For Gotham’s Ben McKenzie, No Gadget Beats a Good Traffic App or a Nice Scotch

Fox's Detective Gordon talks Twitter, comics and Netflix


Who Ben McKenzie

Age 36

Claim to fame Stars as James Gordon on Fox's Gotham (Mondays, 8 p.m.)

Base L.A., N.Y.

Twitter @ben_mckenzie

What's the first information you consume in the morning?

It's all digital: The New York Times website, CNN, Wall Street Journal. But truth be told, it's probably all coming off of Twitter, anyway. And then I have certain websites that I go to, more for politics stuff than anything else. RealClearPolitics is a good aggregator. I'm a bit of a lefty, so I like the Daily Kos and Huffington Post. I try to get news from both sides, though. I think it defeats the purpose if it's only streamed through one viewpoint.

Who else do you follow on Twitter?

I always feel like following comedians is a good idea. Jokes are easy in 140 characters. I've recently gotten into a Twitter account calling itself Los Feliz Day Care. It's a faux-hipster-hippie day care website, so there are endless jokes about politically correct childhood education slash organic food. I'd say it's worth checking out. My Twitter is mostly a mix of nerdy stuff and comics, like Ezra Klein and Patton Oswalt and people like that.

What's your favorite app?

We're on location in New York a lot for Gotham, and the traffic is, you know, New York City traffic, so I've gotten pretty into using Waze to get around. And I guess I'm an old man at heart because I like the weather a lot, so I think Dark Sky is really cool. I love the radar. It's pretty sweet.

How do you get your music? What have you been listening to lately?

I still buy stuff through iTunes, which I know is antiquated. I was reading this [Haruki] Murakami book, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki, and he references this particular song by Liszt, the composer, so I was listening to that. I don't know a lot about classical music, so it was an education for me.

What TV shows do you watch?

I've been on Netflix a bit, getting into British series like Luther and The Fall. I haven't had a chance to watch a lot of what's on air now, but I have been watching my buddy André Holland's show The Knick. It's really good. I'm terrible about watching shows on a weekly basis. I usually end up binge-watching them way after the fact, like a year or two after they've aired.

Were you a comic book reader before you started working on Gotham?

Not a hard-core reader. I read some stuff when I was cast, before we started shooting the pilot, and I've gotten some more since then. David Mazouz, who plays Bruce, gave me some [Commissioner] Gordon-themed comics for my birthday a couple of months ago, Batman: Gordon of Gotham and Batman: Turning Points.

How do you wind down before bed?

A nice Scotch. I've been trying to read before bed so I don't have that burning sensation in my eyes from watching endless amounts of television. Usually, I'm watching a sports game, but I try to switch it over at the end and actually read something for 30 minutes, not on an electronic device, and let myself adjust to the dreamlike state I hope to enter.