Ben McKenzie Says Jim Gordon Is A ‘True Hero’ In GOTHAM


gothamDC has several brand new shows coming up this fall, but one of the most talked about and highly anticipated is Fox‘s Batman prequel series that puts the spotlight on a young Jim Gordon. Gotham has an impressive cast lined up and the first trailer has racked up nearly 8 million views since being released a little less than a month ago. Ben McKenzie has the weigh of the world (or at least all of Gotham City) on his shoulders as the idealistic, fresh-faced recruit at the GCPD. In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, the Southland actor talked about Gordon‘s moral idealism and how the show has to walk a fine line to keep from making its main man naive.

gordonAfter talking about how he became involved with the series (thanks in part to his previous relationship with showrunner Bruno Heller), McKenzie was asked what excited him most about bringing a new version of Jim Gordon to the small screen. The actor says part of the fun is playing a truly good man:

He’s a truly honest man. The last honest man in a city full of crooked people. It’s very tricky nowadays to play a true, honest-to-goodness hero. Everybody is so cynical of people’s intentions. What’s interesting about him is he comes into this city that he hasn’t lived in for two decades, since he was a kid, and has fresh eyes to a world he doesn’t actually know. He thinks he knows it, and his journey will be to figure out how to make it better both for Gotham and himself without completely [losing] the moral standing that he has. He’s not an anti-hero, he’s a true hero — but he will have to compromise.
…This is not a Batman-from-the-’50s kind of show, with moral duality in black and white. In this world, everybody lives in the grey. Everybody is on the take. Everybody is compromised. There is no way he’ll emerge unscathed from that. How does he hold onto the thread of his mortality while getting things done?

Bringing a true, honest, and good character into a corrupt setting is hard to pull off a lot of times. It either works or the person comes off as being ridiculously naive. McKenzie acknowledges that problem and says that he thinks they walking that line in a way that will really work for the series without making Gordon seem like too much of a greenhorn. He explained:

The thing I run into here is that — there’s nothing wrong with having a moral center, and it sets [Gordon] apart for the rest of the people in this world. And that’s an incredibly compelling concept. At the same time, for audiences, that moral centeredness can come across as naivete unless the character is written to be as smart as everybody else in the room, if not smarter. It’s sort of that noir-ish thing — Phillip Marlow is going to stumble, and he’s not going to know what the criminals know. But he’s as smart as they are, if not smarter, and so he’s going to figure it out as he goes along. So you have to juggle those balls without having the character go, “I can’t believe everybody is corrupt! What are the odds?” So that’s been an ongoing conversation. The good news is Bruno and [director Danny Cannon] are fully on board with that take on the character.

You can read a lot more from the actor about his love of Batman and how his first meeting with Geoff Johns went at the source link below. Gotham will be airing later this year, but it’s already getting a lot of positive buzz from people in the know. With it already getting a series order, hopefully we start seeing some more trailers or clips in the coming months. What do you think about McKenzie‘s comments?

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Source : EW