We’re sure that cast of Fox’s Gotham is celebrating today. The series’ Monday night premiere not only drew in an impressive 8 million, but it ranked as the highest-watched show amongst men during that hour. If that weren’t enough, it became Fox’s most-viewed drama series premiere during the 8:00 p.m. hour, since 2005’s Prison Break. In other words, it’s off to a great start.
Perhaps a big part of the show’s success is Jada Pinkett Smith’s character Fish Mooney. She’s a badass boss who wreaks havoc and casts gloom over Gotham years before Bruce Wayne becomes Batman. In the debut episode, for instance, she gets in some unconventional (read: violent) batting practice, holds two officers hostage, and uses a young Penguin (yes, that Penguin), to—how do we put this?—rethink the purpose of a chair. Don’t believe us, just watch.
Now, if you’re a DC Comics aficionado who’s unfamiliar with Fish Mooney, don’t fret. “The great thing about Jada Pinkett’s character Fish Mooney is that it’s created completely for this show,” said chief creative officer of DC Entertainment Geoff Johns. “It’s a brand new character.” Co-star Ben McKenzie, who plays a young Detective James Gordon, says Smith is bringing Mooney to life in a “beautifully nuanced, complicated, and sexy, and dark way.” So how did Smith get into character for a figure that no one has heard of yet?
“I did a lot of research on female gangsters,” she told Glam during Christian Siriano’s Spring 2015 runway show. “I also did a lot of research of Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard. So I did this kind of mesh between this dope female gangster that I love, and Norma Desmond. And Griselda Blanco. She’s one of the most fiercest female gangsters that has ever lived. I did a mash-up between the two of them, and configured Fish Mooney out of that.”
As for the “gangster” attire to match Mooney’s no-nonsense attitude? Thank Sarah Burton.
“Fish definitely wears a lot of Alexander McQueen.”