'Batgirl' Casts Ivory Aquino as First Ever Trans Character to Appear in DC Comic Film

The Philippines born transgender actress will star as Alysia Yeoh in the feature film adaptation of Batgirl

Ivory Aquino
Photo: Steve Zak Photography/FilmMagic

Ivory Aquino just made history.

Batgirl, the upcoming HBO Max feature film, has cast Aquino to play the first ever transgender character in a live-action DC Comics feature movie, Variety and Deadline reported. The Philippines-born actress will star as Alysia Yeoh — the best friend of Batgirl, a.k.a. Barbara Gordon (Leslie Grace) — in the project.

Yeoh is also transgender and made her debut as the first major transgender character in 2011 in a DC comic book, the Daily Beast reported.

Aquino and Grace sparked speculation around casting in January when Grace shared a photo on her Instagram story featuring the two holding hands and crossing the street. Both appeared to be on the set of the film in the photo.

Grace captioned the post, "Barbara and Alysia 😍🦇".

Aquino's new gig comes after she once felt stagnant in her career.

ivory aquino 2017 publicity
Omar Amador.

In 2017, Aquino told PEOPLE she once came close to giving up as an actress. At one point in her career, Aquino didn't think there would be any roles for transgender actors. "I didn't feel at that time that there were any roles I could do," said Aquino.

Aquino moved to the US as a teen and underwent gender confirmation surgery out of the country at age 26.

Speaking about that moment she told PEOPLE, "My outsides finally felt like my insides. The first thought that came to mind was, 'I can act again!'"

She eventually starred as Juliet in The Drilling Company's Romeo and Juliet for Bryant Park Shakespeare in New York City in 2015.

Aquino is widely known for her playing transgender activist Cecilia Chung in the film When We Rise.

"You spend your whole life dreaming of these things," she added. "And it's really humbling when your dreams come true."

Batgirl is set to premiere on HBO Max this year.

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