In the world of Gotham, they are the prototypical dynamic duo. David Mazouz and Sean Pertwee were the first celebrity guest panel on Saturday at Toronto ComiCon, and the pair got to be significantly more light-hearted then they’re allowed to be on their TV show. Mazouz gave a hearty “Hello. Toronto,” far from being the broody pre-Batman Bruce Wayne, as he and Pertwee dug in and answered questions about the show and offered a couple of hints about what’s to come as season three draws to a close.
Now obviously, spoilers were kept to a minimum, but both Pertwee and Mazouz hinted at something big for Alfred and Bruce before the season is over, something that will make both characters confront the darkness in both of them. “What I like about them is that both of our characters are fallible, that’s what draws them together and how they both learn,” said Pertwee. “They’re both dark souls and that contains their fury; they need each other.”
“I think the thing I love about Bruce, and its difficult to play, is how much he cares about the people around him,” added Mazouz, “We’re going to see that towards the end of the season, there’s going to be a struggle with the relationship and it’s going to be very difficult for them to get through it.”
How difficult? There’s crying involved for Master Bruce. “When you see it you’ll be quite shocked about this sequence, and it was an extraordinary feat because it was not just acting, he wasn’t just crying his eyes out, he was putting himself through the ringer,” Pertwee said in praise of Mazouz’s acting.
When someone asked if Mazouz might some day put on the Batman costume, the actor was hopeful (“I’m ready for the fitting next week,” he said), but practical. There are still a couple of years before that, but Mazouz explained that young Bruce Wayne is becoming more like his future superhero self all the time. “One of the things I love about the Alfred/Bruce relationship is that it’s ever changing, and now it’s at a stage where they’re partners and there’s a mission formulating between the two of them and they’re moving forward as equals,” he said.
“We’re going down that road a lot earlier than we thought we would, and towards the end of the season, when Ra’s al Ghul shows up, he’s going to go further down the path to become the man that wears the cowl,” added Pertwee. “But we also realize now how much of an influence Alfred has in making him the Dark Knight.”
“Bruce is tempted by the dark side again and again and again, and its not going to stop and we’re going to see that in a big way before the end of the season,” said Mazouz.
Aside from spoilers, there was some shop talk too. Pertwee is glad to play a part in the Batman legacy having watched the character on TV as a kid. “I grew up with Adam West,” he said. “I thought that was cool,” he said of the 60s Batman series adding, “I wasn’t the only one bouncing around on the couch with an apron on.”
“Batman has always been my favourite superhero, and I watched all the Christian Bale movies and I loved them,” said Mazouz. “I really got to be a Batman fan once I booked the role because I wanted to do the research and started reading the comics, and now I read comic books all the time out of pure enjoyment.”
There was also a bit of a mutual admiration society. “I’m amazed by this young man because you’ve got to pace yourself on set and it takes an incredibly long time to shoot these scenes, sometimes it can be nine hours before the camera comes to you for a close-up,” said Pertwee. “He’s got huge tear glands and it comes from something deep.”
“Sean plays Alfred in a way I think I never could, and I always feel blessed to work with someone so talented,” said Mazouz. “Sean’s been in the business for so long and I hope to stay as dedicated to my craft as he has.”
And Pertwee’s perfectly fine playing Alfred, and not one of the Batman’s vaunted rogues gallery. “I wouldn’t dare because our guys have done an extraordinary job,” he said of his Gotham co-stars. “I think seeing all of these characters the way we haven’t seen them before is that we see they’re tortured, and the lesson is to be nice to your neighbour because look at what might happen. Don’t push someone too far because they’ll snap and go to the dark side.”
“I have to say that how the writers and our cast handle the way the villains are portrayed is just brilliant,” added Mazouz, who gave especial praise to Jerome’s portrayer Cameron Monaghan. “Brilliant doesn’t even begin to describe his work. I learned so much about my craft working along side him and it’s such an iconic role. It’s the Joker!… Maybe.”
One thing you can guarantee that you won’t be seeing on Gotham though is an appearance by Ace the Bat Hound. “They’ve got enough to do already without a dog, that’s a dusting nightmare,” said Pertwee.