Robin Lord Taylor on ‘Gotham’ and How to Win the Audition Room
With the highly anticipated Season 2 premiere of FOX’s “Gotham,”(subtitled “Rise of the Villains”) airing Sept. 21, there’s no doubt that viewers will be looking forward to more of Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot aka the Penguin. Bringing a unique blend of sinister unpredictability and deep sadness to the character, Taylor’s Oswald continues to climb the criminal ladder of Gotham City’s underbelly and will, of course, ultimately become one of Batman’s greatest enemies.
Here, Taylor reflects on getting the show, how to make auditioning less painful and more joyous, and what he’s discovered about himself along the way.
On his “Gotham” audition. As a working actor in New York City having appeared in numerous films (“Accepted,” “Would You Rather”) and on a number of TV shows (“The Walking Dead,” “Person of Interest,” “The Good Wife”), Taylor was no stranger to the hard process of auditioning when “Gotham” rolled around.
“I was coming from a place, at the time, where it was 14 years of auditioning,” he says. “I stopped resenting the process and started looking at it as being my five-minute performance. Whether or not I get the job, that’s not up to me ultimately. But what is up to me, is taking these few moments and making the most out of them.
“[But] when I initially auditioned, it wasn’t until the night before I went in that it was told to me what the project was.”
In fact, Taylor only knew that it was an untitled Warner Bros. project. He auditioned with a dummy scene written solely for the audition—done consciously so actors wouldn’t be waddling into the audition doing impressions Penguins of the past (Danny DeVito and Burgess Meredith).
“They just wanted people to interpret what this material was, in how they see it. This was one of the few times where after I auditioned,” he says, “I walked out, and in my head I was, like, That… I might… that went really well! I might actually have a chance! And I rarely ever feel that way.”
On bringing Oswald Cobblepot to life.