Stars

Dress by Gucci. Sandals by Steve Madden. Jewelry by Dana Campbell.

Photography by Kwaku Alston. Styled by Dana Campbell.


By Lisa Kennedy

When Tichina Arnold hopped on the video call, she was in a parking structure in Century City messing with a boot. No, not a DMV boot, but an orthopedic one. Social media followers of Arnold (and you are legion) know that the star—who gives such verve to Tina Butler on the hit sitcom The Neighborhood —has been recovering from foot surgery. (Her path to healing gets a nod at the start of Season 3.) "Hold on one second, one second—I'm getting the boot," she shouts to someone honking for no good reason. She waves said boot. "I never thought I'd be so excited about a goddamn boot," says Arnold, adding with a laugh, "I'm trying to get my sexy back, or at least half of my sexy back."

Arnold, 51, has spent more than 30 years working in television and film. The Queens, New York native started acting at 11 and hasn't had many lulls since. She did soaps (Ryan's Hope), sang and danced (Little Shop of Horrors), and played pivotal roles in two popular comedies that were part of the surge in Black television programming: first as Pam, Tisha Campbell's bestie on Martin, and a few years later as mom Rochelle on Chris Rock's critically appreciated Everybody Hates Chris.

Now she's bringing no small amount of smarts and sparkle opposite another comedy luminary. Cedric the Entertainer (an executive producer on The Neighborhood) portrays Calvin Butler, who's vexed—and over time kind of charmed—when small-towners Dave and Gemma Johnson (Max Greenfield and Beth Behrs) and their young son settle next door in a predominantly Black neighborhood.

The Neighborhood airs on Mondays at 8/7c on CBS and streams CBS All Access.

Tichina Arnold on the cover WATCH Magazine

Top by Balenciaga. Pants by Halston. Jewelry by Dana Campbell.

Photography by Kwaku Alston. Styled by Dana Campbell.

How long have you been in L.A. now?

I've been here since 1991. I moved here right before I did Martin and ended up staying.

To say the least. You've been doing television for nearly 30 years. What's changed for you and what's changed in television?

A lot has changed in the industry, period. Television definitely became more open, more racy, a little more real. If we did Martin now and we were able to say what we wanted to say, it would be a completely different show. Back then we had a censor, this guy named … what was his name? He used to come and count the "damns," count the "hells."

Tichina Arnold in a vibrant vintage dress

Gown, vintage. Jewelry by Dana Campbell.

Photography by Kwaku Alston. Styled by Dana Campbell.

What drew you to The Neighborhood?

What attracted me initially were two things: being able to work with Cedric and, I've been on great shows, but this was a wonderful opportunity to finally be on a major network. CBS didn't have a whole lot of Black folk, so I was happy that CBS was being a lot more open to having more color on the network. That, to me, showed television was definitely changing. It's not just a Black show. You have a lot of inclusivity. So I was like, "Yeah, I want to be part of this."

It's crazy you haven't worked with Cedric before.

It's bananas. We have all the same friends.

The Neighborhood has such sweet cast chemistry. Is it as good as it seems?

Everybody is just really good. Everybody's like their characters. Creator Jim Reynolds had Tina all mapped out. But when I came and read for the role, he saw other things. So I'm appreciative of that, because Black women, we're not just one thing. We have so many facets to us. Every time I open the script, there's always something new about Tina that I learn, which is fun. Jim will ask me, "Tichina, do Black women do this?" And I'll tell him abso-frigging-lutely-not. You see her flaws, and Cedric makes sure of it.

Tichina Arnold in a courtyard wearing a vibrant dress

Robe by Camilla and Marc. Jewelry by Dana Campbell.

Photography by Kwaku Alston. Styled by Dana Campbell.

Where do you overlap with Tina?

