Batgirl star Leslie Grace has talked about preparing for the role of Barbara Gordon, and what served as her inspiration for the part.
After her breakout role in the musical In the Heights, Grace is now in her second major movie role as Batgirl. However, being from the Dominican Republic, she didn’t have access to Batman comics or the animated show like many other fans. Grace had to do some real research into what makes Batgirl appealing.
I always loved the idea of superheroes, but I didn’t grow up in a typical Dominican home reading comics or watching the animated series on TV. So now I’m doing all this research and nerding out learning about parallel universes.
It’s funny, though – I have a best friend named Nadia, whom I’ve known for like 16 years. We met when my family moved to Florida and we lived in the same neighborhood. We’ve been like sisters ever since. We always got into trouble as kids, so we started calling each other Batman and Robin. I had a black Jeep, so we called it the Grace-mobile. When Nadia found out that I got the role of Batgirl, she was like “All this time, we’ve been manifesting this.”
Why Does Batgirl Appeal to Leslie Grace?
Since Leslie Grace does not have a personal connection with Batgirl, what about the character appeals to her? According to Grace, it comes down to Barbara’s feeling of being underestimated.
I can’t say much about what she’s going to do, but Batgirl becomes her own hero. [Her origin story] is crazy dark, like a lot of other superheroes, but I like that she becomes Batgirl because she wants to make a difference in the world.
She feels like people underestimate her as Barbara Gordon, and I can relate to that. I’m the youngest of my siblings and sometimes I still feel like a little kid inside. When I really want to do something, and people underestimate me, I’m like, “Okay, I’m just going to do it and not say anything about it.” It’s that energy of being self-determined. You can’t be afraid to be your own hero, and I think girls need to see that.
We all need to see characters that are willing to be autonomous.
Batgirl will hit HBO Max sometime in 2022.