Javicia Leslie, the star of The CW’s Batwoman, has been playing a caped crusader since she donned the iconic heroine’s batsuit in 2020. As Ryan Wilder, she made the role her own in season 2, taking the mantle that Ruby Rose as Kate Kane left behind, and helping to steer the show in a new direction.
Leslie furthers the network’s push for storytelling that dares to defy. She’s the first Black female lead with her own show in the Arrowverse and her prominent presence on The CW furthers the work done by the Black actresses on DC TV who came before her.
Batwoman is nearing the end of its third season, which is its best yet, and Leslie as Ryan Wilder embodies strength and justice in character, spirit, and heart. She provides the kind of representation that speaks to adults as well as children.
But when she’s not crime fighting alongside Batwing, Dr. Mary Hamilton, Sophie Moore, and a reluctant Alice, Leslie still strives to uplift and inspire those around her. That’s why she’s partnering with Puffs to help induct real life heroes into Puffs Power Pals this cold and flu season.
When speaking about the partnership, Leslie had to following to say:
"I grew up watching Batman and loving superheroes just like kids all over the world do to this day, so getting to play one in real life is an honor and a privilege that I don’t take for granted. When Puffs asked me to partner with them to lend a soft touch to the real everyday superheroes at Cincinnati Children’s, I had to say yes."
The kids at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center are in a daily fight against the illnesses they’ve contracted. Their treatments, while life saving, can sometimes result in dry, rough, itchy, and red sensitive skin. That’s where Puffs tissues comes in. They’re unlike ordinary tissues and are perfect for helping to combat sore, red noses.
Puffs is donating 3,500 boxes of Puffs Ultra Soft tissues to the hospital. The children will also be provided with their own personalized comic book cover and a superhero kit so they can truly step into the role of a Puffs Power Pal.
Jim Saporito, the Senior Vice President of Development for Cincinnati Children’s says, “We are so grateful to Puffs for their donation of tissues and for helping us brighten the day for some of our very own superheroes.”
Being sick can be hard for anyone, but it’s especially difficult for children who want to be active and running around with their friends and family. That’s why this partnership is so special.
Puffs Vice President Janette Yauch has spoken on the importance of the donation. She said: “We are honored and humbled to highlight the deserving children at Cincinnati Children’s who fight like superheroes each and every day. We are committed to wiping out red noses while celebrating the strength and bravery of our newest Puffs Power Pals.”
In Saporito’s words, “Moments of joy, excitement and happiness mean so much to our patients – now more than ever,” which is why Cincinnati Children’s is thrilled to be partnering with Puffs.
I chatted with Leslie about Puffs Power Pals and her opportunity to bring a smile to the faces of the kids at the hospital as well as delve into the future of Batwoman, Wildmoore, and which Arrowverse shows Leslie would like to crossover on next.
You can watch the interview and read the transcript below.
Javicia Leslie on Puffs Power Pals, Batwoman season 3, Wildmoore, and Arrowverse crossovers
Tell me about your partnership with Puffs Tissues and how you’re going to be helping some tiny heroes don their own capes?
I’m excited! I love that term. I’m helping some tiny heroes thrown on their own capes. Yes, so we are partnering with the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. I have the amazing opportunity to send some special, unique messages to these amazing children reminding them to stay strong and keep smiling and keep being brave. Reminding them that me and their Power Pals are all there if they ever need us.
It’s been such a great opportunity. I feel like it’s completely in alignment with, honestly, everything that I love about what I do.
As a superhero, we do it for children. We do it for our fans, but we do it for kids specifically so that they can be reminded that they are a superhero. That we are them and they are us. This opportunity is giving me the chance to go in there and personally talk to some kids and empower them and encourage them. So, it’s been a lot of fun.
I think that’s wonderful. One of the things that I like about the partnership is that the children are going to be able to have their own personalized comic book covers. So they get to see themselves represented as superheroes.
Isn’t that cool?
It’s very, very cool. Did you ever imagine that you would one day become a superhero?
