Out all the people I have nominated for Hall of Fame this November’s was the most difficult for me me to choose. I have kept my tradition of choosing someone from the television series Gotham, there are so many fantastic actors and characters to choose from. So why did I make my final decision on Drew Powell?
Andrew ‘Drew’ Powell grew up in Lebanon, Indiana. Graduated from DePauw University in 1998 and moved tho Los Angeles where Drew began auditioning for acting roles. His first television role was as cadet on Fox’s Malcolm in the Middle. Drew filmed the television series Ponderosa which was developed by Bonanza creator David Dortort that ran for the 2001-2002 television season and was filmed in Australia. He meet Bruno Heller the creator of a Gotham whilst working on The Menalist in 2012.
Drew Powell’s character Butch Gilzean was developed as an orginal character along with Fish Mooney for Gotham. I instantly took a liking to Butch in the pilot episode when he introduced himself to Detective James Gordon, and it was very clear by the end of the episode Fish trusted him and he was loyal to her. As season one of Gotham progressed Butch’s role expanded in the sense that you knew he had a lot of knowledge of the Gothams underworld and was prepared to help Fish Mooney take over from Don Falcone. There is a brilliant scene in episode 11 season 1 “Rogues Gallery” where Butch is discussing with his old friend Jimmy Saviano, who also is a underboss and a member of the Falcone Crime Family about Fish taking over from Falcone but he wants the chair himself. Butch confesses a childhood robbery where he stitched up Jimmy and decides he is better off with a Fish and Jimmy Saviano is not to going to support Fish, Butch takes it upon himself to kill him.
When Butch became Oswald Cobblepot second in command it was a definitely a surprise pairing of two characters that worked instantly. Even though Zsasz managed to mess around with the wiring in Butch’s brain which allowed Oswald control what Butch did, it was actually Butch that made Oswald see that if they didn’t make a go of the nightclub Falcone would discard of them both and Butch wanted to be taken seriously. Season 2 was no change for Butch helping Penguin run the underworld. When Oswalds mother got kidnapped by the Galavans, Butch advised Oswald to seek some history on a knife which was at centre of this story, because the Galavans wanted it and Oswald wanted to know why. Butch knew a lady in his old neighbourhood who knew everything about old town Gotham, Edwige. I personally adored this character she told a fascinating story about the Wayne’s being rivals with another family the Dumas which they changed their name to Galavan. This history lesson gave the idea to Penguin to find out where his mother is he needed something believeable, so he cut off Butch’s left hand. Whilst Butch was still under Penguins mind control he convinced the Galavans that Penguin had gone crazy, he found the location of Oswalds mother but was caught by Theo Galavan who had Butch confess he was Penguins servant and he must do whatever he says. Tabitha soon changed that she managed to adjust the wiring in Butch’s brain so he was free, Butch doubled crossed Oswald in telling him where his mother was but at the same time he was handing over Oswald over to the Galavans and witnessed them murder his beloved mother, Gertrude.
Butch disappeared for only a few episodes, on his return he had taken over the as the King of Gotham. Tabitha showed up wanting to be his partner in crime, even though she was very much with Barbara there has always been a romantic chemistry between Butch and Tabitha, they made a great couple. When Oswald showed up after being released from Arkham, Butch was genuinely shocked to see him. Tabitha wanted to get revenge on Oswald for killing her brother Theo. But Butch could tell Oswald was different after the therapy he had received from Professor Strange. Butch made it clear that himself and Oswald were square which I thought was very forgiving of Butch considering he chopped of his left hand. Butch stayed by Tabithas bedside whilst she recovered from being stabbed by her resurrected dead brother Theo, who became Azrael. It’s a wonderful scene where you realise how deeply Butch feels for Tabitha, as he is expressing his feeling Oswald shows again. This time he wants Butch to help him take out Azrael, Butch agrees but on one condition Oswald leaves him and Tabitha alone. In a unforgettable scene in season 2 episode 20 Butch and Oswald turn up at Wayne Manor, Jim has already fired shots at Azrael but he won’t die. Oswald tells Jim he has the wrong tools for the job, Butch arrives with a bazooka and turns Azrael into tiny pieces.
Butch again started Season 3 very much back in second command to Oswald, he was heartbroken because Tabitha was back with Barbara running a new nightclub together. Butch supported Oswalds idea to run for Mayor, and pretty much would follow his intructions in making sure Oswald won his campaign. The wedge that Nygma put between Butch and Penguin was really interesting to watch because no matter how Butch defend himself Nygma managed to twist it and made a Butch look like he was in the wrong. Penguin and Butch has always been one of my favourite duos and always will be. I understand how story development and character evolvement must move forward but I will hope for a Penguin and Butch team up again. Butch’s relationship rekindled after Tabitha broke him free from a security van and took him to a safe house. Butch got accused of killing Nygma’s girlfriend Isabella, in which himself and Tabitha were tortured by Ed. Butch has never been a gangster that was always out for revenge but Nygma changed this but they needed to work together with Barbara and Tabitha so they could gain full control over Gotham. Butch could see that Barbara was travelling down the power hungry path and warned Tabitha, she knew he was right but wanted to wait before they took down Barbara. Tabitha decided it was time but Barbara got to Butch first and put a bullet in Butch’s head. At the hospital he was announced brain dead but the reveal of Butch’s real name Cyrus Gold meant that we would definitely being seeing Drew Powell in season 4, phew!
Drew Powell is delighted and in the Gotham fandom to take on the role as Soloman Grundy. His reveal was in episode 5 and it wasn’t disappointing as he rose out slaughter swamp not knowing who he was, Grundy choose his name from a rhyme being played on a record player, Soloman Grundy who was born on a Monday. Surprisingly the first person he bumps into is his old enemy Nygma, who himself is having some issues. Grundy doesn’t recognise Ed and wants him to be his friend, which Ed thinks is a good idea after seeing his super strength. So Grundy now lives in the narrows and fights at Cherry’s fightclub so he can earn money to make Ed smart again. The question I ask is Butch gone forever?
May 2017 at HVFF in London i had the opportunity to meet Drew Powell and four other members of Gotham. I had a question to ask the Gotham cast at their panel but I chickened out, so I decided to give the question to John & Derek from Gotham TVPodcast who were due to interview Drew Powell and Robin Lord Taylor on the Sunday afternoon. My question was “with the range of directors you have worked with on Gotham have they been surprised by how a scene turned out to how they expected?” Well the answer you listen to on the link below, but what was really special I was waiting in Drew’s autograph line waiting to come back from interviewed. I was the first to up to Drew, he recognised me from the photo op in the morning and all of a sudden he asked me was I “Claire Payne?” I didn’t really know what to think all I kept thinking was how does he know my last name, then Drew told me he just had his interview with Gotham TVPodcast and it was a great question. Drew is an amazing guest at conventions I hope I can see him again in the near future.
To get your vote in for November’s Hall of Fame, go here, every vote counts for the final semi final of this 2017 series!