Pennyworth’s Simon Manyonda Breaks Down Penultimate Episode’s Biggest Bombshells, Teases Season Finale
Simon Manyonda’s Lucius Fox has his work cut out for him on Pennyworth Season 3 Episode 9, streaming now on HBO Max.
It was the penultimate episode of the season, and Lucius tried to save as many PWEs as possible.
Scroll down to read our interview with the actor.
TV Fanatic: Firstly, could you speak a bit about how you got involved with Pennyworth?
I got an audition from my agent. She said, “I don’t know if you’d be interested in this one.”
I was like, “yeah, definitely interested in possibly playing Lucius Fox.”
The audition came through saying they were looking for a young Morgan Freeman. I remember feeling like Morgan Freeman isn’t Lucius Fox. Lucius Fox is Lucius Fox. And they also want me to interpret a Lucius Fox that’s happened before. So I just went with my own creativity and my own kind of sense of who this character is.
The scenes were written so well that I had to audition. It was really easy to play an arc in each of the scenes from Bruno Heller.
We see Lucius tell Martha that she was right and that the PWEs are his problem now. This is such a pivotal moment that sends things in an exciting direction. What was your reaction when you read the script?
I was shocked because I felt like Lucius was in the same position again, whereby he’s been creating something, and now it’s gotten into the wrong hands. He’s responsible.
He’s going to be possibly responsible for the destruction of London again. It was great to see that he then takes on the responsibility to stop the nefarious actions taking place.
Lucius struggles to compute what is happening to the PWEs in the facility. Could you speak a little bit about his mindset as he tries to save everyone?
It’s him trying to right his wrongs. They are accidental wrongs, but he is trying to right them. I had been reading Batman: Earth One before we started shooting, and I had taken it as inspiration for his emotional connection to the PWEs and the fact that he’s been working on neuro-prosthetics because he has a niece who has had an amputation.
That was my way in as to why he was so keen to work with these PWEs. I was always sort of playing throughout the series with his relationship to Celia, whether it was a relationship with a sibling, whether it was a love interest, all these different tasks to keep the character interesting and keep the story moving.
I didn’t have Bett popping up to help Lucius as a PWE on my bingo card, but it was such a satisfying development. Can you speak a little bit about how Lucius will work together with Bett going forward?
Well, it’s interesting because, again, Lucius becomes compromised because now Bett’s been turned into a weapon.
He was making tools and gadgets. He was helping people. Then he finds that these people have been kidnapped and turned into weapons, and he also finds that one of these people is someone that he knows.
And he needs to escape. So now he has to use this weapon and go back on himself, but he is using it against the villains. He’s always in these kinds of problems, where he’s being pulled in both directions because he’s in a crazy world.
This London is a violent and dangerous place, and he’s kind of at the top of it.
He knows beyond the world, and he’s doing his bit as a superhero, So yeah, in this situation, he has to use this weapon.
I have to imagine Lucius will be heavily involved in trying to find a solution to the milk being intercepted with the lullaby drug. Could you tease anything about the finale?
These are the days of people getting their milk on their doorstep. There’s no oat milk, lactose intolerant, or no drinking that milk.
At these times, people are going to need to band together, including Lucius and Bett. The gang is going to have to come together.
What have you enjoyed the most about working on Pennyworth?
I enjoy the camaraderie. I enjoy working with brilliant artists, creative people, and people that like to catch jokes. Also really serious about creating these characters and telling these stories.
I love playing with the gadgets. I love the fact that I am part of the DC universe. It cannot be understated. Like I’ll be walking down the street. I’m not thinking about it. I rarely think about it, but every now and again, I just think, “gosh, I play Lucius Fox.” That’s a great thing.
Pennyworth airs Thursdays on HBO Max.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.