Comics On TV

Stargirl’s Brec Bassinger on Making a Superhero for the Young Adult Crowd

The CW-DC Universe series star discusses her superhero Spanx epiphany, stunts, and whether there will be an Arrowverse crossover.

by | May 15, 2020 | Comments

Despite making it through the rigmarole of the audition process, waiting, and finally booking the part, Brec Bassinger says she didn’t really feel like she was Stargirl — DC’s latest live-action TV superhero — until her first costume fitting for the character’s crime-fighting ensemble known as a supersuit.

During a recent phone interview from her home in Los Angeles, Bassinger thinks back to that day and gushes over her first meeting with Laura Jean “LJ” Shannon, the designer of supersuits not just for Stargirl, but also other DC properties like Doom Patrol, Titans, and Black Lightning.

“At that point, I literally tried on like a sports bra and long Spanx that they’d cut off and, so, at that point, it didn’t look anything like it does today” she says of the early iteration of what would become a patriotic blue crop top and shorts emblazon with white five-point stars and a red belt and gloves.

Bassinger recalls that she had an epiphany during that fitting and thought, Oh wait, they’re custom-making this Stargirl super suit for me. I guess I am Stargirl.

Brec Bassinger as DC's Stargirl
(Photo by Smallz & Raskind/The CW)

She felt a similar surge when she saw a version of the Cosmic Staff, her character’s weapon of choice that allows her to fight villains through such powers as flying and manipulating energy. Bassinger says now that the design details are “so intricate and beautiful.” She also describes the device as “like Thor and his hammer — it only works for him.”

But being Stargirl isn’t just about cool accessories. The series, which is created by comic book writer and The Flash co-creator Geoff Johns, delves into heavy subject matter like feelings of abandonment, distrust of outsiders, and slut-shaming. All of this is centered in the world of young adults where Stargirl’s regular-girl alter ego, Courtney Whitmore, struggles to fit in at a new school after her mom and step-dad (Amy Smart’s Barbara and Luke Wilson’s Pat) move her and her step-brother Mike (Trae Romano) from Los Angeles to the small and insular Nebraska town of Blue Valley.

“Geoff didn’t want any of that messaging to be in-your-face, and I think Stargirl does a great job of making it very subliminal but still getting the point across,” Bassinger says. “I feel like this is the most effective way to do it because, I feel like, sometimes if it’s so in-your-face, it can make people turn away. But just by throwing it in there in glimpses and also having comedy and heart, I think it creates a really great balance.”

Still, Stargirl does come with its share of (sometimes unexpected) violence and death, and Bassinger is quick to point out that “no one is safe on this show.”

The show opens with a massive good-versus-evil battle involving Starman (Joel McHale) and other members of the Justice Society of America. The scene not only sets up the plot for the series, but also gives a taste into the deep-seated mythology of the DC characters associated with it.

Wilson’s Pat, who was there for the bloodbath, spends a good deal of that and other subsequent early episodes lecturing Courtney — and any audience members who are not experts on this world — on the Society and its roots; for example, warning his step-daughter not to underestimate the power of the Cosmic Staff because it was designed by Ted Knight, Starman’s real name.

Off screen, Bassinger says she’d often run to Johns with her own questions and that executive producer Greg Beeman was her “go-to person” when it came to what she describes as the Stargirl’s frequent “immaculate and crazy” nods to other shows and movies, such as when she glides down Blue Valley’s main street on the Cosmic Staff in a scene that pays homage to the moves made famous by Michael J. Fox’s Marty McFly in the Back to the Future movies.

And while Bassinger does have a background in gymnastics and would have loved to have been allowed to do more stunts, she acknowledges that it was safer to let her stunt double, Kristina Baskett, handle most of the heavy lifting. Bassinger admits that she did enjoy the days when she got to be harnessed into wires, such as a scene when she slides across the Staff in an early episode.

But there were some things Bassinger purposefully avoided in an effort to make this Stargirl her own, such as opting not to watch Britt Irvin portrayal of the character on Smallville or Sarah Grey’s on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Both of those shows featured an older version of the character who was not the lead, while this iteration allows Bassinger to devote more time to developing Stargirl’s backstory.

“I feel like playing younger characters is just more fun and, Courtney specifically, is like a optimistic funny character,” says Bassinger, who until now was mostly known for Nickelodeon shows like Bella and the Bulldogs and that network’s TV adaptation of School of Rock. “While a good dramatic scene is fun every once in a while, it’s nice just to be more lighthearted, I feel like, on a day-to-day basis.”

Brec Bassinger as Stargirl
(Photo by DC Universe)

Although Stargirl isn’t officially part of The CW’s “Arrowverse” collection of shows that include The Flash and Supergirl, fans did get a glimpse of some of these characters during the network’s elaborate “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover episodes, which aired this past winter and famously feature the heroes from other programs. Bassinger says there were talks of other crossover opportunities before the coronavirus pandemic shut down Hollywood this spring, but she doesn’t know how it will happen now – especially since her show’s chronology might not match up with the others’ (these programs rely on a multiverse theory, or the concept that infinite universes exist, and while Stargirl is part of Earth-1, not every character is).

