Have you been curious about Alfred Pennyworth, the man behind the butler? Wait no more! We chatted with the cast of the new series Pennyworth all about what fans can expect.
Here at We So Nerdy, we love a comic book adaptation. And though Batman has been done and done and done again, we’re excited about new takes on this iconic world (e.g. Gotham). Well now, the Gotham creators are bringing their latest project to TV screens this month, which follows the would-be butler to Bruce Wayne, Alfred Pennyworth. Pennyworth will air on Epix starting follows the former British SAS soldier who forms a security company and goes to work with Thomas Wayne, Bruce’s billionaire father, in 1960s London. HERE FOR THIS.
At this year’s Comic-Con, we sat down with the show’s cast and creators to talk about what fans can expect and how they have made a seemingly well-known character fresh and new.
According to Executive Producer Bruno Heller (0:08 – 9:13), the appeal of Alfred Pennyworth’s story is the telling an origin story about his journey from WWII hero to butler. Yet, there is a challenge of writing for viewers who are already so familiar with this world. The trick is not to be scared and stay off social media! Heller says that it was important to the creators do a show that can draw non-traditional Batman fans and to be inclusive of those not so familiar with this world. The writers didn’t really have specific characters in mind for casting, but so impressed with how Jack Bannon portrays the Alfred Pennyworth with a natural coolness, charm, and vulnerability.
Speaking of Jack Bannon (9:25 – 16:40), he also shares his excitement of being at Comic-Con and launching a new show. It’s daunting to play one of the most iconic characters in comic history and explore “the man before the butler.” But for Jack, the bonus is that this Alfred has swag. DC’s 1960’s London is darker, weirder, so it’s fun to build that world. Jack does discuss the Influence of Michael Caine as an iconic Alfred, but also a 1960s star. In terms of the interaction between Alfred and Thomas Wayne, they come together via an off chance meeting. These two aren’t friends at all, but thrown together due to circumstance. They both possess something the other needs—Thomas has money and status, Alfred has braun and army skills.
One of Pennyworth’s big bads is brought to life by Paloma Faith (16:49 – 22:30). In our conversation, she expresses the thrill of playing a female villain (a brand-new, original character in DC Universe) and making Bet Sykes to be multidimensional and empathetic despite her villainy. What was important to Paloma was to move beyond sex appeal. She thinks there’s actually quite a bit of similarity between Bet and Alfred, and the brilliance of DC Universe is the deep dive into the psychology of the human condition and commonalities between us despite race, gender, socio-economic class, etc.
Finally, we talked to “Bat-Daddy,” himself, Ben Aldridge (22:40 – 30:44). For Ben, it’s fun playing Thomas Wayne as a younger man and seeing journey of how he gets to the upright, moral citizen who Alfred tells Bruce about in the aftermath of Thomas’s death. It’s allso interesting to think about the parts of Thomas that eventually become part of Bruce. In the worth of Pennyworth, we can’t always tell the difference between heroes and villains, and Thomas embodies that, as he’s dealing in espionage and counterintelligence. He finds himself forced into a world fo violence that he’s not comfortable with, a fish out of water. Ben also teases Thomas and Martha’s initial meeting, and at the beginning, their relationship is quite antagonistic.
Check out the Pennyworth trailer below and make sure to tune into Epix starting this weekend (July 28)