Batwoman's second season has already introduced a number of characters in its first four episodes, as the storyline of Ryan Wilder (Javicia Leslie) has further expanded the world of Gotham City. Among those new additions to the series is Angelique Martin (Bevin Bru), the ex-girlfriend of Ryan's who was mentioned several times in early Season 2, before making her debut in last week's "Fair Skin, Blue Eyes." The episode quickly and effectively established Angelique and Ryan's history -- the pair met as children at a foster home, and their emotional bond was strengthened after escaping the capture of the "Candy Lady", a sadistic woman who kidnapped children to brainwash them into joining Gotham's various gangs. That emotional past was juxtaposed with the other details we've learned about Angelique -- that Ryan went to jail for drug possession to cover for her, and that she apparently has some sort of tie to Ocean (Nathan Owens), a former resident of Coryana who Safiyah Sohail (Shivani Ghai) is searching for.
While Bru's arc on Batwoman has only just begun, it's clear that she's definitely made an impact -- one that is expected to continue further in tonight's episode, "Gore on Canvas." In anticipation of that episode's debut, ComicBook.com got a chance to chat with Bru about joining the series, and her approach to Angelique. We also spoke about Angelique and Ryan's dynamic, Bru's love of Tank Girl, and more!
ComicBook.com: What was your familiarity, both with Batwoman and with DC Comics as a whole, before you signed on? Were you a fan before, or is it something you've just dived into?
Bevin Bru: I would say I'm a fan of comic book movies. I love Wonder Woman, and obviously all the Batman movies, especially Christian Bale as Batman. That guy crushed it. I'm really excited to see what Robert Pattinson does with it. The show itself -- I had seen season one, so I was familiar with the world. I watched all of Gotham. So definitely, I was familiar with the world -- The Penguin, The Joker, and all that stuff.
What was really cool, though, was that the story we're telling now is a brand new story. It has some older villains and characters, but Ryan's story, specifically, was totally brand new. It wasn't that I [could] necessarily go back and read the comic of Ryan and see Angelique and all these different things that play out. When I auditioned for this, the sides said Candice. So in my head, I was going to play some woman named Candice's girlfriend. I had no idea, going into this, who Angelique was in this world or what she would do. So it's really cool to step into a familiar world, but it's totally brand new.prevnext
Once you started finding out more about Angelique and what her character was, what did you gravitate towards?
When I first realized who I was, I was like, "Okay, she's either going to be a horrible person -- like a sociopath who's going to be almost a villain -- or she's going to be just a normal, kind of troubled, but good person. She's going to be good or bad." I talked to the showrunner, Caroline [Dries], and we kind of found together that she's a mix of Aladdin and Gia. I don't know if you've seen the movie Gia with Angelina Jolie, but she would be a mix of these two characters. And I was like, "Okay, now I'm really excited because she has that scrappy element to her." She'll kind of fight with what's available to her. Her fighting style is not like Ryan's who's a martial artist and super precise. Angelique is more like a bar fight. It's very rough around the edges.
That excited me, that she had kind of that quirk to her, but that she's also really grounded in her stubbornness. She's very proud and she's also very vulnerable, but won't kind of exhibit it. It takes a lot for her to ask for help and to accept help. I'm just really excited to play a character that kind of has those elements -- scrappy, but also kind of cool.prevnext
Last week's episode was so interesting, in that we got the backstory of Ryan and Angelique at the same time, especially as they were kids. Did any of that influence your performance, knowing that Angelique had a very rough and traumatic childhood?
Oh yeah, 100%. That was the first script that I read. I immediately started watching documentaries on foster kids on YouTube, just trying to watch actual interviews with them and stories and their experiences they had in group homes. I mean, some of the stuff that these kids have seen is so horrific that it's unspeakable, and they've lived through it and they've had to grow and carry that weight with them.
Angelique, there is no real backstory to her, so I [kind of] had the liberty. It was fun to create her backstory and where she comes from because as you're going to see her evolve, she's not a bad person. She knows what it is to have been loved at one point and seeks that out. There [are] some kids who really never get to experience what it felt like to be loved. But I think, for her pathos, she had the experience and then lost it all. And when you lose love, sometimes it's just as bad as never having it at all, because you knew what that felt like, and then it gets taken away from you and you end up in this group home.
