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Ben McKenzie Panel Discussion: Wizard World Philadelphia 2015


Philadelphia Wizard World 2015 offered another weekend of fun, fantasy cosplay and comics. Fans packed the Terrace Ballroom of the Pennsylvania Convention Center, so the folks who invested in the VIP experience got premium seating in the front section. Stephen Amell, Hayley Atwell  and Ben McKenzie, the lead actors from Arrow, Marvel’s Agent Carter, and Gotham respectively, thrilled their fans during their panel sessions.


 First up was Ben McKenzie, who was making his first fan conference event. The actor starred as the bad boy Ryan Atwood from the hit show The OC. He later portrayed LA cop Ben Sherman in the series Southland. McKenzie also had a role in the critically acclaimed indie film, Junebug, playing the husband of Amy Adams.Ben McKenzie photo: Diane Cooney


McKenzie shared some behind the scenes stories about his time as the young man destined to become Commissioner Gordon. He also admitted that he applied some of the tactics he learned from his previous law enforcement role in Southland. The Gotham cast spans several generations, and McKenzie spoke highly of his younger cast members, David Mazouz and Camren Bicondova. He also revealed that Robin Lord Taylor, who broke out with his creepy and menacing performances the Penguin, is a “sweet, sweet guy.”  Mr. McKenzie also gently ribbed his co-star Donal Logue.


“I don’t talk that much,” McKenzie says. “And he talks all the time. He’s constantly entertaining us with stories. It’s such a joy to work with someone who is so professional. It’s a really good partnership.”


McKenzie is enjoying the evolution of the character (“His moral compass begins to shift…and he gets compromised”) and discussed how he makes some choices hoping it will foreshadow situations that will happen later in the future. He compared the duality to that which plagues Batman – there is the political, public facing Gordon, and then there is the man he is privately.


Check out our 2015 Philadelphia Wizard World Comic Con photos here!


Gotham has been renewed for a second season, and according to McKenzie, he says “You’re going to get to see these characters live and breathe and spend more time with them.” Of course, the show will dig in and introduce more villains from the Batman canon.

“We are going to get way more into the serialization,” he adds.

Our panel discussion recaps with Hayley Atwell and Stephen Amell will be posted later this week!

Contact Diane Cooney at dcooney@philly2philly.com

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Photo: Diane Cooney