(CBS)- Bats is back. Batwoman returns for season two on The CW this Sunday night at 8/7c. This season there’s a brand new star in Gotham as Javicia Leslie dons the suit and becomes the new Batwoman.
CBS‘ Matt Weiss spoke with Leslie about joining the Bat-universe.
MW: Hello Javicia, excited to talked to you about Batwoman and first off congratulations on the part!
JL: Thank you!
MW: How did the role come about? Was this something that you sought out yourself or did they come to you?
JL: I actually don’t know which happens first in the process as an actor, my agent reached out to me and gave me the audition. I read the character description which is for Ryan Wilder who would become Batwoman. I knew going into it what it was. I started off with a self-tape and from there I ended up doing zoom auditions in front of the studio, the network, and the show creators.
MW: Then once you find out the role is yours you got it and everything, when does that sink in that you’re going to be Batwoman?
JL: I don’t know if it has. I think that when I watch the first episode on TV on Sunday, I’ll feel it’s really me.
MW: There’s a lot of physicality involved with the role. Was there a lot of training that you had to do, any new skills you had to pick up?
JL: Before I booked Batwoman, I was really into martial arts. I started practicing Muay Thai for about two years before the role. I just started learning the bo staff. Coming into this role I was able to sit down with the stunt team, an amazing stunt team. We really were able to create choreography that included things that I already knew how to do but also things that I was capable of learning that way I can do a lot of my own stunts along with my amazing stunt double Aisha.
MW: The role is perfect for you. You already had all those skills in the bag.
JL: Exactly! It’s great.
MW: I know you said it hasn’t totally hit you yet that you are Batwoman. But the first time you put the costume on and looked at yourself in the mirror what was that like?
JL: The first time I think anyone puts a superhero suit on, especially one that is of that quality, you feel like a superhero. You feel the immense responsibility to go save the world as Javicia. That was definitely my initial reaction like, oh my goodness I have to go save everyone.
I put the suit on separately from putting the cowl on. I put the suit on and I felt it automatically. Then a few days later I put the cowl on to make sure it fit and they hadn’t yet put the wig on it so it’s just the cowl. It looks very much like Batman and so turnover and find myself in the mirror and I’m like, oh my gosh. Like I’m literally laughing because I just cannot believe the journey that I’m getting ready to take.
MW: That’s awesome. Is it a little extra pep in your step, a little strut when you’re walking down the hallway with it on?
JL: Definitely! You do get this energy of knowing that you are part of Bat team. You’re part of the Bat family. It’s such an exclusive club that you are part of and you feel that energy, you feel that drag and it carries throughout the show.
MW: Very cool. That’s only half the equation, you’re playing Ryan Wilder that’s the other side of the coin. What are some of your favorite things about her?
JL: Ryan’s a badass. She’s unapologetically a badass. She doesn’t understand the whole glitz and glam of things. That’s something that she has to start to learn. She had to learn to be a polished superhero, but she definitely doesn’t start off like that. I love her journey because her journey is very similar to what my journey is. I didn’t know how to be a superhero. She doesn’t know how to be a superhero.
Really just to watch her go on this journey, I couldn’t figure out where to put my hands the first time I put the suit on. I’m like am I supposed to stand like this just because I’m wearing the suit and that’s what she saw. When you watch, you literally watch Ryan doing that well so that what I love that about her. I love how authentic she is, and I love that she’s really just like a regular person that found the suit. She’s going to try to be the best version of the superhero she’s able to be like me.
MW: A lot in common between the two of you.
MW: What do fans have to look forward to the first episode coming Sunday night?
JL: A lot of action. When you’re coming back from the second season especially with such a transition, they have a lot of unfinished business to take care of. The first two episodes kind of addresses a lot of the unfinished business while also introducing this new character Ryan Wilder. You get to learn a little bit more about our past and what really motivates her when she finds the suit. More than anything we start to join her journey. It’s Gotham, so it’s, dark it’s gritty, sexy, and a little gruesome at times.
MW: Awesome. Thank you so much. I can’t wait, looking forward to it on Sunday night and all the best, enjoy being a superhero.
JL: Thank you, Matt. Thanks for having me!
Tune into new episodes of Batwoman, Sunday nights at 8/7c on The CW. Check your local listings for more information.