Ben McKenzie Interview on ‘Gotham’ Season 3 and Jim Gordon’s State of Mind

Gotham star Ben McKenzie season 3
Morena Baccarin and Ben McKenzie in the ‘Gotham’ Comic Con press room (Photo by Scott Kirkland © Fox Broadcasting)

Fox’s gritty comic book-inspired crime series Gotham returns for a third season on September 19, 2016 and according to Ben McKenzie (Jim Gordon), this upcoming season will find Gordon no longer part of the GCPD and instead on the job as a bounty hunter. McKenzie was part of the Gotham cast who made the trek once again to the San Diego Comic Con to participate in a Q&A with fans, and also to take part in interviews in support of the third season. During our interview, McKenzie talked about the current state of Jim’s relationship with Harvey Bullock (played by Donal Logue) and Bruce Wayne (played by David Mazouz) as well as where Jim’s romantic relationship with Lee (Morena Baccarin) picks up in season three.

Ben McKenzie Interview:

What kind of emotional state do we find Jim Gordon in at the beginning of the season?

Ben McKenzie: “Not a good one. He left season two cleansed in a way by Hugo Strange’s psychological deconstruction of him, and he went off to find Lee. We start season three with him finding her but, as most things in Gotham, it doesn’t go well. So, he feels at sea. We move forward in time about six months and he’s back in Gotham, and the monsters that were unleashed at the end of season two are now running amok, and Gordon is a bounty hunter. Gordon is no longer with the GCPD. He is chasing these monsters down for a price and collecting that money. He’s sort of disillusioned with the whole thing.”

Has he completely given up on the law? As a bounty hunter, is he taking matters into his own hands more and more?

Ben McKenzie: “He is, yeah. I mean, he’s certainly not a villain. He certainly doesn’t inflict pain just to inflict it. He has a certain morality, but it’s far, far away from where found him initially. He’s learning a lot of things and with each lesson he learns, he takes a step forward but he also in some ways falls apart a bit. We will eventually see a Gordon who struggles at times to keep it together because of how rough Gotham is and because how few allies he really has. And the subtitle of the season, ‘Heroes Will Fall,’ is indicative of what thematically we’re doing in the season with, not just Bruce Wayne and the other heroes, but with Gordon himself. He will fall a long, long way and have to pick himself up again.”

What’s his relationship like with Bruce Wayne this season?

Ben McKenzie: “Well, you know, as we start the season Bruce is really on his own journey, and Gordon is on his own. Their paths will merge later on, and they’ve sort of reset their relationship a bit. Gordon doesn’t feel as much a responsibility to Bruce to figure out his parents’ killer because it seems to all, not have been tied up, but effectively Indian Hill was the breeding ground for a lot of this stuff, and that had a lot to do with what ultimately manifested in Bruce’s parents’ murder. But the Court of Owls is really behind the whole thing and that’s where we’ll get to in season three. That’s really the force that’s behind everything.”

Was it fun being reunited with Morena Baccarin after long break in scenes together?

Ben McKenzie: “Yeah, I saw her occasionally… [Laughing] Yeah, it was, and it’s different. It’s different, yeah, and it’s wonderful to play that. It’s giving us a brand new dynamic to play, which is a lot of fun. There’s a new love interest for me in Valerie Vale – I think I can say that that’s a love interest. I don’t think it’s much of a surprise. It’s professional and then not. And she has a new man as well. So we get to have fun with the kind of love triangle aspect. Triangles.”

How are things between Jim and Harvey Bullock?

Ben McKenzie: “Harvey’s his one conduit to sanity. He’s the one person sort of reminding him that… You know, Harvey’s been in some pretty dark places in his life, too. He’s pretty happy sometimes to sort of drift in those places. But even he looks at Jim and says, “Hey man, you’ve got to pull it together.’ So I think Harvey’s kind of always monitoring Jim and always there for him. Absolutely, at the end of the day, Harvey’s a grounding force for Jim, and someone who keeps him from falling over into the abyss.”

Watch the full Ben McKenzie interview: