This winter, Ella Jay Basco will make her film debut in Birds of Prey as Cassandra Cain, a young girl who assumes the role of Batgirl, PEP.ph reports.
The DC superhero movie is set for a February 2020 release and features Margot Robbie reprising the role of Harley Quinn.
12-year-old Basco told A Book Of that she watched movies, practiced martial arts skills and read comic books about Cain to prepare. According to Variety, in DC Comics, Cain is a character raised specifically to become the world’s greatest assassin. She eventually becomes Batgirl after befriending Bruce Wayne.
In the interview with A Book Of, Basco said she was in shock when she found out she booked the part after a month-long audition process.
“I worked really hard on this role and got emotional because I wanted this part so bad! I mean I totally cried,” she said. “I knew from that moment on, my life would change forever.”
She added that she believes the emergence of female superheroes in film and TV should’ve happened “a long time ago.”
“Little girls should look up to strong women and see that they can be a superhero too. I’m so grateful and happy to be a part of this movement,” Basco said. “It was super cool to see my other female castmates in their superhero gear kicking butt.”
Basco said that Marissa Labog, the Filipino woman who was her stunt double, made sure she was safe and helped her shape the character DC Universe refers to as the “ultimate killing machine.”
In the past, Basco has been a guest performer on Veep and Grey’s Anatomy. The Hollywood Reporter recently highlighted the young actress on its 2019 Young Hollywood list of top 30 stars under age 18.
For her part, Basco said she’s always wanted to be an actress.
“I really want to represent the Asian community – that alone inspires me to act because representation and diversity in the industry is super important to me,” Basco, who has a Korean mother and Filipino father, said. “Some of my idols who inspire me are people like Natalie Portman, Jodie Foster, and most importantly Sandra Oh.”
She said she looked to the example of those women while preparing for her own performance in Birds of Prey.
PEP.ph reports that Jurnee Smollet-Bell, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rosie Perez and Ewan McGregor are also set to co-star in the film.
AsAmNews has Asian America in its heart. We’re an all-volunteer effort of dedicated staff and interns. Check out our Twitter feed and Facebook page for more content. Please consider interning, joining our staff or submitting a story.