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GOTHAM’s Cameron Monaghan Teases “Ambitious” Joker Episode

GOTHAM’s Cameron Monaghan Teases “Ambitious” Joker Episode

If you thought watching Jerome (Cameron Monaghan) getting his face sliced off with a scalpel was gruesome, you haven’t seen anything yet. Gotham‘s Joker was brought back from the dead in last week’s episode, after his mug was stolen by one of his cult-like followers, and he wasted no time in sending the city into complete and total chaos. His master plan is set to culminate in tonight’s winter finale, “The Gentle Art of Making Enemies.”

“It’s a really ambitious thing that they’re doing with the episode,” Monaghan told Nerdist. “It’s physically ambitious obviously, because they had to build these huge sets for it, but it’s also, story-wise, a very audacious step to take with the show and with these characters. It was a bit of a gamble and I’m excited for people to see it. Fingers crossed, I think we pulled it off and it was an absolute pleasure to be able to perform.”

This version of Jerome has definitely evolved from the first iteration that Monaghan played back in season one, before returning for a gleefully psychotic run in season two. But for his third appearance on Fox’s DC Comics show, he wanted to make sure that Jerome was affected by dying and coming back to life.

“I had a conversation with the producers and head writers of the show a couple months before I ever started filming, when they were starting to develop the scripts,” Monaghan said. “We had some talks about what ideas they had for the character and where they wanted him to go. Thankfully their ideas were pretty similar to mine. He is coming from death. He’s seen the other side of a great unknown and he is changed for the worse because of it. So he comes back even darker and even crueler and with a more distinct and succinct idea of what he wants.”

Fox

He continued, “What he wants is to make the world around him reflect his own inner turmoil and inner chaos and inner violence. He takes the phrase, ‘All the world’s a stage’ to its most extreme logical conclusion of becoming this kind of showman. Both the producers and I had the same idea of wanting him to become that this time around. And then pair that with losing his face and referencing the New 52 Joker arc storyline, it was a great surprise to have something physically spark the change within the personality. It was cool to see this character change in a really meaningful way.”

Watching Jerome plunge Gotham into a citywide blackout at the end of last week’s episode felt a lot like the beginning of a Purge movie, as Jerome encouraged the citizens to live out all their desires without regard for consequences.

“I don’t think the Purge movies exist in this universe, but maybe the writers were inspired by that,” Monaghan said with a laugh. “In a way, I think all of that is reflective of real world ideas. It’s the thought of anarchy or chaos or what happens when a mob or riot turns violent? What happens when a spark rebellion is able to be twisted by someone with bad intentions? This character is kind of a weird commentary on celebrity or superstardom. He kind of is a bit of a rock star. He’s reached this weird level of status within this cult where they’re such huge fanatics of his that they’re willing to do anything he says. What he wants is for people to embrace their inner violence so now we’ll see that spread throughout the city in huge ways.”

But it’s the final act of tonight’s winter finale that Monaghan can’t wait to see come together on air.

“I’m excited to get to see the final climax, the big set piece,” Monaghan said. “There’s a really great fight, amazing outfits for Jerome, we built this gigantic carnival set, great moments between Bruce [David Mazouz] and Jerome, and it all comes together in the climax of Jerome’s entire story arc on the show. It’s pretty explosive. It’s a really wild ride.”

Are you more excited or nervous to see just what Jerome has up his sleeve on Gotham? Tweet me your thoughts at @SydneyBucksbaum, and catch the episode tonight at 8 p.m. on Fox.

Images: Fox

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