This is one of the surreal days on the job. Most of my time as an entertainment journalist is spent sitting at a computer, tapping away, and trying to resist the urge to give in to a midday nap. Today, however, I am sitting on a leather sofa in Wayne Manor, talking to Bruce Wayne when he comments on the Batman ring I randomly put on this morning.
“I like your ring! That’s so cool,” he says. “I think I’ll have to get one of those soon.”
Bruce Wayne needs more bat iconography in his life, and so does David Mazouz, the actor who portrays him on Fox’s Gotham, entering its third season on Monday, Sept. 19.
Although most of the Wayne Manor study is underneath dust covers when I speak with him, Mazouz looks comfortable on the sofa, in costume and in full-on Bruce Wayne teenage playboy mode. We are chatting during a late August visit to the show’s Brooklyn set, after Mazouz had just finished filming an Episode 6 party scene at Sirens (the new club owned by Barbara Kean and Tabitha Galavan).
In the interview below, he discusses this evolution of Bruce into a young man. He also reveals more about his role as the Bruce lookalike revealed at the end of Season 2. And, of course, he teases his investigations into the secret society of Season 3: The Court of Owls.
You’re looking quite dapper for this party scene at Sirens ...
I appreciate it!
Based on this scene, where you have a conversation with Selina, Bruce appears to be more confident, and have some more swagger. Is that the case? Is he developing more of the playboy persona?
Absolutely. He is becoming an adult, as any teenager would. The thing [executive producers] Bruno Heller and Danny Cannon have always said is Bruce will grow as I grow. As David, I’m becoming more of an adult, and so is Bruce. What comes with becoming an adult is confidence, romance, and all those things will come his way. He is coming into manhood, and eventually Batman-hood.
Obviously there is this Bruce look alike out there that we met in the season finale and shows back up in the premiere. How is the process of working those two characters?
It was tough developing that. The thing I like to stress is this is not Bruce in any way. The only similarity is they look the same. They talk differently, walk differently, think differently, communicate differently. Everything about this is different. He is a completely different person, and he’s not evil. He is lost, and looking for a purpose. That purpose he will find may not be the best for Bruce Wayne’s overall fate. It was hard developing a completely different person. Usually what happens is you audition for a role, and it’s kind of easy once you get to set. Whatever you did in the audition is what you’re going to do as the character; you’ve already kind of figured it out.
With this, I read it and didn’t really have a trial period. I was going to get to set, and they’re going to shoot, and that’s it. I talked with our producers and wonderful director Danny Cannon who directed the first two episodes of Season 3. He kind of told me what the character was, but it was really weird and hard figuring out who this doppelganger is. Eventually it clicked, and I don’t want to give too much away, but they’ll be obvious. And it is so much fun.
Does Bruce view get involved with the new villains roaming Gotham?
I think the thing going on with Bruce right now in Season 3 is, for the first two seasons he’s been devoted to one thing: Investigations, training, fighting corruption, fighting evil. At the end of Season 2, he realizes if he continues on that path, people he cares about will get hurt and put in danger. He couldn’t live with himself. So he takes a step back at the beginning of Season 3. He doesn’t want Alfred, Selina, Lucius, Gordon to get hurt. So he is not in the mindset of who is an ally, and who is a villain. He is kind of taking things easy, but that’s not to say he won’t be getting darker, or the training will stop. It won’t. He will be evolving, but not in that investigative way.
Your character was the first to pick up on this secret society, which we come to know as the Court of Owls. Are we going to see you on the hunt trying to dig up the society?
Absolutely. Like you said, Bruce is really the only character at the end of Season 2 that there is this secret council governing everything in Gotham, and how dangerous that can be. Season 3 picks up six months after Season 2, and during that time he’s in Switzerland with Alfred. He comes back in the premiere with a specific purpose having to do with the Court of Owls because he knows about them, and he realizes they’re the enemy – and they’re going down! Bruce will have a major part of that. Court of Owls is the overarching villain of Season 3, and Bruce will be very involved in taking them down.