Leslie Grace shared her reaction to learning she had been cast as Barbara Gordon in HBO Max's upcoming Batgirl movie, when she was interviewed by Variety on the red carpet of the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards. The actress revealed that the news was a complete surprise, as similar to The Flash's Sasha Calle, Grace was told the news on a video conference that she believed was just to take part in a readthrough audition with the filmmakers.
"It was an incredible moment," Leslie Grace said. "When I mean incredible, I mean the textbook definition of, I could not believe it. My brain actually broke when I got the news. The directors actually called me, and the producers were on the line."
"They called me under the pretense, or had me hop on a Zoom link under the pretense that I was doing a final test -- that this was just another step in the process. It was the middle of the day, and I was looking crazy, and they were like, 'Get on the phone really fast; this could be a final test or some news or something.' So I hop on, and I only see our two directors, Adil [El Arbi] and Bilall [Fallah], who are so sweet. They were like, 'Yeah, we just want to do this final test,' but at the bottom I can see that there are eight participants, and it's recording, and I'm like, 'Alright, I don't know what this is.' And then they broke it to me like, 'We just want you to read this text; we're going to send it to your email.' And I open it and it says, 'I'm Batgirl, love Adil,' and my brain broke."
Barbara Gordon first appeared in Detective Comics#359 and is the youngest child of Commissioner Gordon, who also moonlights on her job as the head of Gotham Public Library as a masked vigilante. I mean who in Gotham doesn't do that at some point. Since her 1967 debut in comic book form, the character has been played by many actresses in many ways, including Yvonne Craig as the first iteration in the 1960s TV series, through Dina Meyer in Birds of Prey, Jete Laurence in Gotham, Savannah Welch on Titans, while the Batgirl character was also played on screen by Alicia Silverstone in Batman & Robin, although not Barbara Gordon.
Grace teased her role in an interview with Entertainment Tonight, discussing exactly what he loves about bringing the character to life. "This is only my second role, but I'm learning from my colleagues and other friends of mine that you put a little bit of yourself into each character," Grace said.
"And just in the bit of research that I've been doing leading into pre-production, I've learned a lot of things about Barbara that are very in line with me. She's someone who's been underestimated by even her own dad and being the youngest kid, sometimes you're insulated from all of the tough stuff of life and she's so eager to prove to herself and to everybody else that there's some things that she can handle. So, this journey is definitely going to show me a lot of that. I feel like I'm on an endless journey of proving to myself what barriers I can break, what limits I can break for myself and I'm excited to put a little bit of that eagerness and drive and, like, almost a bit of stubbornness into Barbara's character." The movie is currently expected to film sometime next year for a likely 2023 release.