Gotham’s young star is still in the shadow of the Bat…
Young Bruce Wayne gives a revealing interview.
You might imagine that given the chance of playing the young Bruce Wayne – years before he becomes Batman, in a television series focused on the cool bad guys – most actors would see it as a booby prize. Who wants to play out the Dark Knight’s skinny, brooding teen phase? Well, in the hands of David Mazouz, that incarnation of Bruce Wayne has more than held his own as an evolving, driven, genuine player in the town that his future caped self will wrestle into submission. The definition of an old soul in a young body, Mazouz brings gravitas to his interpretation of Bruce and proves time and again that he can more than hold his own in scenes with actors twice his age. As the third season of Gotham drops, he tells SFX where the Wayne boy is heading next… Pacing Bruce’s path to Batman is a tightrope. Do you think he moved forward enough in season two?
Honestly, I think for most of season one, Bruce was grieving and he couldn’t do a lot. He couldn’t make his evolution to Batman because it was too early. In season two, he made some big steps toward that goal. In season three, because those steps were so big in season two, there’s going to need to be a step back. Bruce realises if he continues on the path that he’s going on, he’s putting people that he cares about, and loves, in danger. He needs to figure out what his purpose is in Gotham, and what he really wants to do in the end. He’s going to do a lot of figuring himself out, but that doesn’t mean he will be any less involved than in season two. What’s he getting into this season?
Bruce is going to be taking on some major battles in season three. There are going to be some major opponents that he will take on all on his own. And you will see him develop his playboy persona for the public so he can do even deeper detective work in season three. What’s getting you most excited when you open a script?
You know, there are so many distinguishing qualities that we know about Batman. For example, he doesn’t kill anybody. We saw the origins of that belief and philosophy in season two when he has a gun up to the man who ruined his life, otherwise known as “Matches” Malone, and he doesn’t pull the trigger. In that moment, he realises nobody is beyond redemption and everybody can be saved. Another example is Batman is known to be able to withstand tremendous amounts of pain. In the very next episode, Bruce was getting totally beat up but said, “This guy is not going to break me. I know who I am and I’m going to stand for what I believe in.” He’s learning what Batman needs to learn and I think what the writers are doing is so brilliant and I’m so excited to see what else they have in store. Where are Alfred and Bruce in their relationship this season?
First of all, Sean Pertwee is my favourite guy ever. I love hanging out with him. Working with him, he’s amazing. Besides being the nicest guy you will ever meet and being so funny, he’s an incredible actor that I learn so much from every day. So bringing their relationship to life is amazing. In the comic books before Gotham and the movies, the relationship between Bruce and Alfred is that Bruce is the boss and Alfred is the servant. But that dynamic is completely changed in Gotham. It’s more of a partnership. There’s no one over the other. Alfred’s very first line in the show was “Get your bloody ass down from there Master Bruce!” when I’m up on the roof. A lot of fans were like, “Whoa, Alfred can’t talk to Bruce like that” but he can in Gotham. I was at a convention once and a wonderful artist drew Batman in shadow and Bruce and Alfred in the foreground. I asked what inspired that and he said it seems like in Gotham it’s not just Bruce becoming Batman, but Bruce and Alfred as a team. It’s really what it’s about and I love bringing that to life. When you were cast, was there a go-to Batman comic or book that really brought you into the mythology?
When I first got the role, I was guest-starring on a TV series in Georgia and my studio teacher gave me this Batman Encyclopedia. It covered everything! I read the entire thing twice. I knew every single weapon and it was my bible for a really long time. There’s confirmation that you’re doing dual roles this season. What can you say about that turn of events?
In the trailer, you saw somebody – played by me – in a long wig that came out of Hugo Strange’s Freak Club. I can’t say who exactly, or what he is, but I can say he’s in season three and it’s a blast to play him. I’m so excited for the audience to see him. I really love what we’ve done with the character and it’s so much fun playing two characters.
Gotham returns to Fox in the US on 19 September. The show airs on Channel 5 in the UK.
“NOBODY IS BEYOND REDEMPTION AND EVERYBODY CAN BE SAVED”