Navia Ziraili Robinson talks playing a different kind of Robin in The CW’s gritty new Dark Knight series
In Gotham Knights, which premiered on Tuesday, March 14, Bruce Wayne has been murdered and his rebellious adopted son Turner Hayes (Oscar Morgan, Warren) has been framed for the crime. With the police and hard-charging district attorney Harvey Dent (Misha Collins, Supernatural) hot on his trail, the lad must rely on allies including best friend Stephanie Brown (Anna Lore, All American) and unlikely Batman sidekick Carrie Kelley (Navia Ziraili Robinson, Raven’s Home) to help prove his innocence.
But they soon learn there is a much larger conspiracy at work here, and so this ragtag team must band together to rescue Gotham City from anarchy and become its new dark defenders—the Gotham Knights. Rounding out this super team are a few fellow youngsters who happen to be the offspring of Batman’s many nemeses, including the daughter of the Joker.
ShowcaseA lifelong DC Comics fan, Robinson was thrilled at the prospect of bringing to life a new kind of Robin—this one a teenage girl.
“It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you know you’re playing a character that’s a part of a big institution,” she explains, “and there are going to be a lot of external opinions. So I tried to ignore those things as much as I possibly could and just focus on her motivations and the place that she operates from.”
“So [that means] kind of forgetting that she’s a character and certainly forgetting that she’s a superhero and just thinking of her as this 15-year-old girl who’s struggling with the same things that most adolescents are, which are trying to do good in an environment in which it usually feels like you’re being stifled or dismissed because of your age or size or whatever.”
ShowcaseThe series also enabled her to do a considerable amount of stunt work and basically create a character from the ground up that has two distinct sides.
“[There is] one side of Carrie Kelley, which is Robin the fighter,” she explains. “Somebody who’s experienced and trained by Batman, and so that required a certain amount of confidence and assertiveness that [contrasts] with Carrie Kelley the student, who goes to Gotham Academy, who’s a 15-year-old girl who’s struggling with balancing her homework and her life as a vigilante and her relationship with her mom but brings an entirely different set of characteristics to perform—kind of a more timid side of her, one that’s just a little more guarded. So yes, it’s been fun to get to do both of those things.”
Gotham Knights airs Tuesdays on Showcase and The CW