You know, most women, we want to keep our youth as much as we can. I knew then, when I played on Everybody Hates Chris, that once you play a mother, you will always be a mother. Goddammit. [Laughs.] OK, this is the first time I'm a mother of grown sons—one got a beard. Omigod. I just have to accept that. But it's television, and I can be whatever I want to be. I'm 51 and a lot of my friends had kids by the time they were 17. So you have a lot of Black mothers who look like they are 25 or 30, but they're 50. Snoop made a post that was hysterical. He posted this little girl, and it said something like, "Yeah, I'm really 42." Like "Black don't crack."

Did Cedric help you figure it out?

He's very hands-on. So he said, "Look I want you to be comfortable, but we're parents … You still smoking." Cedric's really good at being this amazing Black man on camera as well as off. Cedric's always been such a wonderful human being, and the show has that temperature. The show has that texture to it because he is a good leader. He is a good leading man. He's smart. He's respectful. He has a lot of empathy for people. He knows how to communicate. He never raises his voice. This show could not have come at a better time.

Tichina Arnold sitting in a window sill

Robe by Camilla and Marc. Jewelry by Dana Campbell.

Photography by Kwaku Alston. Styled by Dana Campbell.

Could you expand on that? I can think of all kinds of reasons, but as my dad said, "You know what 'assume' spells?"

Well, a lot of negativity has been stirred up—and this negativity is nothing new. This is what we as Black people have been dealing with, and I always speak from the Black perspective because that's what I am. And I think this show created a wonderful platform to start dialogue. This show displays our differences. It happens at the table reads all the time: We'll be sitting at the table, and a Black joke will happen, and Beth and Max will go, "What?!" because everybody Black in the room laughs. But it happened with me, too. In the script someone says, "Hey, I'm going out for a froyo." I was like, "Sorry guys, what's a froyo?" The point is, whether we're White, Black, we have different ways of communicating with each other. So what I love about being on the show is that we continue communication.

The first episode of the third season addressed Black Lives Matter. Some people who love the show have said they'll stop watching. What is that?

Guess what, sometimes when the truth is told, it's uncomfortable. This is part of change. It's a natural human instinct; you don't want to be uncomfortable. But it's what we do with our being uncomfortable. I'm happy that we have a platform. We deal with real topics. This is not fantasy. I think it's wonderful we've tapped into Black Lives Matter. Just add "too" behind it. We matter, too. For me to be on a show that's on CBS, and CBS is able to say Black lives matter, that's change. And it's change for the better.

I'm grateful that I can be a part of a body of work that understands me as a Black woman in America and that actually displays me as a Black woman in America. We have a long way to go in understanding each other, and The Neighborhood really addresses that. And we do it off-camera as well. So Beth and I always talk about that. She's like, "What can I do as a White woman?" And I said the fact that you asked allows me to share my story with you. Now, I need to hear your story. What makes you uncomfortable? What do you want to learn? What do you want to know? Trust me, I ask questions. You learn till the day you die. That's what matters to me.

Tichina Arnold posing on stairs

Dress by Gucci. Sandals by Steve Madden. Jewelry by Dana Campbell.

Photography by Kwaku Alston. Styled by Dana Campbell.

So, where did you get that perspective? Life? Family? You grew up in the church, and that seems to feed your understanding of the world, and you still have a compassionate way of expressing that.

That's a nice way of putting it.

No, really. You and [your sister] Zenay were on Beth's Harmonics with Beth Behrs podcast, and she said she considered herself a "lapsed Catholic." One of you said about church that we go to meet God by ourselves. Such a great insight.

I get it from my parents. Both of my parents are givers. My mother will give the shirt off her back and so will my dad. They've just always been that way, and we came up really staunch Christians. Me being in show business, I was kind of the heathen. [Laughs.]

Did you know at 11 that you were going to want to keep doing this?

I didn't know anything else. I did shows for free. I did it because I loved it. Not until I got to L.A. and I had to start paying rent did that change. I was like, "Omigod, I got to depend upon this?!" Prior to that, I was just doing what I love doing.

Tichina Arnold on a bed wearing a sparkly dress

Dress by Zadig & Voltaire. Jewelry by Dana Campbell.

Photography by Kwaku Alston. Styled by Dana Campbell.

How do you protect that relationship to what you love?

Well, I've been at a point where I didn't have two nickels to rub together, and still I turned down work because I did not believe in what that piece of work was. I didn't want to wake up every day doing that.

Do you have any episodes of The Neighborhood that you loved or that you thought, I nailed that?

Now you're asking me to tap into my menopause problem—let me think. I have moments. I laugh at moments, not episodes. But I don't think I've ever said Oh, I nailed anything. I'm not interested in watching myself. The one time somebody made me watch Hope & Redemption: The Lena Baker Story [2008], we watched it in my agent's office. And I forgot that I was watching myself.

Now that was weird. It freaked me out. I said, "Wow, God gave you exactly what you wanted." I did a film with absolutely no comedy in the character whatsoever. I kept saying, I just want to do a dramatic role. I want to see if I can do it. So here I played a real woman who walked this earth, to be the first woman executed in the state of Georgia. Just reading and watching and hearing about her life. I was like, how can I do this woman justice? So after I watched the movie, I felt grateful that I was able to fool myself. Because I forgot that I was watching myself. I felt like I did it; I reached a goal.

Tichina Arnold in a white pants suit

Top by Balenciaga. Pants by Halston. Jewelry by Dana Campbell.

Photography by Kwaku Alston. Styled by Dana Campbell.

So do you have some rules for yourself about how you engage on social media?

I do. I don't reply to people. You reply to one, you have to reply to all. I make it a point that if I am joking about something, I'm not being insensitive. It's like sending text messages: A lot of stuff could be misread. That's what happens with Twitter all the time. What I do is, I never have a cocktail and tweet. And if I know that it's really, really socially edgy, I'll ask my sister, "Should I?"

Speaking of Zenay, who's also your manager, what were you two like as little kids?

We were opposites but the same. She was a lefty. I'm a righty. But she insists on sitting on the side where our arms knock. Constant fights. I tortured her. She used to think she would go down the drain. We would take baths together, so I'd push her toward it. My parents taught us that all we have is each other. So even to this day, we are very good with separating our business relationship from our sisterhood.

Tichina Arnold in a white top

Top by Balenciaga. Pants by Halston. Jewelry by Dana Campbell.

Photography by Kwaku Alston. Styled by Dana Campbell.

So how do you get 2 million–plus Instagram followers?

That came from me trying not to lose my mind. Because I used to fight with my daughter [Alijah, age 16] every morning. By the time she was 3, we were in the car all the time and she didn't want to be in the seat. Here I am a single mom and I'd start singing. She loves dancing and I wanted her to sing. We started singing in the car. I posted: "For all you parents out there that had a hard time getting your kid up this morning, this is for you. You're not alone."

I had grandmothers hitting me, aunts hitting me, single dads hitting me. We all really do go through the same things, right?Different times, different places, different levels, different households. I never ever mind sharing my pain as long as I've learned from that pain. So now I can tell you what that pain feels like, but I can also tell you what I learned.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Kwaku Alston

STYLED BY: Dana Campbell

HAIR: Robbi Rogers

MAKEUP: @bethcarterbeauty using MAC

Originally published in Watch Magazine, November-December 2020.

The Neighborhood airs on Mondays at 8/7c on CBS and streams CBS All Access.

Photo Credit: JSquared Photography/Contour by Getty Images.


As told to David Hochman

What's funny about Aasif Mandvi's role on Evil is that the role isn't meant to be funny. Mandvi was a comedy guy before playing tech whiz Ben Shakir on the supernatural drama.

He made his name in theater, having won an Obie Award for his one-man show Sakina's Restaurant and playing the lead character in the Pulitzer prize–winning play Disgraced. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart put him on the map as a comedian; he went on to create and star in the Peabody Award–winning web series Halal in the Family, which logged more than 500 million media impressions within days of its announcement. With guffaws or without, Mandvi is a serious force.

Evil returns for Season 2. Catch up now on CBS All Access and Netflix.

\u200bAasif Mandvi as Ben Shakir in CBS drama series Evil.

Aasif Mandvi as Ben Shakir in CBS drama series Evil.

Photo Credit: Elizabeth Fisher/CBS.

3:30 A.M. My dreams are like vivid TV shows. I always remember the one where Barry Manilow was chasing me with a chainsaw. I'll wake up sometimes and think, "I should pitch this as a series."

6:45 A.M. My wife, Shaifali, and I welcomed our son into the world on March 14. Ishan arrived the exact moment the world locked down and everybody started quarantining inside. He wakes us up early and keeps us busy. Have we missed anything?

Aasif Mandvi's wife Shaifali holds their newborn son Ishan.

Aasif Mandvi's wife, Shaifali, and son, Ishan.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Aasif Mandvi.

9 A.M. I don't really eat breakfast. I've been doing intermittent fasting for years. It's great for my metabolism and general health. So I'll have coffee to get things started and I'm fine until lunch.

10:30 A.M. We live in Manhattan. Evil shoots in Brooklyn. We're working on getting back to a normal shooting schedule. I click into that group energy and am loving playing a character like Ben, who's so different from me. He's a MacGyver type who fixes everything. My wife finds that super sexy. I'll say, "You know that's me, right?" She'll say, "Yeah, great, can you put that bassinet together?"

\u200bThe cast of Evil posing in front of a Manhattan skyline photo backdrop

The cast of Evil at the CBS Upfront event in May 2019.

Photo Credit: Mary Ellen Matthews.

NOON: I'm doing a few voiceover parts for animated projects, including making a movie called Blazing Samurai, which is based on Blazing Saddles but with cats and dogs. It all works out nicely when you're stuck at home. They send over recording equipment and I do my best to talk over the crying baby in the other room.

1 P.M. I'm very fortunate that Shaifali is an amazing cook and actually enjoys cooking. We eat healthy. We stay away from fried foods and sugar, but she makes great concoctions with ground beef and eggplant. I'm Indian, so I always put spices all over everything.

Rustic grilled eggplant dishes and hummus and ground white pepper.

Aasif Mandvi's healthy diet includes fresh foods and spices.

Photo Credit: Enrique Díaz/Getty images.

2:15 P.M. After the gyms closed this year, I ordered dumb-bells and a medicine ball and one of those big bouncy balls to work out at home. We have a little backyard and a trainer comes in. We wear masks. I do pushups and lift things and sweat.

3:30 P.M. The Evil cast has a text chain. It gets pretty funny at times. We're constantly ribbing each other. I keep making fun of Kurt Fuller, who plays Dr. Boggs, by telling him that [actor] Richard Kind is going to take his part on the show.

An assortment of dum-bbells, kettle-bells and a modern medicine ball.

"After the gyms closed this year, I ordered dumb-bells and a medicine ball and one of those big bouncy balls to work out at home."

Photo Credit: mmjimenez/Getty Images.

5 P.M. I'm finding my superpowers as a father. One thing I can do is make the baby fly. Maybe all new dads do this. You put the kid on your forearm and run him around the house. He really seems to like it.

6 P.M. When you're a new parent, it's an accomplishment if you can just sit down together with your wife at the dinner table and have a coherent conversation and not have drool all over you.

7:15 P.M. A few times a week, we do Zooms with friends of ours who have kids. It's weird because we used to love to go out to places. Now you don't do that. So what we look forward to is looking at tiny windows on a screen with our friends' faces.

\u200bAasif Mandvi holds his sleeping newborn son.

Aasif Mandvi holds his sleeping newborn son.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Aasif Mandvi.

