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 actor Robin Lord Taylor who discusses his thoughts on the character of Oswald Cobblepott, how he prepared for the role, what he takes from the previous live action versions of the character and if the “Penguin” moniker will stick. You can listen to all our NYCC interviews below or read on for the full transcript after the jump.
Question – So how did they prepare you for this role on the show?
Robin Lord Taylor – I didn’t really get a lot of prep. When I auditioned I didn’t know what I was auditioning for. It was like the untitled Warner Brothers project but the night before I went in I got the tip off on what it was that “Your going in to audition for The Penguin in the new Batman origin story series” but at that point I was already prepared and I went in and did what I did and it worked out.But now in terms of preparation the scripts that Bruno (Heller) writes along with the world he’s created with Danny (Cannon) and the other writers it’s just so fully realised it’s just all there in front of me. When it’s right it’s easy.
Question – You didn’t feel that you needed to watch the previous incarnations?
R.L.T. – How can you not see previous incarnations the Adam West series played every day after elementary school I’d seen all of that.I’d seen Batman Returns a million times I could recite that movie from memory. But I realised from the scripts that they were going in a different direction with the character but to be following in the footsteps of Burgess Meredith and Danny Devito how freaking amazing is that? The one thing they brought to it was that sense of fun and that can be difficult cause it’s a dark world but that’s the one thing i took away from their performances. I’m trying to bring it into this.
Gotham TV Podcast – That’s a great tie by the way (his tie depicts fish bones all over it)
R.L.T. – (Smiling happily) Thank you very much
Gotham TV Podcast Question – Your character hates being called The Penguin but can we expect to see him take on that moniker?
R.L.T. – Very much so. That was a pivotal moment from the first episode. Since he was a child he’s been called penguin and he was a victim of bullying and a lot of it was centered around his appearance and his interests and all of his eccentricities but I think the moment that he comes out of the water in first episode was him embracing the name. I mean the moment that you take on the thing you hate the most and embrace it is the moment you take away the power of it and I think that moment is him harnessing the Power of the Penguin and going “OK you’re going to call me the Penguin then I’m the Freaking Penguin, let’s go” and that propels him into the series.
Question – Did you try to make sure that there was a big difference in the characteristics of Oswald before and after the water scene in episode 1?
R.L.T. – Yes definitely. In regards to his walk I love that it’s an actual injury it’s something that we see established. This whole show is bringing some reality to this fantastic world so yeah I was hobbling around the apartment like a moron.working on it making sure it looked good and then Danny (Cannon) was also there to help me out.