In an interesting twist for fans of Fox’s Gotham, Ivy Pepper has undergone a transformation for the show’s third season. For starters, she’s no longer played by 14-year-old Clare Foley. The part has been taken over by Maggie Geha, who’s 28. Aside from that, she’s also had something of an attitude adjustment. While the physical transformation is more obvious, Gotham‘s producers have shed some light on one of the more tactical and strategic reasons that they decided to change things up for Ivy.
In storyline terms, Ivy was touched by one of Fish Mooney’s (Jada Pinkett Smith) monsters and that caused her to transform. But behind the scenes it sounds like the producers wanted to make the change so that they could take advantage of one of Poison Ivy’s most potent weapons from the comics: Seduction.
Here’s what Gotham producer Ken Woodruff told The Hollywood Reporter about the switch:
“We made the change for two reasons: The character Ivy in the comics, one of her greatest powers is the power of seduction. Everyone was much more comfortable with that with an older actress as opposed to a teenager. We want to explore that classic, canonical power of Ivy. And we didn’t just make her older with that attack. When she’s changed and transformed, there’s a real character change as well. She’ll still have some of the same traits, but she’ll be much darker, more manipulative than the Ivy we’ve seen so far. There’s a more evil quality to her as well. It’s more than just physical.”
Geha spoke with TV Guide, and shed some more light on where Ivy is these days on Gotham, having made the change from “Little Ivy” to what she is now:
“I think that Little Ivy is sort of relishing in the physical transformation and realizing all the power that she now has and what she can do to people and how she can manipulate people. She’s definitely transforming into a darker version of herself.”
Gotham returned last night for its third season. You can catch it every Monday night on Fox.