On the hit Fox series Gotham, actor Donal Logue plays Harvey Bullock, the brash and shrewd police legend who sometimes walks a very blurred line to get the job done. While his new partner Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) hopes to restore Gotham City back to the pure version he remembers it was as a kid, Bullock helps steer him around the often-underhanded politics of the city’s criminal justice system and the villains that inhabit it.
During this exclusive interview with Collider, Donal Logue talked about how spoiled he feels with the worlds he’s gotten to run around in over the last couple of years, why being a part of the DC universe is like coming aboard an aircraft carrier that’s waiting for you, how showrunner Bruno Heller sold him on Gotham, how excited his kids are about him being on the show, that he’d love to see Harvey Bullock mix it up with Two-Face, that Danny Trejo has called to ask him about the show, and what it’s like to work with such a great group of people. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
Collider: You’ve played some really interesting, complex and compelling characters over the last couple of years, with Sons of Anarchy, Vikings, Copper and now Gotham.
DONAL LOGUE: It’s fun for me, too. I’m spoiled with the worlds I’ve been running around in. It’s great. Michael Hirst, Bruno Heller, Kurt Sutter, Tom Kelly and Tom Fontana, and Warren Leight have written them specifically for me. I’m lucky.
Is this the point in your career that you’ve always been striving for?
LOGUE: I think so. It’s interesting, when I was 22 or so, and I was in drama school in England, this one woman with the Royal Shakespeare Company was like, “You’ll really find your stride when you’re 50,” but when you’re 22, you don’t want to hear that. The lucky thing is that, since I was 22, I’ve been working steadily, the whole time. But in a way, I understand what she meant now. Those different elements all come together. It’s a good time. I’m blessed and really fortunate.
Obviously, it’s cool to just be a part of the DC universe.
LOGUE: It’s like an aircraft carrier that you get to just come on. You don’t have to build this little boat to get there. It’s already there for you. You just come aboard.
With such a pedigree of talent behind Gotham, is there any way that you would have declined signing on?
LOGUE: The issue would have been if Bullock were just a really minor character, or something, because I was juggling Law & Order stuff, at the time. But I had a meeting with Bruno that sold me on the show. He’s great. I’m the beneficiary of this pedigree of being on something that’s so front street, but I’ve never really done jobs because of that. To me, the people on Copper were rock stars. Before I joined that show, I loved that show. I like bands that don’t necessarily sell the most records. If I can manage to merge those two worlds, it’s fortuitous. It sounds like a company man kind of thing, but the network and the studio are so happy that it’s great. In the case of Terriers, John Landgraf was amazing. They were so good to me when they said, “We’re so sorry. We would love to, but we can’t. You understand.” TV is just really competitive. Even on our night, there are things that a lot of people watch.
Is there someone in your life who’s most excited that you’re a part of the DC universe?
LOGUE: I think my kids are really excited. More so than the other shows I’ve been on, they’re excited about this one. That’s really satisfying, for sure.
Is there one of the villains that you’d love to see Harvey Bullock mix it up with?
LOGUE: I think Two-Face would be fun. I’m excited to see what comes down the pike. People will continue to be tripped out by the level and quality of guest stars that we get to play even the smaller, crime-of-the-week villain roles. It’s really cool. Friends of mine are calling and are like, “What’s up with Gotham?,” like Danny Trejo. That would be awesome.
How cool is it to have the city of Gotham also play such a big role in the show?
LOGUE: All I have to do is stand there and the city does so much of the work for me. I always think it’s absurd when people go, “How can you have a show about Batman without Batman?” Gotham is plenty fascinating, Chinatown style. At the end of Chinatown, the rich get away with murder, but what a ride.
What’s it like to have David Mazouz, at the center of all of this?
LOGUE: He reminds us all of what we’re supposed to be doing, which is to pretend really hard that the stakes are the real stakes. He’s amazing. I love David. It’s great to see Sean [Pertwee] cut loose a little bit, too. We have a great group of people. Everybody in the cast is great.
Do you think Harvey Bullock and Jim Gordon are always going to have a push-pull relationship and continue to learn from each other?
LOGUE: Yeah, I hope so. We get closer, and then things happen that really test that because of betrayals. I think we’re finding that, and Ben [McKenzie] and I are finding that dynamic. We’re good friends and we work really well together. We’re having fun, trying to work as hard as we can to see where we can go with it. It’s exciting and cool.
What’s it been like to work with Jada Pinkett Smith and play with the dynamic between your characters?
LOGUE: She’s great. She came with all of that homework done. I can’t say enough about Jada. She’s married to one of the most successful actors in history, and he’s a great guy, but you forget that, in her own right, she’s an amazing actor. Thank god she’s back, and thank god we got her when she chose to come back. It’s nice to be in a world where you’re not going to exhaust storylines with potential villains.
Do you ever find yourself a little bit jealous that you’re not one of the villains?
LOGUE: I’ve played some good villains, in the last few years. I’m good where I’m at. But it is fun playing villains, for sure.
Gotham airs on Monday nights on Fox.