Batwoman will be a major part of The CW's big push to build momentum in a post-Arrow, post-Supernatural world -- and while Gotham City and Batwoman can be seen as the "real stars" of the upcoming Arrowverse drama, the network dug deep and brought in feature film actors Ruby Rose as Kate Kane/Batwoman and Dougray Scott as her father Jacob, the head of a group of paramilitary security officers who are trying to keep Gotham safe in the absence of Batman, who left two years prior to the pilot.
In the comics, Jacob has a complex backstory and can sometimes run afoul of the Bat-family. In fact, he was a key antagonist in one of James Tynion IV's arcs on Detective Comics shortly after the Rebirth relaunch. It's a meaty part, and something that interested Scott, who wasn't necessarily eager to jump on the superhero bandwagon -- even if he has been pretty game for 20 years of questions about his near-miss with being Wolverine in 2000's X-Men.
"I know, I get asked about that a lot," Scott told me with a laugh. "Comic book stuff wasn’t something I had to do. I’m excited to do this because it’s new, it’s a character that people don’t know a lot about — Batwoman — so I think from that point-of-view, it’s exciting for everyone: for the network, for the audience. The comic book world is a fantasy world; it’s very different from your normal dramas, so I think people can escape into it. But it’s relatable. If you have issues that are examined and explored in the show, it makes it more resonant, even though it’s a comic book world and you’re dealing with characters who don’t behave in a normal way because they’ve got super powers or they’re in extraordinary situations. I still think the more you humanize them, the more you make them relatable, the better it will be for an audience. I think the characters are really well-written."
As far as his own character, Batwoman's father Jacob Kane, who has had a kind of on-again/off-again relationship with being on the right side of the law in the comics, Scott said that he enjoys playing a character who is, on paper, morally gray, since it fits into his existing philosophy on approaching characters.
"I think it’s good to play complex characters," he said. "Whenever people call my character a bad guy, I try to find the human aspects, or the tricks of light within them. Similarly, when I’m playing someone who ostensibly is a good guy, I try and find the flaws and the dark side of them. It just makes them more human, and more relatable to people. [Jacob is] ostensibly a good guy, but he has a dark side. He’s a very angry character; he’s tough. In the comic books, he looks like a quintessential quarterback. If could do that if I put on weight, but I’m looking forward to playing it a little differently, and a little more complex."
Another thing that's kind of complex? Kane's relationship to his daughter, the titular costumed hero Batwoman.
"It’s very complex, and there’s a big surprise I think for the audience for sure that comes along at some point during the season," Scott said. "It’s not a traditional father/daughter relationship, but it is traditional in the sense that he’s very protective and he loves his daughter, but they have quite a feisty relationship."