After playing the titular role on the CW’s Batwoman, part of their ongoing, mega-successful Greg Berlanti/DC universe of superhero dramas, Ruby Rose shocked everyone when she announced she would be exiting the role after only one season. After lots of speculation as to why Rose took herself out of the equation, a new Batwoman was announced: Javicia Leslie. While that open-ended sentence finally had its punctuation, one question mark remained: Why did Rose leave the show, after all? Rose herself spoke with EW and got into her thoughts behind the decision.
“Being the lead of a superhero show is tough,” begins Rose, simply, and with a laugh. And Rose’s particular toughness manifested in many ways, including a massive back injury sustained on set of the show in 2019, that resulted in some intense surgery: “I think, in that particular instance, it was a lot more difficult because I was still recovering from my surgery. I had my surgery and then 10 days later I went to work, which maybe wasn’t the best idea. Most people take about a month or three off before they return to work, so it was definitely made more difficult by that. But as far as being a lead of a show or a film — regardless if it’s action or if it’s emotional — in whichever ways it’s taxing.”
But it wasn’t just this injury that prompted Rose to leave — it was also a worldwide pandemic!
It wasn’t so much [the injury], especially because after we wrapped up we didn’t get to finish the real finale because of COVID. You know, you have time in quarantine and sort of isolation to just think about a lot of different things and what you want to achieve in life and what you want to do. I think for both [me and the producers], it was a great opportunity to have a dialogue about a lot of things. I respect them so much and they’ve been so respectful to me. I think it was actually a beautiful way to do something, especially since that was the first time it’s ever been done — the first time Batwoman has ever been played in live-action and that she was LGBTQ. I’m very honored to have been able to play her.
Rose ultimately stated she had no bad blood with any of the Batwoman producers, saying that any challenges were ultimately “outweighed” by the positive experience and quality of the show: “The accomplishment and the trust that people put in you to do that role and then there’s also the vibrancy of being able to come on set and set the mood and the tone and the trust being put into it is something that’s been such an honor. And I love my experience in [Batwoman]. I’m so grateful that we got to achieve everything that we did and I’m proud of everyone that worked on it. I’m proud of myself for working under sort of interesting circumstances, you know, with the recovery and all. I would definitely do [TV] again. I just think that it was also time for me to take a break to fully heal and then return.”
As for Leslie, Rose’s successor in the mantle of Batwoman? Rose offered no advice, claiming Leslie simply didn’t need any: “I think she definitely knows what she’s doing and she seems fantastic. I think that honestly, I was so proud and so happy when I was told who would be replacing me. I’m just really stoked and I’m definitely going to watch the next season as well and see how it all comes together.” As will the rest of us, Ruby Rose!
For more on what’s going on in the Berlanti-verse, here’s our review of Stargirl.