Gotham: 15 Dark Behind-The-Scenes Secrets

There have been plenty attempts to portray the story of Batman, from comics, to Television, and even plenty of movies. However, while these stories do reference how the Batman came to be, they do not talk about the life of Bruce Wayne before he took on the mantle of the Dark Knight.

Gotham is the prequel to the Batman mythos, exploring the origins and series of events that led Bruce Wayne to become the Batman. The series is not just exemplary for providing a prequel to one of DC’S biggest juggernauts, it also gives audiences a look into the origins of several characters tied to the legend of the Batman including: Jim Gordon, Oswald Cobblepot, and Selina Kyle.

Gotham offers an in depth look into the lives of some of the Batman’s most notorious foes and loyal allies, all while taking place within its own universe. During the show's production, some interesting facts and secrets occur behind the scenes.

Here are the 15 Dark Behind-The-Scenes Secrets From Gotham

15 Ben McKenzie Was Injured On-Set        

Ben McKenzie is an actor with deep roots in the Batman mythos. He is the first person to play both Jim Gordon and Batman in the animated feature, Batman: Year One. However, working on the set of Gotham is bound to be intense.

McKenzie tries to be as authentic as possible, resulting in a stunt that seemed a little too authentic. During one of his fight scenes, McKenzie received a serious an injury when he was slammed into a concrete pillar. While he was okay, the wound did require stitches.

A few days after this incident, McKenzie was involved in a car crash. Thankfully, both he and the driver were alright. With the way he survives these accidents, it’s no surprise he was chosen to take on the role of Gordon.

14 Robin Lord Taylor Puts a Bottle Cap in His Shoe

A defining trait for the Penguin is the way he limps when he walks. In Gotham, Penguin is injured after an altercation withFish Mooney. The resulting limp quickly earns him his nickname, The Penguin. 

When Taylor first tries to recreate his character’s limp, he has some trouble maintaining it. In one scene, he actually forgets to limp and walks normally. Thus, he uses an old Stella Adler trick and puts a bottle cap in his shoe. The result is that it helps him to put less pressure on his foot, so as not to maim himself, and adapt to the limp.

According to Taylor, doing this helps to simulate the reality of the Penguin's pain, reminding him of what his character went through. This in turn helps him to translate the realism of this painful experience to the audience.

13 Morena Baccarin Had An Affair With Ben McKenzie

On-screen, both Baccarin and Mckenzie are quite close. From co-workers to lovers, the development of Gordon and Lee’s relationship is rivaled only by the actors who play them. Not long after they started working together, McKenzie and Baccarin started dating. Not long after, Baccarin became pregnant and the two actors officially tied the knot.

However, Baccarin was still married when she and McKenzie began seeing each other. Not long after they started seeing each other, Baccarin’s husband filed for divorce. When studying the timeline of events, she and McKenzie conceived their child shortly before her ex officially filed for divorce. In other words, they were still married.

It is important to note that Baccarin's relationship was by no means perfect with Austin Chick. However, this does not mean that the news of the affair was any less shocking to hear.

12 Professor Pyg Was Almost Cast As Alfred

In terms of Pyg’s status in the Batman mythos, he is a fairly recent character as he debuted in 2007. Nonetheless, his character is well known for stirring up waves of fear and violence.

Professor Pyg is the very definition of a psychopath, and his portrayal in Gotham has been fairly spot on. One key difference is the focus of his deranged desires. In the comics, he is obsessed with perfection, but in the show his obsession is directed towards eliminating corruption.

The idea that Pyg could be considered an ally to anyone is a chilling thought. However, the actor who portrays Pyg was originally in the run for the role of Alfred. Thankfully, the role went to Sean Pertwee. In terms of performance Pyg is amazing, yet the idea that he could have been Alfred is enough to give anyone chills.

11 Alfred Is a Butler to Control His Emotions

Alfred has always been a key figure in Bruce’s upbringing, especially following his parents demise. However in Gotham, the incarnation of the character packs a little more punch than some of his other televised portrayals.

