Check out this brand new interview with Batman himself – David Mazouz!
That’s right, the 13-year-old actor plays a young Bruce Wayne in the new “Gotham” TV series, which premieres TONIGHT, September 22 @ 8/7c on Fox!
Based on the beloved DC comic book series, the show follows one cop, destined for greatness, as he navigates a dangerously corrupt city teetering between good and evil, and chronicles the birth of one of the most popular super heroes of our time.
David dished to JJJ about how he scored the iconic role, what it’s like shooting in New York City, working with Ben McKenzie, and more. Check it out!
JustJaredJr.com: Hi David! So first things first, what is your favorite part about playing Bruce Wayne?
David Mazouz: My favorite part of playing this role is that I’m on a very short list of people who’ve played this character at all and just a few boys have played Bruce Wayne, the child. I will really be the first one to let this character really be known in a way no one has ever known him before. I feel a little pressure but honestly, mostly just excited. I am kind of getting to create something new for people to think about.
JJJ: So tell us about your audition process. Was it long?
DM: I had my first audition before Christmas with the casting director, Sherry Thomas and the Executive Producer, Bruno Heller. The sides weren’t real sides from the pilot and I knew that it was a pretty mysterious process. Shortly afterwards, I found out that they wanted to test me after the holidays, which was down the road so I didn’t really give it a lot of thought. Mostly because we knew it wouldn’t shoot in Los Angeles, which is where I live with my family and go to school and I didn’t really know how I felt about it. At the time, we were told that they would either film in Canada or New York.
Then after the holidays, I tested with another boy, then the next day another test, and the next day another screen test with my Bruce Wayne clothes and they gave me a serious haircut. I have a picture of my mane on the floor that my mom took. She was pretty traumatized but I liked it. Anyway, it was actually another week or so before we had the answer, so I tried to go about my life and not think about it but every once in a while I would get nervous.
After I found out that I booked it, my Canadian friend who is an editor sent me the coolest batman book that had absolutely everything in it. My second resource was my Studio Teacher on a guest role I did gave me another beautiful Batman book for my Birthday that had everything else in it, so that’s where I started my research. After that I scoured book stores for all things Batman and brought home whatever I could find, which was everything and every comic! I loved it!
JJJ: Everyone knows that Bruce Wayne’s parents are murdered, and that’s essentially the catalyst for him becoming Batman. What was is like shooting that emotional scene?
DM: I had so much fun shooting that scene. It’s so dramatic and intense and I really got to put my all into the sadness and terror that he would experience. I’m not a bad screamer so it’s not as though that was at all unnatural. And I really did enjoy my “parents” while I had them with me. I would love to do more scenes with them! It was also really cool being in a “crime alley.” New York is a great place to shoot this. That scene wouldn’t be that scene in any other city! New York is Gotham!
JJJ: Speaking of that, have you had any crazy fan encounters while filming on location?
DM: A lot of my scenes so far have been interior scenes, so I haven’t been outside that much but people in New York aren’t really the crazy fans type. They are very respectful and seem to mind their own business.
JJJ: Your character spends a lot of time with Ben McKenzie’s James Gordon. What’s it like working with him?
DM: I really enjoy working with Ben. He’s a very smart and sensitive actor. I look forward to working with him and given the fact that we didn’t know each other before the pilot, I felt good about the intimacy and care we were able to portray with one another. He’s so believable and he’s a lot of fun to work with too because he has a great sense of humor.
JJJ: Ben Affleck is set to play Batman in the upcoming movie. Have you ever met him? What would you say if you did?
DM: I would LOVE to meet Ben Affleck! To be honest with you, I don’t know what I would say. I’m guessing that if I ran into Mr. Affleck, I would probably be speechless, but I hope I could think of something intelligent to say like, “Hi, I’m you before you became Batman. I am looking forward to growing up and becoming you!” I would rather listen to Ben Affleck rather than talk to him.
JJJ: That’s a good plan! We recently saw that you snapped a bunch of photos in front of all the Gotham poster on the subway and all over the city. Did anyone notice you?
DM: I have stood in front of my posters posing for pictures for my mom and people think it’s cute that I kind of look like the kid on the poster. One of them actually said “Hey, wait a minute! Is that you?? Wow! Good luck man!” Otherwise they don’t like me blocking their turnstiles. After all people have places to go!
JJJ: Haha! So what do you like to do when you’re not working?
DM: When I have free time at home, I like to hang out with my friends at home otherwise known as the “hoodlums” (our neighborhood’s nickname for us), play with my dogs, go to movies or watch movies at home with my parents and sister – just normal 13-year-old boy things to do, I guess.
JJJ: You’ve been acting for a while now. Is it hard balancing work and school?
DM: It’s pretty easy to balance school and work right now because I’m in my last year in a school I’ve been at since I was 18 months old. The teachers and the administration know me and have known me practically my entire life. They’ve been really supportive of me pursuing my career and they make me feel like they’re very proud of me, and share in my experience and whatever success I have. So they give my studio teacher my work and whenever I have a little time off, I just go back for as long as I can to touch base and see everyone and I slip in without it feeling strange or stressful. I have to do a certain number of school hours every day, so I’m usually ahead since I’m doing it one on one. My teachers at school and on set have all been really awesome!
JJJ: Back to the show, we love how dark and gloomy the tone is. Do you get to lighten things up between scenes?
DM: It is a pretty dark show, but of course there are a lot of breaks in between and wherever we can have a laugh, we will take one. I have a lot of scenes with Sean Pertwee, who plays Alfred and I try to imitate his British accent and he tries to do an American one. He also tries to teach me to box a bit. The other night, Ben and I were in the middle of a scene and it was a pretty intense and emotional scene and someone’s Siri went off and she said, “Sorry, I cannot process your request” Ben and I just cracked up! Interesting time for her to say that. I tried at first to keep going but I just lost it in the end. The cast is made up of really fun people so we have a lot of laughs off the set as well!