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Interview with Milo Ventimiglia of "Gotham" on
It was awesome to speak with Milo. I really loved him on
"Heroes". Heck, he made that show. He was also really good
on "Chosen." He couldn't have been nicer on the phone.
I look forward to seeing him on "Gotham," even though he's
playing a villain.
FBC PUBLICITY: The Gotham Conference Call
April 8, 2015/9:30 a.m. PDT
Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by,
and welcome to the Gotham Conference Call with Milo
Ventimiglia. (Operator instructions.) As a reminder, this
conference is being recorded.
Iíll now turn the conference over to Joanna Wolff for
opening remarks. Please go ahead.
Joanna: Hello, everyone. Thank you for joining the Gotham
Conference Call with Milo Ventimiglia, who begins his
multi-episode arc on Gotham on April 13 at 8 p.m. on FOX.
Now I will turn it over to Milo, who will begin taking
Milo: Hey, guys. Howís it going?
Moderator: Okay, thank you. Weíll go first to Jamie Ruby with
SciFiVision.com. Go ahead, please.
Jamie: Hello. Thanks so much for talking to us today.
Milo: Yes. Definitely, Jamie.
Jamie: So, my first question is, obviously, the version of
the Ogre that youíre playing is quite different from the
comic book. Can you kind of talk a bit about what you did
take as inspiration and kind of what you added yourself to
create the character?
Milo: You know, of course, he is different than whatís in the
DC universe. I took what was on the page, written by Bruno
Hellerís team, and I pretty much went off of that. And my
understanding of what they were looking for in a serial
killer that was kind of a guy who was just looking for love,
and as simple as it sounds, but as complex as it may be, and
I just wentóeverything was off the page as was written,
knowing that it wasnít a direct pull from the DC universe
and the original Ogre. So, it was actually exciting and fun
and simple, because they wrote a really, really complex,
dark character that was a lot of fun to play.
Jamie: And how did you start working on the show? How did you
come to this part?
Milo: I got a phone call. I got a phone call from my agent
saying that they wanted me, and I said great. Iím a huge fan
of Bruno Heller, his work, and Iím longtime friends of Ben
McKenzie and Donal Logue, and Iíve been watching the show.
And it was just one of those things where I had those
connections, and then I went, ďIím free at the moment. So
this sounds like a lot of fun.Ē
Jamie: Okay, great. Thank you so much. I canít wait to see
Milo: You got it, Jamie. Definitely, thank you.
Moderator: Thank you. And next we have Andy Behbakht with
TVOvermind.com. Go ahead, please.
Andy: Hi, Milo. How are you doing today?
Milo: Iím very well, Andy. How about yourself?
Andy: Iím doing pretty well. Iím pretty excited about this.
Just based on descriptions and information about the villain
youíre playing on the show, is anything going to be shaking
up the world for some of the main characters? And if so,
what ways can you tease some of those shake-ups?
Milo: So, Jason Lennon, a.k.a. the Ogre, is a serial killer.
He is, like I said, a guy whoís looking for love, but the
love that heís looking for is unconditional. And I think, as
nice as that sounds and romantic as that sounds, his
expectations are probably a lot more fierce and a lot past
the line of what usual love is. So, he getsóI think from the
setup that you guys might have seen from the featurette, he
targets women for love and he also targets loved ones of
cops that will investigate him. So itís only natural that
heís going to run into a guy like Jim Gordon, who is the
hero cop of Gotham. So yes, itís two strong forcesóone for
good, one for darkógoing up against each other.
Andy: And just as a follow-up, having seen you on Heroes and
having seen you in the geek roles and so on, how big are you
into the DC universe as a fan yourself? Are you a huge
Batman fan for several years, or howówhat is your
interaction with the geek world, basically?
Milo: I mean, I was raised on comic books. Every Wednesday my
father would take me to a comic book shop in Orange County,
California, Freedonia Funnies, and so I was raised on it.
Batman, funny enough, was always my favorite. I loved the
fact that he wasnít an alien from another planet or injected
with some kind of super-serum. I loved the fact that he was
a man like anyone else, and he used his resources and his
intellect and his body beyond what those other people would
And he did it for a bit of vengeance, but alsoóor
vigilantism, but also, he did it for the people he saw were
caught up in a horrible society, a crime-filled society. So,
Iíd always been a Batman fan, Iíd always been a DC fan, I
grew up with Superman. I grew up on comic books, so there
was everything in there. There was DC, there was Marvel,
there was everything, man. I mean, and even the offshoot
books of other, smaller press.
Andy: I canít wait to see your episode and hopefully more
episodes, maybe, in Season 2.
Milo: Definitely. Thank you.
