Gotham has given us plenty of different looks at the creation of Batmans villains but none have diverted from the source material as much as the origin of Poison Ivy. In the world of the show, there is no Pamela Isley.
Instead, there is Ivy Pepper, a young runaway who is friends with Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova). She was first played by Clare Foley, but after a dangerous run-in with Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith), she was kicked into the sewers. When she washed ashore in the second episode of Gotham‘s third season, Ivy was suddenly an adult played by actress Maggie Geha.
After going absent for several episodes, Geha is finally back in “Executioner,” the episode airing on November 14. Selina and Bruce had to help her out after she stole a valuable necklace, which had an even more important gem. It turned out that the gem is a key.
Who is the 28-year-old Geha? Read on for a look at the actress and her character.
1. Ivy Doesn’t Understand That She’s Suddenly Grown Up Right Away
As we saw in “Burn The Witch,” Ivy doesn’t quite understand how she suddenly got older. When she followed Selina to Fish’s lair, one of Hugo Strange’s other monsters touched her, artificially aging her quickly into an adult.
“Little Ivy has been changed, she’s been morphed into big Ivy, via one of Professor Strange’s monster creations,” Geha says in the above featurette. “Ivy doesn’t really know what happened to her. She doesn’t even really know if it’s a dream, but she likes it.”
According to Ivy’s new character description, the character is now 19 years old and “she sets her sights on Bruce Wayne.” We haven’t seen her go after Bruce (David Mazouz) just yet.
“I think that little Ivy is sort of relishing in the physical transformation and realizing all the power that she now has with this change, and what she can do to people,” Geha said in a TV Guide interview. “She’s definitely transforming into a darker version of herself.”
2. The New Ivy Will Eventually Become the Poison Ivy Comic Readers are Familiar With
Although IVy was introduced as a very different character from the one we are all familiar with from the comics, executive producer Ken Woodruff told TV Guide that she will eventually become that character.
“Poison Ivy traditionally in the canon in the comics, one of her big powers is the power of seduction. A lot of times she’ll do that with pheromones or she’ll use chemicals derived from plants. It was one of the things on [an] emotional level we really liked for that villain to have,” Woodruff said.
He further explained that quickly aging the character will give them a chance to do things they couldn’t do when she was 15.
“It’s still the same person in there but there’s a whole different edge to the character. This character is willing to do things that the previous Ivy wasn’t,” Woodruff said.
3. Geha Worked as a Model Before Turning to Acting in 2013
Before Geha broke into acting, her career focus was modeling. In 2013, she started acting, appearing in the 30 Rock finale and an episode of All My Children. That year, she also appeared in Beyonce’s “Pretty Hurts” video.
“Some people think that modeling and acting are completely different and that a modeling career can hurt an acting career, which I can understand, but I also think they can help each other,” Geha said in a 2014 interview with Ann Street Studio. “I mean, I feel like I act while I’m modeling and embody the concept of whatever we’re shooting, and modeling has provided me with an awareness of the camera and lighting, so they kind of go hand in hand that way.”
In that same interview, she said that she would like to see herself working in movies more often than television. In 2014, she landed roles in Winter’s Tale and The Rewrite.
4. Geha Had a Small Role in ‘Ted 2’ as a Nurse
Geha had a very small part in Ted 2, Seth MacFarlane’s sequel to the hit Ted with Mark Wahlberg. You can spot her as a nurse at the sperm bank. In 2015, Geha also starred in In Stereo.
“Seth wore so many hats simultaneously to make this movie, and he looked great in all of them. He was encouraging and always full of laughs,” Geha said in an interview with New England Film about the making of Ted 2. “Mark is witty and charming and – even given the subject matter – he still managed to be a complete professional. They’re both artists I look up to, and I was honored to work with them.”
This year, Geha completed work on the film The Harrow, a crime movie directed by Kevin Stocklin.
5. Geha Really, Really Wants to See Harley Quinn on ‘Gotham’
In the comics, Ivy and Harley Quinn have a really close relationship, which was first established in Batman: The Animated Series. When talking with IGN, the actress said that she would love to see that come alive in Gotham.
“I would love, love, love, love to see Harley Quinn,” Geha said. “In the comics she and Ivy and Harley Quinn are very close. In fact, I’m pretty sure in the comics they just formally announced that they’re girlfriends. Just as an actor I would love it for them to bring Harley Quinn onto the show. I would love that. I hope they do one day. That would be great. It would be so much fun for me.”
“You may have already seen Harley as a person that you thought you had met and known for a long time. So we always reserve the right to sort of do that as well,” Woodruff hinted in his IGN interview.