Feisty on the dance floor and on set, Fox hit series Gotham‘s CAMREN BICONDOVA is light on her feet as she rises to the top with killer moves and a deadly whip to pave her way to success.
The new epoch of women taking over as leaders and fighters is just beginning–with female Jedi, Ghostbusters, and superheroes–and Camren Bicondova is definitely a soldier of the charge. The 18-year-old may call Wonder Woman “the epitome of badassery,” but it looks like she’s doing some saving of her own–whether it’s other people on the street, or just herself, as young Catwoman a.k.a. Selina Kyle in Fox hit series Gotham. The young enigma, fluidly pickpocketing strangers and leaping up fire escapes, opens the show’s pilot set in a pre-Batman city. It kicks off right after the death of Thomas and Martha Wayne, leaving a devastated young Bruce at its wake. Selina Kyle, hidden deep in the shadows, is there as the tragedy unfolds, disappearing right after, slick as a cat in the dead of night, her disposition already showing signs of the future hero-villain to be.
However, unlike the slew of famous actresses who’ve portrayed Catwoman, Camren’s Selina is someone we haven’t met before. “Nobody has seen Selina the way she is in Gotham. The street kid who depends on herself, knows how to survive on her own–they’ve only seen the regal Catwoman of the 1966 show, or the geeky assistant-turned-sexy acrobatic,” she states. Now three seasons later and a fourth on the way, she continues to tell Selina’s origin story with style and grace, edging close to finally transforming into the fierce Cat that we all love to hate, bullwhips and retractable claws hopefully included in the near future.
“Dance at its core is pure feeling and genuine emotion, and that’s also what acting is.”
Before all of that, the dancing military brat describes herself as being thrown into the acting world. “I was in LA for dance, and after some time wanted to try something new,” leading her to one of the most iconic characters ever known; so naturally landing the infamous Catwoman was no easy feat for Camren. Not exactly familiar with the Batman franchise before she got the part, she quickly got to reading all about the masked femme fatale, eager to bring justice to Catwoman and her character’s massive fanbase. When asked if she felt any pressure induced by the expectations of a large, passionate following, Camren admits, “When we first started filming, yes because I realized how many fans there really were, and I wasn’t quite prepared for that. But I’ve come to learn that the only real pressure comes from myself because I’m a hardcore perfectionist, so I have to be reminded not to be as hard on myself.”
Three years into playing Selina Kyle, Camren’s obviously already got it covered. Well aware of her character’s individuality by now, she personally doesn’t believe in the antihero trope often labeled onto Catwoman. “Antihero is a term people use for characters who do bad in order to do good, but to me, that’s not Selina at all.” she says. “Selina is a survivor. Period. She’s not in the white area, she’s not in the black area, she’s far deep in the grey area. I feel like society puts labels on people instead of just letting them be, and I feel like Selina is part of that. She’s not a villain or an ‘antihero.’ She’s just Selina.”
She’s just Selina indeed, but with a touch of her impeccable dance skills. As similar to Selina Kyle, Camren is also introverted and fiercely loyal to the ones she loves, but the cat in the woman can only be owed to Camren’s dance background. “I started dancing when I was six, but I didn’t realize that that’s what I wanted to do as a job until I was nine.” Truly a prodigy in her own right, she, along with her all-girl dance group 8 Flavahz, won first runner-up on the seventh season of America’s Best Dance Crew, and she certainly isn’t afraid to bring all that fire and flare onscreen. “Dance at its core is pure feeling and genuine emotion, and that’s also what acting is. With acting, the script provides the words of the character that the actor portrays. For dancers, the script is the song, and the character is the person singing that song, and it’s the dancer’s job to portray who the artist is and what he or she is saying through movement,” she says, breaking it down for us. “Both require deep self-understanding and emotion, and dance was my first choice of communication. So dancing definitely helped me transition into acting, and still helps me now.”
In the midst of a blossoming dance career and a hit show, Camren’s unsure of what’s next for her, but she does have clear goals in mind. With all that grace and talent wrapped up in such a passionate figure, not to mention her apparent love for penning poems and screenplays, the world is her playground and we can’t wait ‘til her next adventure.
By Jam Nitura
Photographed by Magdalena Niziol
Styled by Jamie Huggins and Juliana Alabado
Makeup Maria Ortega using Kevyn Aucoin
Hair Matthew Green using R&Co
Nails Elizabeth Garcia using Londontown USA
Assistant Photographer Marcus Cardona