‘Stargirl’s Brec Bassinger Teases New Season 2 Characters and Her Hopes For Season 3
Bassinger also reveals the upcoming episode she’s most excited about.
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The CW drama series Stargirl is back for a second season, as high schooler Courtney Whitmore (Brec Bassinger), aka Stargirl, and her superhero friends find themselves headed straight into a battle with the dark entity known as Eclipso. This young superhero team, known as the Justice Society of America, has stepped into the legacy of those who came before to try to keep their town and their loved ones safe from the evil that constantly threatens them.
During this 1-on-1 phone interview with Collider, Bassinger talked about adjusting to the new rules of filming during COVID, their desire to both give the show their all and have fun while doing it, the collaborative relationship she has with showrunner Geoff Johns, what she loves about the team dynamic, how dangerous Eclipso is, her hopes for the already picked up Season 3, and the upcoming episode she’s most excited about.
Collider: First of all, congratulations on Season 2 coming out, and also on finishing a season of TV during COVID.
BREC BASSINGER: Every day, there was this silent nervousness throughout everyone going, “Please don’t let there be a positive test.” We are one of, if not, the only show that I know of, that was able to do the whole season without shutting down because of a positive test. I was so grateful because our whole cast and crew took it so seriously, which made it feel like a safe work zone and that made it more fun.
How did the first day of Season 2 compare to the first day of Season 1? How did it feel coming back to the show and the character, but also then having COVID to deal with on top of it and having like this strange alien world to live in while you were doing it?
BASSINGER: Yeah, you used the word strange, and that’s a perfect way to describe it. We were just tip-toeing around because there were so many rules. We had an hour briefing on all of the COVID rules and it was a lot to remember. We had all of these COVID officers standing around, in case we got too close to someone or stood by someone too long or didn’t have a mask on. It was a constant reminder and we definitely felt like we had to tip-toe around until it became second nature. As for the acting side of it, it was so funny that the very first scene we filmed in the first episode was where I get sent to the principal’s office, and it was me, Amy [Smart], Luke [Wilson], and the principal, and we had this weird energy. It simultaneously felt like we hadn’t been there in two years and that we were just there yesterday. But by the end of the day, we had fallen back into the same routine that we had in Season 1.
When you play the title character of a show, it puts you in the position of being the leader that everyone looks to, to set the tone for the show. How has that experience been for you? What have you learned about yourself, from taking on that kind of responsibility?
BASSINGER: I wanna give a lot of credit to Geoff [Johns], who’s our showrunner, because I just try to follow his lead. I feel like he’s such a good leader, when it comes to positivity. He knows work is important and he puts a lot of importance on our show, but more than anything, the emotions and the mental come first. I just really try to follow in his footsteps, so I give a lot of credit to him. It’s been nice because I’ve had set experiences where there can be some negative people. I feel like if me and Geoff and Luke are walking onto set and expecting people to give it their all and have fun, then everyone else is gonna fall in line, which I have found to be true. That’s made filming so much fun because truly everyone shows up ready to have a good time. I give most of that credit to Geoff.
Have you always felt like you had a voice on this show and a space where you feel confident in sharing your own thoughts and opinions, or was that something that you felt you needed to grow into?
BASSINGER: Not because of the atmosphere, because from the very first day, Geoff was like, “If you don’t like a line, come talk to me. If you wanna change it, come talk to me.” He’s always opened the door for that communication. But me as a person, I struggled with that, so it was something I’ve had to learn and gain confidence in. It’s been so nice because, coming back for Season 2, I feel like I had the confidence. When I would get an episode, I felt the freedom to sit down with Geoff and be like, “So, this scene, I have a couple of thoughts about it.” And he was so accepting and open to hearing it. It’s just a blessing to work in an atmosphere like that because I’ve worked on shows where they don’t wanna hear it and they don’t care about what you have to say. It feels like more of a creative experience.
One of the things I loved most about the first season was getting to see this team of young superheroes come together and figure out what the responsibility of that means. Now that they’re learning more about what they’re strengths are, what are you enjoying about that evolving dynamic and getting to see how this team figures out how to work together, now that they know they’re superheroes?
