Just another day at work! Olivia Rose Keegan’s Gotham Knights character, Duela — a.k.a the Joker’s daughter — wears a lot of gothic makeup in the series, but the actress finds “dark, weird thoughts” helpful in channeling her character, she exclusively tells J-14.
“It’s so fun,” the High School Musical: The Musical: The Series alum, 23, says, while noting that she has also played “compilations of Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight, and [she] would lock [herself] in like a tiny pitch-black closet” to get into character.
Fans got their first glimpse at Duela when the new CW series aired on March 14. The dark red-haired, eyeliner-wearing character is a stark contrast to Olivia’s blonde locks and bright smile. And while the Disney+ actress explains that she hadn’t “gotten to play a character like this before,” she is “so happy that people trusted [her] to do it.”
“I think in every scene, surprising myself or just [doing] a lot of weird stuff, you find different ways that help you to prep or get into it really fast ‘cause, you know, you’re sitting in the cast chairs … and then you’re called to set, and then it’s, ‘OK, action,’” Olivia tells J-14. “So, you just find really quick ways to get yourself into it. I remember, like, banging my head against a wall sometimes to help,” she adds with a laugh.
Portraying someone as unique as the daughter of Batman’s most iconic villain is refreshing for Olivia, since she is also known for her role as Lily in HSMTMTS. Despite the two characters’ differences, the California native emphasizes that she “love[s] them both in so many different ways.”
Duela “lacks vanity, which is such a cool, freeing thing to portray and live in,” Olivia says, whereas Lily “was fascinating in her own ways.”
As season 1 of Gotham Knights continues, the former Days of Our Lives cast member teases that she is excited for viewers to get acquainted with Duela, and she breaks down what fans will see unravel.
“She has, of course, the absent father — not only absent father but serial killer father,” Olivia notes. “We don’t know exactly what the story is with her mother yet, but we can go ahead and conclude [that] it wasn’t a picture-perfect maternal situation. So, we have Duela constantly torn between idolizing her father for the chaos that he shook into the system and also hating his guts for abandoning her.”
While her strained family relationships “affect her psyche,” Olivia adds that Duela is “not a victim of her circumstances, and she’s such a fighter and survivalist.”
It’s too early for a season 2 confirmation. However, the Daytime Emmy Award nominee is looking forward to exploring “anything” new with her character should she return for a second season, while working alongside CW veterans such as Supernatural’s Misha Collins, who is “brilliant throughout the season,” Olivia says.
Gotham Knights airs on The CW on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET.
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