BRING COMICS TO LIFE
From Gotham to the Gold Coast, Cory Michael Smith’s Riddler is set to cause a stir as one of the star attractions at Broadbeach’s Supanova
On his very first trip to Australia, Cory Michael Smith, best known for his role as The Riddler on Gotham, will be touching down on the Gold Coast.
During his visit he’s got surfing and scuba lessons scheduled, alongside mingling with thousands of comic book fans at Supanova.
But Smith admits before he got The Riddler role, he’d never really read comics at all.
“When I got the audition I read comics and checked out the animations, but then once I got the role I legitimately soiled my pants,” he laughs.
“I wrote to DC Comics and said ‘Help me immediately, I am your student,’ so they sent me this big box of examples of The Riddler from different decades, generations, physical characteristics so I educated myself and formed my own Riddler DNA.
“I wasn’t into comics as a kid. I have an older brother and neither of us read comics, so it was cool to have an introduction later in life.
“It really expedited my awareness and education and history of batman that spans more than 75 years.”
Batman then and now is almost unrecognisable, with the early days looking pretty comical compared to recent hitech, big-budget productions.
Smith absorbed all those different facets of the character and pieced together his totally original Gotham version – definitely not swathed in a bright green suit covered in question marks, but still dangerous.
“The thing that most impacted the way I chose how to play my Riddler was the way they changed him drastically since the 50s,” he says.
“He became way more ruthless and violent.
“He was a well-intentioned man – happy, giddy, and astute and they evolved him into a complicated, scarred, angry man that feels destined to wreak havoc.
“My favourite version is from The Riddle Factory.
“He has the showmanship that I love in the Riddler, the fun and humour, but he’s also kind of demented and threatening and dangerous.”
But just how dangerous is dangerous enough to still shock and entertain a modern audience? It’s a concept Smith says he struggled with throughout the show.
“The Riddler we created for Gotham was pretty dark; the level of danger and violence had to be equivalent to the 21st century, which was necessary but unfortunate,” he says.
“I find it unfortunate that for our show to draw a reaction in modern society it has to be as violent as some of the things we see in the newspapers.
“It makes me hyper-aware of people’s exposure to violence and what that means,
Cory Michael Smith, plays the Riddler on TV show Gotham.