'Batgirl': Leslie Graces Dishes on Working With Michael Keaton, Brendan Fraser and J.K. Simmons (Exclusive)

Leslie Grace can't wait for comic book fanatics to see her shine in the upcoming HBO Max release of Batgirl. Grace recently got fans excited for the highly anticipated movie by sharing a photo of her in the Batgirl catsuit. The In The Heights star scored big with the role, with it being only her second film role. The Bronx-born singer is starring alongside heavy-hitters such as Michael Keaton, J.K. Simmons, and Brendan Fraser and told Pop Culture in a recent interview about just how much she soaked in from working with them in the film.

"Such a blessing, such a school. I got to really soak up the knowledge of our veterans like Brendan Fraser, who plays our villain Firefly. Never in a million years did I think that on my second film, I would be on a set with Brendan and J.K. Simmons playing my character's dad, and Michael Keaton, the O.G Tim Burton Batman," she gushed. "That's the stuff you can only dream of. So anytime I was on set with any of them, I'm always soaking up. Anytime I'm on set period, even if I am the only person on camera, I'm trying to soak up from the crew from. Any amount of experience [is helpful]. And our crew is incredible as well. But those guys, they were just so generous with their knowledge. And there were so many fun conversations with Brendan and with J.K. It was incredible."

Outside of the cast and role, Grace is happy to be part of the film due to being able to show pride in her heritage. She was born to Dominican parents who immigrated to the states. Grace says she understands the magnitude this role is for her and her culture.

"It's a hug, incredible opportunity. And I feel blessed. No matter what opportunities come my way, I always feel like I carry my family's name, my people's hustle and struggle, and resilience and excellence with me," she said. "And so with this opportunity, it really caught me off guard. I've been really open about this process. I audition, and I give my best every audition, but I did not [think this would come to be]. I was just like, 'I'm just happy to be in the mix.' I did not think that I would be playing Batgirl. You never are –  at least I'm not ever so presumptuous. Anytime I audition for anything, I just give my best. And I hope that the right role comes at the right moment."

She continued: "So when I got the news, I didn't really soak up the magnitude of that. It wasn't until afterward that I was just like, 'Yo, we're really changing things out here. We're really marking a new wave of representation.' Which I think is so important not only visually, but as well as being in certain spaces where you can talk about the details that do matter when certain people play certain roles. And I definitely had the opportunity to do that on this run," she said. 

0comments

For Grace, this role opens up the door for those who come after her. "That changes the industry as a whole. And that's what I hope in all. Wherever there's someone new entering a new space, I hope that is what's happening, on a greater scale, is that we're as an industry, as a movie industry, or, film and TV all together," she said. "And I'm happy to be a part of that progression in one way or another."