Ruby Rose stars on network TV as Kate Kane in The CW’s Batwoman, based on the DC Comics. Ruby previously caught viewers’ attention as the edgy inmate Stella Carlin in Netflix’s successful series Orange Is the New Black.
Three years after the mysterious disappearance of Batman, Gotham is in turmoil without the Cape-Crusader to watch over the city. Jacob Kane (Dougray Scott), the head of Crows Private Security is now in charge of protecting Gotham. When his daughter Kate is dishonorably discharged from military school she returns home to find the city in chaos. In order to help her family and the community, she becomes the one thing her father loathes – a dark knight vigilante, as she continues the legacy of her missing cousin, Bruce Wayne, by becoming Batwoman.
Rose has already appeared as Batwoman in The CW’s cross over episodes of Arrow, Supergirl and The Flash shown December 9th-11th 2018.
Batwoman is the first superhero show to be led by a lesbian character and played by an opening gay actress. Ruby Rose came to the TV Critics tour to talk about this groundbreaking series, which premieres on Sunday, October 6th,2019.
When you first came up for the role, how much did it fit you and how much did they tailor it for you?
First I had a meeting with (the series’ Executive Producers) Sarah (Schechter) and Caroline (Dries) just to talk about whether I’d be interested in the show. They explained what the story would look like and the arc and essentially what the season would look like although it’s very different now. And it was amazing. I was very interested. And then they’re like, ‘Now you have to do 12 auditions.’ And I was like, ‘Wait. Hold on. I thought that meeting went really well.’
But auditioning for it, I felt like it was a perfect fit. And I love Caroline and Sarah, and the writing. There are lots of differences between Kate and myself, but I can also understand and relate to her a lot. Batwoman – not as much. Haven’t been fighting crime lately, but I’m learning.
Kate Kane is the first out and proud lesbian superhero on television. Do you have any predictions about audience reception?
There are also some straight people in this show as well. So we cater to many.
Is the character going to be dark, tormented and brooding or might there be some brighter moments?
I have other facial expressions, believe it or not. I was very excited. The other day we did an episode where I got to smile. And the crew true story they were like, “You look beautiful today. I was like, “It’s because I get to smile today, guys.”
But, yeah, she’s been through a lot, so there’s a lot of heaviness and darkness. She’s dealing with a lot.
Were you into Batman at all as a kid?
I was big on Ninja Turtles, and Archie was my big thing. I had a very limited, I will say, comic book store, I love Batman. [However], I didn’t discover Batwoman until many, many years later.
You’ve talked in the past about being bullied as a kid. So much has changed in the last ten years. Do you think that if you were growing up right now, life would be a lot better and a lot easier? Do I think if I was in high school right now, life would be easier?
No. Social media is terrifying. I do think that we are coming a long way in acceptance and people are becoming more progressive. And we are getting much more representation on television.
In a way, social media is great because you can find communities and people that are like yourself. You can find these people that will help support you but, at the same time it’s a whole portal of people being able to attack you when you are in your bedroom at home.
I feel like there’s a lot of pressure on kids, and that’s why making this show is so important to me and to Caroline and to Sarah, because young people can watch this and feel like they can identify. They can relate to the people that they are watching on the screen and hopefully be empowered by that.
You had some really nice scenes with Melissa Benoist (Supergirl) in last year’s crossover. Are you hoping to work with her again?
That’s a good question. I haven’t been asked that yet. Yeah, I love seeing that iconic moment of Batwoman and Supergirl. It was just the cinematography of it all. It was a really amazing moment [and] it felt incredible.
Doing the pilot, was there anything you wished that you had known when you did the initial crossover?
Everything. (She laughs.) I think (doing the crossover) it was easier for everyone else and quite difficult for myself. I definitely went in with very little information aside from what I read in the comics. There were a lot of question marks.
So I just had to shut off the noise and go with what I knew and play (that). But when we got to the pilot, I was very thankful to fill in all of the blanks and all of the questions that I had.