WWE's Sonya Deville On Wanting To Play BATWOMAN, Whether She's Auditioned, Pride Month, & More - EXCLUSIVE

We recently caught up with WWE Superstar Sonya Deville to discuss her Batwoman aspirations, what she could bring to the role, what it would mean to play an openly gay comic book character, and much more...

Last month, it was revealed that Ruby Rose had decided to hang up her cape and cowl after starring in Batwoman for just one season. Soon after, we learned that The CW would be looking for another actress from the LGBTQ+ community to take over as the Scarlet Knight, and one name that's kept coming up ever since is WWE Superstar Sonya Deville (Daria Berenato). 

The first openly gay female wrestler in the company's history, she's become an instant fan-favourite choice to play Batwoman, and is currently one of the top stars on FOX's Friday Night SmackDown.

Earlier today, we had the opportunity to speak to Sonya about the outpouring of support surrounding her taking on the role of Batwoman, and talked in detail about everything from what she would bring to the role, to whether she's met with The CW and her aspirations to both wrestle and act. 

We also discuss Sonya's newly launched "Rainbow Love" clothing line, got her touching and inspirational thoughts on Pride Month, and much more besides. Needless to say, we want to pass on a massive thank you to Sonya for taking the time to talk to us, and definitely wish her all the best in nabbing the role of the Caped Crusader, as she would be a kick-ass Batwoman!
 


How did you first learn that The CW is looking for a new Batwoman? 

I actually got tagged in something on Instagram or Twitter by one of my fans saying, 'Oh my God, Sonya would be the perfect replacement for Ruby Rose.' I was like, 'Wait a second, Ruby Rose stepped down?' I had no idea, and so then I looked online and saw that she had stepped down from the role, so was like, 'Oh wow, this is like a dream role right here.'

It's been confirmed that the Batwoman in season 2 will be a new character called Ryan Wilder, so how would you feel about playing a new creation rather than following Ruby Rose as another Kate Kane?

I think that's always cool because Ruby obviously did a great job with the character, and you don't ever want to be a different version of somebody else. You want to be a new version of yourself, and so I think that would be an amazing opportunity to create a new role and bring something very different to it, you know?
 


Absolutely. Now, I know you've been talking about the role on social media, but have you had any contact with The CW at all or been given the chance to audition?

In progress. I'm working on it. [Laughs] I'll say that. 

Do you have any concerns about how taking on a big commitment like Batwoman would affect your wrestling career?

What I do in the ring with WWE is my priority right now, and it's my #1. But, people film movies all the time, and television roles, while working for WWE, so nothing is impossible. 

Have you got WWE's support when it comes to potentially playing the character, or is it something still very much in the early stages for you right now?

I think they would be on board, but yes, very early stages right now. 

What would it mean for you as an openly gay woman to be able to play an openly gay superhero like Batwoman? Is that part of the appeal when it comes to a role like this?

Yeah, absolutely. Growing up in general as a female, female superheroes are so inspiring and so cool, but they weren't always the most prevalent. You had Wonder Woman and Batwoman, but it was so cool to me to not only see a strong female being portrayed on a network like The CW, but that Batwoman is gay. That was so, so cool to me. I remember seeing when Ruby Rose got the part and being like, 'Oh my God, that's so badass.' The fact they want to keep it in the LGBTQ+ community I think is something that's really, really cool. I would love to be able to be the one to continue that inspiring message. 

With your background as a fighter and pro wrestler, is that sort of physicality something you think might give you an advantage over anyone else vying for the role?

I think it should! I literally would be my own stuntwoman. The intensity and the aggression and the physicality which comes with being a WWE Superstar I think translates over to television and film too. It's kind of one and the same world, so I think that would be a very smooth transition and help the role if anything. 
 


I know you said you're focused on WWE right now, but is an acting career something you've always had in the back of your head?

Yeah, I took my first acting class when I was 12 or 13 years old. I remember that my mom used to drive me 45 minutes from our house to take acting classes, so it's always been a dream of mine that recently, in the past year, I've started pursuing more than I was before. The timing felt good with that, and it's my retirement plan. I can't wrestle until I'm eighty, so I would love to transition like John Cena and The Rock have. I'd like to be the first female to make the big leap. 

There's going to be a Batwoman/Superman crossover event next year, but which of the heroes on The CW would you be most excited to interact with if you landed the role?

Ohh, that's a tough one! I've always loved Batman. He's badass. Superman...just the classics, really! 

In the past when a pro wrestler was interested in a superhero role, there would often be an uproar from comic book fans, but that perception has changed. What's it been like for you to see that support and not the negativity you might have got five or ten years ago?

It's kind of crazy. Like I said, the fans brought the role to me. I didn't even see it until they tagged me in it, but once I'd seen it and quote Tweeted it or whatever, they just started going, 'Oh my God, Sonya needs to be Batwoman,' and I was like, 'Yeah, I freaking do need to be Batwoman!' They got me excited about it, so the support has been crazy, and I think timing is everything. It's ironic, but also not, that I've been showing I can talk on the mic and obviously I have acting abilities, and then this role comes up. I think everything works out as it should.
 


What would you say to those comic book fans about what you would bring to the role of Batwoman? 
That's the thing I think is unique about me being in pursuit of the role. I think I would bring a level of intensity and passion that you've never maybe seen before. Not only my experience in wrestling these past five years, but seven years of trained martial arts. In every sport that I've played, I've always been the most aggressive and the most intense person on the field or on the court, so that's kind of just part of my character as a person. I think I would bring that level to screen people have never really seen before. 

I was wondering if you could tell our readers about your new clothing line

I started that a few months back, and it's called Rainbow Love. It's obviously an LGBTQ+ forward line, and my whole point with making it wasn't to throw some clothing out there and make some quick cash. That's not what it's about at all. It's just a personal line to me which features only a few items and it's all really quality clothing. Every shirt was hand designed by me and my partner, and everything means something. One of the designs has 'You Are Not Alone' on the back, and it has the Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK) on there too which is so important. In the LGBTQ+ community, statistically suicide rates are high, and I think it's important to have those conversations and resources available to those who are struggling with that in the community. That was something important to me to speak out on, and we've been doing some really great things. There's one coming up where we're partnering with The Trevor Project and giving some of the proceeds to them, and we're really excited to help the community and to be giving back in some sort of way. 
 


With this being Pride month, is there anything you'd like to say to fans out there who might be struggling with their sexuality or who look at you as an inspiration as WWE's first openly gay female wrestler?  

First and foremost, I just want to say Happy Pride Month to everybody. I know that some people are in worse situations than normal because of the quarantine and everything as they're living in bad home situations and are unfortunately home more than ever, so I want to say hang in there, find your safe place if you have one, reach out to friends and family, there's always someone there to talk if you need the resources, the Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK) is always open, don't hesitate to use that. I love you guys, be yourselves, don't ever be ashamed or afraid of being your truth, and don't ever apologise for your sexuality. I love you all. Mwah! 

Thank you so much for that. One final superhero question - if Batwoman doesn't work out, are there any other superhero roles you might have your eye on in future?

I'm a little near-sighted right now, so I'm going to stay in the moment and say I want the Batwoman role, and whatever happens, will happen. 
 

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