8:30 P.M. Once Ishan goes to bed, we try to have some adult time. We love watching Mindy Kaling's series Never Have I Ever. I like documentaries, including the Hillary doc and the one on Bill Gates. I love to learn about people and ideas way outside my everyday reality.

10 P.M. Meditation is really helpful when you want to shut the day off. I've been trying to stay in the moment, even with the world as crazy as it is and being sleep-deprived as a new parent. The Mindfulness App reminds me to be here, now, and not take life for granted.

11:15 P.M. We usually get a few minutes of quiet and then drift off to sleep. Honestly, the way our lives are now, you never know when you're going to hear the baby scream at some odd hour—or when Barry Manilow is going to show up looking like a killer.

Originally published in Watch Magazine, November-December 2020.

Evil returns for Season 2. Catch up now on CBS All Access and Netflix.

Photo Credit: Cara Robbins/Contour by Getty Images (Sternberg). Sara Mulvanny (Illustration).


By Maria Neuman

It never occurred to Roxy Sternberg that she had grown up in one of the coolest cities in the world, until she moved across the pond. "When you live somewhere, you can end up taking it for granted," says the actress, who moved from London to Brooklyn in 2019 after landing the role of Agent Sheryll Barnes in FBI: Most Wanted. "I'm swept up in New York now and excited to discover places, but London is absolutely brilliant."

She's equally enamored with her on-screen character, who can go from steely undercover agent to nurturing mom without breaking a sweat. "She's so serious and a grounding force, but I love that she's also a family person." With that in mind, Sternberg reveals where she goes in London when she returns home to visit family and friends.

FBI: Most Wanted airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on CBS and streams on CBS All Access.

PICK UP SOME FISH AND CHIPS

Illustrated map of London

Illustration by Sara Mulvanny.

If you walk to the top of Portobello Road, there's a street called Golborne Road, which has this amazing lunch spot called Hassan Morocco Fish. It's super popular with locals. You queue up outside and either sit to eat (they can accommodate about six people), stand, or sit on a nearby doorstep. There's a list of different fish, and they cook it while you wait. I always get the sole that comes with chips and a salad.

FANCY A PINT?

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Fuller's.

It's very British to go on a pub crawl, which I like to do by the River Thames. My favorite pub is The Dove in Hammersmith (where I had my first date with my partner) because you can sit outside, while inside it's got exposed bricks and wooden beams, as well as a lovely fireplace, so it feels like you're in a small cabin. There are tons of pubs in the same area, so you can also walk to The Black Lion and The Old Ship, which means you can get a bit of exercise in while eating and drinking.

DINE ALONG THE RIVER

Photo Credit: etienne voss/Getty Images.

There's a famous restaurant in Hammersmith called The River Café. It's an Italian restaurant with an amazing view, and it feels like going to a museum. If you really want to treat yourself, it's a great experience, from the staff to the food presentation. It's so delicious, and the last time I was there the actor Jack Whitehall sat near my table.

GRAB A BIKE IN THE PARK

Photo Credit: John Reid/visitlondon.com.

Hyde Park is beautiful and well groomed and also home to Kensington Palace as well as the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain, which is really worth seeing. Any time of day there are people exercising and Rollerblading—it's what I imagined New York would be like before I arrived. You can rent bikes and cycle all around on certain paths, and it's amazing for people-watching, which is one of my favorite things to do.

SIP AN AFTERNOON TEA

Traditional English high tea service

Photo Credit: Courtesy of The Wolseley.

Brits don't eat scones every day (we'd be huge if we did!), but The Wolseley by Green Park is the place to go when you want to indulge. You feel like you're in a greenhouse with the eatery's dramatic ceilings. They also have lovely little finger sandwiches and breakfast, which for me is scrambled eggs and smoked salmon.

ENJOY A PERFECT SATURDAY

Portobello Road in London

Photo Credit: Maremagnum/Getty Images.

