Javicia Leslie on Connecting With Kids Through ‘Batwoman’

Batwoman star Javicia Leslie
Katie Yu/The CW

Yes, Batwoman is a major player in the superhero scene, but Javicia Leslie is nothing to sneeze at either. Since the delightful God Friended Me alum assumed the cowl in Season 2, the CW series has not just grown into a certifiable joyride through Gotham City, but it’s also given a cross section of Black and LGBTQ+ fans a level of representation rarely seen on network TV.

Now, Leslie is putting her Bat skills to beautiful use by partnering with Puffs this cold and flu season to celebrate some real-life heroes, and it’s the cutest.

Javicia Leslie - Puffs

As part of the #ANoseInNeed campaign, Leslie is paying a virtual visit to the young patients at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and inducting them into the Puffs Power Pals, “an elite group of young yet mighty superheroes on a mission” to blast sore, red noses with Puffs Ultra Soft, all while honoring those children that fight like superheroes every single day.

For children battling life-threatening illnesses, certain treatments can cause skin to become dry, rough, itchy, and red. During cold and flu season, the chances of a sore, red nose are only increased by using ordinary tissues, so to help combat this, Puffs tissues has committed to donating 3,500 boxes of Puffs Ultra Soft to the little noses in need at the medical center. Each child will also receive their own personalized comic book cover and superhero kit complete with Puffs Ultra Soft tissues for the added soft-touch every hero’s nose deserves.

Here, she explains how it all came together and shares her joy at being a (Bat)woman for all the people.

First of all, congratulations! It’s always a good sign that you’re doing something right when you’re approached to do something like this…

Javicia Leslie: You’re doing something else really good, right?

Exactly! That’s a great sign that you’re connecting with people.

I love that you said that it’s a good sign that you’re connecting with people because I think it’s also a good sign that your path is in alignment with where your spirit is. And for me, I feel like being a superhero isn’t necessarily for us, it’s for kids, really! I remember when I was a kid and I watched superheroes, they empowered me, they made me feel strong and, for me specifically, it was [The X-Men’s] Storm…and I thought she was so freaking epic. So to be able to partner with Puffs and speak to the children there at the Cincinnati Children’s hospital and talk to them about the superhero that’s in them? And to call them Puff’s Power Pals, I mean…

Yes, yes, yes!

That is exactly how I felt!

And they also get a personalized comic book cover?

So epic.

Ryan Wilder Batwoman Season 2 Premiere

The CW

So tell me, how did this all come about?

Well, like you said, stars aligned themselves, Damian. It’s the universe, right? [To help the kids] is the point of it all. At the end of the day, that is literally the point of it all. And to be able to hopefully put a smile on any of their faces, that is so much fun.

Your experience on the show has all been during the pandemic, so it’s not like kids can come to the set, you can’t have those in-person moments, so thank God for Zoom.

Exactly. And you know, I’ve had a few small moments, because sometimes when we’re filming outside in Vancouver, kids will come up and they’ll have their Batman stuff on or Batwoman stuff and I’ll be able to take pictures. I’m always super-hyped if I’m in my costume because then they’re taking pictures of Batwoman! [Laughs] And I’ve gotten to meet a lot of really cool kids at some conventions, so I love that this is just another way … specifically for the children of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, to bring out the superhero in them when they’re not feeling their strongest. I get to remind them to stay brave, to keep smiling and to keep going. I get to show them that they have people rooting for them and supporting them and that we’re here if they ever need us.

See, that’s what’s up. And you can see the show is connecting with fans because every week it trends and the tweets are just everywhere.

This season was epic, Damian. Epic. And for viewers, we’re not done yet. We got a little Joker action coming, we had Camrus [“Luke Fox” Johnson] directing, we got #Wildmoore going on…we finally got Mary [Nicole Kang] back from Poison Ivy. Or did we? [Laughs]

Nicole Kang as Mary Poison Ivy in Batwoman

Colin Bentley/The CW

Oooh, interesting! Now, you’ve wrapped this enormous season. How are you going to decompress?

I love that you ask that! I feel like everyone always asks “What’s next?” and I’m like “Rest!” [Laughs]

So, I moved into my place right before I booked Batwoman and I never got a chance to decorate, I never got a chance to do any of that stuff. All I have pretty much is my couch. And my mom did a lot of reconstruction that I wanted to get done. So now I want to turn it into my home. And I want to cook. I just wanna cook all the time and I want a garden.

Oh sweet! Inspired by Poison Ivy?

No, well. Damian, I don’t know if you know this about me, but I’m obsessed with plants. Have been and always will be. Which is crazy, because for Ryan Wilder, her plant was a huge part of her intro.

And now she’s coming to the comic books!

Isn’t that crazy? And here’s the thing. Ryan Wilder was in the comic books in 2020…she was introduced in a Batgirl comic book, but Ryan as Batwoman is coming! Black Batwoman is coming!

I’m not gonna rest until there is an action figure. You and the kids deserve this!

I agree with you. I completely agree with you! [Laughs]

Batwoman, Wednesdays, 9/8c, The CW