Batwoman: Javicia Leslie on Arrowverse Legacy, Flash/Red Death & More
Javicia Leslie (Double Life) spoke with Bleeding Cool about her legacy as Batwoman, her dark turn as Red Death & returning on The Flash.
When Ruby Rose departed as Kate Kane as the original Batwoman on The CW series following one season, things could have easily gone south. Rather than recast someone else as Kate initially, Javicia Leslie embraced the cape and cowl as Ryan Wilder for the remaining two seasons ending its run in 2022. Fortunately, that wasn't the last we heard of Ryan as she made her triumphant return as the Arrowverse is on the verge of its swan song in The CW's The Flash in its ninth and final season, but for Leslie, it was a bigger opportunity to take on an even darker side playing her Earth-4125 doppelganger in Red Death. While promoting her latest psychological thriller, Double Life, Leslie spoke with Bleeding Cool about her legacy on Batwoman, opening doors for representation, and her stint on The Flash.
Javicia Leslie's Enduring Legacy as Batwoman
"It was an amazing opportunity. We got to do a lot of things that I hadn't done before, especially when it comes to stunts and action. We had got to tell a story that hadn't been told," Leslie said. "I don't think that we have ever been able to show a live-action version of someone that looks like me in the bat world. To be able to be a representation of that is amazing. I'm glad that we've opened that door. So now there are no limitations to what we can see." The actress cited another noteworthy casting. "We had Nicole Kang be our first Asian Poison Ivy, so it's like we really were able to show the possibilities that you take these fictional characters from comics, and you can bring them to life however you choose to bring them. The whole point of the creativity of it, the whole point of imagination, and we were able to expand on that on our show."
One of the biggest Bat-universe themes is what if the hero – whether Bruce Wayne's Batman or Wilder's Batwoman – lost everything and went off the deep end and in the case of the latter, Red Death was the result, making her debut in The Flash season nine premiere "Wednesday Ever After." "When I went over to Flash, that was a lot of fun. I always have fun over there because it's not technically my show, so I can go there and push boundaries that I maybe am not able to push on 'Batwoman,'" Leslie said. "When I got to play Red Death, it was something that I had never done before. I know that when I spoke with [showrunner] Eric [Wallace], the whole thing is 'Go as far as you can,' like this person is unhinged. They've lost it all. Go as far as you can, and I had so much fun doing that. I felt fearless, and it's something I was able to carry with me ever since."
Paramount's Double Life, which also stars Pascale Hutton and Vincent Gale, comes to theaters and digital on May 5 and on-demand on May 19th.