Sean Pertwee Interview: ‘Gotham’ Season 3, Alfred and Bruce’s Relationship

Gotham star Sean Pertwee
Sean Pertwee as Alfred in ‘Gotham’ (Photo by Mark Seliger © 2015 Fox Broadcasting Co)

During the 2016 San Diego Comic Con, Gotham‘s Sean Pertwee provided a little insight into what’s happening between Alfred and his charge, young Bruce Wayne (played by David Mazouz), in the show’s third season. Fox has set a September 19, 2016 premiere date for season three of the popular dramatic series and Sean Pertwee says that when we catch up with Alfred and Bruce, their relationship has evolved and Bruce is now actually listening to Alfred’s advice and concentrating on developing new skills.

Sean Pertwee Interview:

Where do pick up with Alfred at the beginning of season three?

Sean Pertwee: “Right from the front page, Alfred and Bruce are getting on. He’s listening to me which is a new experience for Alfred – and for Bruce, I think. I think it took a bit of reverse psychology, really, towards the end of last season. He actually said, ‘Do what you’ve got to do, just tell me what you’re doing. I don’t care. Do it. I can’t stop you,’ because he made three pledges young Master Bruce did to Alfred last season which he promptly broke. I think Alfred’s quite savvy that he realizes you can’t tell a teenager not to do something because they’re straight away going to go do it – like in real life. But, you’ll see them start to come together and you’ll start to see the rich tapestry of the man that becomes Batman. You’ll start to see us in the kitchen. You’ll start to see us in real life environments which really works on deepening the personal skills that young Bruce would need, from being able to dance to sewing to cooking. Making him a gentleman, and so much of that comes from Alfred.

You’ll see a lot of sparring as well and I have to say David has got a good right hook now. He clipped me yesterday. (Laughing) I’ve taught him well.”

Speaking of boxing, have you been training?

Sean Pertwee: “I’ve been boxing, yeah. (I’ve been) training with a wonderful man called Julian. My father was an actor and they called him the action Doctor. I think I’m the action butler and the thing is I think the lovely showrunner loves to see me get my ass handed to me on a plate. It keeps happening and I’m not getting any younger! I love that element from an actor’s perspective of being allowed to give him physicality, so they keep writing it in. They keep writing it in and our stunt team have just been nominated for an Emmy so a big shout out to them. They let me do as much as I can so I’m delighted, really. I spend a lot of time unconscious though.”

Do we get to learn any more of Alfred’s backstory this season?

Sean Pertwee: “I hope so. I’m hoping so. Bruno (Heller), our wonderful showrunner, has this fantastic knack of – if this makes any sense at all – they tell history by going forwards. Like, we found out about Alfred’s SAS past. People were confused by my interpretation to begin with because it seemed brusque with Bruce. It’s only when you saw his past visit him who was a man who was terribly similar to Alfred, which was in the shape of Reggie – the guy who stabbed him. He says, ‘You don’t know who this man is,’ to Bruce when he gets drunk. ‘He was the biggest, coldest killer.’ You learn about his history by going forward, so I think that you might (learn more). What I’m hoping is you’ll start to also see the real relationship that did exist between Thomas and Alfred because that would give you more a sense of his geography, why he was there. He was there not just as a confidante or valet or butler but as a protector also.”

Watch the full Sean Pertwee interview: