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GOTHAM: Michelle Veintimilla Talks Becoming a Villain as the First-Ever Female Firefly

Another villain will rise tonight on Gotham.

The origin story of the first-ever female Firefly began last week on Fox’s DC Comics drama, but this week’s episode, “Rise of the Villains: By Fire,” is when Bridgit Pike becomes less of a victim and more like the villain comic book fans know she will become.

Nerdist spoke with Michelle Veintimilla, who plays Bridgit/Firefly on Gotham, on what fans can expect from tonight’s incendiary hour and what’s next for her character as she transforms into the comic book villain. Check out the full Q&A below!

Nerdist: You’re the first-ever female Firefly. What has it been like taking on this new twist on the iconic comic book character?

Michelle Veintimilla: It’s been really, really awesome. It’s an incredible ride and experience. It was really empowering overall. I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into. It all happened so quickly but I came out the other end much stronger as a woman and an actress.

N: What did you do to prepare for the role?

MF: I actually started working it the day after I got offered the job. [Laughs] But in the time I did have, I quickly read up on the past incarnations of the villain and got to talk to the writers and the showrunners. But what’s cool about it is it’s a brand-new take on this character. I got to make some of my own decisions and help shape Bridgit’s story and figure it out with the cast and the crew and the writers.

N: What was the biggest challenge in taking on this role?

MF: Honestly I didn’t know when I got the role that I would ultimately be a villain, because I started working the next day. And I think what was most difficult was the physical demand of it. When I got to set I immediately had to do a ton of running and climbing ladders and climbing through vents and jumping off things, and all while having this giant flame thrower on my back that actually threw fire. I had to learn how to do all that quickly because I did most of my own stunts. But I came out the other end alive!


N: Bridgit ended last week’s episode by making her iconic Firefly suit. What was it like putting that on for the first time?

MF: It’s a really beautiful costume. Because Bridgit makes it from scratch you can really see all the details and the work that went into it. And because I handle actual fire on set, the costume did need to be fire retardant so it’s pretty authentic.

N: Do you see Bridgit as a hero or villain?

MF: These first two episodes are Bridgit’s origin story. What I love about it is we get to see who Bridgit was before she becomes a villain, which is a young woman who has been through a lot and has seen a lot. She’s been enslaved by her brothers and she doesn’t really know her own strength. But she ends up finding her courage and finding her voice. She always had it inside of her but it just took a little bit of nudging from Selina to bring it out. I don’t know where her arc is going, but I’m glad I got to show that transition.

N: Bridgit accidentally killed a cop in last week’s episode. How is that going to affect her going forward?

MF: She didn’t mean to kill him. She’s been testing her limits and learning what she can do, and unfortunately, that means she’s making some mistakes too. At this point, she’s just really afraid and doesn’t know what to do next. Thankfully Selina was there to pick her up and take her away to safety. The next thing for her to do is get out of town because the GCPD is looking for her.

N: What can you tease about what happens to Bridgit in your second episode?

MF: A lot happens. The second episode is where Bridgit really starts to turn into a villain. She sees the injustice in Gotham and takes matters into her own hands. It ends up being destructive. And she will come face-to-face with her brothers again. But that’s all I can say!

What do you think of Veintimilla’s new twist on the Firefly villain? Hit the comments section below to weigh in now!

Images: Fox

Gotham airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on Fox.

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