Gotham‘s series finale is jumping ten years forward to give a glimpse of a grown-up Batman facing off against his fully-formed Rogues Gallery, but at least one cast member won’t be making the leap along with it. Camren Bicondova, who has played future-Catwoman Selina Kyle since the series’ pilot, announced she will hand over the role to Ray Donovan alum Lili Simmons for the finale.
“I firmly believe that part of leaving a legacy and being a part of a legacy means knowing when to pass the torch to someone else,” Bicondova wrote in a lengthy statement on Twitter. “I was blessed to be the vessel for Selina Kyle for her formative teen years, and it only felt right to give someone else the torch for her adult self.”
It’s an interesting move, as Bicondova seems to be the only cast member who decided to pass the role along. This makes sense with the older members of the series like Robin Lord Taylor as The Penguin, Cory Michael Smith as The Riddler, and Ben McKenzie—who so help me Grodd better have a mustache in this finale—as Commissioner Gordon. But by all accounts, David Mazouz, who has played teen Bruce Wayne since episode 1, will be under the cape-and-cowl for this episode.
Either way, Gotham’s finale airs Thursday, April 25. You can read Bicondova’s full statement below:
I have important news to share, and I ask that you continue reading with open minds and understanding hearts. April 18th’s episode, 511, was my last appearance as Selina Kyle in Gotham. It’s important to me that I’m the one to tell you this because it was a choice that I made, through a lot of thoughts, prayer, and time (which Warner Bros., FOX, and our internal production team respected).
I wanted to give (the character) Selina Kyle as much respect as possible. Some will say that give her respect would include seeing the character through to the end of the show, which I understand. But, I firmly believe that part of leaving a legacy and being a part of a legacy means knowing when to pass the torch to someone else. I was blessed to be the vessel for Selina Kyle for her formative teen years, and it only felt right to give someone else the torch for her adult self.
The woman who will be playing the older Selina Kyle is the glorious Lili Simmons, who, when owe met for the first time, made me cry tears of joy. She is perfect for this role, and she really wanted to do Selina right. We spoke about Selina Kyle for hours; I shared journal entries and scene that were prime examples of Selina’s characteristics, and she shared thoughts of backstory for the 10 years that the audience doesn’t see.
I want to clearly express how much thought and care went into this decision, as well as how much respect for the character and legacy of Selina Kyle there is within it. I was blessed to be the seventh female actor to play Selina Kyle, the first to play her in Gotham’s adaptation — and now, there will e an eighth woman part of the DC Comics’ Catwoman legacy. That makes me proud.
Thank you to Warner Bros., and FOX for five years of life on a beautiful, unique, television show. Than you to Bruno Heller, Danny Cannon, and John Stephens for believing in me. Bruno and Danny, you saw something in that 14 year old girl the she didn’t see in herself, and I thank you few beiving in planting a seed and being patient enough to watch it flourish. John, you always made sure I knew you ere just a phone call away, and never once made me feel crazy for the suggestions or questions I had, and for that, I am thankful. Playing Selina Kyle has taught me so much about myself and what really means to stand firm and win life. Thank you all for trusting me with her fragile indomitability, her witty comebacks, her ardent fight scenes, and her tasteful style — I’ve never held the opportunity slightly.
To those who are reading this who are struggling with the internal war between the brain and the heart, the young people who struggle with deciding what the “right” or “wrong” thing is, wether to do the logical job or the passionate job… follow your heart, not your brain. You heart speaks what your spirit wants, your brain speaks what your flesh wants. Doing what your heart wants won’t be the easiest decisions, though. They’ll be the most terrifying, they could be humiliating, but they will be worth it. Even if people tell you that you’ll regret it — if it comes from your heart, there’s no way you could.
If I could give you some what Selina Kyle has taught me, t’d be this: Stand firm, and you will win life. Be bold, be loving, be trustworthy, keep a healthy distance, and look darkness in the cace and say, “You can’t keep me down.” You’re meant to fly, so surround yourself with those who can. No bird ever learned how to fly from a lizard. (But don’t be stubborn about taking a rest on the ground sometimes, because you an learn something from everyone.)
Here’s to Gotham’s teen adaption of Selina Kyle (2014-2019), Lili Simmons, and the many mor women to be blessed with the Catwoman Legacy.