Elizabeth Gillies Interview: Catwoman: Hunted

Elizabeth Gillies Interview: Catwoman: Hunted

Catwoman: Hunted takes everyone’s favorite antiheroine on her own journey as she tries to steal a priceless jewel from Black Mask and his group of some of the world’s most powerful villains. In an effort to survive, Catwoman must team up with Batwoman and Interpol to bring the villains down before they can bring her down.

Ahead of the film’s release, Screen Rant spoke exclusively with star Elizabeth Gillies to discuss Catwoman: Hunted, her excitement of joining the DC realm, her inspirations for her take on the titular character and which comic book characters she’d like to take on in a live-action capacity.


Related: Catwoman’s Complete 80 Year Costume History in DC Comics

Screen Rant: So Catwoman: Hunted is such a fun and interesting solo adventure for the character. What about it really drew you to that project?

Elizabeth Gillies: Well, I have always loved Catwoman. I’m a big fan of Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman, so when this was brought to me, I was very excited to do something in the DC universe because I’m also a fan of the DC universe. But I wanted to put my own spin on it while still paying tribute to the Catwoman that I really connected with at a young age, which is Michelle Pfeiffer’s, and I love that this is her first animated movie, it’s a huge deal in the DC universe. So I was thrilled that they asked me and I was thrilled to put my own spin on it. I also [loved] the cool anime flare, which I actually didn’t know about until I saw some of the animation later on when I was recording, but I was across the board just excited to get involved.

Given that you wanted to bring your own spin to it while honor the legacy of the character, what would you say were some of the biggest creative challenges for you to going into the project?

Elizabeth Gillies: When I admire someone or something, I have to start always with myself at a slight impression and then take it away and find it myself. So I obviously wanted to start from a place of finding Selina Kyle and then make her suit this new story and this new time with me playing her. So I had to sort of shift and mold it into my own thing, but that’s where I started, because when you have a character this iconic, especially with the animated world, I don’t think doing an entirely new take on her would have been incredibly well received and I didn’t really want to do that. So it was about finding my own way of paying tribute to a classic and making it my own.

Was there any specific comic books out that you went back and referenced for extra material or did you just sort of stick with the script you were given and the on-screen performances that you’ve loved of the character?

Elizabeth Gillies: I watched Halle Berry’s and I watched Michelle Pfeiffer’s and I watched wherever else I could find Catwoman in movies. Then I did a lot of YouTube searching, I wanted to see how she was portrayed in animation over the years and I tried to find a common theme or the parts of the character that really stuck out to me that were important that I wanted to make sure I held on to while finding my own.

I basically just did a lot of googling and, at a certain point, I didn’t even know where I was looking because I was sort of just typing in random things to find more backstory on her. I was thankful that in this script, we delve into her more sensitive side a couple of times, and you really see the difference between her putting on a show in front of people and her alone dealing with her own private things that make her less bold and more vulnerable. I was happy that dynamic existed for me to play, I think it plays well in the in the script, especially when you find out what’s going on in her life, there’s motive behind her actions.

So this film also has such a fantastic roster of DC characters. Did you have to do much research for the rest of them in addition to Catwoman?

Elizabeth Gillies: I’m new to this universe entirely and I probably had the same amount of knowledge that not a super fan, but a fan, not somebody who’s read all the comics. I was going into this as somebody who had a little more than a basic level of understanding of the full DC Universe. So I wanted to learn more once I was in there, because I knew that this is a big responsibility, so I asked a lot of questions when I was recording and obviously the roster of cameos and just full-on appearances in this movie from different villains, monsters, characters is so substantial, I had to ask a lot of questions. It’s very exciting to me that we get to see all of these people together in this movie and there are a lot of great Easter eggs and surprises that I won’t spoil now, but I think the fans will be very happy when they see everybody who’s in this movie.

Elizabeth Gillies Catwoman Hunted

Since you do mention that you you would ask questions, were you allotted the opportunity to play around with the character a little bit in recording? Did you also have some animation to go off of?