Moderator: Thank you. Our next question is from Collin
MacGregor with TheTVJunkies.com.
Collin: Hi. Thank you so much for speaking with us.
Milo: Yes, definitely.
Collin: I was wondering, with DCís, and specifically
Batmanís, colorful cast of villains, how do you think Ogre
is going to be able to stand out among, like, the Joker, and
Scarecrow, and Penguin?
Milo: I mean, look. Those, you know, Joker and Scarecrow and
Penguin and Riddler, I mean, theyíre all staples. The Ogre,
I think, you kind of have to just look at what the show is,
and itís a different version, a pre-story of a story that we
already know, of characters that we already know. So if
youíre adding somebody new, hopefullyóI think the writers
have accomplished this, but hopefully the character is
interesting enough, and seeing my silly mug up on the screen
is going to be fun for audiences to say, ďOh wow, this guy
is bad. Heís not the usual that we know.Ē But, at the same
time, what the writers had created, and what I was able to
do with the creative team on set, people, hopefully fans
will enjoy it and say, ďWow, the Ogre is just as bad as the
Penguin, or Scarecrow, or Riddler. Or anybody.Ē
Collin: Awesome. And with all those characters, is there
anyone in the future you would love to kind of team up with
or play with again, like work, team up with Penguin or
Milo: I mean, for selfish reasons of liking the actors, I
think itíd be fun to team up with Robin, who plays Cobblepot,
or Cory, whoís playing the Riddler, whoís beginning to go
dark. Just because thereís a lot of fun and good guys. But,
I mean, I kind of wait until the pages come in, the scripts
come in, and just go, ďOh, okay. This is the fun Iím going
to be having, this is who Iím going to be having the fun
Collin: Awesome. Well, I honestly canít wait to see it.
Milo: Thanks, bud.
Moderator: Thank you. And next we have Suzanne Lanoue with
The TV MegaSite. Please go ahead.
Suzanne: Good morning. Itís great to speak with you.
Milo: Thank you. How are you?
Suzanne: Good, thanks. I was a huge fan of Heroes, and you
really made the show.
Milo: Thank you.
Suzanne: I was wondering. Weíve seen you play mostly good
guys, heroes, and do you thinkówas there any particular
challenge for you playing a villain for these episodes?
Milo: Is it scary if I say no, there wasnít a challenge
playing a bad guy? No, that is the nice thing about just
being an actor. You get thrown into a lot of different
roles, so you get to embrace the good guy when youíre
playing the good guy, and you get to embrace the bad guy
when youíre playing the bad guy. This guy is pretty
Itís hopefully one of those things that my mother wonít ask
me questions about my upbringing, when she and my father
werenít around, when they watch it. But itís always fun to
play the villain. Itís always fun to play the foil to the
good guy, the dark to the light, and the Ogre was probably
about as much fun as you could have with playing a villain.
Suzanne: And how do you think that fans might react to your
playing a villain when theyíre not used to seeing you as
Milo: I mean, I think some fans of my work, I think theyíve
seen me go pretty dark and be pretty bad, but I think
theyíll hopefully enjoy this version of it, which is a
little smoother, a lot more charming, but then flips on a
dime and is evil, evil, evil.
Suzanne: All right. Well, thanks a lot. I look forward to it.
Milo: Definitely, thank you.
Moderator: Thank you. We have a question from Craig Byrne
with KSiteTV.com. Go ahead, please.
Craig: Hello. Itís very nice to talk to you. Iím curious what
kind of interaction your character is going to have with
Barbara Kean, because some photos were released in the
trailer. It looks like theyíre kind of cozy.
Milo: They are cozy. A guy picks a girl up at a bar and you
see what happens. But if you kind of look at who the Ogre
is, and what his motives are; yes, heís looking for
unconditional love with a woman, but also, when detectives
are investigating him, he kills someone close to them. So,
you have to ask yourself, heís possibly close to Jim Gordon,
and what, without him, that would entail.
Craig: Great. Thank you very much.
Moderator: Thank you. Weíll go next to Jamie Steinberg with
Starry Constellation Magazine. Please go ahead.
Jamie: Hi, Milo. Itís such an honor to speak with you; thank
you so much for your time.
Milo: Definitely, thank you.
Jamie: Iíve been a long-time fan, so Iím glad to get the
chance to talk to you about this recent project. I was
wondering. You play a lot of dark, dramatic characters. Is
there something about these roles that continues to draw
them to you?
Milo: I donít even know if theyíre drawn to me or if Iím
drawn to them, or vice versa. I pretty much get the phone
call and show up. I donít know, or maybe itís the dark hair,
dark eyes, I really donít know. Or maybe itís because they
think Iím teen vogue. I might have said at one point that I
was dark and moody. Who knows?
