17 years ago, Rachel Skarsten starred in a TV series in which Batman had left Gotham City, leaving the city in the hands of new crimefighters in a place that no longer has a Caped Crusader to fight the bad guys.
That series, Birds of Prey, aired on The WB for 13 episodes between 2002 and 2003; in it, Rachel played Dinah Lance, who, unlike the version played by Katie Cassidy on Arrow, also happened to have some telepathic abilities. She was not “Black Canary” either — that, instead, was her mom, played by Full House’s Lori Loughlin at a time before she was finding shady ways to get her kids into college.
Now, in 2019, Rachel Skarsten is about to make her debut as Alice in Batwoman, a new TV series in which Batman has left Gotham City, leaving it in the hands of new crimefighters to stop the bad guys. Batwoman premieres October 6 on The CW, and in anticipation of this show, which stars Ruby Rose as Kate Kane a.k.a. Batwoman, we spoke with some of the creative talents at the recent Television Critics Association press tour.
But about Birds of Prey. Was there any hesitation for Rachel Skarsten to revisit that world?
“No, because I love Batman. I could do Batman all day long. I was such a fan as a kid,” she replied. “And also, I feel like I say this a million times and I’m going to sound like such a fangirl… but Peter Roth, who was at Warner Brothers when I did Birds of Prey, was so kind to me. I was so my character on Birds of Prey. Like, young teen comes to big city, has no idea what’s going on… that was me. And so, just the opportunity to come back and work with him as my ultimate boss was like, ‘yes, please’!”
After Birds of Prey, Skarsten stopped acting to go to university, and upon her return to the field, she returned to different worlds including “crazy sci-fi” and playing Queen Elizabeth on Reign. So much time had passed, though, it felt like something more special. “It actually just really feels like a homecoming, more than a repeat button,” she said.
On the subject of repeats, though, with Brandon Routh reprising the role of Superman in the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover even though he’s already Ray Palmer in the “Arrowverse,” would Rachel consider playing Dinah again in the crossover, especially if it meant reuniting with Birds of Prey co-stars Dina Meyer and Ashley Scott?
“100 percent,” Rachel answered almost immediately. “Ashley and Dina and I, we’re still friends. We still keep in touch. And they were so kind to me when I did that show. They really took me under their wing, both of them, and I’m deeply grateful.”
“We went for dinner, probably two years ago now,” Rachel continued, “and I remember having this conversation that if Birds of Prey had been on now, it would have been on forever. It was just a little bit ahead of its time. But since I’ve gotten this part, I’ve had so much response on Twitter, about like, ‘bring Dinah back! And bring those characters back!’ So 100 100%. I mean, we’re all like 97 years older, but we would definitely come back,” she laughed.
Stay tuned to our @BatwomanTVcom Twitter feed for more Batwoman interviews as they become available!