BASSINGER: It’s become more fun because we actually went into Season 2 more confident. In the first season, our very first fight was against Sportsmaster and Tigress and we got our butts beat because we just had no communication skills and we weren’t a team yet. And so, coming into Season 2, where we’re not complete rookies anymore, it allowed us to add some more flare into our fight scenes, which from an acting standpoint, was really fun. As Brec, I’ve also gotten to know these people and have become so close to all of them. It was fun coming back. Yvette [Monreal] is one of my best friends, so in every scene with her, we would just have so much fun that I feel like it showed on camera and came through. I know when I watch our scenes, it looks like we’re having fun. I feel like our personal side bled into the acting, which actually helped.
When the team is out fighting the bad guys, what’s it like to all be together and all be in your superhero suits? Do you ever take a minute to realize how surreal, strange and cool it is to be a superhero team?
BASSINGER: All the freaking time. I like to sit on the floor. It’s a thing I do. On set where it’s kind of dirty, they’re like, “Brec, can we get you a chair?” And I’m like, “No, the floor is great.” At least once a week, up to once a day, I’d sit on the floor and look around. Specifically when we’re in our supersuits, it’s so surreal. Half the time, I feel like I’m not living a real life. There are hundreds of crew members, million dollar cameras, lights everywhere, hair and make-up touching me up between every take. It’s not real life. I just feel so grateful that I get to do it. It has exceeded every one of my expectations.
Teenagers still in high school don’t typically need to find a work-life balance yet, but Courtney is such a superhero overachiever that she needs to do that. Will she get any better at finding that balance or is it always going to be hard for her not to put the superhero thing first?
BASSINGER: I think it’s always gonna be hard for her, just because of how much she loves being Stargirl. She truly feels that it’s her destiny, so I think it’s something she’ll always be struggling with. But throughout the season, she does learn. There are just some things you can’t change. She’s very impulsive and she’s very passionate. While sometimes that gets her into trouble, like failing school, they’re also some of her greatest strengths as well.
Stargirl is not just trying to stop the bad guys, but she’s actually out looking for them. How much is that going to get her into trouble, especially as we learn about just how dangerous Eclipso is?
BASSINGER: By the time Eclipso comes around, everyone’s on board. Thank goodness for Pat because he knows a lot about the superheroes and the villains. Having this mentor for the new JSA is very helpful. So, by the time Courtney figures out that it’s Eclipso, she has everyone on board and it’s a team effort, which is good because Eclipso is extremely powerful.
I love that Pat, Barbara, and Mike are all in on things with Courtney and Stargirl now. What do you love about the fact that being a superhero has become a full-on family affair now? Does it help Courtney to have that support?
BASSINGER: Oh, absolutely. Courtney and her mom have a very special relationship. It’s always been them two. I think that’s something Courtney really struggled with in Season 1, not having her mom there and not being able to talk to her about it. With Season 2 having open communication, I think it’s very helpful. She can talk back to Pat. She respects him, but only to a certain degree. With her mom says, “Be careful,” she almost hears it more, which I think is really important for Courtney, who’s so impulsive. And then, Mike is so funny. I love Mike and Courtney’s relationship. It’s still developing and still growing, but I love Trae [Romano] in real life. I love treating him like a little brother, so it’s fun getting to play that out on camera. Barbara is such a rock for the family, so I think it’s really important that she knows. Having that rock be a part of this JSA is very helpful.
Right from the beginning of Season 2, we see Jade show up in Blue Valley, after being drawn to the Green Lantern. What does that character add to the dynamic?
BASSINGER: Courtney is definitely intimidated by her. At the end of Season 1, Courtney found out that Starman is not actually her father. That’s something she’s still dealing with. When she comes around, she really is a superhero’s daughter and Courtney is jealous. She’s aware of it, but it’s a learning curve for Courtney. She has to step back and be like, “Just because I’m not a superhero’s daughter, it doesn’t make me any less. The staff did choose me” She plays a big part in Courtney learning that.
What can you say about other new characters that we’ll see this season? Is there anyone that you’re particularly excited about fans getting to see?
BASSINGER: The Pink Pen and Johnny Thunder. I’m really excited about that. It’s funny because I haven’t even seen him. It’s all visual effects. I’m excited for other people to see it, but I’m also excited to see it too. Also, The Shade is such a dynamic character. He did such a good job balancing the evil and the not evil, and the good and the bad. He found a really cool balance there.
