It’s been a long winter in Gotham, or at least we assume it has been. After a three month hiatus, Gotham is back with some of the most fabulous villains on TV. The most questionable character, Ed Nygma/The Riddler (Cory Michael Smith) and his temporary BFF Leslie Thomkins (Morena Baccarin) sat down for a Cocktail Conversation and talked about their characters’ unlikely friendship and an emerging Bat!
Narrows Minded People
The Narrows wouldn’t be considered a hip place to hang in Gotham, but that’s where all the action is right now. Alfred living there after getting the boot from stately Wayne Manor, and where Ed & Leslie are working together. “She’s now running the show in The Narrows,” Cory told us, while Morena chimed in “I am. I am the leader of the underground.” He also said he’s getting used to being second fiddle.. for now, “Much like when I was kind of second fiddle to Robin Lord Taylor’s penguin, I’m now kind of being the Vice Mayor to this one in the Narrows.”
We’ve had enough Cocktail Conversations around Hollywood to know when co-stars genuinely get along, and when Morena leaned in and said “There’s nothing vice about you,” the ensuing laughter tells us these two have a slew of private jokes.
“It’s been really fun working with Morena. She brings out kind of a softer side in Ed. This season he was dealing with kind of losing his intelligence after being thawed out.” True. A deep freeze does tend to kill braincells and dull wit. “And so it’s kinda like old Ed has re-emerged because of this one and her principled behaviour and her kindness and generousity brings out a nice side of Ed.”
While their friendship is clearly here to stay, Cory thinks their characters’ relationship may not be as solid. “I still don’t know how long that’s gonna last man. Cuz it’s just not as exciting!” As for Morena, she’s just enjoying it as long as it lasts, “It’s been a lot of fun actually. It’s been awesome watching Cory.”
Good To Be Bad
TV is full of antagonistic villains, but none come close to the compellingly campy crew on Gotham. Cory says that’s the fun of doing the show. “I feel like you can really be big with this character but you do it in just the right ways so it’s not like a caricature. So it’s given me permission that I can push it a little bit.”
To get ahead in Gotham you can’t be some ordinary, purse snatching, bank robbing baddie. You have to be as big and as dark as the city itself. Cory says over-the-top isn’t just tolerated, it’s encouraged and celebrated. “Yeah there’s sort of allowance you get when you’re a villain in this show. The show is operatic, the city is larger than life and so we kind of get an allowance to be like evil and crazy and do wild stuff.”
And that means time’s running out on the the kinder, gentler Ed. “The Riddler has to come back. Because at a certain point the man just needs to be cunning and cause some problems..”
Gotham has been teasing us for months that Bruce in a Batsuit is coming. Now Morena and
Ed Cory are confirming our hopes, but tempering our excitement. “A version of one, right?” “He has this prototype bat suit.” “Right, they’re working on it.”
Like an evolving Batman, the suit must evolve too. You can’t just give him everything at once. We suppose you could, but Cory wants to know where’s the fun in that? “He’s not ready for the full Batman, pecs, ears. We gotta get some poundage on this guy first.”
So how much will we see? Morena told us it’s a work in progress. “It’s kinda like a prototype bat suit where like we’re kicking him from behind just pushing him toward Batman. I don’t know if he’s gonna be in the full get up.”
After three and a half seasons, we’ve already been waiting to see a Bat Boy, and Cory is just fine with taking things slow. “I think the fun of the show is watching it develop as opposed to the actual thing.”
Critic’s Cocktail Recommendation
“Bloody” Mary. It’s the perfectly appropriate drink of choice for The Narrows Bar.