My favorite area is Portobello Road because it's a mix of tourists and locals. The outdoor market is open every day but Sunday, where you can pick up everything from groceries to souvenirs. Once upon a time, Portobello Road and Notting Hill had a very strong West Indian community, so every year [except this summer, due to the pandemic] they have the Notting Hill Carnival with floats, amazing food, and steel drum music. You can end the day at the Electric Cinema, with its big leather seats.

STOCK UP ON SOUVENIRS

Hobnobs biscuits

Photo Credit: Courtesy of McVities.

When people come to my house in Brooklyn, I like to offer them English cookies. So I always keep Hobnobs, as well as wine gums and other confectionary stuff, on hand. I can get it all at the duty-free in the airport. There's also a chili sauce called Lingham's Chilli Sauce that's sweet, spicy, and delicious.

HIT THE STORES

Shopping on Oxford Street in London

Photo Credit: Gonzalo Azumendi/Getty Images.

I lived in Westbourne Grove before I moved to New York, and it has brilliant shops like Sandro, Maje, and The Kooples. I'm not a big mall person. I love coming out of a shop, getting some fresh air, and then going into another shop. For an even wider variety, I head to Oxford Street, where there is the huge Selfridges department store, an enormous Topshop, an Urban Outfitters, and Nike.

SEE THE CITY FROM ON HIGH

London Eye observation ferris wheel

Photo Credit: John Reid/visitlondon.com.

Everyone should visit the London Eye (observation wheel) because you'll see amazing panoramic views of the city and get a real sense of where things are; you can spot everything—Greenwich, East London, and even Buckingham Palace.

Originally published in Watch Magazine, November-December 2020.

FBI: Most Wanted airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on CBS and streams on CBS All Access.

Photo Credit: Nino Muñoz/The CW.

By Nate Millado

"Look out, Gotham! I'm suited up and ready to go," captioned Javicia Leslie on social media, wearing Batwoman's signature cape and cowl. When Season 2 of Batwoman premieres on The CW on Sunday, Jan. 17, Leslie will be making history as the first African-American woman to portray Batwoman in a live-action production.

Here's your chance to get to know her, folks, because "Javicia Leslie" will soon be a household name!

Season 2 of Batwoman premieres Sunday, Jan. 17 at 8/7c on The CW. Stream next day free on The CW.

She's Just Like Ryan!

\u200b Javicia Leslie as Batwoman

Javicia Leslie as Batwoman.

Photo Credit: Nino Muñoz/The CW.

The CW describes Batwoman's alter ego, Ryan Wilder, as "likable, messy, a little goofy, and untamed." So is Javicia Leslie anything like her character — or a complete 180? "Oh, no. We're pretty much the same person," she tells Watch. "I wouldn't call myself the most polished person. There are times where Ryan trips in a scene and looks around to see if anyone noticed, and there are times when I trip on set. [Like Ryan,] I'm always finding the humor in things, always trying to find a way for people to see that there is a chance for hope, that there is a chance for 'the good guy' to win, you know?"

She's A Military Brat

Leslie was born in Augsburg, Germany, in 1987, into a military family. Her mom served in the Army and completed two tours in Iraq; Leslie considers her a real-life superhero. "I call her Batmom," she said at a DC FanDome panel. And because she's a military brat, Leslie says she has "so much love for our soldiers." In fact, before moving to Hollywood, Leslie worked for the government in Washington, D.C. to pay soldiers who were on "stop-loss" while in Afghanistan. "I'd pay them for the time that their contract ended to the time that they were able to come back home."

