How Birds Of Prey’s Cassandra Cain Became A Real Pickpocket For The DC Movie

Cassandra CAin and Harley in her apartment

Spoilers ahead for Birds of Prey.

Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) has been in theaters for a few weeks now, helping to further expand the DC Extended Universe in the process. In addition to bringing back Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn for her second outing on the big screen, Cathy Yan's blockbuster also introduced some comic book favorites to the DCEU for the first time. These characters include Huntress, Black Canary, and Cassandra Cain. The latter was played by young actress Ella Jay Basco, and it turns out that she really became a pickpocket for the blockbuster.

The titular Birds of Prey come together over a common enemy: Ewan McGregor's Black Mask, who is trying to find and kill them for various reasons. Cassie Cain became a target after pickpocketing the wrong guy, and stealing the Bertinelli diamond from Victor Zsasz. Ella Jay Basco recently spoke to the process of leaning this skill on set, saying:

A magician from The Magic Castle came, and he taught me the culture of pickpocketing and how to pickpocket. During some of my scenes, he was my coach and trainer to really make sure we got a clean shot of me stealing.

Well, that's some dedication. Cassandra Cain does her fair amount of stealing throughout Birds of Prey, even saving the day because of it. And Cathy Yan and company waned to make sure it looked legit, resulting in the child actress taking a class in pickpocketing. Because there's no way that'll get her in trouble later, right?

Actors are often expected to train in certain skills for roles, giving a level of realism to their performances. With superhero movies, this is typically a ton of physical training and fight work, which was certainly the case with Birds of Prey. Ella Jay Basco didn't have to throw punches and get involved in the intricate fight choreography, but Cassandra Cain had her own talents that needed to be portrayed believably on screen.

Later in her conversation with THR, Ella Jay Basco revealed how she showed off her new skills to her family-- including her actor uncle Dante Basco (Hook). As she tells it,

When we had some family parties while I was shooting, I stole a wallet from my Uncle Dante, and he was freaking out. It was cool because I realized I now had this skill.

It looks like Ella Jay Basco is excited about her new pickpocketing skills, especially when she was able to use it on her iconic actor Uncle. Birds of Prey might be a DC project, but the 13 year-old actress might want to heed the advice of a famous Marvel property. With great power comes great responsibility, so she's probably better off not flexing those muscles too often in the real world.

It should be interesting to see if Cassandra Cain ends up having a larger role in the DCEU. Birds of Prey ended with she and Harley forming their own little family, with the femme fatale teaching Cassie the ropes. She hasn't been listed as a character in The Suicide Squad, but I'm hoping she does pop up at least once to keep the continuity of Harley's arc. Plus, the character ends up becoming a new Batgirl in the comics, so the storytelling possibilities seem endless.

Birds of Prey is in theaters now. Be sure to check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.