“Gotham” continues tonight on Fox, which means fans will finally discover what happens to Oswald Cobblepot after the pilot’s shocking ending. They can also expect to learn a lot more about the show’s young Catwoman-to-be, at least if the episode’s title, “Selina Kyle,” is any indication. Even without lines, Selina was a standout in the “Gotham” premiere, so we were thrilled when we recently got a chance to speak to the fifteen-year-old actress behind her, Camren Bicondova, about what it’s like taking on such an iconic role, how it feels being a part of Batman’s world and what she actually thinks about cats.
In the pilot, Selina Kyle was pretty much just an observer. How does it feel to now be a part of the story?
It’s pretty awesome. I mean, I was excited to be in the pilot either way, whether I had lines or not, because I got to utilize my dancing. But now I’m really excited because I get to show what I’ve come up with for the character. It’s a little scary. But I’m excited about it.
You mentioned dancing. Are you a dancer?
Yes, I am!
Several actresses have played Selina Kyle before, but you’re the only one who’s played her at such a young age. How would you describe her at this point in her life?
At this point, she’s just trying to survive on her own in Gotham City, and the way that she does that is by pickpocketing and stealing stuff. So really, she’s just a survivor at the moment.
Were you influenced by the way any of those actresses played Selina Kyle as an adult? Or did you try to approach this performance as something completely new?
I did watch their performances, originally for inspiration. But then, as I was watching I realized that it would be a little awkward if I used the same characteristics that women used while playing Selina Kyle. I mean, obviously she does have those characteristics, but it’s like minus ten because she’s a teenager. So I’m just reading the scripts and going with my instincts, and asking the writers if I have any questions. And DC Comics too, since they’re involved with the series. I’m just going with the flow.
How familiar were you with Selina Kyle as a character and the whole Batman world? Had you seen the movies or maybe read the comic books? Or was it all pretty new to you?
It’s all pretty new to me. I knew of Catwoman and Batman, but I didn’t know the details. I didn’t know the whole comic world that they were involved in until I started researching, and I love it now. It’s really awesome.
What was the first thing you did when you learned that you got the role?
I honestly don’t remember because I was in so much shock that I kind of blacked out in my head. I either jumped up or I fell down with excitement. I thought when I got the call that they were going to tell me that I got the role of Lucy, because I thought that I was auditioning for a girl named Lucy. But they said, “You’re actually the next Selina Kyle.”
I was like, “Oh, uh, that’s, uh, cool!” I was just in shock. It’s nerve-wracking, but it’s a good sort of nerves.
Your character develops a pretty close relationship with Bruce Wayne. How have you enjoyed working with David Mazouz?
He’s really fun. He’s my buddy on and off screen. He’s an amazing actor and I’ve learned a lot from him, as much as the other cast members. He’s a cool dude.
Do you think he’ll make a good Batman one day?
Yeah, I think he’ll be a pretty cool Batman. I kinda get a Batman vibe from him, you know?
Well, now that I’ve learned you’re a dancer I’m wondering, are you teaching him moves? He could probably learn from you.
I tried! Well, he tries. Yeah… [laughs] He tries! [laughs more] He’s funny.
Finally, do you have any pets? Are you a cat person?
I do have a pet and I am a cat person. I have a cat with me at home. He’s sitting right next to me, as a matter of fact. His name is Mr. G and he’s my other buddy. [Ed. note: To see Mr. G in action, click here.] He’s pretty chill. He actually thinks he’s a dog. He begs like a dog, and I walk him on a leash. It’s good because I like the activeness of having a dog, but I like the independence of a cat, and my cat is pretty much a dog and a cat morphed together so it’s pretty awesome.
I’m not sure what Catwoman would think of your cat thinking he’s a dog, though.
Yeah, I don’t know either. [laughs]