Here at DC Comics News we have always been big supporters of Fan based films and this time we focus on the upcoming fan film, Batgirl Rises. This is a fan film that is unique in its own right, every sense of the story, how the characters are formed, and it’s plot. Batgirl Rises captures the importance of iconic female characters in the DC world, capturing both their meaning and purpose. This is a unique story, with a brilliant crew and cast.
In our first interview, we went head to head with Lindsay Heath who plays Batgirl.
A young determined librarian desperately seeks the truth after her brothers disappearance with a mysterious woman.
Lindsay Heath: (Barbara Gordon/Batgirl)
Constance Brenneman: (Harleen Quinzel/Harley Quinn)
Devon Coull: (James Gordon Jr.)
Robert Angelic Granger: (Johnny Vitti)
Director/Screenplay: Vincent Tran
Written By: Danny Saab
Produced By: Danny Saab & Mike Leblanc
In this exclusive interview we go head to head with Constance Brenneman who plays the duel role of Harleen Quinzel/Harley Quinn. Our Q/A interview was conduced by site owner Damian Fasciani. We hope you enjoy it.
1. DCN: The character of Harley Quinn is historically driven by the relationship she has with the Joker, there is an essence of that in this fan film. How did you draw upon that to build your character and create the unique persona of Harley that you have brought to the screen?
CB (Constance Brenneman): Harley’s relationship with the Joker drives everything that she does in the film. Harley’s willing to risk losing her job as a therapist, a profession where she had to spend a decade in school and in gaining her practicum hours in order to practice. Love has to be deep, real, and fully enlivened in Harley in order for her to be willing to throw away all of that hard work. Also, the through-line that drives BATGIRL RISES is Harley’s need to convince Barbara Gordon to work in collaboration with her. Why? In order to save her love, to rescue the Joker. Action expresses priority, and in the script it is clear to me that the Joker is the #1 priority to Harleen based on her actions. I worked on playing Harley as someone who understands what she is sacrificing, and yet, has to go all-in for love.
2. DCN: Harley Quinn is driven by redemption, is there an end to what drives her in the show? Do you envisage another key driver for the character in the future?
CB: If the joker physically enters the picture, I can see Harley’s drives melding with those of the Joker. Redemption will drive Harley until he’s rescued.
3. DCN: Seeing Both Quinn and Batgirl together in the form we see in the pilot is unique, this unique bond is something that would intrigue fans. Was it a motivating factor for you when looking at the role?
CB: I do like the theme of female empowerment. Also, I love the idea of there being no clear “good character” or “bad character”. The relationship between Barbara Gordon and Harley Quinn is more nuanced than that in this film. These are two dynamic women who are intelligent enough to understand that collaboration is going to get them further than flying solo.
4. DCN: Harley Quinn seems to dilute the reason of why we seek redemption, in the last scene of the pilot the character talks about more what is “just” as opposed to what is wrong or right. How did this setup your character moving forward? Quinn is a smart, manipulative woman, do you like that about her? How did you build that into the final scene?
CB: Harley believes that what is “just” makes more sense than what is wrong or right based on societal standards. If she followed societal norms, her love for the Joker would be wrong, and that would never sit well with Harley. This frees Harleen up to be more decisive in her actions, and to drive towards the goal of redemption without struggling with her conscience. Whatever struggles Harley has with right and wrong are behind closed doors. She would never let Barbara Gordon see any of that.
Of course, I like that Quinn is smart. In this film, Harley believes that getting Barbara Gordon to work with her is truly mutually beneficial. For this reason, in the final scene, Harley can justify any manipulation that she uses to get Barbara Gordon on board with the redemption mission.
5. DCN: A fun question, our DC fans would like to know if you could be any superhero who would you be and why?
CB: Harley Quinn. Although many would question her “superhero” status. She’s complex, smart, driven, accomplished, and wonderfully fun to understand the inner workings of and to portray.
6. DCN: Would we ever get to see the Joker in the future? if so, do you think it would take away from the role of Harley Quinn within the structure of the story or strengthen it?
CB: Time will tell in regards to our friend, the Joker, making an appearance. Only Vincent Tran knows what the future holds for upcoming films. Right now, we get to see Harley in a position of power, generating forward momentum. It would be interesting to see if the introduction of the Joker would help fuel Harley’s fire or diminish it.
7. DCN: If you had the chance to re-invent what Harley Quinn physically looks like as opposed to what DC fans know her as today, how would you? Would you?
CB: I wouldn’t want to change what DC fans have come to know and love about Harley Quinn’s appearance. However, Vincent’s vision and my vision of her is a bit different from how she is generally depicted. Harley’s appearance is more power suit meets superhero versus bimbette meets superhero. This is more aligned with who Harley is, with her educational background. It’s humanizing.
Check out the international trailer here
The Batgirl Rises Pilot
DC Comics News would like to extend a huge thank you to Director Vincent Tran for coordinating the work behind making the interview happen, and also a big thanks to Constance Brenneman for her time. Her performance in the pilot is a powerful one.
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