Maggie Geha, a tall, lanky, red-haired actress who looks like she just walked out of a '40s film noir movie, has joined the cast of "Gotham." She's taking on the role of Poison Ivy in the FOX series that looks at the days leading up to Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) becoming Batman.
I know what you are thinking. The role of the plant-loving Ivy Pepper, better known as Poison Ivy, was played by Clare Foley in the first two season. Producers decided to make a change to be better able to use the way Ivy uses her sexuality to treat people like well tended plants. The character needed to be older.
The change in actors will take Ivy from a socially awkward 14 year old to a manipulative 19 year old. You can expect Ivy will use her special powers on Bruce Wayne because he has lots of money.
That could set up a lot of tension between Ivy and her good friend, Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova), who has gotten very close to Bruce Wayne in the first two seasons. Bicondova says Seline will be losing a good friend because Ivy lies to her.
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Geha says the transformation happens "after an encounter with a monster from Indian Hill. She wakes up still feeling like a 14 year old but she is now in a 19 year old body."
“Gotham” executive producer John Stephens explains that the transformation of Poison Ivy into a different version of herself is keeping with the basic plan of the series. Every character goes through some type of major change even the insecure Bruce Wayne who will one day be the fist-flying Batman.
“So with Ivy, when we began, Clare Foley did a wonderful job of her as a 15 year old girl,” Stephens says. “Canonically, Ivy is a character who makes use of her seductive powers to get what she wants in the world. So transforming Ivy early in the season allowed us to play to a lot of this canonical abilities that Ivy has while, at the same time, playing the fun of somebody in a body that is not theirs and trying to grow it very quickly.
“So it becomes a coming of age story told sort of super fast.”
Executive producer Ken Woodruff adds, “So we took Ivy from a 15 year old sort of odd socially odd girl to someone who is a little bit darker, maybe more willing to do things and to harm people that she wouldn’t have had before the transformation. So that was a big part of it.”
Being cast is a dream job for Geha because "Gotham" features some of the strongest female characters in TV, she will be surrounded by plants something she loves in real life and because she's been a fan of Poison Ivy for years.
"I dressed as Poison Ivy for Halloween when I was younger. I was familiar with the comics but when I got the role, Amy Chu, who wrote “The Cycle of Death” comic book series about Poison Ivy reached out to me and then sent me all the new comics and I got caught up," Geha says. "I have also power watched the first two seasons so I am caught up on the show."
The plant part of the role makes her particularly happy because the actor grew up in the country in Vermont. Ghea smiles and says that she keeps an eye on all of the plants on the set when she's working.
This is the biggest prime-time role for Geha. She's best known for her work on the daytime drama "All My Children" and small roles in the feature films "Ted 2" and "Winter's Tale."
Now Geha has become a part of the comic book TV world that comes with a massive amount of fans. Producers have planted the seeds for this Poison Ivy to bloom and grow.