By: Henry Hanks, Contributor @hankstv / firstname.lastname@example.org
At age 16, David Mazouz has been playing Bruce Wayne longer than Adam West and Michael Keaton.
This season, the “Gotham” star has finally suited up and truly begun the journey that will eventually lead to his identity as Batman. At the end of last season, we saw Bruce in a very early version of the Batman costume (sans any reference to bats, just yet).
I recently sat down with Mazouz at Heroes & Villains Fan Fest Atlanta to talk about what we can expect for Bruce as the fourth season continues, and what he thinks of Ben Affleck’s portrayal of Batman.
Q: How have things changed for you over these four seasons portraying Bruce?
A: When we started shooting the first few episodes, I started to realize what a big deal this was, and how iconic a show like this is, and what kind of place it has in the mythos of a story that’s been alive and treasured for almost a century now, so that was very powerful. I feel like as the show’s gone on, it’s strange because this role is so special and different from anything I probably would have gotten, but because it’s an everyday part of my life, I’ve kind of taken it for granted. But I try not to, and I have to keep reminding myself how lucky I am.
Q: What has it been like to finally suit up?
A: That was really exciting. I was over the moon at the end of last year and the beginning of this year, getting fitted for that costume, and developing it with Lucius Fox, that was so exciting.
Q: And now you’re really well on your way to becoming Batman.
A: It’s been so much fun. It’s been cool because Bruce – before he was doing detective work, you saw his skills come out, but he did that to find out his parents’ murderer, which directly affected him, he was doing it for himself. Now he’s doing it for other people and he’s trying to actively prevent crime, which we know Batman to do but we never saw Bruce Wayne do it until now.
Q: You share a majority of your scenes with Sean Pertwee, who portrays Alfred. What is your relationship like with him?
A: Sean has really become one of my closest friends. I love hanging out with him, and I feel like I can trust him with so many things. He really has become a father figure in my life.
Q: Can you give the fans a hint about what to expect for Bruce going forward?
A: Right now, Bruce is going through a very dark party boy phase to distract him from the horror and hellish guilt that followed him ever since he killed a man… he has been feeling beyond awful, which is understandable. He doesn’t want to come face to face with that. In order to go on, instead of doing the healthy thing in confronting it, he’s distracting himself with girls, booze and parties. Eventually, we know he will come out of it, and when he does, it’s very well-woven into the general story of greater “Gotham.” I love how real it is, because something awakens him to the fact that he isn’t what he thinks he is. He’s capable of much more.
Q: Another character Bruce has been close to since the beginning is Selina. How will that friendship or “enemy-ship” develop?
A: With Bruce and Selina, it’s a very tricky thing. The “Gotham” writers set this relationship up very well. The way we started it was they were two innocent kids who had a connection with each other. They were childhood friends, so they can never really turn on one another. They can never rat the other one out, or fight the other one, but at the same time, they are on different sides. Catwoman is a thief and a villain. Bruce Wayne/Batman is a hero, and so it’s gonna be tricky because they have to reconcile that but at the same time have a flirtatious and non-committal relationship. They’re always gonna be there for each other when the other one really needs them.
Q: You tweeted recently that you just saw “Justice League.” What’s it been like to see Ben Affleck portray the same role?
A: There is definitely an element of “oh wow, you can do that with the role too.” I noticed a lot of references to the comic books. Whenever I see him in the role, there are new things I notice him doing that I use as influence and inspiration in what I do.