Exclusive: 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.
Here’s our interview with British actor Sean Pertwee who discusses his thoughts on the larger role of Alfred in the show, the connection with previous versions of the character and being at New York Comic Con with a show like this. You can listen to all of our interviews from New York Comic Con in our podcast here or read on.
Sean arrived at the interview table and immediately reached out his hand to both of us to greet us. He thanked us for all the support and wanted us to know how much he much he appreciates all of the fan feedback and support since he started the project.
Gotham TV Podcast Question – With the casting of David Mazouz, Bruno Heller has said that he has a bigger role in the show than was previously expected what does that mean for your character Alfred?
Sean Pertwee – It means I’ll be around for a lot more as well. I have a son called Alfred as well which is a bit of a bizarre one, but he’s the same age and I have an affinity at this moment with children of that age and its really interesting. David [Mazouz] is one of the most driven, most fabulous actors I’ve ever met and I genuinely mean that and it can be difficult for young people, young actors young men and young women, he is extraordinary. He’s the most focused, driven guy and can really turn it on and he has a real sense of pain and darkness and we’ve found our own heart beat that we will begin to see at around episode three. There are people out there who are a little concerned about Alfred’s parenting skills – I was as well I have to say! [Laughs] But I mean how would he know how to be a father he comes from a military background, he blames himself for the demise of the Waynes, he never signed any contract to say that I’m now the legal guardian…how would he know? What we [David Mazouz and Sean Pertwee] are trying to do, developing, is to find a hook, a way of communicating with a young man who is suffering from post-traumatic stress; and then you start to discover that Alfred also has issues rage issues, guilt issues and everything else. We’ve become a disfunctional family and it really sort of gets out there by episode eight.You see a marked change [in the relationship] and a real marked flag in the sand as to which direction they’re going. It’s really difficult to say anything without giving too much away.
Question -Your Alfred is following on from and kind of pre-figuring Michael Caine in the films but obviously in the old days Alfred was a bit more posh. Are you interested in the Marine direction more Cockney side of Alfred that Gotham is presenting?
S.P. – Yes, certainly. He’s from the East End. He’s a Military guy. I wrote a bible [on the character] and presented it to Bruno on the first day. I tried to stay away as much as I can [from the previous character interpretations]. I have so much respect for my preceeding Alfred’s I mean they are absolute genius in their own way but you have to find your own sync, find your own rhythm, your own beat. So I presented it to him [Bruno Heller] that my father would have been the butler for the Waynes, he was ill, I went there to see him and I left the services to aid him on his death bed. He passed away and I took on the mantle of the valet, the role of the bat man, to the Waynes [Laughs]. So, you’ll see the development of their relationship over the next ten episodes. What I loved about Sir Michael Caine’s interpretation was that he represents the common man and I think that is why I am here.
Question – What is it like to bring the show to Comic Con and really present Gotham to the fans and interact with them?
S.P. – I think it will will be very interesting and I’m very excited by it, We’ve kind of been quite cosseted in our lifestyles because we’ve been working really hard so it’s really nice Ben’s done one and I haven’t done one before so it’s going to be lovely to see their reaction.
Question – And so are you going to put your parenting skills to good work?
S.P. – Yes of course [Laughs] I’ve been asked do I treat my son like that and no I don’t [Laughs].