LOS ANGELES — The CW’s “Arrow” has long featured one of television’s most brooding characters in Oliver Queen/Green Arrow as played by Stephen Amell. The hooded vigilante will have competition for the title when the latest addition to the CW’s legion of superhero comic book characters launches Sunday with “Batwoman.” Ruby Rose’s portrayal of the character introduced in DC Comics in 2006 makes Green Arrow look chipper.
What causes her Dark Knight to be so dark is Kate Kane (Rose) was forced into becoming Gotham City’s new vigilante three years ago when Batman mysteriously disappeared. The city spiraled down because local police were outmanned by the criminals. To make matters worse, Kane only returned to Gotham after a dishonorable discharge from military school and years of brutal survival training.
She lives in a world where there is little reason to smile.
In response to the brooding nature of her character, Rose is quick to say: “I have other facial expressions, believe it or not. The other day we did an episode where I got to smile. And the crew, true story, they were like, ‘You look beautiful today. You know, you look great every day, but you look really’ I was like, ‘It’s because I get to smile today, guys.’
“But, yeah, she’s been through a lot, so there’s a lot of heaviness and darkness and she’s dealing with a lot.”
ROLE WAS A PERFECT FIT
Despite the dark cloud that hangs over the character, the Australian actress/model/television presenter knew playing Batwoman was a perfect fit. Not only has she already established her ability to work in big action projects, having been in “XXX: The Return of Xander Cage,” “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” and “John Wick: Chapter 2,” she also boxes and can ride a motorcycle.
And although Rose grew up more of a fan of “The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” she read Batman comics when she was younger. She became a fan of Batwoman in her early 20s when the new version of the character launched in comics.
Rose does all her action scenes in the series wearing the flowing Batwoman costume. As Rose explains, it is not like dressing up for Halloween because the costume has been molded to her body. She easily can move around in it because it feels like a second skin.
“It’s an incredible feeling. You feel the transformation unlike any costume I’ve ever put on in any role in my life,” Rose says. “It’s just very difficult to pee in. That’s all.”
Batwoman marks the first lesbian superhero that’s the star of a television series. Rose is comfortable bringing that aspect of the character to the production as she has been awarded the Stephen F. Kolzak Award at the 2016 GLAAD Media Awards, presented to an LGBT media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality and acceptance.
Playing a character with so much darkness in her life hits close to home for Rose. She has spoken publicly about her battle with bipolar disorder, bullying when she was a teenager and a suicide attempt close to the time when she came out.
HER OWN VIRAL HIT
Rose has been dealing with her past, even writing, producing and starring in the short film “Break Free” in 2015, which was a tribute to gender fluidity that became a viral hit with more than 25 million views on YouTube.
Rose wants “Batwoman” to help people who are struggle the same way she did.
“I do think that we are coming a long way in acceptance and people are becoming more progressive and we are getting much more representation on television. In a way, social media is great because you can find communities and you can find people that are like yourself and you can find these people that will help support you and talk to, but at the same time, it’s a whole portal of people being able to attack you when you are in your bedroom at home,” Rose says. “I feel like there’s a lot of pressure on kids, and that’s why making this show is so important to me and to everybody.
“We do want young everyone to watch this, but especially young people can watch this and feel like they can identify and they can relate to the people that they are watching on the screen and hopefully be empowered by that.”
‘Batwoman’ airs at 8 p.m. Sunday on The CW.