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“Look at that suit! Look at that red hair!” actress Ruby Rose marvels as she watches footage of herself as DC Comics’ Batwoman in this year’s Arrowverse crossover, “Elseworlds.”
It’s a chilly late-October night in Vancouver, and we’re outside a derelict mental health facility that’s been transformed into the iconic Arkham Asylum, where the Orange Is the New Black alum has just shot a scene with The Flash’s Carlos Valdes, who plays Cisco Ramon. There too is Grant Gustin, who is usually dressed as the red speedster the Flash but is currently donning Green Arrow’s duds. This isn’t the first time Rose has seen herself in the full, comic-book-accurate red wig, cape, and cowl, but it never stops being cool.
“It’s a strange feeling to put on a suit like this that has been custom made for you knowing that it’s going to transform you into a character that does amazing things,” Rose later tells EW. “You feel very empowered and it just instantly changes everything you feel in that moment.”
And her costars share her excitement, too. “I really just like seeing Ruby rock out in that costume,” says Valdes. “It really is something to witness.”
Now, you can catch your first glimpse of her rocking out in the exclusive badass image above, which is the first still of Rose as the caped crusader in “Elseworlds.”
RELATED VIDEO: Ruby Rose suits up as The CW’s Batwoman in first look image
This year’s crossover includes The Flash, Arrow, and Supergirl. Rose will make her debut as Kate Kane’s masked alter-ego in the middle Arrow hour, which sees Oliver (Stephen Amell), Barry (Gustin), and Kara (Melissa Benoist) travel to Gotham City to track down Arkham Asylum doc John Deegan (Lost‘s Jeremy Davies). In the scene depicted above — which EW was on set to watch — Batwoman uses her grapple hook and Batarang to stop two inmates from escaping Arkham Asylum, and saves Green Arrow and Cisco in the process.
“I wanted all of the bat toys to be revealed in one scene,” says director James Bamford, who helmed the Arrow hour.
No doubt, Rose enjoyed playing with the bat gadgets, too. The 32-year-old actress is a lifelong comic book fan, but becoming Batwoman, who is one of DC’s most high profile openly gay superheroes, means more to her than the initial rush of playing a superhero.
“The fact that she is an outwardly gay superhero, which is something growing up I would’ve loved to have seen on my TV, was a big deciding factor as to why I was so passionate about the role,” she says. “This [role] just meant a lot more to me because I could relate in so many ways and, at the same time, felt like this was a job that would give me a purpose every day coming into work beyond just getting to live my dream, which is acting, and would be far more rewarding than anything I’ve done in the past.”
When Rose auditioned for the part, the producers noted her passion but also saw that she had that ineffable quality they were looking for. “As cliché as it sounds, [she had] the X-factor,” says Batwoman executive producer Caroline Dries, who had input on the character’s scenes in the crossover. “It’s just that she has that aura of cool, nonchalant, somewhat aloof, mixed with charming and thoughtful and funny that it just kind of all made sense for her to be Kate.”
Her fellow heroes think she’s perfect in the role, too. “I don’t think there could be a better person for it than Ruby,” says Amell. “We shot a scene with her last night, and her exchange with Grant was just, ‘Oh, ok, this is Batwoman.’ I think people are really going to appreciate it when [they see it].” Count Benoist among those appreciative of Rose’s addition, saying, “Instead of the trinity, it’s kind of this quadrant, and that’s awesome!”
So what can we expect from her take on Batwoman? “She’s a lot like Batman in the sense that she’s kind of a dick,” jokes Arrow consulting producer Marc Guggenheim, who has been described as the showrunner of the crossover. “Ruby’s amazing. She brings such a different color and tone. She will interact with our heroes both as Batwoman and as Kate Kane, so you’ll see both sides of that character and that performance.”
While Batwoman is stoic and not nearly as affable as Flash or Supergirl, Kate Kane is the complete opposite. “She is more fun because she’s a billionaire, she has ladies that love her. I think, for the most part crossover-wise, she’s swaggy,” says Rose. “She always knew who she was, but she’s really coming into knowing who she is in the crossover, and with Batwoman as well. It’s not the first time she’s put on the suit.”
Furthermore, Batwoman isn’t too pleased when the trinity arrives in Gotham City. “Kate does not want to deal with this. She has a whole other agenda, a whole other life that she’s trying to sort out right now, and these frigging superheroes come in and they’re a mess, and they need her help,” says Rose.
Overall, Batwoman’s inclusion in the crossover is mainly supposed to function as a tease for her potential solo series. Says Arrow showrunner Beth Schwartz: “There’s a lot of mystery to her, which I think will be intriguing, and people will want more after they watch, for sure.”
“Elseworlds” begins Sunday, Dec. 9, with The Flash at 8 p.m.; continues Monday, Dec. 10, at 8 p.m. with Arrow; and concludes the following night at 8 p.m. with Supergirl.
- EW’s Fall TV comics reading guide for viewers interested in going beyond the screen
- Batwoman and Supergirl unite in new Elseworlds crossover set photo
- Watch Barry and Oliver swap lives in new Arrowverse crossover promos