Javicia Leslie Reflects on Reviving Batwoman for ‘The Flash’ & That ‘Epic’ Brunch Invite

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for The Flash Season 9, Episode 5 “The Mask of the Red Death, Part 2.” So if you haven’t watched, hop on a cosmic treadmill and fix your timeline!]

Red Death? More like Read for Filth.

After weeks of attempting to eradicate Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) for crimes he allegedly committed in her alternate timeline, the red-suited, revenge-driven doppelgänger of Batwoman‘s Ryan Wilder (Javicia Leslie) took her final bow on the Wednesday, March 8 episode of The Flash.

Picking up on the heels of last week’s Part 1, the hour saw the villainess felled not by our boy Barry, or even the rogue Rogues he’d amassed as allies, but the actual Ryan herself, in full Batwoman glory.

And it was glorious. Dropping out of the sky through a cloud of smoke, cape flapping behind her, Ryan got a well-deserved hero’s entrance and got in some solid shade while battling her lookalike. “Girl, you’re nothing but me on a bad hair day,” she quipped shortly before right-hooking her into unconsciousness.

But it was another line that really had us cheering, one that assured fans that all was well with at least a few of the female fighters of the Arrowverse: As Ryan bid Central City adieu, she admitted to being an Iris (Candice Patton) stan — can’t blame her — and urged her to visit Gotham for a hang with the Supergirl gang. “We can get a Mimosa…Kara, Alex, Nia and I, we all have a monthly brunch.”

Loving. THIS. And we love Leslie, who ate up the scenery as Bad-gal RyRy, so of course we had to check in with her about her time on The Flash and whether this is the last time we’ll see her in that Batsuit.

This was so much fun! When they came to you with this role, how much did they tell you about what you were gonna get to do?

Javicia Leslie: So when Batwoman first ended, Eric [Wallace, The Flash‘s showrunner] called me and said how excited he was to be the one who brought Ryan Wilder back to the Arrowverse. He said he has some ideas, but he didn’t really go too deep into it. And then a few months later he gave me the call that he wants me to play Red Death and that at some point Ryan would be back, as well. But I didn’t know in what way, I didn’t know that I was even playing Evil Ryan. So it was really cool as more of the layers unfolded what really we were gonna do.

The Red Death costume seems even a little bit more, um, complicated than the Batwoman costume.

It really is. It’s not even “a little bit more,” it’s a lot more complicated. [Laughs] But you know, you really do get used to it after a while, yeah. But it was very complicated.

And then to actually suit back up in your old Batwoman costume… it was the same one, right?

Yeah. Same costume. I could still fit into it! It was great. [Laughs]

Did your muscle memory kick back in when it came to handling these action sequences and the heightened reality of things?

Oh yeah, definitely. It kicked right back in. We had some rehearsals and [even though] I hadn’t worked with this team yet, as soon as we started we were like automatically, “Oh, OK. Yeah. We know what we’re doing.”

It must have been so fun to get this version of Ryan. She’s so different from the one we knew, yet it feels like this is who Ryan could have become if she hadn’t found her way into the Batsuit.

Absolutely. Or if she didn’t find Cora, the adoptive mother who really taught her how to love, you know? Right. And so I think that that’s kind of what happened. Like, with Bad Ryan, it seems that, at a certain point love stopped being her driving force. Whereas for Good Ryan, it always has and always will be.

Batwoman star Javicia Leslie

I have to say, that last line about the monthly brunch…died! It put the biggest smile on my face and to see Iris invited into that circle? Perfect.

Exactly. I love it too. Yeah. When [I read that], I was like, “Oh, this is epic.”

Nice. And now, her job is done. Red Death is down for the count. Did they leave the door open for you to come back?

I think the door is always open for the Arrowverse.

So true. I know they’ve got a ton of people coming back for the ninth episode. Are you dropping in as well?

I don’t know. [Laughs]

Well, fingers crossed you’re just being coy, because it would be so great for Batfans to get a bit more closure.

Exactly. That’s why, no matter what happens, even just from what has already happened, I feel so happy to have been able to come back and tell a little bit more of Ryan’s story.

And that she’s doing well.

Yeah, she’s doing good. [Laughs]

The Flash, Wednesdays, 8/7c, The CW.

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