Actress Navia Robinson chats about her role as Carrie Kelley/Robin on The CW’s Gotham Knights.
Courageous Nerd caught up with actress Navia Robinson, who has been making her mark over the last few years. Navia currently stars as Carrie KelleyRobin on The CW’s Gotham Knights.
It was recently announced that the show would end after its first season.
Prior to landing the role of Carrie, Navia starred in the first 4 seasons of Disney’s Raven‘s Home. She played Nia Baxter-Carter, daughter of That’s So Raven protagonist Raven Baxter (Raven-Symoné).
You can read our interview with Navia below or check out the video version on the Courageous Nerd YouTube channel, which is linked below.
How did your journey in acting first start?
Navia Robinson: I started when I was around 4-5 years old, I was very young. The story goes as this… this is what my mom has told me, because I was so young. I went to preschool with this kid, I think his parents were involved in the music industry. Entertainment in some way.
I went to this kid’s birthday party. At that birthday party, his parents took notice of me being a lot, I guess. I don’t even know what I was doing. I guess I was just very expressive. They told my mom and asked her whether she’d ever considered putting me in acting classes, theatre or something like that.
She said no, but I’d brought it up before which I do remember. I used to do little showcases in my living room for my parents. We had this really large roll of paper. I would roll it out and make a runway. I’d do performances and dancing. Emulate lines from TV.
My mom took that as a clue and this person asking her as a hint. [She] found a performing arts school and put me in classes. At first, they were just weekend classes. Then, I got older and I went to summer classes or classes that were weeks long.
That’s how I started. I got an agent through there and started auditioning very young.
Before signing onto Gotham Knights, how much did you know about Carrie Kelley, her trajectory and DC Comics in general?
Navia Robinson: I didn’t know much about the character that I’d be playing. But, I knew the exact comic from which she was from. I mean, the Frank Miller Dark Knight comics are some of the most popular of all time. My family is a really big comic-book-obsessed family.
I was familiar with the world. My favourite interpretations of DC Comics were usually the animated series. I really loved Young Justice, really loved that show. So many older Justice League movies.
When I was younger, we would take road trips from Georgia to South Carolina which is where I was born.
I would always beg that we’d watch Justice League Unlimited, so yes, I was familiar.
Throughout film/television history, there’s been no shortage of Batman stories. What do you think made this one stand out compared to the others?
Navia Robinson: That’s a good question. I think it has a gloss over overtone that I haven’t seen ever in the Batman universe. Ultimately, you’re dealing with these very young characters. It’s heavily focused too on their dynamics and relationships that form.
It’s inherently not like any other DC show in that way – like, half teen drama. Very different thing. I think that’s what sets it apart, but I think it’s much more vibrant than other interpretations of Gotham I’ve seen. Much more playful, maybe. It is sort of a campy show.
I mean that in a good way – I think it could strike a good balance. That’s what makes it different.
Speaking of genre shows on The CW, Supernatural’s Misha Collins is another co-star on Gotham Knights. How was he a guiding influence on younger cast members?
Navia Robinson: He’s so cool. We didn’t have any scenes together, so we didn’t really work together. We’d see each other around set, as you do. He never had specific words of advice, because he was just a little too ego-less and cool for that.
Also, our viewership… he definitely pulled most of our viewership. It’s his Instagram posts that kept all of us excited about the show, I think.
So, he’s such an asset.
Jumping back in terms of your career, you starred in the first few seasons of Raven’s Home on Disney Channel. While thematically very different, were you able to relate in the sense of joining an established franchise?
Navia Robinson: That’s a really good question – and a good point. It was something that already had its own fanbase, you’re coming into a world. Both things are similar in that they require a certain amount of respect. You want to tread lightly but not too lightly to where you’re not creating a character that you stand-by. So, they are both similar in that way.
They are both formula shows, very different ones. Raven’s Home was a sitcom with a lot of structure. You have to figure out how to work within it. Gotham Knights was a network drama with a lot of structure – you have to figure out how to work within it.
I think what I learned from Raven’s Home is… there were definitely times where I didn’t take it as seriously as I should’ve.
It was a sitcom. like yeah, this is fine, I got it. I learned from that you want to treat everything with as much respect and seriousness as you would with the next.
Going into Gotham Knights, I think that was important to me. The idea is just to be super respectful of the material.
Are there any other upcoming projects that people can look out for?
Navia Robinson: I just did a film called Ctrl Alt Delete. It’s my first film, first official one at least. So, that’s exciting. It’s an independent film… pretty heavy plot. It kind of explores the way a very sensitive subject is depicted in media. It’s a movie kind of about a movie. I’m really excited about it.
Yeah, I’m just going to keep on auditioning.
Thank you for taking the time to chat Navia, take care!
Navia Robinson: Thank you Conor, so enjoyed it. This was really fun.