Log in

28 August 2016 @ 12:02 pm

Celebrity Q&A Panel for Saturday, Sept. 3 & Sunday, Sept. 4

Ben McKenzie: Sunday, 2 pm. Room 105
Morena Baccarin: Sunday, 4 pm Room 102

Photo Ops Schedule for Saturday, Sept. 3 & Sunday, Sept. 4

Ben McKenzie: Sat 2:30 pm & Sun 3:45 pm
Morena Baccarin: Sat 1:30 pm & Sun 3:00 pm

Group Photo Ops

Firefly (Tudyk, Staite, Baccarin)
Sat 1:00 pm & Sun 2:30 pm

Gotham ( McKenzie, Baccarin)
Sat 2:00 pm & Sun 3:30 pm


Following a small break, Fox brought us over to to Ben McKenzie, Gotham’s own Jim Gordon. He was dressed in all black, with a prop gun holstered to his waist. The first question was about how McKenzie was taking more charge in the show changing Jim’s story from more procedural to a more overreaching arc.

“It’s a collaborative process so I wouldn’t want to take credit where it’s not deserved. The show is so organic and at its best is a dysfunctional family of 200+ people trying to figure out all the kinks.” He mentioned that the show started out more procedural than what fans had wanted and it eventually started doing the more long-form storytelling, which helped tell the origins of some of its most famous characters and how they interact with one another. “I think delving into those characters have been a big part of that.”

When Gotham started, Jim wanted to become a cop and help the system, but now this season, the future Commissioner becomes a bounty hunter for these monsters that Dr. Hugo Strange created. McKenzie talked about if the show could go even darker from there.

“I want to play with the audience’s expectations of who will become Commissioner Gordon and he had to go this route full of soul searching and this form of soul searching involves him working on the outside, which is his lowest point. He’s trying to find a reason to being, but when he gets his mojo back, it reinvigorates him, but also allows him to operate differently within the GCPD.”

photo : Jim's room

McKenzie stated that he thinks Jim believes in the rule of law as much as the rule allows him to work. When it doesn’t, Jim finds ways to work outside of it, especially dealing with bigger fish to fry instead of going after Nygma and Cobblepot once more.

“One of the things he realizes after the crime families ceased their reign, it created a power vacuum that resulted in the anarchy that’s taking place now,” he said. “There’s the devil you know and the devil you don’t, and the one you know can be a benefit. In a weird way, he’s not pleased, but far passed the point of railing against Oswald.”

The actor talked about the new pieces in Jim’s arsenal to defeat these monsters, and said he’s relying on his skill set to keep him alive, but mentioned that eventually Gordon will have to return to the GCPD and how he adjusts is something he looks forwards to.

Conversation then turned to the Wayne murders and how that’s fallen on the backburner for now. McKenzie said that he and Bruce will go off in their separate quarters, but what that promise his character made to David Mazouz's Bruce still mattered.

“The promise he made to Bruce was somewhat satisfied at the discovery of the labs of Dr. Hugo Strange and Bruce is not as focused on it as well. The notion that finding the Waynes’ killer, we realized, is not the point anymore. It’s more of a MacGuffin at this point and we’re looking at the darker sides of Gotham.”

Going back to the beginning, McKenzie talked about how this isn’t just a Batman origin story, but a character piece on Gotham City itself and how certain people came into power as well as reiterating origins of certain people’s relationships. Mentioning Barbara and how her character has evolved, it was brought up if McKenzie thought she could still find redemption.

“I don’t know if the relationship could be healed, but there’s some chance for personal redemption for all of these characters. There’s a way of empathizing with them and it’s unique. We play with the thin line of heroes and villainy. If Oswald hadn’t been beaten up all the time by Fish Mooney, would he be the killer he is now? If we hadn’t poked and prodded at Nygma making fun of him, would he be where he is?”

Lastly, he mentioned that it’s been very satisfying to work with the cast and see a team of primarily unknowns become such stars.


Do you ever take into account what the actors say?

Crescenzo Notarile: When an actor speaks you have to listen, because they are indeed the actors. We are there for them. After all, the faces of the show are them. So of course when they speak, we listen. We have many astute actors, especially our #1 actor, Ben Mckenzie. He’s very sharp. He’s very intelligent. He knows a lot about filmmaking. He’s been around the block a long time. When he says something creatively, we will discuss it and think about it, and most likely execute it as well.