I mean, luckily, though, good opportunities like this keep
coming my way. Thankfully there are great writer-producers
like Bruno Heller that take a chance on a guy and say,
ďLook, we think you can pull this off, and you can pull this
off better than anybody else can.Ē So, for me, Iím just
honored that people choose me to work with them and want to
bring a character to life. So, when I get a juicy one like
this, itís always a lot more exciting.
Jamie: Youíre a part of social media. Are you looking forward
to the instant fan feedback youíll receive when the episodes
Milo: You know, itís funny. When Iím on set, I do it for the
crew, I do it for the cast that Iím with, and then you just
kind of hand it off to the fans. And some people are going
to love what you do, some people are going to pick apart
what you do. But, at the end of the day, itís like, I feel
really good about the work, and I had a lot of fun. I mean,
this cast and crew of Gotham is just, theyíre the best.
Thereís a lot of laughter and a lot of fun had. And I think,
looking on Twitter, or something like that, and seeing the
fansí immediate reaction, of even just the featurette, itís
all pretty positive so far. So, I think people are going to
enjoy seeing what we put together.
Jamie: Wonderful. Thank you again, so much.
Moderator: Thank you, and weíll go next to Monique Jackson
with PopJunkieGirl.com. Go ahead, please.
Monique: Hi, Milo. Thanks so much for taking the time out to
speak with us.
Milo: Definitely, Monique.
Monique: My question is: what drew youóI mean, do you prefer
playing the villain as opposed to the good guy? Which one is
more enjoyable for you to play?
Milo: You know, good roles are good roles. It doesnít matter
if theyíre the bad guy, if theyíre the good guy, if theyíre
the sideline guy, theyíre anything. Itís just, good roles
are good roles, and I think, right when Ióprobably, after I
come out of playing the bad guy, sometimes youíre like, ďOh,
maybe I want to be a bit of a golden heart on the next one,Ē
and then you play the good guy and youíre like, ďOh, maybe I
want to go dark for the next one,Ē but, you just kind of
have to, or I have to, just take the roles that come at me,
and embrace what it is, and put my heart into it and paint
my heart with a lot of gold or a lot of shadow. So, for me,
I justóI play them as they come. And I enjoy the h*** out of
all of them. I really, really do.
[Line Temporarily Dropped]
Moderator: Right now we do have Chrissy Piccolo with
Chrissy: Hi, Milo. Iím a huge fan of yours, so Ė
Milo: Hello, Chrissy. Thank you very much.
Chrissy: Sure. Now, this version of the Ogre is
suave-seducer-serial killer. How do you prepare for this
type of character in trying to get into the mind of a
Milo: Is it wrong that I said I was just being myself?
Honestly, it was likeóthis guy, heís relaxed, heís sincere,
he is much darker than me as a man, but I was just trying to
be myself, because he is a man. Heís affected by things that
happened to him when he was younger, and heís approaching
his life the way that he knows how, and heís operating off
of wants that he has, which may not be very good to the
majority of people, but to him, itís what his life is. So
for me, I think I was just trying to be a human being
onscreen and understand what this guy went through to make
him who he was.
Chrissy: So, in other words, trying to give background to the
character and playing off of that as opposed toójust,
anyway, making it more in-depth as far as being a serial
Milo: Iíll tell you what I didnít want to be was a villain
twisting his mustache while thereís a dame tied up on a
train track. Thatís what I didnít want to be. What I
basically wanted to do, I think, I was lucky because I had
this amazing material, these great words and these good
scripts. I was able to just follow that, and follow my
instincts, and follow my want to just be an honest person.
Honest with what he wants, like I said, even though what he
wants is horrible and kind of odd, and how he gets it, what
measures he goes to. Heís a sociopath.
Chrissy: Right. Well, what was the toughest scene for you to
Milo: Gosh. I mean, there were a lot of scenes, a lot of
tough scenes, but I think the first one is always the
hardest one, just because youíre on a set, youíve got a
bunch of new people, Iím always trying to learn everybodyís
name, and do my job. The first scene that I shot, it was not
even as the character. It was the character within the
character within the character. So, I think that might have
been the hardest one. But it was just because youíre the new
kid at school. Youíre the new kid at school, and you just
want to go in there and do good work and not get noticed in
a bad way, so the first scene is always just the hardest
scene. Everything after that you settle in, youíre relaxed,
youíre amongst friends, and youíre among the people that
want you to do good work. You want them to do good work. So
then you just do good work together.
Chrissy: Great. Well, Iím really looking forward to the
episodes, and thank you so much for your time.
