This Batwoman article contains spoilers for Jane the Virgin and Agent Carter.
For younger genre TV fans, the name Bridget Regan might not immediately ring a bell. But the actress, who was just cast as Poison Ivy on The CW’s Batwoman, has a long and impressive genre TV resume that suggests the beloved DC Comics character is in very safe hands. In addition to memorable turns on The Last Ship, White Collar, and Paradise Lost, the American actress has appeared in some of the most unexpectedly memorable genre TV roles in the last decade and a half. Basically, no matter how good or bad the material, Bridget Regan has a habit of elevating her roles to iconic. Let’s break down why Regan is such a good choice to play the morally complex Poison Ivy in Batwoman Season 3…
Legend of the Seeker
Regan burst onto the genre TV scene in 2008 as the lead heroine Kahlan in Legend of the Seeker, a first-run syndication adaptation of Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth fantasy series. Honestly, Regan was easily the cast standout in this often silly yet always delightful fantasy TV adaptation. While series star Craig Horner was earnest and pretty to look at (real Season 1 Arrow Stephen Amell energy), it was Regan who grounded the central romance between their two characters in important ways, and did some impressive stunt and fighting work to boot.
Dottie Underwood in Agent Carter
Since her angelic turn as Kahlan on Legend of the Seeker, Regan has taken on some villainous roles. In Agent Carter, she played Dottie Underwood, a Soviet assassin trained as a Black Widow in the Red Room Academy. She often faced off against Hayley Atwell’s Peggy Carter, and the two were well-matched. This was perhaps the first time Regan really demonstrated her ability to imbue antagonists with a complexity and charisma that makes them hard to dismiss by both a show’s heroes and its viewers.
Rose Solano in Jane the Virgin
While Jane the Virgin isn’t a genre show in the traditional definition of the term, its commitment to soap opera melodrama tropes often made it feel like one. Regan played Rose Solano, a character introduced as a former attorney and current wife to business patriarch Emilio Solano. We should have known there was more to the character, based on Regan’s casting. Rose was eventually revealed to be Sin Nostro, a crime lord and the main antagonist of the series. While the character would be played by several different actors over the series’ run, Regan was the one who made this initial twist work.
Poison Ivy in Batwoman Season 3
Regan has been cast as recurring character Pamela/Poison Ivy in the third season of Batwoman, opposite Javicia Leslie’s Ryan/Batwoman. A former Gotham University botany student, Pamela is a passionate and brilliant scientist who wants to change the world for the better. However, when she was experiments on by a colleague and injected with various plant toxins (man, academia is really falling apart), she is turned into the villainous Poison Ivy.
Poison Ivy has often been depicted as a morally ambiguous character in DC Comics and their screen adaptations—less “I want to watch the world burn” and more “I have a good goal and horrific methods”—so it will be interesting to see the talented and charismatic Regan bring those nuances to life. The fact that Poison Ivy will be a recurring character and that they cast someone like Regan to fill the role implies that Batwoman is looking to create a more complex character than a one-off villain.
Still, the press release announcing the casting doesn’t split hairs about Poison Ivy’s role as an antagonist, noting that the Bat Team must prepare for Ivy’s vengeful return. We know that Bridget Regan is more than up for the challenge.
What is your favorite Bridget Regan role? Let us know in the comments below!