‘Gotham’ has actor David Mazouz growing up as Bruce Wayne/Batman

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Outrageous villains inhabiting a city fraught with corruption and chaos—that’s “Gotham,” the FOX drama that takes its inspiration from the treasure trove of characters that first emerged in DC Comics.

Operatic in its shadowy cinematic approach and dark storytelling, Gotham is currently in its fifth and final season. To highlight the comic book crime drama and put all the heroes and villains in the spotlight, FOX presented an interview panel for the recent Television Critics Association’s winter 2019 press tour.

David Mazouz turns 18 on February 19 and
his maturity as a performer belies his age.

At the Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena on February 6, the stars and creative team gathered to talk about the show’s impact. On hand were David Mazouz who plays Bruce Wayne; Ben McKenzie as Jim Gordon; Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock; Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot; Erin Richards as Barbara Kean; Camren Bicondova as Selina Kyle; Cory Michael Smith as Edward Nygma; and Cameron Monaghan as Jeremiah Valeska starting the evolution of The Joker; plus executive producers/showrunners John Stephens and director Danny Cannon.

The final season of Gotham is subtitled “The Legend of the Dark Knight,” and viewers can tune in to see the culmination of Bruce Wayne’s five season arc to finally become Batman. Overwhelmed by the over-the-top evildoers, the tragic boy finally becomes the crime-fighting caped crusader.

Giving the series its heart is David Mazouz in the role of young Bruce Wayne. Mazouz turns 18 on February 19 and his maturity as a performer belies his age. The powerhouse role of the soon-to-be Batman is embodied by David who runs the spectrum of emotions.

Mazouz’s acting growth went from brilliantly underplaying Kiefer Sutherland’s autistic child in the FOX series Touch when he was 12, to starring in Gotham and growing up along with his Bruce Wayne character.

David was effuse with his praise about his experience and said, “It’s been a long journey. I think everybody can probably agree that their most formative years are their teenage years, and I’ve spent the entirety of mine on this show surrounded by amazing people. I’m so grateful for it. It’s funny, because I’m back in school now fulltime, which I haven’t really done since seventh grade, and I’m ridiculously bored.”

He explained, “I used to complain that I was so busy I wasn’t getting enough sleep. But I was doing what I love. School’s not boring. I like school, but I’m very grateful for the years that I think will shape me most. When I’m an adult and I look back on my life, I think I’m going to say that these years defined who I am as a person. At the risk of sounding cliché, I’m grateful that those years were spent around such amazing role models, honestly.”

This reporter asked Mazouz what defines him as a person, and what qualities does he share with Bruce Wayne? David was eager to reveal, “The one thing I learned from Bruce Wayne— which I think is the best message that anybody could possibly take to their heart— is that you can do anything if you set your mind to it. The story that Gotham is trying to tell is that Bruce starts out as just a rich boy in an alley who has something bad happen to him, and he turns that into something really phenomenal.”

He added, “The whole show has this theme where the characters are dealt a bad hand and we see how they deal with it. Penguin is dealt a bad hand at the beginning, and he turns that fear and rage into what he says—‘I was tormented, so I want other people to know how I felt.’ But Bruce does the opposite. He says—‘I was tormented. Something really bad happened to me, and I want nobody else to know what that feels like. I want to protect other people.’ And his will power turns his completely human, nothing-special self into a superhero. That’s something that I have taken to heart. Anytime I have a challenge, I say to myself, ‘Bruce could do it.’  I swear, I do it all the time.”

Gotham’s farewell season airs Monday nights at 9pm on FOX, and wraps up on Thursday, April 25. Tune in.

Margie Barron is a member of the Television Critics Association and has written for a variety of top publications for more than 38 years, and was half of the husband and wife writing team of Margie and Frank Barron.

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