Southland Star Ben McKenzie Talks Batman: Year One
I think the acting is really just trying to imagine being 12 again and seeing Batman in this animated form and thinking “What would you like to see? What would you really geek out on?” If you can bring that passion across on the screen, then that's your job. I think if you were going to do anything acting-wise that got any methody, you'd be a little scary. I think it's better to just try and have fun with it.
Do you have a favorite line or scene?
There's a fun scene with one of the young thuggish guys where (Batman) says something like “I know pain. Sometimes I like to share it, maybe with somebody like you.” I like that moment. The adrenaline and the testosterone really flows through you. It's fun. It's really fun. If you were ever picked on in high school and you just wanted to grab the bully and say, “I'm gonna beat the living heck out of you,” that's exactly what you get to do as Batman.
Did this experience give you a new perspective on Batman?
Yes, absolutely. This experience has definitely reinvigorated my interest again for Batman. I've seen the Christopher Nolan films, and I think they're great. When you get a chance to actually be a part of something based on the same source material, it's really exciting. It allows you to sort of experience what that character is experiencing, which is a darkly fun take on what it would be like if you could actually fight crime, if you could actually get revenge on all of the people that you think are bad people in this world, if you could exact justice out of an unjust world. It’s kind of thrilling even to be an actor playing that part.
Do you see any parallels to your character on Southland?
I think there is sort of a broad parallel between Bruce Wayne/Batman and my character on Southland in the sense that they're both wealthy and they're both fighting crime – in the broadest sense. Bruce Wayne and, really, Batman is just the extreme version. Instead of becoming a patrol officer, he spends his money creating an alter ego and going out and doing it himself. So Bruce Wayne/Batman is just the fantastical version of what Ben Sherman is doing on Southland. He's just doing it to a more extreme level. So, yeah, there's definitely a comparison to be made for sure.