As a former SAS agent, the Gotham version of the character offers a little more bite than usual. Like many other characters in the show, Alfred possesses a dark side. A side he showed in the episode "Strike Force," when he slaps and threatens Selina. This action confirms that this version of Alfred has more violent tendencies than his other counterparts.

Sean Pertwee confirms that the reason Alfred went from soldier to butler was to keep his aggression in check. By working as a butler, and looking after Bruce, he imposes on himself a set of rules and restrictions. This in turn helps keep his aggression under control.

10  10. Auditions for Gotham Were Kept Secret From The Actors

Gotham has solidified itself as an important part of the Batman’s legacy. Not only does it describe the vigilante’s origins, it also depicts the origins of the Dark Knight’s foes and allies as well. The story brings with it a lot of creative potential, as the story deviates from traditional story lines.

Curiously though, during the auditions for Gotham, many of the actors were unaware of the roles they were auditioning for. Robin Lord Taylor confirms this while on a New York Comic Con panel, stating that prior to his audition he was given a fake script and a list of fake characters.

This resulted in actors not knowing who they were auditioning for. Truly a unique and fitting way to start the beginning of one of the most important shows in DC culture.

9 The Set For Arkham Is An Abandoned Psychiatric Hospital

Founded by Amadeus Akrham, the asylum has a long and terrifying history of housing the criminally insane within its walls. Designed to hold some of the most dangerous people imaginable, ranging from the unhinged Joker to the monstrous Killer Croc, Arkham is literally imbued with insanity.

Gotham introduces audiences to the infamous institution, which also doubles as a secret research facility supported by the Court of Owls. In addition, Gotham adds an extra touch to Arkham's foreboding atmosphere. In reality, the asylums deep rooted feeling of insanity is more real than people first think.

The location where they film the Arkham scenes happens to be at an abandoned psychiatric hospital. The show goes to great lengths to emphasize the reality of the asylum.

8 Gotham Is About Embracing One’s Insanity

At first, Gotham’s focus was on finding the killer of Bruce’s parents, while also preventing a gang war. However, the show soon evolves beyond the focus of its first season. Eventually, its true potential blossoms in season two. Instead of gang wars and solving crimes, the show develops a new focus - embracing your inner insanity.

Barbara Kean is the best character to exemplify the shows new focus. Originally Jim Gordon’s fiancée, she had little to do beyond staying in her apartment. After her abduction by a serial killer known as The Ogre, Barbara kills her parents and then attempts to kill herself.

Following this intense act of patricide, Barbara finally discovers her true potential as a character. Gotham introduces us to a new incarnation of Barbara, who transitions into the ideal femme fatale. Once a useless side character, Barbara has transitioned into a dangerous player vying for control of Gotham.

7 Anthony Carrigan Was Afraid Of His Alopecia Areata Condition

Anthony Carrigan plays the murderous Victor Zsasz who acts as an enforcer to Gotham’s criminal elite. However, off-screen he is also an advocate for positive body image. When Carrigan was three he was diagnosed with Alopecia Areata, which led to him losing all his hair; eyebrows and eye lashes included.

Today, he embraces his condition and is confident in both his looks and acting ability. However, this was not always the case. In the beginning, Carrigan was terrified of his condition. He was worried that his Alopecia would negatively affect his acting career. Thus, he went to great lengths to hide it from everyone.

However, his condition worsened and it became harder to hide. Eventually, Carrigan came to accept it as part of himself. He is the perfect example of how far dedicated actors will go to face their fears.

6 Robin Lord Taylor Lost Two Dads In One Day

As The Penguin, Robin Lord Taylor delivers some of the best performances in the entire show. However, one moment earns heartfelt sympathy for the character. The scene where Penguin loses his father, just as they were bonding as father and son. The death was a result of a failed assassination attempt intended Penguin himself.

However, most people do not realize just how powerful and heartbreaking this scene is. The emotions on display are the result of Taylor acting out the reality of his own life.

