It's the end of an era for David Mazouz. Viewers have watched the young man turn into just that, a young man, on Gotham as Bruce Wayne. Now with the series coming to an end, he's reflecting on the five-year journey both in front of and behind the camera.

"It kind of didn't really hit me until probably last year when I really started to think about it. When I think about how much the show has shaped me—I mean…I feel like anybody thinks of their teenager years as their most formative, and I've spent all of my teenage years on Gotham," Mazouz told us.

He was 12 years old when he was auditioning for the part, was 13 as they shot the pilot and has this 18th birthday in a matter of weeks.

"This show, it's taken me away from high school, which, I'm for the most part, very grateful for, and it's shown me a lot. I've learned so much from being on set, but also from Bruce…I know he's not real, but he's very real in my heart and I know in a lot of people's hearts, a lot of Batman fans' hearts, and he's taught me the power of willpower, he has taught me courage, he has taught me friendship and chivalry, honor, responsibility…I'm so grateful for all the people I've been so fortunate enough to grow up with and to work with and to learn from," he said during a recent set visit.

Gotham

Fox

The final season of Gotham, which premieres Thursday, Jan. 3 on Fox, will conclude young Bruce Wayne's journey from orphan to Dark Knight. And Mazouz is taking the time to reflect on all of it. When he returned to New York City to begin production on the final season, he said it was "very sad" and he was overwhelmed with nostalgia. "I am reflecting on it…I'm starting to realize how much it's changed me, and how much I've learned and how fortunate I am to have this under my belt…I've really been started to realize as I've been getting older and more mature, is how lucky I am to on a show with such professionals, our crew is and our cast…everybody is the best at what they do," he said.

But Gotham wasn't just about Bruce becoming Batman, viewers watched as Benjamin McKenzie's Jim Gordon grew into his own. McKenzie said he's been reflecting and looking back on the whole experience frequently. "You can appreciate, which I'm doing on a daily basis, if not hourly basis, all of the relationships that have formed over the five years. It takes hundreds of people to make a big television show like this and you do become a family, not necessarily a psychologically healthy family," he said with a laugh. "Somewhat, but a family. People care about each other."

Click play on the video above to hear more. Gotham returns Thursday, Jan. 3 at 8 p.m. on Fox.

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