again in trying to save Gotham and go deep for Gotham,” he said.

We all believed that Bullock was the corrupt one but as Donal said, Jim is the one partnering with Penguin and now Harvey is just trying “save his friend from self-destruction.”

Donal described his character by comparing him to Gotham:

“Bullock is Gotham in a way. He’s kind of settled into Gotham he’s a middle-aged man, he’s seen a lot come before and he stays. I know that there’s been an evolution that he might clean up a little but as opposed to the kind of arcs that everyone else is on, I think Bullock kind of stays. He’s kind of a low stone you can kind of set your clock to Gotham wise in a way if that makes sense. I haven’t had any of these traumatic turns that other people have had.”

Bullock may not have had twists and turns, but Barbara Kean certainly has. Erin Richards believes that the producers found out quickly that Barbara wasn’t going to fit into Gotham the way she was. She was kind of a safe haven for Jim but there really isn’t a safe haven in Gotham.

p1010577“She has been brilliantly developed by our incredible writers and I feel like it’s such an incredible thing to be able to play with because I feel like she’s been through a lot,” she said.

“And now she is getting to be her full power and that’s wonderful to play,” Erin added.

The actresses teases, that half way through the season Barbara and Tabitha will be vying for the top spots in Gotham.

“She thinks it’s time Gotham had a woman’s touch,” she said.

Butch has also had a lot of changes over the series and let us in on a little secret about his character:

“I have to say, Bruno [Heller] told me on the pilot when we were sitting in the meat hanging factory or whatever that was. He told me on the QT, listen, the thing about Butch is that people underestimate him until it’s too late. You’ll have to be patient, it’s going to come. So I was patient and it took a long time to come but I was really thankful that he gave me that little bit of information because it helped me believe that I wasn’t so crazy to move to New York and take this job. It’s been such a fun ride, especially in that first season, to go from that spot at the beginning to that end on the roof and now into this craziness. I don’t know what it is with Butch and these women, but it’s been such a fun role to play.”

p1010555Butch has certainly been underestimated in the past and he’ll have to be again to get himself out of the mess he’s in right now.

“You have crossed the wrong bird,” Damian said. 

“How is he going to get out of this one? But I have faith, [he’s a] cockroach,” Drew said.  

Cory Michael Smith (Edward Nygma) had something interesting to say about his character: “For someone who is so intelligent, he doesn’t actually make choices about his life,” he said.

Cory said the choices “happen to him.” Before Penguin could even confess his feelings a lookalike Kristen Kringle enters. He described Miss Kringle as his Achilles’ heel. He’s trying not to be emotional but this person is bringing those emotions back to the surface. If you remember he told Penguin that love is a weakness and according to Cory, this is Ed’s one weakness.

“I think he’s going to get beat up again and it’s going to land him in a place where he makes some decisions,” Cory said.

Is Cory foretelling what’s in store for his character? I guess we will have to keep watching to find out, but does anyone else think Miss Kringle is a plant?

p1010569I think Robin summed the show up best, especially given the inevitable heartache that the Penguin is destined for at the moment;

“I just have to say that what we are all contributing to in this show, in the sense that, I’m just going to throw it to Ben in the sense of Jim Gordon was the hero of the show, he’s also a villain, he’s also done despicable things. This show is about how Gotham corrupts all of us. We are trying to find that in between line.

“If I understand why he does it then you can’t help but have a shred of sympathy.

“I think you see that with every single one of us. It’s about loss, it’s about heart break, and how everybody goes through that but it corrupts and it changes.”

Those are some pretty intense words for a show about comic book characters, but I think Robin truly got to the heart of the show.

Tune into Gotham on Monday nights at 8/7pm to see where all of these characters go from here.

Mandy Carr

Editor and Founder, Primetime Addiction

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