Just under a year ago, entertainment outlets were buzzing about the casting of Fox’s new series, “Gotham”. It was, after all, the newest interpretation and medium of the Batman franchise. Now just a few days before the Season 1 finale, “Gotham” is one of the biggest shows on television. Alongside a stellar cast that includes Benjamin McKenzie and Jada Pinkett Smith, Zabryna Guevara shines as Sarah Essen, the Captain of the Gotham City Police Department.
Whether or not the story is based off of Batman’s supposed origin story, Guevara plays a woman in charge in a male-dominated field, something a lot of us can relate to in the real world. Before we say goodbye to “Gotham” for the summer, we caught up with Guevara to talk about how “Gotham” changed her life, how she has adjusted from theater to television, and even how she takes care of her skin after a long day of shooting. Make sure to tune in to the season finale on May 4th!
Q&A with Zabryna Guevara
How has being on “Gotham” changed your life?
Being a part of such a highly-anticipated show with such a strong and supportive fan base has been incredible. It will always be a wonderful show to have been part of from the beginning. Also, getting recognized on the street has been more common and that has been an adjustment to my usual anonymous New Yorker feel.
Your character, Sarah Essen, has to be tough to be taken seriously in her field. Who or what inspires your performance?
The women in my family have always been an incredible source for me to pull from. I have 16 aunts and all with a thread of strength and resilience that, many times, has helped me develop the characters I’ve played.
As Sarah is a real-world interpretation of a comic book character, how did you prepare for the role? Before the show aired, did you ever worry that Batman fans might compare your interpretation to the original character?
I prepared by reading a great deal of the Batman canon and some real world accounts of life as police captains and detectives. With regard to being compared – I realized this take was so reimagined that it actually freed me from feeling that pressure. I just hoped the fans liked what we had come up with.
As you have such a strong theater background, was the adjustment to television hard in any way?
The adjustment for me was more about adjusting my performance to the camera vs. a two thousand seat house. On stage, you have to project your gestures and emotions enough for the back row to see. On TV, getting used to my “back row” being right where the camera is has been interesting.
Are either of your young children aware of or a fan of Batman yet? Do they understand your day job?
The 1-year-old has no idea, but the 5-year-old understands enough to tell his classmates that his mom is on a show called “Gotham”, but that they are too young to watch it. Beyond that, he has a Batman costume that he wore for Halloween and regularly in between. You could say he’s a fan.
About Fashion and Beauty
As all actors have to get dolled up on a daily basis, how do you protect your skin and hair from damage?
For my skin, I exfoliate daily and try to get facials regularly. A regular skin care routine is really important because we are always wearing makeup for our events and on set. For my hair, I do regular deep conditioning treatments at home. I saturate my hair with a deep conditioner and then sit under a heating cap for 20 minutes. It makes a huge difference as curly hair tends to get very dry.
How would you describe your personal style?
Easy and relaxed. I’m handling two little boys everyday and have to walk a ton in NYC so comfortable shoes and clothes I can bend down in are essential. In the warmer weather, I like summer dresses that flow and allow a great deal of movement but feel beautifully feminine.
What is your favorite item in your closet?
My jeans! I have several pairs that are with me wherever I go. Putting on a pair of old jeans that fit like a glove is a wonderful feeling. I have one pair that is so patched up and mended my mom tries to get me to throw them out every time she visits. She hasn’t succeeded much to her chagrin.
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