Milo: Of course, thank you.
Moderator: Thank you. And weíll go back now to Monique
Jackson, if youíd like to re-ask your second question.
Milo: Monique, Iím so sorry. Iím so sorry.
Monique: No problem, no problem. It happens.
Milo: I was getting another phone call on my phone and I
tried to end it, but I ended the wrong one, to be honest.
Iím such a dork.
Monique: No problem. My question was, because I actually
missedóI wrote everything down: playing such an evil serial
killer, the Ogre, is he likable at all? Is there any trace
that you actually like about playing the character?
Monique: Him as a person, I mean. Is there anything besides
being a serial killer thatís actually likable?
Milo: I think thereís a lot to be liked about the guy. Heís
looking for love, I think, which is something we can all
connect with in one way or another. Weíre looking to be
accepted. And heís a guy who is looking for that. Heís
charming without being arrogant, but there is arrogance in
his way of being, because he canít see outside of himself,
and what he imposes on women that ultimately lead to him
So, I think there is something that is true in his search,
but his means of doing it are completely wrong. And what
heís asking for, to the degree that heís asking for, is
just, itís skewed, itís off, itís not right, itís not kind,
itís not good. But his kind of way of being and talking to a
girlóI didnít think, as I was reading the scripts, and as I
was playing it, it wasnít an act to get the girl so he can
just kill the girl. He doesnít want to kill the girl. But he
eventually will, because, well, theyíre not quite who he
thinks they are. Heís already pushed them past the point
where heíd probably be in trouble. So, why not just discard
this woman and find another one? So, I think that there are
small redeeming qualities about him, but the majority of who
he is shadows any other good thatís possibly in there.
Monique: All right. Well, thank you so much for answering my
Milo: Definitely, Monique. Have a good one.
Monique: You too.
Moderator:. Thank you. Then, our final question will come
from Kate OíHare with Patheos. Go ahead, please.
Kate: Hey, Milo.
Milo: Hi, Kate OíHare.
Kate: How are you?
Milo: Iím good, darling. How are you?
Kate: Not bad. Youíre being very careful in describing this
guy to avoid words like Ďevilí and stuff. Heís just a guy
looking for love, heís just slaughtering people on the way.
So, does that come into your thought process when you get
someone who tells you this guy is just looking for love, and
his way of doing that is killing women?
Milo: Well, I think killing women is the byproduct of things
not working out, where a normal human being could just break
up with the girl and say, ďListen, this isnít working out. I
think youíre lovely; youíre going to find the right guy,
youíre going to be great for him. Itís me, itís not you.Ē
Jason Lennon justóI think he canít handle the idea that this
person, this woman that things didnít work out with, exists.
And I think he also knows in his demented mind that he goes
too far with these women, and what heís asking of them, even
though inóI guess itís semantics in saying that heís just a
guy looking for love. Heís really looking for the most
heinous of partners possible.
But he, I mean, heís just off. Heís just off, but I didnít
want to paint the guy as not having any kind of sense of
humanity inside of him just because thatís, I guess, me as
an actor. I had to humanize the guy in some way. But heís
just mentally off in how he views the world, and I think, so
selfish. So, so selfish that he believes that he can do
whatever he wants to whoever he wants because of his charm
or his nice Gucci suits or money. But ultimately, I mean,
itís power. Itís wielding a power.
I think, when I was thinking about this role and I was kind
of researching and looking at other serial killers, like Ted
Bundy was someone who kind of stuck with me, and how he
approached people in life, and women, and what other people
had crossed his path that he didnít kill said about him;
that he was charming. You could talk to him, and he was
engaging, and that was the way to pull you in. But Ted
Bundy, he was all about possession, having possessions.
And in this unconditional love that Jason Lennon is looking
for, I think he wants to possess. Not like say a spell and
be a witch, but he wants to actually own every thought and
part of a person, of a woman, that he can. So that they are
completely entrusted and enslaved, and he feels
unconditionally loved, but itís not that because thereís
zero partnership in the way that heó
Kate: Yes. But weíre told by Fifty Shades of Grey that thatís
Milo: Yes. I guess, I donít know. For some people, sure. For
some people, sure.
Moderator: That does conclude our Q&A session. Do you have
any closing remarks?
Joanna: Thank you, everyone, we really appreciate you joining
the call. And Milo, thank you for your time.
Milo: Definitely. Thank you, everyone. I appreciate it. Good
talking to all of you.
Moderator: Okay, thank you then. Ladies and gentlemen, that
does conclude our conference for today. Thank you for your
participation and choosing AT&T Executive TeleConference.
You may now disconnect.
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