Jada Pinkett Smith plays the deliciously evil Fish Mooney on FOX’s hit show Gotham, and we recently had the chance to speak with her about her character’s unique sense of style and how she gets into character, among other things.
Fish is the biggest crime boss in Gotham City, a female gangster and imposing figure who’s not to be crossed. For an actor, she’s the kind of character that’s lots of fun to play and for Jada especially, since the actress admitted she has a love for female gangsters. “I just love them. I think that they’re really interesting characters and interesting people, and there’s one, Griselda Blanco, who I had studied, and I also love the character from Sunset Boulevard. I did kind of a mish-mosh of those two because Bruno had some suggestions, and it’s coming together, and I was like wow, I would really love to do a mixture of these two women, because the one thing I love about the super villains, and Gotham, is that they’re always so colorful. I really wanted her to be grounded, but also have quite a flair.”
Stepping into the shoes of such a large personality seems like it could be a challenge but for Jada, it’s really as simple as putting on the costume. “I think, funny enough, it really felt like as soon as I put on that wig, Fish is there. Because I put on that wig and her gear, because it’s so specifically her. It is an immediate transformation. The first day, as soon as I put on that wig and that dress, I just felt like, “Oh, there she is,” and every time I do it she just arrives. It’s a really beautiful thing to have as an actress. Yes, you just don’t have to work hard for it and that I’m grateful for. That wig, and those heels, and the nails really conjure her.”
Fish has such a demanding style, it’s not hard to see how that’s possible.
Speaking of Fish’s style, her outfits often tap-dance the line of sexy and strong and as fans of Gotham know, Jada rocks all of her outfits with confidence. As it turns out, the star has input on Fish’s fashion (try saying that 5 times fast) and collaborates with the show’s costume designer about a lot of what her character wears. “Our fantastic costume designer usually just comes to me and says, “What do you think about these fabrics? What do you think about this idea?,” shared the star. “I pretty much told Lisa [Padovani] to just do whatever, whatever she feels because she’s such a fantastic artist, and so we usually just talk about shape and color.”
One would think that with so many fabulous designs at her exposure, Jada would have a hard time picking out a favorite, but there’s definitely front-runner from the series so far. “I think it would probably have to be the one that I wore when I went to see Maroni about returning Penguin to me,” she stated. “It’s the first time I realized that Penguin was alive, and the first time I see him after seeing him in Maroni’s restaurant, and think it was like teal. It was this beautiful kind of antique fabric, but yet it had this kind of punk rock edge to it with the trim that she used, which was this kind of spiked teal leather and I just thought it was just a beautiful mixture of the old and the new and even with the shape of it, it was high-waisted, but yet it had this kind of like warrior-esque, but quite feminine top that went to it.” However, awesome fashion comes with a price, as most women know, and the star admitted that this particular outfit was “Not that comfortable to wear, but beautiful.”
You can catch Jada Pinkett Smith rocking all of Fish’s fabulous threads while kicking-butt and taking names on tonight’s episode of Gotham, airing on FOX.
Photo Credit: FOX