Robin Lord Taylor Discusses His Inspirations for Playing The Penguin in Gotham. Robin Lord Taylor’s take on Oswald Cobblepot AKA The Penguin has pleased both fans and critics on Fox’s new hit series Gotham. The actor shared what inspired him to play the iconic villain.
Speaking with The L.A. Times, Taylor talked about how he felt playing Oswald, a role that happened to be played by some famous actors before him. “I’ll try to keep from being trite, but it’s been absolutely mind-blowing.” Taylor said. “I never in a million years imagined I would be on something this huge, this iconic.”
Taylor also said that he felt both honored and a bit nervous about following the same footsteps as previous portrayers of The Penguin, including Burgess Meredith and Danny DeVito. “I don’t think I could be human and not be intimidated to follow in the footsteps of Burgess and Danny,” Taylor said. He also added:
They are iconic actors, and their portrayals were iconic. I grew up watching both of them. It was daunting, but when I ultimately got to read the script, I saw it was a unique take on the character and illuminated parts of the character that hadn’t been illuminated in previous incarnations. The pressure was lessened because I know I could make my own choices and make the character my own.
Admiring creator Bruno Heller’s work on the show, Taylor also spoke of his excitement working on set. “I have to give the credit for that to [executive producer] Bruno Heller, who has created such a rich world and a rich interpretation for the character. When I get a new script, I feel like it’s there all in front of me. Not one note rings false.”
The actor puts some thoughts into the strange relationship between Cobblepot and his mother. “She immigrated to this country from Europe, and there’s no father on the scene, so all they have is each other, this really kinetic connection and bond,” says Taylor. “They’re outsiders. They’re strange but connected. Playing those scenes with Carol is a dream.”
Taylor sees Oswald developing more and more after every episode. “He’s learning as he goes, and mistakes are going to be made,” he explained. “But at the same time, I see him achieving a lot of what he wants to accomplish and becoming a major player on the Gotham crime scene.”
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