In an interview with E! News, Batgirl star Leslie Grace touched on her excitement with the upcoming role, including the responsibility that comes with playing that role in reference to representation in the media.
We haven’t seen a lot of Latino superheroes, or actors of Latin descent within the superhero world. So it was such a beautiful opportunity to be granted and a big responsibility as well.
Grace herself is Afro-Latina, and her portrayal of Batgirl in the upcoming film will mark another step forward for diverse representation in film; a feat that Hollywood has historically been known to slack on.
Superhero films have been taking many steps to improve in this area as of late; Salma Hayek portrayed Ajak in the MCU’s 2021 film Eternals, and Xochitl Gomez is set to play a major role in the upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Elsewhere, Xolo Maridueña was cast as DC Comics’ Blue Beetle in the upcoming film of the same name and Oscar Isaac is currently taking up the helm of Moon Knight on Disney Plus.
Batgirl is set to spread the spotlight for a number of under-represented groups as well; Ivory Aquino is set to appear in the film as Alysia Yeoh, a transgender woman and best friend to Grace’s Barbara Gordon. The portrayal of transgender people in media has historically shaped much of the way society views them, as they tend to be absent in the personal lives of many; according to a study done by Pew Research in 2021, less than half of all Americans personally know someone who is transgender.
With her role in Batgirl, it seems that Leslie Grace is hoping for young Latina girls everywhere to look at the screen and get their heads filled with dreams and that the movie is another step toward a world where everyone gets their story told on-screen.
Batgirl will be released to HBO Max later this year.