Maybe not when I was a kid. Well, I will say this. I remember when I was kid, and I was growing up with my cousins, we’d have these challenges where we’d all find things around the house to dress-up as our favorite characters.
I was like a huge Storm fan so I did my best to dress-up in my silver like Storm. My white and my silver. Then I’d go challenge my cousin who would dress-up however he was dressing up and that was kind of like our thing. I feel like that’s the opportunity that I had but then as I got older and as an actor, I got excited because I realized that there are opportunities out there for me to pretend to be one even as an adult on-screen.
Since we’re talking about Batwoman, you know I have to ask you some questions about season 3. Is there anything you can tease for fans about what you’re excited for them to see as we head into the last episodes of the season?
Aw, last episodes. I’m excited about–first of all–[3×11] is going to be really epic. There’s a lot going on. We’re bringing back an old villain which is Victor Zsasz. I don’t know if you remember him from last season but he was one of the first villains that Ryan came up against.
The connection that they had was that he was someone that she knew from her past when she used to live on the streets. She’s now having to fight him again because of Marquis Jet. Marquis Jet has done something that has allowed Victor Zsasz to have access to Batwoman, to Ryan.
It’s going to be a really epic episode. I’m super excited because my co-star Camrus Johnson is directing it. After that, we’ll only have two episodes left but there’s so much going on. We have our Joker played by Nick Creegan. We have Wildmoore action happening. We’re finally getting Mary back from Poison Ivy, and then we still don’t know if we can trust Jada Jett. So I’m really excited about these next few episodes for everyone to see what we’ve done.
It’s been a lot! Ryan has had to deal with so much.
Very tired! I feel like it’s been affecting her mental health, too, so what are your hopes for Ryan moving forward once we get past this craziness?
It’s interesting because I don’t know if Ryan wants to take a break. I think that she’s found her calling and that’s her focus. Maybe next season we’ll finally see her take a break but it won’t be this season. My hope for Ryan is that she does find some type of way to take a breather, but I don’t see it happening because I know how this season ends. Yeah, Ryan ain’t taking a break.
You said there’s more for Wildmoore though so what can you tease about that romance because people are loving it?
First of all, I’m a spoiler queen so I don’t know what I can say and what I can’t say. But, I will say that it’s definitely a slow burn and just because we got what we thought we wanted, which was the kiss from [3×09], it’s not going to be an easy win so we’ll see what happens.
Okay, I’m not sure the fans are looking forward to that slow burn because they want it right now.
I can tell.
I will assure them though slow burns give you a journey, and I think Ryan and Sophie are built for a journey.
Yeah, I agree with you. I think that when you watch shows, if they make them happen too quick then you feel like it’s forced. What I love is that two full seasons is a long time for two characters that do care about each other to finally come together.
That’s true and in the Armageddon crossover they were married so perhaps wedding bells at some point? Maybe fans can hold onto that.
Well, geez, let them date first!
I know! First date first, then proposals. Speaking of the crossover, would you want to return to The Flash one day or do you want to be on another Arrowverse show for a crossover?
I don’t want to pick or. I want both. I want to return to The Flash so I can play with my friends over there, and I want to go check out some other Arrowverse shows. I don’t know if they’ve come up with a conclusion on if NAOMI is technically a part of the Arrowverse, but I’d love to go over and hang out with Kaci [Walfall] on NAOMI because I think that that show is absolutely amazing.
It’s just gotten started but it’s so good, and it’s just the right kind of weird since she’s figuring everything out.
Especially for a sci-fi geek like me, that show is right up my alley.
That’d be pretty cool, so fingers crossed for that one. Last question, can we get excited for a Batwoman season 4? Is there hope for one? Can you confirm it?
I hope so. I can’t confirm it, but I hope so.
This interview has been edited for clarity and time.
To join Puffs and Javicia Leslie in helping to lend a soft touch to #ANoseInNeed at Cincinnati Children’s, visit CincinnatiChildrens.org. For a look at the newest members of Puffs Power Pals, check out @Javicia and @PuffsTissues on Instagram.