Last year, DC’s Stargirl dazzled audiences with an inspiring and often surprising story about heroism, legacy and family. Courtney Whitmore recruited a new Justice Society, defeated the Injustice Society and saved her new hometown of Blue Valley…and the world. But the work of a hero is never done, and this season Stargirl and her JSA teammates will face a series of new challenges. We recently had a chance to sit down with series star Brec Bassinger, who told us all about the coming of Eclipso, this season’s new heroes, her future as a comic book writer and much, much more.
Note: The following interview has been edited for clarity.
Before we get started, I wanted to share a story. A few years before Stargirl premiered, I was babysitting and reading a comic to the kids. One of them pointed at a scene with Stargirl and said she looked like the girl from Bella and the Bulldogs.
Shut up! That's crazy! That is insane. A big part of Brec is I don't believe in coincidences and Stargirl time and time again has proven that because of the amount of coincidences that aren't coincidences that happened throughout filming the show.
Will the arrival of Eclipso this season bring the show into the horror genre?
I have to say, that is something I love about (Executive Producer) Geoff Johns' idea about the show. Each season he goes in with such a specific tone, and season two still has the heart and optimism that Stargirl just is, but it does have this new darker tone, specifically because of our villain Eclipso. He is like no one Stargirl has ever seen or faced. Eclipso feeds on the darkness of humanity, so obviously that's going to bring a darker tone. I'm very impressed with him, and I think Geoff hit the nail on the head with it.
Once Eclipso was announced fans got really worried because in the comics he kills Beth and Yolanda. So we're all going to be very tense for the entire season.
(Coyly) Uh-huh, yup, that is true. That does happen in the comics. Speaking of Eclipso, may I just say our suits are very comic book accurate.
This season will also introduce Green Lantern’s daughter Jade. How do the JSA react to her?
Surprisingly, Wildcat, Doctor Mid-Nite and Hourman are very accepting. They're very excited that they found a new legacy. I think Hourman instantly feels the connection because they're both superhero offspring. Courtney, on the other hand, is not quite as accepting. I think she's dealing with the emotions of her father not being a superhero, her destiny isn't exactly what she had been so set on, so she's still dealing with that even though she puts on a brave face. Having someone come in who has a legacy that you thought you had but don't, I think that's difficult for Courtney to be around and something she'll have to overcome.
Season two will also feature a guest appearance from John Wesley Shipp which is leaving fans buzzing with excitement.
I mean, how iconic! I feel like because we're on another Earth we don't get to do a lot of crossover situations, so this was like a little tease of that. I felt blessed because Shipp is awesome. It was fun!
The Thunderbolt will be arriving this season. What was it like filming those scenes?
The cast was all really excited because we've been waiting for the pink pen since the beginning of season one. It felt like a win for us to finally get to do stuff with the Thunderbolt. As for filming, it was a very unique filming experience, because obviously we don't have a floating genie there. I haven't seen the finished genie yet, so I'm excited.
If you could make any wish to the Thunderbolt, what would it be?
You have to be very specific with your wishes! Honestly, I'd be too scared to make a wish because it would just go wrong.
The Injustice Society has been defeated but Courtney is in the awkward position of still having the go to school alongside their children. That's got to be tense. What's that like for her?
You'll see it in the very first episode of season two, she's very wary of all of them. She doesn't know if they know. Do they know she's Stargirl? Do they know she was involved with Sportsmaster and Tigress getting put in prison and Icicle being killed? Specifically with Cameron, because she has feelings for him as well, so that adds another level on top of that. I feel like she has to kind of tiptoe around them until she finds out more.
As a teenager Courtney is in a difficult position. She has to keep the Justice Society stable while Beth, Yolanda and Rick are all going through their own struggles. How does she handle this pressure?
I always say high school is one of the most difficult times in someone's life. Not to mention she's now in summer school because she's failing school. And then now having the role of a superhero and the leader of a superhero group, I feel like at times she's bitten off more than she can handle. That's how she lives and how she learns. She is only 15 or 16. She's a sophomore in high school going into her junior year, and at that age, you're already learning so much. Even though it's a lot to handle, it's a very important time for her to learn how to do those things.
