‘Gotham’ Season 4: Erin Richards Interview on Barbara’s Continuing Transformations

Gotham star Erin Richards
‘Gotham’ star Erin Richards at the 2017 San Diego Comic Con (Photo by Richard Chavez © Showbiz Junkies)

Fox’s Gotham was well represented at the 2017 San Diego Comic Con as the comic book-inspired series heads into season four. Erin Richards was on hand at the sold-out Comic Con, thankful Barbara’s still around and will be an integral part of the upcoming season. In addition to participating in a Q&A with fans, Richards sat down for roundtable interviews to provide the scoop on what’s in store for Gotham and Barbara in the series’ fourth season.

In a recent interview you said Barbara was going to go through a transformation and you would have to read more comic books. Can you tell us what that was all about?

Erin Richards: “So, yes, she was changing at the end of the last season. We had some ideas about who she could change into, and then we decided it would be better if she just remains herself.”

Was it Harley Quinn?

Erin Richards: “No, it was a different character. We’ve still taken elements of that character, but the version of Barbara that we have is more evolved than the character that we had in mind. The elements of that character that were a little bit less kind of worldly were kind of … I don’t really want to say who it is because I’m not going to be her … a little restrictive. That idea of that character was going to be too restrictive for what we wanted Barbara to be.”

Is the look we see now your new look for Gotham?

Erin Richards: “Yes. I like it. It took a bit of getting used to. I’m sure everybody knows when you do a drastic hair change it’s like, ‘Oh god, none of my clothes look good with this! I don’t know how to work it. I don’t know what products to use.’ So, there’s always that but I’ve been through that two or three week phase and […] I’m into it now.”

John Stephens said season four will center around different families. How does Barbara fit into that?

Erin Richards: “Our family is me, Selina, and Tabitha. We’re forming a female family, a female group where we are kind of like a mother/father figure to her as well as kind of older sisters and mentors. I think that’s a really nice aspect to be having, a new aspect to Gotham because we haven’t seen that thing of women nurturing women. It’s a lot of male energy, Gotham, fighting and men running it. So, it’s going to be really nice to see both the rise of us in a power sense and also the inner dynamics of us bringing up a girl into being a woman.”

What’s been your favorite episode of Gotham to shoot?

Erin Richards: “My favorite was the final episode of the third season which is the one where me and Tabitha have that big fight and then she killed me at the end. Jess (Lucas) and I really love working together and I love fighting, so it was a chance for the both of us to have a lot of really good emotional stuff between the two characters and a huge fight scene at the same time. I got everything at once.”

Will there be any negative effects from her death?

Erin Richards: “So, actually it’s a positive effect that it has. This is the first time I’ve thought about this, but she’s electrocuted and then she becomes much more calm. I wonder if it’s a little bit like electroshock therapy. Maybe the crazy got like frazzled out of her. So, when she comes back she’s going to be a much more Zen version of herself. She’s going to be doing a lot of martial arts because Ra’s al Ghul took her and trained her in that way. So, she’s going to be clearer, calmer, and with more intention.”

Do we see Barbara training?

Erin Richards: “No. You’ll see the outcome. You’ll see me and I have been trained. You’ll see one little thing where it’s almost like a training battle, but it’s not like a training montage that everyone loves.”

This is essentially your third resurrection. Is that kind of interesting since you’ve been able to play so many different versions of Barbara?

Erin Richards: “Yeah, I’ve been really lucky to have this development in her. Like, basically play four different characters each year as in a different character each of the four years. It keeps it fresh for me. It keeps the character interesting and evolving. And, everyone has it; all the different characters have evolved so much. It’s a testament to our incredible writers and showrunners and producers that they can keep making it interesting for us and also for the viewers to see these people change.”

Were you warned that you’d be coming back when you got the script that had Barbara dying?

Erin Richards: “Yes, thankfully. That’s my biggest fear to open it and she dies. ‘Mom, they killed me off!’”

Has the ship sailed on the idea of you having a baby Batgirl with Jim Gordon?

Erin Richards: “I don’t think so. I think it’s still possible. I think this version of Barbara that we’ll see will actually be the most surprising to Jim as a development because it’s probably pulling aspects of her from the first season and second and third. I think he might be quite taken aback by who she’s become and not necessarily in a bad way.”

Watch the full Erin Richards Gotham interview: