Anthony Carrigan may play the murdering psychopath Victor Zsasz on Gotham, but he couldn’t be a nicer guy in real life. I had the pleasure of speaking to Carrigan about his Gotham role. Check out the Batman News interview below where Carrigan talks about growing up as a Batman fan, Zsasz’s return to Gotham next week, and much more.
My readers were quick to point out that they recognized you from The Flash, which aired a week or two before your Gotham episode. Did playing a villain on The Flash help prepare you at all for playing Zsasz on Gotham?
Yeah, somewhat. They’re definitely two different characters. Kyle Nimbus is much more of a bruiser and a thug, and a lot angrier. So that was really fun to just cultivate in my body language and in the dialogue. That was really fun to play with. But in a sense Victor is just a much different character. He has different personality traits and different things that make him really, really creepy.
Were you a fan of superheroes growing up, and if so, who was your favorite?
Oh I loved superheroes growing up! I was a huge, huge DC fan. Huge Marvel fan as well. Honestly, Batman was the first thing that I was really drawn to. I remember getting the old school Michael Keaton 1989 Batman and I broke that tape in my VCR, I watched it so many times. Honestly, Batman was the beginning of that for me. All in all, it’s really cool to be a part of that franchise now. It’s cool to be part of that storyline and that legacy. I’m thrilled about it.
How did you prepare for the role of Zsasz? Did you read any specific comics?
Yeah, I did. I went to certain comic book stores. I had to rely on the internet for some of the things because a lot of those comic books are hard to find. Just trusting the illustrations of the comic books and seeing what I can gain from that. And also just the way in which he was portrayed, and the different little aspects of what he would do to his victims, what he would do to himself. And kind of seeing what made this guy tick. That definitely was really helpful.
Zsasz isn’t really a mainstream villain, though he probably will be after Gotham, but the diehard comic book fans love him. Was there any pressure taking on a role with such a passionate fanbase?
I really want to do my best to honor the fans and how cool this character actually is. How much people really love him is a real inspiration actually to wanting to make him really believable, and fun to watch, and cool. So yes, I’ve definitely been working really hard to try and just find the most genuine, really gritty, but truthful character that I can possibly muster up.
In Episode 7 we see Zsasz make his 28th kill. What’s your take on his backstory, or is that something we’ll have to wait and see play out on the show?
I did my research in terms of his backstory and to a certain extent I allowed it to inform my performance. Every incarnation of the Batman legacy is different, so it’s going to come with different storylines and different character development. There is a lot that’s up to the imagination. There were certain things that I could take from the comic books, that I could really hold on to. I mean the guy used to have his own crime syndicate. Clearly he’s slick, he knows how to get what he wants, and people are afraid of him. Even with just those three things, I could begin to build the character.
This a silly one, but one of my readers wanted me to ask about your eyebrows. Is that good makeup and CGI, or did you have to shave them off?
No, you know what’s funny about that? I actually have Alopecia. It’s an autoimmune disease which affects the hair follicles and causes hair loss. I’ve had it since I was 3, so there would just be patches of hair that fall out and then grow back. The last few years it got pretty bad and everything began to fall out. As opposed to covering up, I decided to embrace it and see what kind of roles I could play just looking the way I did naturally. Immediately The Flash and Gotham came along. It feels good to be just looking the way that I am.
Zsasz is making his big return on Monday’s episode of Gotham. Is there anything you can tease about what fans can expect to see from Zsasz?
You’ll get to see a little bit into the dynamic between Victor and Falcone. You’ll get a little glimpse into their relationship and their dynamic. Victor likes to have a job, he likes to go to work, he likes to do his job. You’ll get to see him do his job and excel at it!
Don’t miss Zsasz’s big return to Gotham on Monday, January 19, on FOX! If you missed his first appearance, check out Carrigan’s great performance in the clip below.