Gotham’s young star is still in the shadow of the Bat…

SFX - - Contents - Words by Tara Ben­nett /// Pho­tog­ra­phy by Maarten de Boer

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.


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