With a keen interest in social justice and the courage to speak her mind, Kate Kane (played by Ruby Rose) in Batwoman is a hero to many of us. Determined to save the city of Gotham, Kate uses her powers to go all out to solve the mystery of her cousin’s disappearance in Season 1 – Pilot that was showcased last year. We talk to Ruby about her role in the action-packed series.
FEMALE: This role seems to fit you perfectly, can you tell us how much of Kate’s character that you identify with?
Ruby Rose: “First I had a meeting with (the executive producers) Caroline Dries and Sarah Schecter to talk about whether I’d be interested in the show and they also explained what the story was going to be and what the season would look like. I was very interested and thought that the meeting went really well and then they told me that I’d have to do 12 auditions. While there are many differences between Kate and myself, I can understand and relate to her at the same time. But Batwoman, not as much – I haven’t been fighting crime lately but I’m learning.”
F: Are there any skills that you had to pick up in order to play the Batwoman role?
R: “Riding a motorcycle. I (now) know how to ride motorcycles but they prefer actors not to do it on set just in case something happens so I’m not allowed to do it anymore. And, let’s not forget the breath-holding technique. I was very proud of that when I found out I could hold my breath for about three minutes.”
F: As the Arrow series (featuring handsome actor Stephen Amell as Green Arrow) makes it exit from TV, some feel that Batwoman is TV’s new brooding superhero. What’s your comment on this?
R: “I brood a little. I have other facial expressions and believe it or not, I was very excited when the other day we did an episode where I got to smile. The crew was like ‘you look beautiful today. You look great every day.’ And I was like it’s mainly because I got a chance to smile today!”
F: Were you into Batman at all as a girl?
R: “I was big on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Archie Comics. Although I had very limited access to comic bookstores, I loved Batman. I didn’t discover Batwoman until a few years later when the movies and the comic books were produced.”
F: You’ve talked in the past about being bullied as a teenager and your struggle with bipolar disorder. Do you think that if you were growing up right now, life would be a lot better and easier and do you think it would be more so as strong characters like Kate is represented more on TV?
R: “Social media is tarrying and I do think that we have come a long way when it comes to acceptance. People are becoming more progressive and we are getting much more representation on TV. In a way, social media is great because you can find communities of people that are similar to yourself who will support you but at the same time, there are those who react differently and they can reach you even when you are in your bedroom at home. I didn’t own a cell phone until I was 16 and it did cost me US$1.50 (about RM6) to send a text message to someone. So I didn’t really get much of them. When I was home, I was safe. Now, I feel like there’s a lot of pressure on kids and that’s why making this show is so important to me, Caroline, Sarah and everyone else. We want everyone to watch it especially the young people so that they at least feel like they can identify with and relate to the people they are seeing on screen and be empowered by that.”
F: Arguably, the most emotional aspect in the Pilot is your character Kate’s relationship with Sophie Moore (played by Meagan Tandy). Can you tell us more about the relationship and where it’s going?
R: “I think to touch on the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ situation and that whole period (in the show), which is obviously what happens in the comics made it difficult for me because that wasn’t an experience that I’ve had in my life. So I couldn’t draw from something in my past for the scene. But when I thought about all the people, who had done these amazing things like fought for their country and risked their lives, were separated from their partners or kicked out of the military over something as simple as for who they loved, I immediately knew that there’s a lot of weight on this scene. If you don’t think about it, it could just be ‘Oh, that’s so sad. They’re breaking up.’ But when I took that into account, I suddenly felt that you need to think about what this means to people who are still dealing with this right now.”
F: You had some really nice scenes with Melissa Benoist’s Supergirl character in last year’s crossover episode in Batwoman. Is there anyone else you wish to work with or do you want to work with Melissa again?
R: “That’s a good question. Not that the others were bad. I just haven’t been asked that yet. I love working with Melissa. I love seeing the iconic moments that Batwoman and Supergirl shared. The cinematography tells it all. It was amazing and it felt incredible. And I do believe that there will be more of that. We’re going to potentially do more work together as a team in the crossovers.”
F: Tell us more about the relationship between your character Kate and her stepsister Mary Hamilton (played by Nicole Kang)?
R: “Mary is definitely the better sister. Mary is very kind and sweet to Kate. A lot goes unnoticed. I think Kate arrives on a mission. She has a tunnel vision so she has things to do and tries to block everything else out. She’s just not getting a peripheral vision of everyone in her life and everyone in Gotham, and Mary is yapping away most of the time. What happens is that I discover her secret, and suddenly, there’s a whole side of Mary that I didn’t even realise was possible. Mary does amazing things. I probably didn’t even think she was that smart because she usually talks about mani-pedis and turtle videos. So that kind of lifted one of the many layers that Kate comes in with so many walls up.