Gotham Spoilers: Robin Lord Taylor Talks Penguin's Origins, Bullying & His Strange Relationship With Batman

Gotham Spoilers: Robin Lord Taylor Talks Penguin's Origins, Bullying & His Strange Relationship With Batman

The penguin, aka Robin Lord Taylor has dished out some spoilers on his character in the upcoming FOX series, Gotham!

See what he had to say below.

On the Robin-Penguin dilemma:

My whole life I heard “jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg.” It’s all I heard throughout elementary school. But it’s funny what you were saying about this role, because when you’re a kid playing with your friends nobody wants to be the Penguin. But then you get older, and [when] you’re an actor, it’s—for me in particular—it’s the best character ever. Especially in the pilot his story is fascinating.

On Taylor's version of the penguin:

t’s before he’s realized his capacity for violence. In the pilot, his journey is so incredible. He starts in this place with very low status, and he tries to establish himself and fails. But all of that gives him everything he needs to become the criminal mastermind that he is. He discovers his full power and full disregard for human life. So when I got the job, I did a lot of research, and the Penguin as a child is bullied relentlessly by his peers for the way he looks and his interests. He’s a kid who reads Shakespeare. He’s an artistic kid and goes to a prep school, and he’s just tortured for it. And how relevant is that? Bullying is such an issue now. 

On his involvement in Gotham world:

He’s a very ambitious character. Interestingly, status-wise, by end of the pilot he’s even at a lower place than the beginning. But it’s a rebirth. He’s on a way to building himself back up. If you follow what happens to the Penguin, he runs everybody. He plays all sides. He has his hands in everything.

Avoiding the cheesy version of Penguin:

That’s the trap you don’t want to fall into. I have a prosthetic nose, and when I heard they were going that direction I got nervous because I want it to be as real as possible. But you’re finding that balance. They came up with the prosthetic. It’s very small and subtle, and more of a suggestion rather than—I’m not going to make an “on the nose” pun. So then I was totally at ease.


Yet! I’m sure we’ll figure it out. The other thing too, in terms of his walk, we see why that happens. It gives me the impetus … at the start of the show I don’t think he has that penchant for violence, but then it’s hammered home—quite literally. You want it to be as physically accurate as possible.

Info man for Batman in the comics:

They have a relationship that goes all the way through that’s also fascinating. It’s not your traditional villain vs. hero. He needs me and I, in a way, need him.

Safety from being killed off:

Which is the best thing ever. It’s not like The Walking Dead where I showed up to work and they’re all, “We hate to tell you but…”

Dying his hair...

I’m the blondest person alive. Dealing with that has been intense I’ve never dyed my hair before. My friends are going through post-traumatic stress looking at me.

Gotham begins September 22nd on FOX.