In addition to being a superhero story, Stargirl season one was the story of a blended family coming together. Will we get more of those family dynamics in season two?
There are definitely more family moments. We call them “the DugMores”—the Dugans and the Whitmores. The DugMore family is such a pivotal part of Stargirl and they will not be going anywhere. Specifically, now that Mike and Barbara know about the JSA, it'll be fun getting to see them deal with their new superhero lives—their family superhero lives.
The heart of the show is Courtney's relationship with Pat. What are some of the challenges that their relationship is going to face in season two?
Pat has a very big secret that he's hiding. Being the amazing father that he is, Pat probably has good reasoning behind it. They've just found this newfound trust between the two, and secrets do not keep trust. So, that's a big thing they struggle with.
The show goes all out with Easter eggs. What have been some of your favorites?
I'm a big fan of every time we film in outside Blue Valley, which is a small town in Georgia, actually. All the movie posters, I feel like every time there's normally a little Easter egg there, which is really fun.
I pause every time it pans to a movie poster. I have to see what it is!
Exactly! I don't know a lot of DC lore, but it's been so fun getting to learn more about it throughout filming. It's always a conversation starter for Geoff. I'm like, “Okay, what is this movie? And what does it mean to DC?”
What are some lessons that you learned from shooting season one that you took with you into making season two?
Rest when I can! Specifically before starting filming, because once we start filming it feels like a marathon league sprint. I just really try to get rested and in as good of shape and health as I can before we start, so I can last the seven months. It's the most fun thing ever, but it's a lot of hard work.
If you had to pick any scene that sums up who Courtney is at her core, which scene would you pick?
At the very end of season one, when she gives the gift to Pat. It's the mug that she had saved for her father, and I think that's truly who Courtney is because even though it took her a long time to get there and accept Pat, she got there. I feel like that's who she is at her core. She's someone who wants to see the good in people, wants to love, and wants to accept people. It was a good payoff scene. I love Courtney, but she had been a brat to Pat for a long time and it felt like a relief that she finally gave him the love he deserves.
If you as Brec could give Courtney any piece of advice, what would it be?
Slow down! She's always going so fast. It's one of my favorite parts about her, but it gets her into so much trouble. She's so impulsive and doesn't think a lot of things through, which is fun because now that Barbara knows about her being Stargirl, it's something she's always telling her too. She's like, “Okay, be careful. Think this through. Don't jump in.” But it's just something Courtney cannot help because she's so passionate.
In addition to being a live-action superhero, you also became a comic book writer this year. You got to write a feature for DC’s Stargirl Spring Break Special. How did that come about?
Geoff proposed the idea to me. He said, “We have a new special edition Stargirl comic. I would love it if you did something with it.” I went to school for writing. I didn't get a degree, but I tried to. I was like, “Absolutely! Writing is one of my other loves.”
This was the funny part, we didn't talk about it for another month. I told my mom, I told my grandma and didn't hear anything. Crickets. So I went back up to him and said, “Hey, is that still a thing?” And he's like, “Yes, of course.”
So at that point we sat down and we kind of threw some ideas out there. I'm very proud of myself. This is the prompt he gave me: You miss school and give an excuse. And I just had idea after idea and I was feeling so inspired. I wrote three, and I emailed them to him while we were filming. And he comes over, and he was just dying laughing. He says, “Brec, we're printing all three of them! That's amazing! I'm so impressed.” He was going around and had the director read them. And I felt very honored and excited.
The comic ended with a cliffhanger promising more adventures with Stargirl #1. Can we expect more contributions from you when that launches?
If I hear anything, I'm going straight up to Geoff and saying, “Hey, it was a hit last time. Let's do it again.” So if I have any say, then yes!
DC's Stargirl returns for its second season premiere tonight at 8 p.m. (7 p.m. CST) on The CW. Looking for more on Courtney and the JSA? Visit our official DC's Stargirl series page!