New Batwoman star Javicia Leslie is primed and ready to explode into the role of Ryan Wilder/Batwoman, while showrunner Caroline Dries said her audition “blew everyone else away”.
“I’m very active in my personal life,” Leslie told The Hollywood Reporter, “so being able to allow that to be my work, that’s heaven for me. I do Muay Thai. I do fitness training. I run. Anything that’s active I’m always down for, so this is going to be like playing on the playground every day.”
Dries said Leslie was the obvious choice to replace Ruby Rose for season two from her first audition: “Javicia blew everyone else away.”
For her part, Leslie said her connection to the role of Wilder was instant: she and the character share a “quirky but ‘I’m a boss if I have to be’ type of mentality”.
She was excited to put her own stamp on the classic superhero. “There’s not many actors that get this opportunity to play in a world that you can continue to develop and expand on for a decade,” she said.
Referring to the expanding horizon of The CW’s Arrowverse, Leslie added: “This is a great beginning to what I’m sure will be a very long journey.”
Leslie grew up watching repeats of the ’60s Batman series – her reference point is Eartha Kitt’s Catwoman, so the importance of her becoming the first ever black Batwoman is something she’s immensely proud of, especially with the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement and the increasingly focus of inclusivity and anti-racism.
She said: “This really had nothing to do with me and everything to do with my people and with little Black girls.”
Production is expected to start on Batwoman within days, but she revealed she hadn’t been taking it easy while waiting. She was making the most of her downtime in Los Angeles.
“I’ve just been taking this little bit of time we have left, exercising, getting back in shape, getting my adrenaline and my momentum back up, enjoying time with family and friends while I can before work starts,” she said. “It’s been a good season, a season of rebuilding and reconnecting with myself.”