When “Batgirl” completed its seven-month run in Scotland, star Leslie Grace received a wrapped gift from Brendan Fraser, who played her nemesis Firefly in the DC movie — a golden necklace containing two charms, a small bell, and a pair of dice.
The card said a lot of really nice things, but he basically said, ‘I gave you this necklace because in this business you must have a little luck. So ring your bell and never stop. “It was like, Stop. And after all this, it made a lot of sense.”
“All This” is the August bomb that Warner Bros. Discovery decided to kill the movie, co-directed by Adel Elaraby and Bilal Fallah. After disappointing first test showings, WBD CEO David Zaslav opted for a tax write-off rather than attempting to complete work on the film, which had cost the debt-laden studio $90 million and would have cost several million more to finish.
Grace says she had no idea the movie, which was originally set to air on HBO Max, was being delayed, until it was first reported by the New York Post.
“I discovered just like you,” she says. “And then my phone started going off.”
Like Grace, Frasier says he was surprised by the news. “I thought I was being bullied,” he says of reading the initial stories, “but I checked.” Then came the hysterical laughter like,You must be kidding me?“I know the filmmakers and producers were expecting to hear from the studio about the movie, and the expectation was, ‘How do we expand the movie to take it from broadcast format to a theatrical release?'” But as we all know, it was quite the opposite. When we were expecting XYZ’s amount of backing and money to expand scenes — to do small shots and those kinds of things — it was a big hit. But then we knew it was in the interest of taking down some debt? That part It really hurt.”
Frasier immediately called Grace. “What I find most unfortunate is that a whole generation of young girls will now have to wait much longer to see Batgirl and say, ‘Hey, she looks like me,’” he says. “It saddens me. I know how good it was. I know what this might mean to a lot of people.”
Frasier gets emotional about working with Grace. “It was magical to see how quietly confident she was as the young actress in this wonderful role and had a sense of purpose and dignity,” he says. “She has an unparalleled work ethic. She is dynamite – and dynamite comes in small packages but it still explodes. We fight each other many times. There was a lot of kicking and punching and hurting but we always helped each other after breaking set pieces and getting the tar off each other.” “.
Now Grace is back in the spotlight with “How to Win Friends and Disappear People,” a new comedy-thriller podcast series from QCode about a computer scientist (Soni Bringas) in New York City who discovers that her neighbor, played by Grace, is a vampire.
diverse Spoke at length with 28-year-old Grace. It’s the first time she’s opened up this deeply since learning about Batgirl’s fate.
When news broke in August that the film had been delayed, what went through your mind?
It was like deflating a balloon. That day, I was just so into it, but also sure of the magic that happened — in my experience and what I saw in the cast, in our team — I was like, “This must be some kind of crazy thing that we have no control over.” I tend to be a very optimistic and positive person in these kinds of situations, and I really drew on the beauty of the idea that I had this experience in my life. While I would have loved to share that with the rest of the world, nothing can take away from this experience.
Peter Safran, president of New DC Studios, recently said that the movie was “not re-releasable,” and that it could hurt DC. Is there anything in your mind that would justify this?
I’ve had my own meetings with Warner Bros. executives. Film Group, Pam Abdi and Mike De Luca, and they explained to me, on a subtle level, what they felt about the project, the things that were out of their hands, and their plans and budgets that were made before they were part of the team. There are a lot of things that I’ve learned through filmmaking experience, that you have no control over as an actress. They weren’t really specific on anything creative in terms of what they felt about the movie and how it was going to hurt DC creatively. But I’m human, and people have perceptions and people read things. And when words are put so lightly about work that people have devoted so much time to – not just me but the entire crew – I can understand how frustrating it can be.
Was there nothing you saw during filming that said, “This movie isn’t going to work”?
I’m not gonna lie to you. In every movie, there are obstacles, and our movie was less than that. Half of the shoot was night shoots in Scotland, where it never stopped raining. So there were hurdles, but at the end of the day, because of the amazing cast, there was nothing stopping us from delivering what we knew we wanted to deliver for this movie. At least from what I was able to see.
Have you ever seen a final cut from the movie?
This is the only thing I asked for. I got to see the movie as far as it got; The film was not complete at the time it was tested. There were a bunch of scenes that weren’t there. They were at the beginning of the editing process, and were cut short by everything going on at the company. But the movie I saw – the scenes that were there – was amazing. There was definitely potential for a good movie, in my opinion. Maybe we’ll see clips of it later.
When you spoke to Variety this past April, you had just finished the movie and said you were already talking to the directors about a sequel.
We still are. We were very excited about all the ideas that we had, because you can see the long-term potential in the story that we’re starting to build.
Apparently, Peter Safran and his DC co-president James Gunn weren’t around when that decision was made, but did they reach out to you?
No, I haven’t heard from them. But I wish them luck with all the plans they have put forward. They have a lot of projects to handle, which is not an easy task.
The Batman movie directed by Matt Reeves with Robert Pattinson will be getting a sequel, and there is talk that it will include more members of the Bat-family. Are you thinking of returning to play Batgirl?
We’ve definitely had conversations about Batgirl’s future and how Batgirl might resurface. I think the fans are looking forward to seeing that. We’ll just see where that takes us; I can’t say one way or the other if this is a reality at this point. I can’t say much about Batgirl’s future or guarantee anything. The last thing I’d like to do is give people any kind of knowledge of something I don’t have a lot of control over – we’ve learned.
Let’s flash back to that first time I spoke to Variety about “Batgirl.” You have just been cast and you speak so eloquently and passionately about what you, as Batgirl, mean to young Latina women. What do you tell them now?
Hey man. That your trip is not a mistake. Everything on your journey can be learned from him, he can be transformative, and he can be inspiring and aspiring to someone you may not even know. I’ve learned that you can make the decision to learn from things and turn them into something positive for you, or you can be in the dump, I would say “keep moving forward no matter the obstacle.” If you have a passion for something, don’t let anything stand in your way. Your way tells you that you are not worthy, capable, or capable of achieving what you know you are capable of doing.”
Let’s talk about “how to make friends and make people disappear”. Did you record all your parts yourself, or did you do it with your co-stars?
I actually scored ahead of all the rest of the cast. I had already recorded all of my parts and all of the episodes when we found Soni a few weeks into production. It’s kind of a self tape scenario, where they had an amazing reader, embodying all the other characters that hadn’t been credited yet.
Are you already thinking of adapting it as a TV series or movie?
QCode has done a great job of taking something that is just a podcast and podcast, and bringing it to the screen. For me, coming as a producer as well, and being able to create something with Sofia and the whole QCode team, I felt like it was something we could bring to the screen, basically, almost all of the Latino team. This possibility is very exciting. I’m really looking forward to seeing how people respond to it. I think it’s a great way to evolve.
You play a vampire. Are you a fan of this kind of vampires?
Yes, I am a Twilight fan.
Team Edward or Team Jacob?
I’m not gonna lie to you. When I came out, I was very much on Jacob’s team. I’m not going to go overboard, but for now I have to be a little biased. I’m a vampire myself, so I can’t say that here on these streets. My vampire family will come after me.
These questions and answers have been edited for length and clarity.
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