Starman and, by default Joel McHale, is still lurking out there and we don’t know what’s going on with that yet. How do you think he’ll feel about Courtney?
BASSINGER: There are definitely some questions there, like with the staff. I’m sure he’ll be like, “Who is this teenage girl with my staff?” If they ever meet, and hopefully they do, I think that’ll be a long conversation where everyone has a lot of questions.
The jury is also still out on whether Cameron will be good or bad. Right now, he seems to be leaning toward good, but his family is still there, which could possibly change that. Why do you think Courtney is so drawn to him?
BASSINGER: Good question. From the very beginning, it was not love at first sight, but the very first time they saw each other, there was just something there. I think Courtney is extremely smitten with him. He’s a very sweet, passive person, and Courtney is not overbearing, but the opposite of passive. She’s not aggressive, but not passive. So, when she sees this person who’s so passive and calm, she’s attracted to it. There’s no denying their feelings. As for which way he’ll go, I think Courtney is a little unsure too. That just makes it more soap opera-y. She was involved with his father’s death. She loves him and wants to be with him, but she can’t be honest with him. It’s a complete mess.
This show has comedy and sarcasm and physical comedy, and you’re so good at all of that. How have you surprised yourself with how well you’ve taken to that aspect of everything?
BASSINGER: First, thank you. I studied comedy. I went to an acting school for three years that was mainly comedic based, so I feel like that’s always been my strong suit. As for the physical comedy, that hasn’t come natural to me. Watching Season 1 back, there were certain moments with the staff where I was extremely proud of myself. The staff doesn’t move. It’s just an inanimate object and I have to do my best to imagine it having a personality and imagine it being physical. I was really happy with how the staff was portrayed, in the end. I think it’s personality definitely translated.
You’ve finished shooting Season 2 now and you know that you’re going to be doing Season 3. Have you already had conversations about what comes next for the show and these characters? Is it something that you think about a lot?
BASSINGER: Oh, yeah. Our showrunner Geoff has six seasons planned in his head. I’ve been hearing about the third season since I booked the show, which is fun. I’m always excited for the next thing. But more recently, I had a deeper conversation with him about the whole storyline of Season 3 and I am freaking pumped. There’s been a lot of slow burners that you’ve asked me about and, in Season 3, a lot of that comes right to the forefront, as of now. Obviously, those things are always subject to change, but I think there’ll be a lot of payoff in Season 3.
Is there anything that you were told in the beginning, that hasn’t happened or has changed, or have things stayed pretty close to what you were told?
BASSINGER: Things change all the time. Originally, in Season 1, Cameron was already supposed to get his powers and join the ISA. That’s the very first version I heard, and obviously, that didn’t happen. Things continue to evolve and change.
What do you most love and what are you most annoyed by, when it comes to the supersuit?
BASSINGER: The thing I love most about the suit is how it makes me feel when I put it on. I feel like a superhero, which makes it easier to get into character. It changes my walk. Instantly, when I put it on, I feel like I’m walking like a superhero. As for the most annoying thing about it, is how tight it is. If it’s not leaving a bruise on my neck, it’s leaving the stars on my arms. When I take the suit off the star imprints will be on my arms for two hours. I wore a lot of long sleeves this season. So, how tight it is can be a bit annoying.
I feel like superhero suits look really cool when they’re on, but they’re not necessarily made out of the most comfortable material to just be sitting around in.
BASSINGER: Yeah, they’re not necessarily comfortable, but I do have to say that the Stargirl suit is very functional. It’s a really strong fabric and it’s very stretchy, so I feel like I could actually kick someone’s butt in it, but that’s not the case for all suits. Capes are a real issue. We have a couple of capes on our show, and every time we walked down a staircase, the capes would get caught. They’re not very functional, but they’re pretty. At least Stargirl’s costume is extremely functional.
Do you have a favorite episode, or an episode you’re most excited about, in the first half of this season?
BASSINGER: I’m really excited for Episode 6. The fight scene is something that we’ve never done before. By far, it’s our biggest fight scene that we’ve ever gotten to do. Actually, our stunt coordinator, Walter Garcia, directed that episode. We’re all looking forward to Episode 6. I can’t believe they finished it. I swear, I think they did almost 200 set-ups for it.
Stargirl airs on Tuesday nights on The CW.
Link Source : https://collider.com/stargirl-season-2-brec-bassinger-interview/