Gotham Knights: Veronica Cartwright Talks Her Terrifying Character Debut (Exclusive)

On The CW‘s Gotham Knights, Turner Hayes, along with Harper and Cullen Row and Duela are fugitives from justice, having been framed for the murder of Bruce Wayne. As they investigate the crime in the hopes of clearing their names, the group — along with their allies Carrie Kelly and Stephanie Brown — have come to realize that Bruce’s murder may be connected to the shadowy Court of Owls and their enforcer, the Talon. This week’s episode, “Of Butchers and Betrayals”, sees the group follow a lead to an unlikely person, a grandmotherly woman in a nursing home named Eunice. But Eunice is much more than she seems, and this lead may end up taking the fugitives into very unexpected territory.

Played by iconic actor Veronica Cartwright, Eunice appears in this week’s episode and will appear again in episode seven, so the story has only begun. recently sat down with Cartwright to talk about her role in The CW series and it turns out that Cartwright, whose career includes some of the most frightening films ever made — such as Alien, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and The Birds — is a big fan of not just her character, but Gotham Knights itself.

Warning: spoilers for this week’s episode of Gotham Knights, “Of Butchers and Betrayals” beyond this point.

Nicole Drum. How did you end up getting involved with Gotham Knights in the first place? It’s such a fun show, and I’m just always curious how people get involved with the projects they’re in.

Veronica Cartwright: Well, somebody called, called my manager. And I don’t think that I even went on an interview for it. [My character] is just such an evil person, I just love her. It’s like doing Witches of Eastwick, only for television. [It took] And three hours of makeup, to make me look really old. They put on a whole draping neck and made my face all wrinkly. Brian and Todd were the makeup guys, and they had it down after doing two shows. I mean, actually we’d do it in less than three hours.

The kids are great. And everybody seemed to be really excited that I was doing it. And the kids wanted to hear stories about The Birds, and Alien. They were so great.

Tell me a little bit about your character. I’ve got to admit, I was not expecting her to be as genuinely scary as she ends up being. Because you’re right, they make her look like such an old, warm grandma, and then she’s terrifying.

Well, she’s the Butcher of Gotham’s daughter. And, of course, he sends her those music boxes, she loves her music boxes. And then, all of a sudden, somebody comes and they’re calming her, and she thinks at first, they’re really nice, and they’ve come by for good reasons. And then, of course, Olivia with her little side cracks and stuff like that. I mean, it just pisses her off. And that first grab, and then all of a sudden, she’s doing the Court of Owls. I’m really … I mean, she’s very, very nasty. She is a meanie.

Now, you’ve been a part of so many iconic things, like there’s Alien, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Birds. Your TV resume is incredibly impressive as well. It feels like you’ve been a part of everything, which is why, when I saw your name pop up in casting, I’m like, she’s been in everything I think I’ve ever seen. I can’t imagine anything I’ve seen that you haven’t popped up in at some point. But now you’re part of the DC Comics universe too, like you’ve staked your claim in that part of the world as well. What was it like taking on a role in this superhero space, particularly the Batman universe, which is kind of its own iconic entity?

I know. And it was so interesting, I’m used to Batman and Robin, but this turns everything on its head, with Carrie being Robin. And I did not know it was as dark and creepy. Just the whole thing, the whole tower room, and now the Batman cave has been discovered. And then I’m waiting for Misha’s character to turn, because he’s Two-Face. And we haven’t seen that part of him yet really. I mean, a little tweak with the other guy, the mayor or whatever he was. But we haven’t really seen where the Two-Face comes in yet. So, this is going to be interesting, I think. There’s a long way that they can go with it, and I just hope I get to continue to be a part of it.

We find out that Eunice’s dad is apparently still alive, sort of, in this episode, too.

I know, that’s what I said. I found that out when I came to work. All of a sudden, I’m reading the script, and went, “He’s still alive?” We find out [more about it] in episode seven.

It sounds to me like you’re a big fan of the show.

I am. I really like the show. I’ve watched it since the beginning. I have it on my DVR, I shaped it, and I like it. It’s funny too, because the CW, I liked that show All American too, and so I … They have really good shows on there, The CW. And it’s fun that they are now so involved with the DC Comics stuff. And everybody’s so great. It’s really a good show, I think.

What would you say the most fun you had with this role was?

Oh, well, the fact that she is so evil, and just is trying to be as sweet as she can possibly be, and then just being able to make that turn. And she’s just really … I mean, she is out there, and that’s always fun to play. I don’t get to play those parts very often. I just thought she was really great.

Gotham Knights airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.