Elizabeth Gillies: In the beginning, I had no animation, so it was sort of cold [recording]. I think my first session was between like four or five hours, with nothing. I was allowed to play around, I did multiple multiple takes and our director was really specific. He pushed me and we got all different kinds of performances of each line and I trusted him and knew he was going to do something great with it.

It took probably over a year to record the whole thing, because there’s a lot of lag time in between, you’re waiting for animation and things like that, so once I got a little animation, I saw what it was going to look like. That was exciting to get a visual on then we went in and we got the back half of the movie or little parts that we had missed and that’s when it really all came together. Finally when I saw it, to hear everyone else finally because I was alone recording, was very exciting.

So that was going to be another one of my questions was did you get to interact with any of your co-stars during that time since it sounds like it was filmed during the pandemic?

Elizabeth Gillies: Yeah, because it was filmed during the pandemic for the back half of the recording, I actually have a studio in my home and I did it there. I think I might have gone in maybe three or four times to record the movie overall and I never got to record with anybody. But luckily, I had a little animation towards the end so I heard some other voices finally.

Alongside yourself, there’s just such a stacked roster of voices. Was there any one person that you really wish you would have been able to work with in a in a booth for the movie?

Elizabeth Gillies: There’s so many, but because I had so much interaction with Batwoman and we have so much back and forth and we have all those intense scenes, it would have been nice to have worked with Stephanie. I’ve never even met her, I’ve never spoken to her. [Laughs] Maybe I’ll DM her on Instagram. Because obviously we have a whole storyline in this movie that’s very important and central to the script, so that would have been great to work with her. And then Johnathan Banks, that would have been cool too, but the whole cast is so impressive and fun and there’s so many cameos that people don’t even know about. It’s very exciting.

Since you mentioned getting to hear some of their voices later down the road, did you also get to hear some of the music when you’re recording, because that feels so vital to the film?

Elizabeth Gillies: No, I didn’t get to hear any of it and it’s so great. It was so different than what I had anticipated, maybe I hadn’t even thought about it, but once I heard it and there was such cool jazz horns. The placement of the score and how it swelled and how long it stayed, it was so interesting. I thought it was just a really unique and brilliant choice for this movie, it made it really stand on its own, I was really into it.

Batgirl and Catwoman in Catwoman Hunted

Being a musician yourself, did you craft any playlists to sort of help you get into the mindset for your recording sessions?

Elizabeth Gillies: I didn’t, you know it’s weird, I listen to music all the time. For some reason, whenever I do a project, someone asks me if I make a playlist for my character and I never do and it’s so strange, it really makes no sense for my personality or anything. But had I known there was this much jazz, I probably would have played some cool jazz before I went into my session.

So for my final question, now that you’ve made your DC debut in the animated world, is there any hope to explore Marvel or DC in live-action or even carry Catwoman on in further adaptations?

Elizabeth Gillies: Oh god, yeah, I’m in now. I’ll do anything they want me to do. I had so much fun doing this, I always love animation and of course live-action would be a dream. So I’m excited to see what comes in the future and my answer is yes.

I heard you mentioned Poison Ivy to the interviewer right before me as I was coming in, but on the on the Marvel side of things, is there anybody in particular you would love to step into the shoes of?

Elizabeth Gillies: I always think about that, I’m not as well-versed in the Marvel world as I am in DC, but I would like to originate a new character, that would be cool. I think the fan base that surrounds both of these universes is so strong that it’s such an it’s an honor to be included in either club, so I’m sure I could find something to do in either place. There’s someone my fans always say that I should play and it’s Zatanna, I get that a lot.

Zatanna is a great one in the DC world and she’s got something in the works, so maybe fans and yourself will have to keep your fingers crossed.

Elizabeth Gillies: I always know, it comes up like once a week and I was like, “Okay, okay, got it. She’s on my radar. You win.”

More: Batman: Every Live-Action Catwoman Actor (& How Their Versions Differ)

Catwoman: Hunted hits digital platform and physical shelves on February 8.

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