Javicia Leslie Opens Up About Batwoman And The Arrowverse - Exclusive Interview

Being chosen to play a superhero — especially in a high-profile show like "Batwoman," as Javicia Leslie was — is both a huge honor and a huge responsibility. On one hand, you have to please hardcore comic book fans who come to the show with their own strong ideas of what their favorite heroes should look and act like, not to mention an obsessively deep understanding of the hero's backstory, vulnerabilities, and motivations. On the other hand, you have to capture the imaginations of casual viewers looking for their next favorite show. In either case, you need to have a powerful presence and a heavy dose of self-confidence.

As the latest iteration of Batwoman in the hit CW show of the same name, Leslie is up for the job. Part of the "new Hollywood A-list," according to Los Angeles Magazine, she has the presence to bring her intense, complex character to life. And as a fitness buff who has studied martial arts (via Vogue), she even has the skills to do some of her own stunts — a superpower of its own. In this exclusive interview, Leslie talks about her experience on the "Batwoman" set and shares some of her tips for looking amazing.

Life in the Arrowverse has been an adventure

So, what has it been like playing Batwoman?

It's amazing. It's fun. It's action-packed. There's a lot of layers to the character. So it's been, it's really been a joy. It's been an honor.

And what's it been like for you playing a superhero? Is that something different for you?

Yeah, I've never played a superhero before. So it's different. No one necessarily teaches you how to be a superhero, so you kind of have to figure that out on your own. With my character, I specifically just had to dive into, like, I guess my version of a superhero, you know?

And for you, what was the most challenging part about the being Batwoman?

I don't really think there is a challenging part.


Yeah. Like I think it's ... I don't separate it like that. I think that it's all an experience and it's full and it ... I don't look at it as challenging. I think that it's an experience and I do feel like I'm at my part of my life to experience this and be ready to experience this and be prepared to experience this. And it's like, it's honestly, like I don't look at it as challenging. I look at it as like encouraging. It's [a] joy. It's a pleasure. It's not, yeah ... I don't look at it as a challenge in a negative way.

So what was it like working with the cast of the other CW superheros in that finale?

Oh, it was really cool. A lot of those actors I hadn't worked with and hadn't even met, so to be able to coexist and do some work with some of the veterans in this Arrowverse was so much fun, and they were all a joy and they're all so talented. So yeah. It was amazing. I loved it.

So did you ever imagine yourself in this superhero space?

Yeah, I think I manifested this. I literally imagined it and then it happened.

So what can we expect to see next from Batwoman? Can you tell us anything about that?

So right now, we're on our hiatus, and we return on January 12 for the second half of the season. A lot of the second half has to do with Ryan's journey with her family and trying to save her brother from himself, who he's obviously been ... He's become our Joker, really. And so that's really her journey, is trying to save Gotham while also trying to save her brother.

Here are Javicia Leslie's go-to beauty tips

Moving on to something a little different, you are also interested in style and beauty. So what are some of your favorite tips right now?

My favorite tips are just fresh skin. Like just try to keep your skin fresh and open. Drink lots of water. Wash your face with gentle soaps. I use Dr. Bronner's [unscented]. Try to use as many natural products as you can. You know, what goes in your skin still goes in your body. So just making sure that you just are protecting yourself and water, water, water, water.

And besides water, do you have any other go-to products for makeup or skincare that you recommend?

Well, I said Dr. Bronner's. That's like a good ... I like that one because it's super natural, super gentle. Hmm. I'm really, I'm basic with my skincare because I don't think you need a lot of different products. I know that for toner, I'll use witch hazel, and then I think my lotion and my face cream might be Laneige because it's light, but that's all. That's also because that's what I have here. I would be fine with cocoa butter. Like just trying to keep everything as gentle as possible, especially with as much work as we do because we're constantly putting makeup on and off our face. So I try to keep everything else as simple as possible.

How would describe your style?

Right now, sweatpants because I work every day, all day. This has been my life for a year and a half now, nonstop. So I haven't met myself outside of this in a while. I don't know. This would be my first time spending time with myself when we wrap this season, because I do think my style has changed. I love comfort. I love comfort clothing. I love things that can express not only comfort in your clothes, but comfort in your skin, comfort in yourself. So things that just are loose and still form-flattering, but like that allows air and for you to breathe. And so, yeah ... comfort. I don't think I would wear a pair of heels if I don't have to ever again.

Javicia Leslie shares how she likes to relax

Relatable! Do you have a favorite celebrity look this year?

Oh I don't ... You're really talking to someone that's been off the grid. A favorite celebrity look ... I feel like I should know something like this. I don't know. I haven't been looking, I can't say a favorite celebrity look because I haven't been looking. I have been working and then, like, I don't follow celebrities on Instagram, so I really don't know what they're wearing. I try to keep my timeline pretty close to home. I want it to be people that I know that I have relationships with. That way, it's always being protected. But yeah, I can't. I would be lying if I just up with something.

That's fair! Do you have any big plans for 2022?

Rest and relaxation. Like I just want to relax. I want to cook dinner. I haven't cooked dinner in a year and a half because all I do is work. I want to cook dinner. I want to feed my partner. I want to feed my friends. I want to, I want to go on staycations. Like I want to just rent a house that's like literally two hours away from my house by the water and just relax. Like I want to relax. That's what I'm looking forward to in 2022. Hopefully get some traveling in if it's safe, but relax. I want to relax. Yeah. Read some books that I haven't [gotten] to read yet.

"Batwoman" returns Wednesday, January 12 on The CW.