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Gotham’s Penguin actor: Growing up gay created ‘human link to the character’

Gotham’s Penguin actor: Growing up gay created ‘human link to the character’

The breakout star of FOX’s Gotham has opened up about how his own experience growing up gay has formed his acting in the series.

Robin Lord Taylor plays Oswald Cobblepot, better known was the Penguin, in the show which tells the origin stories of a number of Batman villains, including the Riddler, Hugo Strange and Catwoman.

He is arguably one of the sanest of the villains keeping Gotham City on its toes.

But the gentleman of crime has had his fair share of tragedy, from his father’s death from pneumonia to being bullied and having no friends but his mother’s pet birds.

In an interview with Fuse, Taylor now opened up about his own childhood experiences helped him connect with the sinister (but often also misunderstood) character.

‘With The Penguin specifically, we’re very fortunate in that we have about 70 years of mythology to draw upon and do research with and that’s what I did when I got the role of The Penguin,’ he said.

‘That’s when I learned he was bullied as a child, he was always treated as an outsider.’

The actor said it created a human link to his character, allowing him to draw upon his own experience as a gay kid in the Midwest.

‘I learned that and I was like, “This is something I want to show and root him down to reality”,’ Taylor said.

‘Growing up overweight and gay in small-town Iowa in the ’80s and ’90s — it was much different than it is now — and I know exactly what that feels like.’

Gotham, which just started its third series, airs on Mondays at 8/7c on FOX.