October 21, 2016 at 2:16 pm EST | by Mariah Cooper
‘Gotham’ star Robin Lord Taylor says growing up gay prepared him for The Penguin
(Screenshot via YouTube.)

(Screenshot via YouTube.)

Out actor Robin Lord Taylor plays The Penguin on Fox’s “Gotham”and while he is a “bad guy” the oddly charming villain has become a fan favorite for his multi-dimensional performance.

In an interview with Fuse, Taylor says he drew inspiration for the role by humanizing the 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,” Taylor, 38, says.  “That’s when I learned he was bullied as a child, he was always treated as an outsider. That was my human link to the character. I learned that and I was like, ‘This is something I want to show and root him down to reality.’”

Taylor drew from his own experience as an outsider growing up to bring a more sympathetic version of The Penguin to life.

“Growing up overweight and gay in small-town Iowa as a kid in the ’80s and ’90s, it was much different than it is now, and I know exactly what that feels like,” Taylor says.

“Gotham” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on Fox.

Watch the interview below.

  • This show is good. Always interesting to watch. He does a good job as the Penguin. I didn’t realize he was gay. Never really thought of him that way but the character on the show seems to be asexual.

    I assume then that the actor that plays the Riddler on the show is gay? He comes across to me as being more so than this actor.

    I like seeing Jada Pinkett-Smith on the show, too. The girl who plays the young cat woman is good, too!

    • Penguin has been pretty flamboyant since the first episode. As a gay man, I had my suspicions right away.

      • If you go by flamboyance then the riddler is more so! Yet they have him interested in a woman.

        Though he and penguin make an ugly couple. They would be better of as gurlfriends chasing down hot men.

        I like their style. They are both deliciously vicious with those that cross them! Makes a vicious gay man proud if not envious of the way they can so easily dispose of their enemies!

        I loved how penguin dealt with his evil step mother and her wicked offspring!’

        • Well, the difference is that Riddler is hugely narcissistic in the comics, so he kind of comes across as having a mild form of autism in the show.

          Penguin’s character is a MASSIVE change from any form of media before, making it obvious from the first episode where they were going with him.

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