She's Out And Proud

The 33-year-old actress, who identifies as bisexual, is taking the reins of the lesbian crimefighter from Season 1 star Ruby Rose. Shortly after Javicia Leslie's casting announcement, she issued a press release saying how "extremely proud" she was to be the first Black actress to play the iconic role on TV, adding: "And as a bisexual woman, I am honored to join this groundbreaking show which has been such a trailblazer for the LGBTQ+ community." She's already got her predecessor's seal of approval. "I am so glad Batwoman will be played by an amazing Black woman," Ruby Rose posted on Instagram. "I want to congratulate Javicia Leslie on taking over the Bat cape. You are walking into an amazing cast and crew. I can't wait to watch Season 2; you are going to be amazing!!"

You've Seen Her Before

If you're experiencing a slight case of déjà view, it might be because you have already seen this versatile actress' work. For two seasons, Leslie played Ali on CBS' heartwarming spiritual drama God Friended Me. Or perhaps you caught her Netflix rom-com, Always a Bridesmaid, during quarantine. She's also had guest stints on CBS' MacGyver and BET's The Family Business.

Batwoman Loves Catwoman

Eartha Kitt as Catwoman

Eartha Kitt as Catwoman in the original Batman TV series.

Photo Credit: ABC Photo Archives/Getty Images.

Leslie draws inspo from the legendary Eartha Kitt — and not just because the raspy-voiced chanteuse played a feline femme fatale in the original 1966 Batman TV series. "I'm inspired by Eartha Kitt in general, not just as Catwoman, but also as an artist and an activist," she tells Watch. "She continued to speak even when women weren't 'supposed to.' I think that the world has created this idea of how women should act, and when you hear Eartha talk [in interviews], she's still regal and feminine and poised, but she broke the mold."

She's Here To Empower You

Javicia Leslie's Instagram page is a ray of sunshine on the bleakest of days! Her Insta is chock-full of empowering quotes, like this one: "Don't forget: We are going to be the ancestors our people will speak about one day ... What will be your legacy." Speaking with Good Morning LaLa Land, Leslie said: "I really want women to feel powerful; I want women to feel beautiful, confident, and I think that's a part of my purpose."

She Kicks Ass IRL

Something tells us doing her own stunts on Batwoman won't pose a problem for Javicia Leslie. That's because she's well-versed in Muay Thai, boxing and weapons, not to mention she's big on dancing, swimming and bootcamp training.

She Considers Batwoman A Blessing

Javicia Leslie at a ceremony honoring American Black films

Javicia Leslie attends the American Black Film Festival Honors Awards Ceremony at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Feb. 23, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California.

Photo Credit: Amy Sussman/Staff/Getty Images.

Javicia Leslie admitted to Watch that it was "weird" slipping into the suit the first time. "I looked in the mirror and said, 'Wow, like this is real. I'm a superhero!'" she says. "But I also know what this moment represents." The weight of the role certainly isn't lost on her. "To know that this role represents so many people who have felt underrepresented, that has dawned on me. I don't look at it as a weight; I look at it as a blessing — so I'm really excited to be able to be a part of this story that's being told." She adds: "I have this belief that if you see it, you can be it."

Lightning Round With Javicia Leslie

Javicia Leslie at New York Fashion Week

Javicia Leslie attends the Alice + Olivia By Stacey Bendet fashion show during February 2020 New York Fashion Week: The Shows on Feb. 10, 2020 in New York City.

Photo Credit: Steven Ferdman/Stringer/Getty Images.

We threw some random Q's at Javicia Leslie. Here are her revealing answers.

  • Guilty pleasure? Twix and Kit Kats
  • Favorite flick? Casper
  • Karaoke song? "Zombie" by The Cranberries
  • Hype song: "B**** from Da Souf" by Mulatto. "I play it right before I go on set as soon as I put on the Batwoman outfit."
  • Early bird or night owl? "Both! I like to stay up because that's when I can just sit down and watch TV or go out and ride my bike. But I like the daytime because I like to garden."
  • Life motto? "Follow your passion and you'll find your purpose."

Season 2 of Batwoman premieres Sunday, Jan. 17 at 8/7c on The CW. Stream next day free on The CW.

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