Like many people during the coronavirus pandemic, Ruby Rose took time to do some introspection, and, after mulling things over, she decided there were several reasons for her to depart her lead role on The CW's Batwoman.

When the actress announced she was opting out of a second season in mid-May, she said that she hadn't come to the decision lightly but did not go into detail about the reasoning behind her exit. Now, Rose tells EW exclusively about the challenges she faced on Batwoman, including needing back surgery following an on-set accident in 2019. She also reiterated that she's proud of the series and how it added to the conversation about the importance of LGBTQ representation on TV.

Ruby Rose as Batwoman
| Credit: Colin Bentley/The CW

"Being the lead of a superhero show is tough. [Laughs] Being the lead in anything is tough," Rose, who didn't discover the full extent of her injuries until shooting the film The Doorman, tells EW. "But I think, in that particular instance, it was a lot more difficult because I was still recovering from my surgery. I had my surgery and then 10 days later I went to work, which maybe wasn't the best idea. Most people take about a month or three off before they return to work, so it was definitely made more difficult by that. But as far as being a lead of a show or a film —  regardless if it's action or if it's emotional — in whichever ways it's taxing."

"The challenge is sort of outweighed," she adds. "The accomplishment and the trust that people put in you to do that role and then there's also the vibrancy of being able to come on set and set the mood and the tone and the trust being put into it is something that's been such an honor. And I love my experience in [Batwoman]. I'm so grateful that we got to achieve everything that we did and I'm proud of everyone that worked on it. I'm proud of myself for working under sort of interesting circumstances, you know, with the recovery and all. I would definitely do [TV] again. I just think that it was also time for me to take a break to fully heal and then return."

Rose elaborates that her decision to leave the superhero series wasn't just due to her injuries.

"It wasn't so much [the injury], especially because after we wrapped up we didn't get to finish the real finale because of COVID," she says. "You know, you have time in quarantine and sort of isolation to just think about a lot of different things and what you want to achieve in life and what you want to do. I think for both [me and the producers], it was a great opportunity to have a dialogue about a lot of things. I respect them so much and they've been so respectful to me."

"I think it was actually a beautiful way to do something, especially since that was the first time it's ever been done — the first time Batwoman has ever been played in live-action and that she was LGBTQ. I'm very honored to have been able to play her."

And as far as any advice she may have for Javicia Leslie, who will portray the next Batwoman, Ryan Wilder, Rose says she has no doubt Leslie has this down pat.

"None! I think she definitely knows what she's doing and she seems fantastic," Rose says. "I think that honestly, I was so proud and so happy when I was told who would be replacing me. I'm just really stoked and I'm definitely going to watch the next season as well and see how it all comes together."

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