Erin Richards & Ben McKenzie on Helming the Special ‘Gotham’ Wedding Episode (Video)
Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today for a truly momentous occasion. Actually two.
Over Gotham‘s five seasons, Erin Richards has evolved from playing a socialite with a secret to a psychopath and owner of The Sirens nightclub. Now the woman behind villainous Barbara Kean has stepped behind the camera for her directorial debut, an opportunity that arose when Fox extended the final season’s order from 10 to 12 episodes.
“They were like, ‘Oh, we need two more!'” says Richards with a laugh. She had already been doing her homework. “I shadowed [directors] three times,” the British fan favorite notes of previous helmers T.J. Scott, Nathan Hope and executive producer Danny Cannon.
Richards also had some assistance from the episode’s author. Ben McKenzie — who stars as Capt. James Gordon, Barbara’s ex and baby daddy — somehow managed to write the sentimental story while simultaneously shooting the series finale. “It was mania!” he says.
In the March 7th episode, spurred by a hallucinatory moment of reckoning after being wounded, future police commissioner Gordon weds longtime love Dr. Lee Thompkins — played by McKenzie’s real-life wife, Morena Baccarin. The final scene, which was staged inside the sprawling Gotham City Police Department set with a very special guest list, meant as much to the actors as it did to their altar, er, alter egos.
“All of the cast was there, either in character or not, including our [GCPD] background extras,” McKenzie says. “We’ve had [the same group] of 40 or 50 people for five years. They’re family too.”
But is it all a dream? After all, the episode is built around Jim in a near-death state, standing trial for his failure to protect the people of Gotham. It’s a trippy, visually dynamic outing and Richards directed the hell out of it. Check out one of the more out-there moments below.
Gotham, Thursdays, 8/7c, Fox