EDITOR’S NOTE: On July 29, 2007, I had the honor of visiting the Chicago set of THE DARK KNIGHT. This report features the conversation the 5 reporters on hand had with Gary Oldman, who portrays Jim Gordon. In honor of the 10th anniversary of THE DARK KNIGHT, here’s BOF’s interview with G.O. – Bill “Jett” Ramey
The last interview we did the day of the set visit was with Jim Gordon himself, Gary Oldman. And when I say it was with “Jim Gordon,” I mean that literally as Oldman was still in costume.
Before visiting with the press, Mr. Oldman filmed 2 scenes that we got to watch: Meeting Batman in the bank vault (see pic to the right), and walking through the bank with Officer Ramirez. The scene filmed after the interview was Gordon running up the steps of the bank after The Joker’s heist. Now, on to the interview!
So, you become “Commissioner Gordon” in this film. Congrats!
GO: “Thank you. How much do you all know about that I don’t want to give too much away. Well, without going into the plot, there’s more of an emotional arc with this one and this big, big scene that I have in the finale with Two-Face. I’m better used in this one (laughs)!”
How has the relationship between Gordon and Batman changed from the last film?
GO: “Well, it’s evolved and it’s developed of course. But the official GPD policy is to arrest Batman. So there’s still that element there. You know, I’m dealing with this guy taking the law into his own hands dressed as a bat.”
With that said, Batman and Gordon are partners in a way, right?
GO: “Oh, I trust him, I think. I mean, in that sense it has developed and he’s an ally, but there’s still tension there. There’s an underlying kind of tension there because of what he does and who he is.”
Now there’s another partner, right? How does Harvey Dent affect Gordon’s relationship with The Batman?
GO: “Well, he becomes the D.A. and then he’s another — I wouldn’t say, wild card — but I mean he’s another headstrong character, another character in that sense to have to deal with.”
So it’s hard to keep him out of the “partnership?”
GO: “Yeah, and that he’s like (The Batman). He’s as headstrong and stubborn as [he is]. So I’ve got Batman on one side and I’ve got Harvey Dent on the other side. It’s tough policing this city.”
Several of the folks we talked to today mentioned Johnny Rotten in terms of an influence on The Joker. What’s your thoughts on that?
GO: “You know what, I think that all along, Chris has tried to root [these films] in some reality — you know where the [last series] ended up. So he wanted to make it more realistic given the framework that it’s ‘Batman.’ He wanted it to be more realistic and darker and edgier like the [Batman] comic books. So the inspiration for The Joker is punk, which explains his colored clothes and so it is very sort of Johnny Rotten, very punk. The smile and the scars from a razor and he’s got like a sort of rinse, a green rinse that remains there in his hair, and so you look at him and he’s very forbidding and not like a clown. It’s very dangerous, very unhinged. It’s like Coco the Clown on crack!”
BOF/Jett: And what about Heath’s performance? Have you had scenes with him?
GO: “This kid, (GO’s voices trails off as he points to the picture of Heath as The Joker hanging on the wall). What he’s doing with The Joker is unbelievable. He’s going to blow people away.”