Ironically, the day that Taylor shot this scene was also the same day that his own father passed away. Even in the wake of such a painful series of events, Taylor still pulls through to deliver what is without a doubt one of the most heartbreaking moments in Gotham.

5 Donal Logue’s Daughter Went Missing For Two Weeks

Known for his role as Detective Bullock, Donal Logue personifies a tough, street wise detective to a tee. On the show, Bullock faces a variety of threats and confronts the predators of Gotham’s underworld who prey on the weak. However, things take a dark turn for the actor when he comes face to face with a comparable situation in real life.

Earlier this year, Logue received the scare of his life when his daughter Jade went missing in New York. In addition to collaborating with law enforcement, Logue turned to his fellow actors, associates and the public, to help in his daughter’s search.

For over two weeks, Logue made frequent pleas on social media, imploring anyone with information to come forward. Thankfully, Jade was found safe and sound in North Carolina.

4 The Penguin Received Homophobic Backlash

Robin Lord Taylor is one of the best parts about Gotham. His performance brings new life to the Penguin, and provides him with an origin worthy of the character’s legacy. In addition to his skills as an actor, Taylor is also openly gay and happily married. After coming out in October 2016, he was the victim of homophobic messages and insults.

In Gotham’s Third season, it turns out that Taylor’s character Penguin has feelings for Edward Nygma. Many die-hard Penguin fans reacted negatively to this change in character. Fans claim that while they don't have any personal issues with Penguin's sexuality, they fear it conflicts with the traits his character is known for.

However, Taylor addressed these statements, pointing out their homophobic nature. Taylor also elaborates that Penguin isn’t necessarily gay, but rather has a strong emotional bond with Nygma.

3 The Directors of Gotham Attempted To Dress a White Stuntwoman In Blackface

In 2014, Gotham ran into a bit of trouble with Jada Pinkett Smith. She accused the shows directors for wanting to cast a white stuntwoman and then dress her in blackface to make her look like Smith.

According to Deadline, while blackface has been banned since the 1930’s, it unfortunately does not prevent the practice of painting down white performers and actors. Nothing in the Union’s contract prevents the use of this method. This practice is especially insulting to many in the profession, as it brings up reminders of Hollywood’s racist history.

Fortunately, before the situation could escalate, Fox decided to withdraw their decision to cast a white stuntwoman. After apologizing for the harm the decision caused, they eventually hired a black stuntwoman.

2 Jada Pinkett Smith Brought a Shirtless Man On A Leash to Her Audition

Unlike most character’s in Gotham, Fish Mooney does not have any comic origins. Regardless, she is still an important character in in the show. The tough and prideful Mooney can stand on even ground with some of Gotham’s most notorious criminals. She does whatever it takes to uphold her status, even gouging out her own eye.

However, to earn the right to play such an intense and hardcore character, an actor must show unparalleled dedication. This is exactly what Jada Pinkett Smith brought with her to her audition for the role. She went full Mooney and brought a man with her to the audition: shirtless, on a leash, and with the words Liar written on his forehead. Now that's one heck of a way to show your dedication to a role.

1 Psychiatrists Diagnosed Some of Gotham's Villains With Real Mental Illnesses

The cast of Gotham go above and beyond to deliver a performance worthy of Batman’s villains. Sometimes they do it so well, that one can’t help but wonder what goes on in the minds of these characters.

This curiosity has led several professional psychiatrists to analyze three of Gotham’s villains: Penguin, Riddler, and Selina Kyle. Penguin's diagnosis identifies him as a narcissistic psychopath, bordering on that of a serial killer. Riddler’s initial social awkwardness transitions to textbook psychopathy. Finally, Selina’s actions point to traits of antisocial personality disorder.

The shows writers are careful to treat the subject with respect, as there are millions of people with mental health disorders that in no way have violent tendencies. Especially when it comes to certain conditions, like Autism Spectrum Disorders, which Riddler’s diagnosis also seems to point to.


Did we miss any dark secrets from behind the scenes of Gotham?


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