Drew Brees Tells Us How Great His Former Teammate And ‘The O.C.’ Star Ben McKenzie Was At Football

Brees has seen a lot in his football career after being drafted in 2001 by the San Diego Chargers. There’s the Super Bowl MVP (and win in Super Bowl XLIV), nine Pro Bowl selections, and even that Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year award, but one thing he never got to see was the full potential of one of his early teammates.

Ben McKenzie, from Gotham and The O.C., used to catch passes from Brees in Austin, Tex. way back in middle school. McKenzie’s been asked about this, but tends to take the modesty approach and downplay his abilities a bit. The story is a cute anecdote, and is perfect for late-night talkshows.

But just how good was Ryan Atwood at football?

“Ben was a great guy in middle school and he was a phenomenal athlete,” Brees says. “He was a great football player. He was a guy I always thought had a chance. I know he played in high school. I’m trying to think about when acting became a big part of his life, and what he enjoyed doing, but I’ve got great memories about him. I’m super happy for his success.”

McKenzie played wide receiver and defensive back at Austin High School, and after graduating from the University of Virginia, he pursued acting full-time. McKenzie was cast as Atwood in The O.C. in 2003, and the show took off.

Brees caught wind of his old teammate’s new show and was as curious as anyone else (although he never became a devoted fan).
“I saw it a time or two just because of him, actually,” Brees says. “I heard he was in it, and I just wanted to see him in action.”

The two haven’t seen each other since high school, but that’s something Brees would like to change. He thinks it’d be great to get in touch with McKenzie, whether they ultimately reminisce about old times, talk about Austin, or throw the football around.
That’s obviously tough with Brees juggling parenting, quarterbacking, and all his other obligations, and McKenzie still committed to a full acting slate (including his turn as Jim Gordon on Gotham). Hey, there has to be a 25-year middle school reunion coming up soon.
19 August 2016 @ 06:07 pm

Jim’s dark turn this season gave you so much great stuff to play.
Yes, it did! One of the things I think we did was learn from things we could’ve done better in the past. After the first season, we felt we needed to lean into the serialization way harder, so I’m proud of this season in terms of how it really focused on the characters. Not just Jim but the evolution of Oswald (Robin Lord Taylor) and Nygma (Cory Michael Smith). Bruce (David Mazouz) has evolved a lot too.

Between Oswald in Season 1 and Galavan (James Frain) this year, Jim is the guy who can’t kill people for good.
[Laughs] I know. He’s awfully ineffective for such a heroic guy. As much as we want to dig into the characters and give them the sort of pathos that helps ground the series in reality, we also wanted to open it up to do really fun reversals and rebirths and body swapping–type things.

This season was all about the villains. Who’s your favorite bad guy?
It’s always been Nygma. I’ve always had a soft spot for him, and I think what Cory Michael Smith’s doing is great. He’s been brilliant this year and last year. I think we’ve got some plans for him next season. And there’s one villain I’m really excited about that I cannot share with you. [Laughs]
What about a favorite scene this season?
That’s a tough one. It’s not one scene, but the episodes where Jim goes to prison and we see him reorient his life and then emerge anew. It was a really enjoyable journey to go on as an actor. So much superhero lore is about overcoming a loss through fantastical elements, but Jim’s just a man. So to experience the loss of Lee and his child—I can imagine going through something similar in my personal life—was a powerful experience.

Without Lee or the GCPD, where does Jim go now?
The plan is to kick him into Season 3 unmoored from all of the things she helped him hold on to and, in some dark way, enjoying a life free from any attachment to anybody. We could [see] him roam the streets at will for a bit and come back [to the GCPD], possibly as a leader of men. I think that’s what we’re aiming for.

You weren’t a comic book kid growing up. Have you gotten better versed in the Batman business since the show started?
I definitely feel more learned in this world, for sure. Don’t quiz me on it, though! [Laughs]
19 August 2016 @ 01:30 pm

Ben McKenzie panel

The largest room in the venue is at least 700 seats. It was filled. Ben is very entertaining and good with the hints about season 3 of Gotham. Plus he is a thoughtful actor with an intelligent approach to acting. If you get a chance catch one of his panels, I highly recommend it.  I was able to do a audio recording of the panel, here it is.
09 August 2016 @ 05:18 pm

Alex Zalben ‏@azalben :
Meet the new king of #Gotham #TCA16