Gotham star Ben McKenzie might have grown up in the Friday Night Lights world of Texas high school football, but he insists he was no Tim Riggins.
"Oh man, I wish I was Riggins," the actor told Elle in a recent interview. "I did have a chance to briefly date a cheerleader, which was fun. Until she dumped me."
He might not have been Riggins, but it sounds like the actor channeled his O.C. character Ryan Atwood, another handsome brooder, for most of his high school years.
"I tried to milk the quiet, introverted type for as long as I could," he says. "You know that great quote they attribute to Abraham Lincoln: 'Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt'? It's better to shut up and look dangerous than speak and reveal yourself to be an idiot."
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Long removed from the cheerleader-dating days, the actor now fancies himself old-fashioned when it comes to relationships, a concept he says is "almost heretical" in an era of instantaneous online hookups. And no, he isn’t on Tinder.
"The loss of anonymity is the cost of doing business," he says. "But my friends are on Tinder. They have some interesting stories."
McKenzie, who starred on cop drama Southland for five seasons before playing young police commissioner Jim Gordon on Gotham, insists he has no "interesting stories" about donning his police uniform in the bedroom, but admits that "handcuffs have been brought."
"That's fun," he confides. "As long as they're not actual real ones where you can lose the key. You want the obviously not-real ones. The pink fluffy ones."
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While the actor says he’s "never had a problem being monogamous" in a relationship, he is stumped when asked what his former loves would agree on about him.
"He’s great in bed," he says with a laugh, before trying to pin down a real answer. "Early on, stubborn. Maybe a little detached at times...I don't know what they would say. But I would be fascinated to get the polling on that."
ET talked to McKenzie in September about a nasty injury he sustained on the set of Gotham. Check out the video below for more details.
Follow Meredith B. Kile on Twitter at @em_bee_kay.