Goodbye, Edward Nygma, and hello, The Riddler!
Gotham‘s mild-mannered forensic scientist may have accidentally killed two people so far on Fox’s DC Comics drama, but it wasn’t until the final moment of last week’s episode that Nygma made the conscious choice to allow his darker alter ego in.
Cory Michael Smith, the actor who plays Nygma on Gotham, revealed to Nerdist that he’s going to be playing the character differently going forward because of that transformation.
“At the beginning, I gave Edward tension in certain places. He was closed off in certain areas of his body, because that’s how he behaved,” Smith says. “Nothing came from the center of his body, it was all perimeter and extremity and mind. As he experiences life in a way that is not quite so adolescent, all of those sensations that you have on the outside of your body start to seep inside towards your torso, towards your heart and your organs and your sexual organs.”
He continues, “I’ve let the voice drop inside the body and let him completely command his space and be present, and not be aloof and uncomfortable. So he changes physically and vocally as he embraces this other part of him, this very strong, powerful man. But it’s not instant, he’s still gradually becoming the man he will be.”
Because Gotham is still telling the origin story of The Riddler, Smith reveals that viewers will still see bits and pieces of the old Ed as he tries to navigate life as this darker persona.
“It’s all the real Nygma. This alter ego is a part of himself,” Smith says. “It’s not like another person has taken over him. He’s embracing all of these qualities that he already possessed on some level. We all have the capacity to do horrible things, and we just choose not to. But some people choose to do that. At the end of that episode, we see him realizing that this person is in him and is taking over, but it’s still Ed.”
So what’s Ed’s next move now that he’s covered up Kristen Kringle’s murder?
“Overnight, he’s not going to know how to get any girl or lie,” Smith says. “These things have to be taught, and by embracing this other side of himself, he now has to learn how to actually be this person. He has to learn how to not be caught if he wants to lead this criminal life. That’s the next step for him.”
Expect his coworkers at the GCPD to notice Ed’s new behavior “very soon.”
“It’s inevitable that people are going to notice. His behavior and the way he communicates with people is going to be changing quite significantly,” Smith says. “The way he works with Lee Thompkins is going to be changing, eventually he’ll be around Harvey Bullock again and there’s a very sharp moment where he doesn’t take being called names anymore. People will catch on.”
But it’s Ed’s relationship with Jim Gordon that Smith is most excited for the fans to see now that Ed has embraced his Riddler side.
“Their lives will be crossing over outside of work and it’s going to be a point of contention for both of them,” Smith reveals. “Because they’re both going to be responsible for aiding and abetting a criminal and both of them will know that about each other. So that relationship is going to get a little hairy.”
What do you think of the new Edward Nygma? Hit the comments section below to weigh in now!
Gotham airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on Fox.