And as you can see, she wasn't really liked, and the other girls were kind of like "Eh, Angelique." So the fact that Ryan shows up and we kind of have that bond over being these somewhat outcasts -- and when you create a bond like that with someone, when you really feel like "This is the only other person in the universe who gets me, who will be there for me," that replaces parent's love, that replaces a friend. It becomes everything. So understanding that, in the background, is going to really inform their relationship and going to help the audience understand why they do keep coming back to each other.prevnext
What can you tease about Angelique and Ryan's dynamic, especially juxtaposed with Ryan becoming Batwoman?
Ryan is definitely taking a turn in her life for the better. Prior to this whole Batwoman thing, I'd say they kind of were equal in a way. She went to jail for me to protect me, so she's kind of seen what it's like on the inside, [while] I'm on the outside doing sketchy things. We were kind of in a world where, maybe, [they] could have worked similar at close levels. Now that she's becoming Batwoman -- and of course, I don't know that -- her whole morale, her whole self-worth, her whole evolution has just been jump-started. Whereas Angelique's is still the same.
Being a foster kid, you don't really have -- at least she didn't, my interpretation, of course, I'm not speaking for every foster kid -- but I don't believe that [Angelique] has a lot of self-worth, and she really holds herself back and down. We're going to be moving forward with someone who is exponentially growing, which is Ryan, and then someone like Angelique who really has a lot of self-work to do still, because she just hasn't had the chance or the knowledge or the opportunity to do. That is going to be a little tricky. Let's just say that. A little tricky.prevnext
I'm also excited to see Angelique interact more with other characters on the show, because even the little bit with Sophie and Alice in last week's episode was really fun to see. What can you tease about Angelique's role in the overall world of Batwoman?
She will interact briefly with other characters. However, her main relationship really is with Ryan. But she does end up interacting with -- let me just throw a number out there -- we'll say four other characters.prevnext
What has it been like, so far, to see the response from the audience and the Batwoman fandom to you joining the show?
It's so cool. It's funny, the fans have kind of been around since October, when we started posting pictures and I would be tagged. They would reach out and I befriended a few of them. It feels really good to make them happy. I don't know how else to kind of explain that.
And then you'll see a comment like, "Angelique, I don't like her because she's mean to Ryan." And I'm like, "You don't understand. You have no idea what I've been through. Ryan broke my heart." I find myself justifying things to these fans in my head, and I'm like, "Bevin, honey, just take a step back. Let's relax. It's not really you. You're not really Angelique."
It's so exciting, and I just can't wait to see how much further it goes. I'm just really happy I get the chance to explain her pathos, so that audiences -- if they read this interview -- they'll be able to understand a little bit more of where Angelique is coming from. On the surface, "bad people" will do 'bad things", and just come off bad and you automatically don't like them. But I think it's really important, as society as a whole right now, to really understand why [people] do the things they do, and be a little bit more empathetic and try to understand them as a whole, as opposed to that one incident.prevnext
What has surprised you the most working on Batwoman thus far?
This is my first time doing a TV show, so what definitely rocked my socks was how fast everything moves in TV. It's crazy, and then I see Javicia, who is just absofreakinlutely killing it. She's on set every day, twelve to fourteen hours a day, and doing 80%, 90% of all of her stunts herself.
What surprised me is just the people on the show, the people behind the camera, are so freaking inspirational. How they handle themselves, how they can deliver performances, how they are as people in general. So I think I was kind of surprised. People sometimes think, "Oh, actors are self-indulgent douchebags," or something like that. But these people are amazing and so multifaceted and just they're just so totally inspiring.prevnext
You mentioned that you're a fan of comic book movies and shows, and in the world of Batwoman it's been established that Angelique and Victor Zsasz run in the same circles. Who would be your dream villain or character for Angelique to interact with? Who would be your dream crossover?
It's so hard, because I've thought about this. The villains are all so juicy and delicious. And I love Victor Zsasz. I just think his whole thing is so dope. But if Angelique could befriend someone or have a crossover with someone, it would have to be Tank Girl. I know that she's not a part of this universe, but I just love Tank Girl and I think that she is so cool. That movie was so amazing. I would just get on her little tank as Angelique and just ride off to the Liquid Silver Club and just listen to Bjork and have a grand old time.
I love that answer. That's not at all what I expected, but that is such a perfect answer. I love Tank Girl too, so I completely agree with you. They're currently developing a new movie...
Yeah, Margot Robbie's production company has been tied to it for like a year or so and I just keep waiting for it to happen.
Oh my God! Maybe I can play Naomi Watts' part. I'll play the geeky nerd. I'm there, I'm there.
Batwoman airs Sundays at 8/7c on The CW.
This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and length.prev