Inspirational Women In Hollywood: How Batwoman Star Christina Wolfe Is Helping To Shake Up The Entertainment Industry
You need to be your biggest cheerleader. Nobody is going to believe in you for you. Confidence is half the battle.
It’s normal to have periods of time without work. I tend to come off a job and think I’ll never work again, but you never know what is around the corner.
Develop routines and hobbies in a life of chaos. The business of acting is uncertain, the schedules vary greatly and I am often living in different places. Having routines and hobbies helps keep me sane. I started song-writing a couple of years ago, which I really enjoy.
It doesn’t have to be perfect. This applies to auditions and working. It might not go exactly how I wanted, and that’s OK. Sometimes it’s better.
You have the power to say ‘no’. I am still learning to speak up when I am uncomfortable or I disagree, but it’s important to remember that it’s a part of collaboration.
As a part of our series about Inspirational Women In Hollywood, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Christina Wolfe. Christina grew up in Spain attending international school so American accent is ‘native’ standard and she speaks fluent Spanish and French to a super high standard. She can currently be seen starring opposite Leighton Meester in the Netflix film A WEEKEND AWAY.
Christina was a series leading regular ‘Julia Pennyworth’ in BATWOMAN and previously a series regular in two seasons of THE ROYALS. Further credits amongst others include the Sky One series KING FOR A TERM directed by Idris Elba, TV movie VERY VALENTINE, and video game NEED FOR SPEED. Christina is half Spanish and half Swedish.
Thank you so much for doing this with us Christina! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
I was born and raised in North London with my brother and sister. My mum is Spanish and my dad is Swedish and we have a very close family. It’s an art-loving family, too. My dad is very knowledgeable and passionate about music and instilled in me a love and appreciation of different genres of music from very young. We’d have musicians around every Sunday for his band practices. I have happy memories of helping bring drumkits down the stairs!
We moved to Madrid when I was 14 and I was there for my teenage years. At first I absolutely hated it and missed my friends, but it’s an exciting city and it turned out to be great fun becoming an adult there.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
It started with imitating. I would do impressions of characters from films/TV for my family to make them laugh. We were very much into comedy: Only Fools and Horses, Fawlty Towers, Friends. I watched a lot of TV and read a lot. Then I would get inspired to devise my own versions of the things I had seen and recruit friends and family to be part of them. I always wanted to be creating — I was often writing stories, loved drifting away into other worlds.
When I was 12, I was obsessed with the musical The Wizard Of Oz and was cast as Dorothy in the school play. It gave me such an unbelievable buzz that I think there was no looking back after that. I can be quite shy and being on stage was an empowering way to express and explore different sides of myself.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Pretending to have a northern accent for an audition. I was ill-advised to stay in character the whole time so they would believe I was actually northern. The auditions were in Liverpool and I was recalled a couple of times so I’d take a train there and back from London with some of the same girls over a number of weeks. I stayed in character even after the audition on the train home and I couldn’t bring myself to admit I was putting on an accent, especially as it had been going on for a while. Of course, a couple years later I ended up working with one of the girls on something else and had to come clean about my fake accent!
I once pretended I was really good with cats for a commercial casting as the brief asked for an ‘experienced cat handler’. The cat was in the audition room and was having none of it. It hissed aggressively at me throughout. Needless to say, I was swiftly asked to leave. The moral of the story is be honest about your limitations — you can’t be perfect for every opportunity.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
A couple of my drama teachers encouraged me to pursue acting and one of them even set up a meeting with an agent in Madrid. I am so grateful that I was encouraged, I don’t think I would be doing this without the belief and support of others.
What is your “Why”? What drives you to get up every day and work in TV and Film?
Acting is such a liberating way to express yourself and release the ideas living in your head.
I am driven by curiosity about human behaviour, finding truthful moments and collaborating with skilled and creative crews. It is addictive and freeing, and no two days are the same. As a child I was always playing make-believe games, and this job feels like we’re playing every day. It’s exhilarating to bring a scene to life with others and to discover a character. It brings me a sense of release and joy.
You have such impressive work. What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? Where do you see yourself heading from here?
Thank you, I feel very lucky to have worked on such varied projects. Currently, I am working on a sci-fi drama set in space, called ‘The Ark’, which is a new genre for me and a lot of fun.
In Batwoman, you play Alfred’s daughter. There have been countless iterations of the Batman character. Why do you think the Batman character strikes such a chord with our contemporary society?
I think Batman will always be fascinating to us, there is something so compelling about tortured heroes and the triumph of good over evil. It transcends borders and cultures. And when the world faces so much turmoil and uncertainty, it is comforting to look to stories and characters from the past. Plus, he’s the sexiest superhero.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.
I’m still working it out to be honest! But five things that I have learned are:
- You need to be your biggest cheerleader. Nobody is going to believe in you for you. Confidence is half the battle.
- It’s normal to have periods of time without work. I tend to come off a job and think I’ll never work again, but you never know what is around the corner.
- Develop routines and hobbies in a life of chaos. The business of acting is uncertain, the schedules vary greatly and I am often living in different places. Having routines and hobbies helps keep me sane. I started song-writing a couple of years ago, which I really enjoy.
- It doesn’t have to be perfect. This applies to auditions and working. It might not go exactly how I wanted, and that’s OK. Sometimes it’s better.
- You have the power to say ‘no’. I am still learning to speak up when I am uncomfortable or I disagree, but it’s important to remember that it’s a part of collaboration.
Can you share with our readers any selfcare routines, practices or treatments that you do to help your body, mind or heart to thrive? Please share a story for each one if you can.
I used to believe that exercise was a chore and dreaded it. For me, it’s much better to do little and often. Most mornings now I have a coffee and go for a 20-minute run and it has become an act of self-care, rather than a horrible slog. I love the ritual of it, and listening to music while I run. Having little rituals is grounding, especially when you are often on the move and living out of a suitcase.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
‘This too shall pass’. Nothing is permanent, even if it feels that way. Both the bad times and the good times.
Are you on social media? How can our readers follow you online?
Yep, you can find me on Instagram @xtinawolfe .
This was so informative, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!
Thank you, and you too!
Inspirational Women In Hollywood: How Batwoman Star Christina Wolfe Is Helping To Shake Up The… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.