BD Wong's debut on Gotham continues tonight, after a couple of disturbingly calm appearances in the mid-season premiere. As the dastardly Hugo Strange, the man secretly running human experiments in Indian Hill underneath Arkham Asylum, his arrival certainly doesn't mean anything good. His torture and manipulation starts in force tonight with some very bad consequences for Penguin, Jim Gordon, Victor Fries, and more.
So how does Wong view the character? Well, much like one he's played before, as it happens.
"I think of him a lot in the same way I think of the character I played in Jurassic World," Wong told ComicBook.com in an interview. "This is a person who’s on the A-list of science. He’s really pushing the envelope of technologies, making things happen that no one else can do. As a result, he’s in a way full of himself, or really unaware and blind to consequences. So my first impression is that he’s amazingly gifted, and secondly that he’s blind to the consequences of what he’s doing."
He doesn't look at him like your average villain, who wants to rule the city or the world or destroy his foe. Instead, his desires are much more benign - which makes their malignant consequences all the worse.
"His personal goals are just a scientist’s goals, learning about the human psyche, learning about life, trying to manipulate it, change it, alter it, and being extremely satisfied when something works," he said.
Wong was thrilled to join the cast of a show already in progress, saying at first it was like "barging into the party," with a cast who knows each other well. With Hugo Strange meeting characters mostly one-on-one, though, he's able to gradually move into the role.
"Gradually meeting each character was way easier for me than having everyone at once, and that pattern continues for me. I can concentrate on what’s happening today, and go ‘hello, I’m me, you’re you, let’s work together,’ instead of ‘oh my gosh, this is crazy!’ So the one on one doctor-patient relationship was very handy in that way," he explained.
He was also thrilled with the way Gotham crew helped him create the character for the show, acknowledging the role has been part of "comic book mythology," and has already been subtly introduced into "the show's mythology."
"Gotham['s crew] cares a lot about the fans, really wants the fans to be happy," the actor said. He had a blast doing the looks tests with the "best makeup and hair people on this show," saying it was like "play time on a really high, professional level." As far as the character's non-visual qualities, Wong said he's pulling from every iteration of him that he can, with the unique Gotham spin.
"I was at an advantage, not looking like any version of Hugo Strange that came before, so I took some of the elements of each version and put them together, and I really like the way it turned out," Wong said.
Hugo Strange returns tonight on Gotham episode, "A Dead Man Feels No Cold," and fans will all start to see some of those goals of his coming into fruition as he sets his plans in motion.