Heroes and Villains Fanfest (HVFF) swept into the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, New Jersey this past weekend. Stars of TV’s most “super” shows like Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Gotham were there. Amongst the guests was David Mazouz, the star of Fox’s hit show Gotham. Mazouz was only 13 when cast to play the role of young Bruce Wayne in the Batman prequel series, which debuted in 2014. Coincidentally, he shares a birthday with the fictional Wayne. Mazouz was part of the Gotham panel that packed the room early Saturday afternoon and spent the rest of the weekend meeting and greeting fans, taking pictures and signing autographs. We got a few minutes to speak with him about his experience on the show and the upcoming fourth season.
Check out our interview below.
Geeks of Doom: We caught the panel yesterday and Drew (Powell) was talking about what he went through to get ready for season 4. Did you go through any specific training to prepare for the upcoming season?
David Mazouz: Not really, I don’t think any more than normal. I started working with a trainer last year, and we just continued with that.
Geeks of Doom: What’s the training regimen like?
David Mazouz: We focus on basic boxing, jiu jitsu and martial arts, so that when I move it looks like I know what I’m doing, even though I don’t actually.
Geeks of Doom: Last season you played two characters. You played Bruce and “fake Bruce”. What was it like acting off of yourself?
David Mazouz: Oh my god, it’s so hard. The hardest thing for me was that, as an actor, my process is to not plan my acting decisions, unless they’re really important prior to our shooting. I like to have everything be based on instinct, I like to have everything be in the moment. I like to only learn my lines before, I don’t like doing a lot of preparation. But that had to change because if we were shooting Bruce first and then Bruce 2, I’d have to know what acting decisions to make as Bruce 2 so Bruce can react to them. So I had to actively plan, and that was hard for me to wrap my head around and figure out.
(At that point a loud crowd erupted in cheers from behind us.)
David Mazouz: They just found out I was here. (We all laughed)
Geeks of Doom: Is there a lot of tension this season between you and Commissioner Gordon (Ben McKenzie) now that you’re going to be a vigilante?
(We then joked about what actual rank Jim Gordon had at the end of season 3 before eventually becoming Commissioner of course later on.)
David Mazouz: A ton of tension, that is THE focus of the second half of this season. The second half of the season focuses on Bruce beginning to hunt down Gordon because he does things that are morally suspect. And Gordon starts to hunt down Bruce; well he doesn’t know it’s Bruce, but he’s hunting down Bruce because as we’ve seen, Gordon has a very specific vision of how Gotham should be protected. I think that’s the major theme this season; the idea of what is the correct way to keep Gotham safe. Penguin has his way, Gordon has his way, the Gotham PD have their way, and Bruce has his way, and they’re all going to be competing to see who’s is best.
Geeks of Doom: Your show has such a unique cast of actors with the younger stars and then a group of great adult actors. What is like on set, do you stay together or…?
David Mazouz: No, there’s no divide.
Geeks of Doom: Comics wise, do they ever give you homework on set?
David Mazouz: I wish they would do that. That would give me a hint as to what they want. No they don’t do that at all. They give me leeway to interpret it myself.
Geeks of Doom: Are we going to see Bruce and Selina reunite?
David Mazouz: No, no. We are going through a very rough patch.
Geeks of Doom: Yeah I was rooting for you guys, she was reaching out for Bruce.
David Mazouz: The thing is that scene wasn’t supposed to be like that. Originally, Selina comes to Bruce and says that Alfred is in the hospital, and Bruce says he was brainwashed and admits to everything, and gives her the whole spiel. I actually am the one who talked to John Stephens (Gotham EP/writer) and said I didn’t think it made sense. I mean she’s abandoned me several times, so many times in the course of the season. Alfred kicked her out of the manor in episode 3.17 because she wouldn’t stop and think about Bruce. Selina has always looked after herself, that’s part of her character, that’s expected, but at a certain point Bruce has to put his foot down and say ‘listen I’m now looking after myself.’ And they have a give and take relationship, but there comes a point and Bruce has realized that. At a certain point Selina is going to go to Bruce asking for a very big favor and Bruce is going to put his interests ahead of hers, because his are more important and they’re for the benefit of Gotham. And so their relationship is going to crumble. But Bruce might have another relationship.
Geeks of Doom: One more question, for school, do you go between shoots or do you have tutors?
David Mazouz: I go to school in Los Angeles and I have a tutor on set.
Geeks of Doom: Well thanks for your time, and just want to let you know, I saw the panel yesterday and you should totally be Damian Wayne.
David Mazouz: My man! Write about it please, support it.
David Mazouz is a calm and collected young man, wise beyond his years. He is tasked with playing one of the most beloved and famous characters ever, and he’s done a great job so far. This season he finally dons a mask and becomes The Dark Knight. The new season of Gotham starts this coming Thursday night, September 21st at 8:00 EST on FOX.
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