Exclusive: Here’s our Erin Richards Gotham interview where she discusses her thoughts on the character of Barbara, her relationship with Ben McKenzie’s Jim Gordon, how she deals with attention from fans and the strong characters on the show.
Ahead of the UK release of Gotham on Channel 5 Gotham TV Podcast were lucky enough to sit down at a roundtable at New York Comic Con 2014 to discuss Gotham and what we can expect from future episodes in season one with Executive Producer Danny Cannon and five members of the cast (Robin Lord Taylor, Erin Richards, Sean Pertwee, Donal Logue and Ben McKenzie) about their thoughts on the show, their characters and what could be coming in Season one of the show. The roundtable includes questions from other journalists present and our own questions to the cast and creator. You can listen to the full podcast below with all the interviews or read on for the full transcript.
Question – How did you get the job of Barbara Kean in Gotham and how did you prepare for the part of Barbara Kean in the legendary city, did any tell you what you must do?
Erin Richards – Firstly nobody told me to do anything! I got the job during pilot season through a round of auditions with our fabulous creators Bruno and Danny, who are Brits which is nice [laughs]. I got the job and was over the moon. I have always loved Batman and working with these guys is always fantastic. On such an incredible and highly anticipated series at the time, I then sort of went about going back over the movies which I have always enjoyed and watching all of those again and then read Batman Year One [by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli] which is the comic that Barbara appears in. But for me Barbara is a bit of an open book because she is not in the comic books that often and also she’s in her finished form, so for me it was about just about finding something that was interesting and relevant and would work with what Ben has created in Jim Gordon so that we could really forge an interesting story and a dynamic that people would really want to watch.
Question – What about the chemistry between yourself and Ben McKenzie, it’s a key pivotal relationship in the show so I guess you are bouncing off one another?
E.R. – We get on great as people, we went to watch him do a radio play the previous night. The whole cast are really supportive of one another and we hang out a lot. I get on really well with Ben. We approach acting in the same way and have really similar backgrounds. We both did Politics degrees and the first time we met we had a lot to talk about, which is really nice to get on with each other because we do a lot of pretending together as actors. Though its not too hard with Ben he’s a good looking guy.
Question – There’s so much attention on this show, what’s it like interacting with the fans when there is so much anticipation, do you tune it out?
E.R. – I don’t think we need to tune it out. I really enjoy on twitter interacting with the fans and I like getting questions about my character. We feel a great sense of pride, affection and responsibility – isn’t that like a Batman thing, no its Spider-man [Laughs]. We feel a lot of responsibility to the fans as they are really in to Batman and we really want to deliver a programme that they are interested in and are proud of, as we’re up against the big boys, the films and what’s in everyone’s mind, so were hoping to deliver a beginning, as we are telling the origin story, and that it fits with what they have grown to love.
Gotham TV Podcast Question – One of the big things about Gotham is the strength of the female characters in the show. Can you tell us something about Barbara’s strength and where she gets it from and where she brings it to?
E.R. – Bruno Heller, our fantastic creator, writes amazing female characters. I’ve always watched his programmes and they always have these fantastic female characters, which is so brilliant to play and is so important. I feel that TV is leading the way at the moment with this and Barbara for me, personally, I feel that she is such an interesting character. She’s really strong, very intelligent and really motivated and though she comes from money, I think that doesn’t matter because sometimes it can be hard if you come from money to really find a path in life when you are given things on a plate. So she really has to forge her own way and she has this really interesting history behind her. The really interesting thing about Barbara as well is that though she is incredibly strong, she has these amazing weaknesses and character flaws that don’t take away from her strengths its just another part of her. This is the fantastic thing about Bruno’s writing is that a lot of women on TV are boxed in to she’s the hero, she’s the poor broken hearted one and I think that Bruno, and other amazing writers at the moment for TV, are creating women who are just multifaceted, you know they can be strong but at the same time they can be lonely and hurt and that is just everyone – women and men – its just people and finally we get to play those.