How can you not love Supergirl’s Winn Schott? The cheerful, sweet smile. The pining eyes. The willingness to do almost anything for Kara. Yes, he may harbor the biggest case of unrequited affection since Ducky danced to “Try a Little Tenderness,” but he’s also been a peerless friend and supporter to Supergirl as she tries to come to terms with her new role as a super hero. While Winn may reside in the loneliest corner (at least, for now!) of the show’s love triangle, he contributes far more than a wistful smile. He’s Supergirl’s Q. Her Cisco Ramon. He created her awesome suit and regularly provides tech support when she’s unable or unwilling to depend on the D.E.O. In short, he’s the best friend that a young super-powered alien trying to find her heroic way could have.
That’s actually quite a bit to rest on one man’s shoulders, especially one whose father happens to be a well known super-villain. Fortunately, Jeremy Jordan, the actor behind the role, is ideally suited for the task. In fact, if he has his way, proving support to a well known super hero will prove to be just a step towards his ultimate goal as an actor—playing one himself.
Will we see some of Winn interacting with Maxwell Lord? He's your hero, after all.
Yes, but not for a while.
Well, we hear you have some scenes with Calista coming up…
Next episode is the Winn and Cat show a little bit. I don't know if you remember in episode three, I kind of come up to her and save Kara at the little gala and she's like, “Who the hell is this person?” Just the guy that works right across from your office every day.
I can't tell you all, but there are some crises that happen and Winn has some expertise that sort of helps CatCo get back on top of things, so Cat sort of recognizes his potential and turns her mentor brain over to him for a little while. So, yeah, it's a cool little bit.
It’s very hard to walk that line where you want to see Winn get the girl, but you also have to make sure that you don't play it creepy. How do you walk that line?
I think it's just genuine. I think that Kara is smart enough and observant enough to not become best friends with a creepy dude. And also Winn, I think, is very respectful and I think he's too scared to say anything. I don't think he has a lot of friends, if any at all, outside of the office and he's not about to screw up the one good consistent thing that he has in life, which is her. Maybe that's part of the reason why he's so in love with her. Maybe it's sort of a love by proximity kind of a thing.
He's not really seen anything from the outside world. He's been stuck in this world, and I think that that can push you in a different direction. I've never worried about crossing that weird, creepy line. I think he has real, true, genuine feelings, but I also think that at the same time he doesn't think he has a shot, so he hasn't really tried to do anything. The most that he's ever gone for is that kiss on the cheek. Even for him, it was a cop out and he decides to do it while James and Lucy are coming around the corner. So the timing is just a bitch…
I just noticed your hat...
This is my Justice League hat! I found it at Lids in the back of an aisle like five years ago.
So are you a big comic book person?
I'm a medium-sized comic book person. I know all the main characters and all the main stories. And I read a lot of comic books as a kid. I've kind of weaned off of them as an adult. But I still follow a little bit. But yeah I totally love superheroes and the whole genre and mythology.
Before I got this job and still now, people ask me, what's your dream role. They're always fishing for some role that you can recreate. But for me, I always tell people sort of jokingly, but not, that I just want to be a super hero. And I still do.
Which super hero?
I don't care! I want to kick some alien ass and save the day. I just think it would be so much fun and sort of a childhood dream fulfillment sort of thing. And Winn's kind of towards there, but I think he's got a little bit of development to go before/if he is going to go that route.
We just found out that Martian Manhunter's not going to be you, sadly.
As a fan of the Justice League and the comics and your own show, how do you feel about the Martian Manhunter reveal?
Shout it from the rooftops! For Winn, I don't think he knows. It's definitely a secret [on the show], and I think maybe a couple of people are going to find out about that secret. But it's a big deal. I don't think it's something that's taken lightly. I don't even know if people in the D.E.O. know about it. Nobody knows about it now.
So as of now, it has no real effect on Winn. As we found out last week, he knows there's something going on with Hank. But as far as Winn knows, they resolved it and it was all a mishap.
There have been some hints dropped about your father…
Yes, it was revealed that my father [will be] played by Henry Czerny. He's great. He's playing Winslow Schott, Sr. who is the infamous Toyman, and as we know from previous episodes, he's been in jail for a long time for doing bad things. Which if you have any comic book knowledge, you can kind of assume what some of those things might have been.
In episode 10, we'll get to meet him. So things are going to go down. We're going to see a different side of Winn, which I'm very excited about. We've for the most part just seen this kind of quirky, young, excitable, in love kind of character. Kind of a sad puppy dog, but also a really smart hacker dude. But it's been kind of light. He's had all the fun, quippy lines. But I was really excited when I read the script for episode 10 because I get to delve a whole deeper. And it was a really challenging episode for me. It was rewarding doing it.
Does that mean you might venture into the dark side?
I wouldn't say that. I think as we know Winn now and how he is, it's going to take a lot for him to go there. At this point, as far as we know, as far as I know about him, there's not really that darkness in him. At least not that we've seen. Maybe it's deep below the service. It's clearly in his blood. I don't know. I don't want to say that Winn's going to suddenly become this giant super villain—I think that would make just no sense whatsoever. Though I can't really rule it out because I don't know what the big plans are for the whole series.
Going back to Winn's father, what is that dynamic going to look like when they actually come face to face?
It's not good. I mean, it's abandonment. It sort of parallels Kara's relationship a little bit in that she feels abandoned even though they had to do what they had to do. For Winn, it's abandonment without reason and without understanding. We'll learn a little more about why and what that was. He's definitely holding on to some pretty deep, dark emotions when it comes to confronting his dad that are brought to the surface very quickly. I think the exciting thing for me is you start to see what's behind the fun, quippy-ness and why Winn is like that because nobody's that kind of lighthearted all the time. It's compensating for something. I would just say that we maybe start to have an idea why he's using that—I don't want to say defense mechanism—of always being the happygolucky kind of guy.
So does Winn turn to Kara in the episode?
Well, it is called Supergirl. I think it's safe to say that Kara certainly gets involved. And I think it's also safe to say that over the course of this first half of the series, we're going to see Winn's relationship with Kara evolve as well. As she becomes more confident with herself and who she is, I think it sort of trickles down to the people around her. Winn, who's probably the least confident of the cast, sort of has a long way to grow. I think we'll start to see that growth. Although I can't imagine things are going to get better before they get worse. There might be more downhill sliding into the friends zone. I think we'll maybe get some movement in that storyline for sure.
With Toyman sharing your character's name, did you go into this series expecting things to go down that road?
Kind of, yeah. But nothing in my audition or any of my discussions with the creatives indicated that. I just thought because I have the low brow and I could do a mean brooding look. But that was never the character, at least not in the beginning. I certainly had that in the back of my mind. But I mean, it’s television. We're kind of the last people to know about these things. You know, you do all these crazy TV series and then you find out in Season 3 that you've had this secret backstory that you never heard about, but apparently you've been playing the whole time. I just do what's on the page, bring as much truth and personality to it as I can, and the chips fall where they may.
Supergirl airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. (7 p.m. CST) on CBS. This is the third in a series of Supergirl interviews that we’ll be running this week. Don’t miss our earlier interviews with David Harewood (Hank Henshaw) and Mehcad Brooks (James Olsen).