Gil Perez-Abraham plays a small but important role in Warner Bros.’ Matt Reeve’s film The Batman. The Batman stars Robert Pattinson in the titular dual role of Gotham City’s vigilante, Batman, and his alter ego, Bruce Wayne. Gil Perez-Abraham plays Officer Martinez, a Gotham police officer who serves as the voice of the average Gotham citizen and works alongside the caped crusader.
Interview with Gil Perez-Abraham
In an interview with Perez-Abraham, we asked him about his excitement for getting to work as an actor in a Batman film. We also talked about the diversity and representation we see on screen and what it meant for him as a first-generation American.
Why Gil Perez-Abraham’s role in The Batman is important
Initially, Officer Martinez is apprehensive about allowing someone who is not a member of law enforcement and is walking around in a weird costume to work on sensitive crime scenes. Martinez and Batman eventually are able to join forces to help protect the people of Gotham. His role as “Officer Martinez” in The Batman may seem like a small role in comparison to some of the bigger and more well-known DC Comics characters like The Penguin, Detective Gordon, and Selina Kyle, but it really isn’t.
Officer Martinez serves as the voice of the average Gotham citizen. Batman fans understand that Gotham City is a scary place and that the people of Gotham are terrorized by the villains like the Riddler. However, we don’t always get a look into what the citizens of Gotham City or what an average officer of the Gotham Police Department feels about him. Officer Martinez’s journey from being suspicious of Batman to eventually understand why Batman does that is, is what makes the film more relatable. Officer Martinez has real human and natural reactions to being presented with strange circumstances.
Matt Reeves has stated that he was thrilled by the idea of taking Batman back to his earliest roots. “Batman started as a detective,” says Reeves, “so, to find a way to go back to that, to strip away the fantasy aspect of a DC Super Hero but to still have him be aspirational, was a really exciting idea. I always find that, with genre work, the important thing for me is to find a personal avenue in, and Batman stories allow that. We wanted to make him someone whose real superpower is that he will endure anything to do what he has to do.”
Seeing Batman as a detective, working alongside the Gotham Police department, gives us a better look at what the people of Gotham are really enduring. It brings our vigilante closer to the real issues that prevent Gotham from moving towards a better tomorrow.
“I wanted to start not with an origin story, but with a young Batman—to see the arc of him pushing to become better,” Reeves adds. “So, we’ve taken that Batman and are having him solve a mystery in such a way that is not an origin tale, but refers to his origins, shaking him to his core.” At the core of the character is the fact that, according to Reeves, “he connects to people
because of the suit, the car, the gadgets, he’s super cool… But he’s not really a superhero; under all of it, he’s a human being and he’s driven to try and make sense of that human side of him.”
Officer Martinez is a reflection of what we as the audience are probably thinking. If we were in this situation what would we think? We understand that these films provide a kind of fantasy and escapism. And as audience members, we know that a character like Batman works great on screen and in comics but wouldn’t necessarily translate well in real life. But there does need to be some sense of connection and relatability. Gil Perez-Abraham as Officer Martinez gives us that.
The film is set to open in theaters in North America on March 4, 2022.
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