Things are about to change on Gotham.
The arrival of the new head of the GCPD, Captain Barnes (played by Michael Chiklis), is going to start to tip the scale back in favor of the good guys … or at least, that’s what everyone is hoping. But as executive producer Bruno Heller previously told Nerdist, “As far as the GCPD goes, after the massacre, it’s no more Mr. Nice Guy. They start using much more ferocious tactics that are going to lead to both positive results and tragic results that Gordon had not intended. There are big changes coming as a result of that horror.”
But what does Captain Barnes’ arrival mean for Gordon personally? Nerdist got Chiklis to spill all about how Barnes is going to make it his mission to bring Gordon back from the dark side. Check out our Q&A with the new Gotham cast member below, and watch a sneak peek of his arrival above!
Nerdist: What is Captain Barnes’ dynamic with Jim Gordon going to look like? Are they going to get along or butt heads?
Michael Chiklis: It’s a little bit of both. My character really views Jim as the hope and potential for future leadership of this police department. He sees him sliding into that grey area, that slippery slope of “the ends justify the means” policing. He’s starting to see Jim’s frustration and how he’s breaking the law in order to enforce it. He’s adamantly against that because of his own personal backstory and he sees that as the road to hell. He’s trying to pull the kid back to the straight and narrow, back from the edge. He’s an ally and a mentor and a friend, but he’s also butting heads with him pretty consistently. That’s going to be our dynamic over the course of this season. That is going to come to a head, and it’s been pretty explosive so far for sure.
So far on Gotham, we’ve seen people in leadership roles within the GCPD suffer grisly and bloody fates. Are you worried about your fate on the show because of that, especially since this season is called “Rise of the Villains?”
No, not at all. This guy is fearless. He’s an animal. He’s a strong guy and that’s why he’s coming into this situation, to combat what he sees as a war, and he insists on fighting the war within the confines of the rule of the law. He thinks the only thing that separates us from the animals are the rules of law. It may seem difficult to do it, but he knows they can do it. That’s the way it has to happen and that’s actually where he and Gordon will butt heads.
Bruno Heller has said that your character brings a whole new era to the GCPD. Is that daunting, knowing that you are going to bring about some big changes?
No. I’m playing a guy who is not intimidated. He intimidates. Me personally, I’m excited about it. It’s pretty cool to play a character that is going to shift the color and tone of the show moving forward. Right now, it’s “Rise of the Villains,” and the villains are really kicking some ass and taking some names. Something has to push back against that, and I’m part of the cavalry that is going to push back. That’s going to make the whole thing move toward a war. The villains were brazen enough to go right into the precinct and massacre cops. In his mind, that turns this into a war, not just regular law enforcement, cops and robbers procedural stuff. It’s a war, and that raises the stakes higher than ever. Bruno is not getting complacent. He won’t let the show become predictable. A lot of people thought we were dealing with the Joker this season, and it turns out we weren’t. He’s going to keep that intrigue and mystery going.
What are you most excited for fans to see from your role on Gotham?
The dynamic between Gordon and I is a really important and pivotal relationship in the development of Gordon’s character. Barnes is a mentor as well as someone that he’s going to butt heads with. It’s a both loving and contentious relationship at the same time. People will enjoy watching that unfold and develop because it’s intense and heightened. It may take a while to develop, because it’s going to span the rest of the season and this is a show with a lot of characters, but episode 9 is downright explosive. And episode 4, which is the one I enter on, is another one that’s very big for me. So stick around, and buckle up, because it’s a hell of a ride.
Gotham airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on Fox.