Leslie is an everywoman superhero in ‘Batwoman’
For the character of Ryan Wilder as the new “Batwoman,” Javicia Leslie found a role she could really sink her teeth into.
Indeed, the 33-year-old “God Friended Me” alum feels she has a lot in common with a character she calls “your girl next door,” who through a series of events becomes a superhero after her predecessor Kate Kane (departed cast member Ruby Rose) goes missing following a plane crash.
“She, to me, represented so many of us,” the Washington, D.C.-area native explains. “You know what’s interesting is, I feel like when I see Ryan become Batwoman, it just shows that anyone can be a superhero. And so that idea of she’s not a billionaire, she’s not the daughter of a superhero. She’s literally just this girl who didn’t have an easy life at all and now on the show you get to watch her journey in becoming a superhero and that’s like really fun.”
As The CW action series opens Season 2 on Sunday, Jan. 17, Ryan finds the suit in the crash wreckage and realizes putting it on is her chance to stop being a victim and find her own power. Realizing how much the symbol on the suit means to Gotham City, she begins a journey that takes her from living in her van to confidently pursuing villains in the Batmobile.
Part of that for Leslie meant lots of fight scenes and stunts, which the trained martial artist embraced.
“When the (stunt team says), ‘OK Javicia, we’re gonna strap you into this harness and then we’re gonna wire you up and we’re gonna shoot you out of the scene,’ I’m like, ‘Yeah! Bring it on!’ That’s my favorite part.”
Full name: Javicia Leslie Walker
Birth date: May 30, 1987
Birthplace: Augsburg, Germany (raised in Upper Marlboro, Md.)
Family ties: Grew up in a military family
Alma mater: Hampton University
Other TV credits: “Hello Cupid Reboot,” “Broke & Sexy,” “Chef Julian,” “Kat,” “MacGyver,” “God Friended Me,” “The Family Business”
Movie credits: “Swim at Your Own Risk” (TV, 2016), “Prototype” (TV, 2016), “Always a Bridesmaid” (2019), “Roped” (2020)
Philanthropic work: Collecting donations of sports equipment for youth in her community on behalf of The Chandler Foundation.