When The CW Season 3 premieres this week Batwoman, picking up on last season’s cliffhanger, we meet Ryan Wilder’s birth mother. May be. Played by iconic actress Robin Givens, Jada Jet is a powerful businesswoman who may or may not have abandoned her child, who is now the official Batwoman of Gotham City, although Jada does not yet know.
“When they first got together, Jada wants to keep her at bay,” Givens told Decider in a joint interview with Leslie. “It almost seems like it can be a confrontational relationship in a lot of ways, but I think she doesn’t know how to handle it.”
While there’s only a small idea of what to expect from Jada at the end of the episode, we get another surprising setup at the premiere: Batwoman was forced to team up with the Evil Alice (Rachel Skarsten) by Detective Renee Montoya (Victoria Cartagena). Cartagena, worth mentioning, previously played the DC Comics character on FOX Gotham, although this is a different iteration of the Policewoman.
Find out more from Leslie and Givens on what to expect as Ryan and Jada’s world collides, as well as what Leslie feels about getting ready for Season 3 after the huge replacement expectations. Kate Kane from Ruby Rose in Season 2, read on.
Decision Maker: Javicia, the expectations for you and Ryan as a character are very different in Season 3, compared to Season 2. How do you and she feel about settling into their respective roles?
Javicia Leslie: For me, I’m just having fun. I have so much fun every episode, to be able to bring the script to life with my co-stars, and with our production and the amazing prop team, and the set designers… It’s absolutely so fun to be a part of. I don’t know if I go through this process and these experiences with the idea of expectations. I think I’m just trying to stay as present as possible because part of my process here isn’t even just my shows. It’s just that I’m in Vancouver. I am on a different journey in my life. I am a lead for the first time on my first show. It’s like, “Oh.” There are a lot of layers on the outside, it’s just my experience playing this character. I like to stay as present as possible. I try not to move with expectations.
As for Ryan, I feel Ryan… No, I don’t usually break up in my life Ryan, I feel like I just came from a trip where I didn’t feel worthy enough to wear the cape and hood. Now, entering season 3, I can have more fun. Oh, we have a lot in common, Ryan and I. I’m just going to be more confident knowing that, “Okay. The cape and the hood is mine, it doesn’t change. What can I do to make a difference with that? What can I do that? impact those who weren’t meant to be impacted before? How can I help them? ”You know what I mean? It’s a part of my journey in my head, but all of a sudden, my mother, I think dead, comes in and it’s Jada Jet. I mean, if you’ve read the comics and I’m a huge Batman fan, she’s a big part of Gotham’s story. She and Bruce Wayne have had an affair. Not on our show, I don’t think we’re going to play it that way I’m not sure. Something to ask Robin, but that’s just to say that she’s a huge part of Gotham and this story, and for her to be my mother …
Ryan is an original character. Connecting Ryan to a character who fully exists and has roots in the comics, it’s so beautiful, and it’s so fun to know that it leaves a legacy. This season is going to be a lot of fun. There are a lot of dynamics. There are a lot of layers. I can’t wait to see how it all plays out, as I’m only reading the episode we’re filming at the time.
Well, Robin, over to you then, and Javicia, good start. We find out towards the end of the episode, that Jada is probably Ryan’s biological mother. What can you say about her? Is she going to be a thorn on Ryan’s side? Maybe a mentor figure? A bit of both?
Robin Givens: I would say probably a bit of both. I think when they first get together, Jada wants to keep her at bay. It almost seems like it can be an adversarial relationship in a lot of ways, but I think she doesn’t know how to handle it. Javicia said it beautifully. I mean… There she is, right in front, Ryan. This child that she wasn’t going to have, be a part of her life, and she wasn’t going to be a part of her child’s life, is standing right in front of her. She has to deal with this. The part that I find interesting and beautiful in some ways is her sweetness, and the part of her life that she can’t really control is because she’s a mom and loves her kids so much. I think that under all these heads which collide at the beginning, it is perhaps that she wants to protect her a little. We’ll see how they play with it.
Also at the end of the episode, we get another team set up for Ryan. She already has Team Batwoman, now she teams up with Renee Montoya and Alice of All People. How is she going to balance all these different parts of her life?
Leslie: She’s not at all excited about it. Renee Montoya is such an amazing character for me as a Batman fan and as a Batwoman fan because she is from the original comics and she was Batwoman’s love interest for many comics. We brought her and have Victoria [Cartagena] play it so well, Victoria played it in Gotham the TV show is the second time she has played this character. Bringing that character in is also a character that has so, so many layers of representation, if we’re talking about how much this show really does its best to create a real representation.
As an Afro-Latin woman, as a gay woman, like all these different layers that Victoria is, it’s just such an honor to be able to combine that on our show. But anyway, the thing with Renee Montoya is… Renee Montoya, you mentioned a thorn, Renee Montoya is a thorn in Ryan’s side. She’s the bane of Ryan’s existence right now, as she, first of all, forces Ryan to work with Alice, and they hate each other. She does something that really upsets Ryan, and then makes Ryan’s life very difficult mid-season. Renee is a problem. OK? Renee is a problem.
Ryan has a lot to do. It’s really surprising that she’s still able to play as well as Batwoman, and save people, because that’s a lot. His whole life is just in ruins.
Robin, I loved the episodes you directed Riverdale. Will we, by any chance, see you face off here on Batwoman?
Data: I would like. I would absolutely love to. There is another actor who will direct. I’m sure Javicia will lead. I am honored. I can’t wait to be led by her. I’m going to have to queue for a bit, I think, but I have some other CW stuff coming up that I’m going to do. I look forward to it. It’s a large group of people. The crew is great. Like I said, I can’t wait to be led by Javicia, but I would love to have my turn, yes.
Leslie: Robin is going to be an incredible director… I can’t wait to have, like female directors, we don’t have as often these days. Usually, I don’t talk about our show. Our show does a great job, but we don’t get them as often these days. I think there is that special touch that women directors have. It’s just their special thing… I remember the first time I was led by a woman. She said to me, she said to me, “I like to make sure I shoot at that angle, so that it is always very flattering to …” I’m like, “Oh my God. Yes. I love this.”
Javicia, there seems to be potential for romance between Ryan and Sophie. Is there anything you can tease about this?
Leslie: I’m not a good teaser. I don’t hold back things. I’m pretty easy going, honestly. I don’t know what to say and what to say. I will say that they fell out a lot at the start of the season. I think I can say that, but I think there are so many layers behind their friendship and relationship that continue to complicate matters. I do not know. So far, I haven’t really experienced anything yet, and I’ve only read the episode I’m filming. I don’t know what’s in the future.
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
Batwoman airs Wednesdays at 9 / 8c on The CW.
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