Bat is back. All-new this fall The CW brings viewers back to Gotham City in Batwoman. Batwoman stars Ruby Rose as Kate Kane, who takes on the responsibilities of the caped crusader three months after the disappearance of her cousin, Bruce Wayne aka Batman. The series also features standouts Rachel Skarsten as the super-villain Alice and Meagan Tandy as Kane’s former classmate and estranged ex-girlfriend Sophie Moore.
CBS Local’s Matt Weiss spoke to Skarsten and Tandy to discuss taking on such an iconic series, the show’s dedication to diversity and female empowerment, plus which style of martial arts they are most fond of.
MW: Rachel, Meagan, good morning!
RS: Good Morning!
MT: Good morning Matt!
MW: As a huge Batman fan, huge Batwoman fan, I’m really excited for this series, were you two fans as well growing up?
RS: Oh yeah!
RS: Yeah, big fans since childhood.
MW: Now Rachel, you actually play a villain, Alice, on this show. What’s it like becoming a real-life comic book villain?
RS: It’s really fun. It’s also a little bit nerve wracking because as a fan of Batman growing up, I know what it’s like to live with characters in comics from childhood all the way through adulthood. We want to do these characters justice because I know there are so many people who have loved her before me. I hope that I’ve done that at the same time putting my own twist on her. But I guess we’ll see.
MW: And Meagan, your character Sophie is a groundbreaking role. Can you talk about Sophie and her relationship with Kate Kane?
MT: Yes, so Sophie and Kate, they had a secret private relationship, so they thought, when they were in military school. One of their fellow cadets basically turned them in and we were then faced with a choice, stay here in the military academy get rid of your relationship or leave the academy and continue on doing your own thing. We each chose to do the exact opposite thing, Kate decided to stand in her truth and she said, “I’m outta here,” whereas for Sophie it wasn’t a very easy decision, but she chose to stay. That’s why they had not seen each other until she comes back to Gotham to save me because I’ve been kidnapped by…somebody.
RS: Not, not me.
MT: Yeah, certainly not, no, no. [laughs]
MW: By somebody…
MW: …no one in the room with you right now though, right? [laughs]
RS: Yeah, no of course not. [laughs]
MW: Obviously the show focuses a lot on female empowerment; can you both talk about that, what it’s like to be on this show that puts such a heavy emphasis on getting that message across?
RS: Yeah, and I want to preface this with there are wonderful male characters in the show as well.
RS: I think there’s something there for everyone, but it’s also the same in the sense of female characters, there are so many different types of empowered women and I really am so excited to be a part of something like that. I think and I hope that Batwoman will be a part of ushering in this new era for powerful women in this industry, that’s very exciting.
MT: And I just love the fact that this show is also very diverse, you know. We have African-Americans, we have Nicole Kane who is Asian, we have our beautiful blondes. We have a very diverse cast and we’re women so that represents something as well, it’s exciting.
MW: Lots of physicality on the show as well, lots of fights, stunt sequences, what’s it been like for both of you training for those and actually executing those scenes?
RS: Well she’s more of a badass than I am.
MT: I mean, I love doing it!
RS: [Laughs] It’s wonderful, we have a great stunts team. They really set us up to succeed. Some days they had to train me probably more than others
MT: No, no, no!
RS: I had to learn my butterfly knives which was a really fun challenge and it was really important to me because it plays a part of who Alice is and her sort of kicks as a character. We’ve learned all sorts of things, judo, jiu-jitsu, taekwondo.
MT: Taekwondo, is so much fun!
MW: Which one has been your favorite?
MT: Oh, I would say jiu-jitsu has definitely been a challenge for me, but that’s the one I would want to continue to do because I feel like it’s the number one style of fighting Sophie mostly does. Every time Rochelle, who is my stunt double, is doing it, I’m like, ‘ok we gotta keep doing that because I want to be able to pick that up.’ It’s pretty challenging but it’s fun.
RS: I like, I think, Judo, where you flip people.
MT: Oh my gosh yes!
RS: Yeah, but I only like it because I’m pretty sure the stunt people flip themselves. [laughs]
RS: And them I like, I did that, but I don’t think I did. [laughs]
MW: And obviously, we’re going to be dropped into Gotham City with its rich history, but this is a fresh take, so what is Gotham City going to be like in this series, are we going to see any familiar villains, familiar allies?
RS: For all the Batman fans especially, we’re going to see Hush played by Gabriel Mann, so lovely and does such a great job with that character. I think that’s going to be really exciting, he’ll be coming back for a show.
Then we have Magpie coming in and then we can’t tell you anything else if we want to keep our jobs.
MW: Well I definitely want you both to stay employed so we’ll take that for now. Thank you both so much, it’s been a pleasure talking to you and all the best with the series moving forward!
RS: Thank you, so much!
MT: Thanks, Matt!
Batwoman airs Sunday nights at 8/7c on The CW. Check your local listings for more information.