Michael Chiklis on Why His ‘Gotham’ Captain Believes Jim Gordon Is the City’s Hope and Future


The rise of the villains continues on pre-Batman drama Gotham as Barbara Kean (Erin Richards) sets her crazy sights—again—on her ex Det. Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie), so it’s a good thing that Michael Chiklis’s bombastic, badass Capt. Nathaniel Barnes is on the case!

Playing a cop on The Shield and dealing with superheroes on No Ordinary Family and in the original Fantastic Four movies has paid off, huh?
When I talked to my agent and manager about Gotham, we just looked at each other and went, “Yeah, right?” It’s like Cinderella; I could slip my foot right into this part! [Laughs]

How did this role come up?
I am not altogether sure! [Executive producer] Bruno Heller wanted this role to be something impactful, and I ended up at lunch with him.

Had you watched Gotham before joining?
I looked at the show prior to that meeting, and I liked it. It maybe suffered from some “procedural-itis” last season, but they have really addressed that. This season is so much more on track, and as a comic book geek myself, I am digging the direction of the show now.

Barnes doesn’t mess around, does he?
I’d describe him as a rule-of-law zealot. And there are deep personal reasons for that, which will be revealed…around Episode 9.

Will his ways become a problem for Gordon?
As things go on, Barnes develops a mentor relationship with Gordon. He sees him as the hope and the future of Gotham City. But he’s also horribly concerned that Gordon is sliding down a very slippery slope of “the ends justifying the means” law enforcement, due to his inability to get the bad guys legally.

What’s it like mixing it up with these supervillains?
We just shot [a scene] and my ribs are killing me from the ass-whooping we gave people in that episode. We have some really great action s–t coming up.

Gotham, Monday, Nov. 9, 8/7c, Fox