Ruby Rose got teary-eyed while discussing Tuesday’s (Aug. 7) announcement that she will be playing the lead in The CW’s upcoming Batwoman series. During an appearance on The Tonight Show on Wednesday night (Aug. 8), the Orange Is the New Black regular said that she found out she had been cast as the masked vigilante an hour before the premiere of The Meg, the Jason Statham-fronted shark film she’s starring in, which will release on Friday (Aug. 10).
“It’s a game-changer. I found out an hour before I did the premiere for The Meg and I was so nervous doing the red carpet so I basically skipped everybody because I kept spontaneously crying,” she said. She fought that urge again when host Jimmy Fallon noted that for the rest of Rose’s life, she’s going to be associated with Batwoman, given the iconicity of the character. “I feel like the reason I got so emotional is that growing up, watching TV, I never saw someone on TV that I could identify with, let alone a superhero, you know? And …” the actress, who is openly gay, said, pausing as she blinked away tears. “I said I wouldn’t do that.”
She continued, “I’ve always had this saying — well, not me, Oscar Wilde — but same thing. Which is ‘Be yourself because everyone else is taken.’ So I always live by that motto and my second motto when I came into the industry is ‘Be the person you needed when you were younger.’ And I feel like one motto led me to the other and I just kept crying about it.”
The CW’s interpretation of the character will first appear in an upcoming DC crossover event in December, while Arrow and The Flash executive producer Greg Berlanti and The Vampire Diaries scribe Caroline Dries are developing a standalone series. Batwoman, whose civilian identity is Kate Kane both in recent comics and in the upcoming series, is an out lesbian and skilled street fighter. The series will be an origin story of sorts, showing how Kane overcomes inner demons to make full use the Batwoman mantle.
Rose also noted that she visits hospitals to see sick children, and now she will be able to visit children in costume. After the conversation moved to the Met Gala, Rose quipped about an image of her in her dress, which she was holding up on both sides like she was about to curtsy, “That’s me practicing to be Batwoman.”
She then launched into a story about when she first practiced to be Batwoman as a little girl: She said she made bat wings out of cardboard boxes “and I would sleep in them and I would run around in them and I would jump off high things.” She said her mom had to keep re-taping them because she would break them and get them dirty.
“And now you’re Batwoman,” Fallon said.
“And now I’ll get ones that aren’t made of cardboard,” Rose responded.
This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.