‘Batwoman’ star Javicia on stepping into the iconic superhero role

There’s a new Batwoman in town. After Ruby Rose’s shocking exit from the titular role last spring.

The 33-year-old actress, best known for her work on the CBS comedy-drama “God Friended Me” and the BET crime drama “The Family Business,” will play Ryan Wilder, who is a new addition to the DC universe.

A former drug-runner that has spent years evading the police of Gotham City, Ryan has a tragic life story. She lost her single mother during childbirth.

Given the scarcity of her job opportunities, Ryan is forced to live in a van by the river. After taking the suit for a test drive, she feels powerful enough to take control of her own life.

It’s a dream role for Leslie, the first Black and bisexual actress to don Batwoman’s legendary cape and cowl. As a self-proclaimed “super fan” of the DC universe and Arrowverse, Leslie auditioned for the lead role over Zoom a few months into the Covid-19 pandemic.

Javicia Leslie as Ryan Wilder in “Batwoman.”

In the eight weeks between landing the role and the start of filming, Leslie focused on staying in shape using her background in mixed martial arts and creating her character’s backstory by imagining the harrowing events that transpired before Ryan found the Batsuit.

“To create an Afro was very important, because it was like, ‘OK, if we’re going to do this, let’s do this. If we’re gonna have a Black Batwoman, let’s have a sistah,’” she added. “I think that this Batwoman is really strong, and you can see the strength just in how she looks when her suit is on.”