There’s also the issue with the title of her character. These shows run for years (The Flash, for example, is in its sixth season). Eventually, her character will grow up and leave high school. Does that mean her name may ever be changed to Starwoman?

“I think she’ll always be Stargirl,” Bassinger says. “Like, even in the comics when she ages, she’s always Stargirl.”

Stargirl premieres Monday, May 18 on DC Universe and has its broadcast premiere on The CW on Tuesday, May 19 at 8/7C.

Tag Cloud

Avengers PlayStation Summer game of thrones archives 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Opinion Comic Book deadpool elevated horror Black Mirror RT History award winner GLAAD Television Academy Binge Guide Emmys Infographic casting Anna Paquin Apple TV Plus independent robots Ovation revenge comics dceu Comics on TV Showtime news Music stoner technology nbcuniversal unscripted HBO Go El Rey The Arrangement The Witch National Geographic cinemax Holidays what to watch women screen actors guild Toys best Awards Tour rotten movies we love french superman GoT APB james bond ESPN ABC Family Quiz DGA Pride Month comedies Election Song of Ice and Fire Emmy Nominations teaser Red Carpet OWN TBS blockbusters strong female leads rt archives See It Skip It boxing The Academy Britbox Photos Hulu cooking Peacock BAFTA emmy awards CW Seed Sci-Fi cancelled TV series Discovery Channel Chilling Adventures of Sabrina sag awards Musicals Television Critics Association true crime werewolf dramedy transformers NYCC Mary Poppins Returns serial killer American Society of Cinematographers BBC America Shondaland Syfy Columbia Pictures Fox News canceled TV shows crime thriller toronto Rom-Com police drama cancelled TV shows President SXSW indie First Look justice league franchise Action hollywood hidden camera Best and Worst dark green book based on movie Acorn TV Comedy Central First Reviews movie Premiere Dates sports WGN Character Guide laika politics chucky Netflix Christmas movies comic BBC TCA Awards south america Nickelodeon screenings remakes adventure jurassic park Masterpiece pirates of the caribbean CBS All Access Biopics monster movies WarnerMedia Christmas The Walt Disney Company video Watching Series 2016 2015 2020 Horror VICE Turner Classic Movies Cosplay biography miniseries Musical TCM Paramount USA Network Box Office name the review 24 frames crime drama CMT Academy Awards king kong TCA Winter 2020 australia Star Trek Exclusive Video tv talk ABC Holiday anthology Rocky disaster 99% 2017 zero dark thirty Apple Apple TV+ Crunchyroll Lionsgate sequels renewed TV shows worst movies die hard TV renewals finale PaleyFest supernatural Legendary spanish language CNN Epix Awards TV Marathons docuseries child's play LGBT Drama Winter TV satire FOX scorecard jamie lee curtis X-Men video on demand mutant cops FXX italian Pop Pirates Hallmark Christmas movies cats documentaries E! YA Disney streaming service facebook Oscars japanese 21st Century Fox USA harry potter thriller adaptation HBO Max zombie 4/20 Ellie Kemper cancelled indiana jones cartoon IFC Spectrum Originals Walt Disney Pictures quibi Freeform The Purge Schedule Trailer TCA science fiction travel political drama asian-american Marvel Television Black History Month crossover Classic Film ViacomCBS blockbuster 2018 Sundance TV doctor who VOD Video Games New York Comic Con ratings Mindy Kaling boxoffice Mudbound Extras talk show book DC Universe mission: impossible Set visit Nominations ITV Lifetime Teen movies critics PBS YouTube SundanceTV trailers nature Heroines Cartoon Network spinoff zombies Film Year in Review period drama crime Valentine's Day joker diversity rotten Disney BBC One Trophy Talk Nat Geo Podcast RT21 kong Disney Plus Warner Bros. concert Reality Countdown slashers OneApp black Sneak Peek anime Tomatazos venice halloween tv NBC Marvel Studios FX christmas movies Hear Us Out psychological thriller The Walking Dead 007 Rock 72 Emmy Awards Cannes festivals Dark Horse Comics IFC Films 2019 TNT spider-man Western A24 Fantasy criterion Comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt psycho Captain marvel space Broadway Alien batman telelvision historical drama halloween binge Sundance Now TruTV E3 comic books MTV TIFF Fox Searchlight Trivia LGBTQ Sony Pictures Kids & Family MSNBC Lucasfilm TLC vampires films ID Superheroe Thanksgiving ABC Signature Turner a nightmare on elm street Stephen King war BET Awards breaking bad streaming Women's History Month scary movies medical drama Tubi Amazon Prime Video Film Festival Esquire CBS blaxploitation football YouTube Red children's TV reviews MCU Endgame Writers Guild of America aliens ghosts Paramount Network 71st Emmy Awards Pixar free movies Mary Tyler Moore Food Network godzilla 45 hispanic singing competition mockumentary Interview romance Pet Sematary worst Martial Arts obituary AMC cults Amazon Studios kids HBO San Diego Comic-Con Tarantino dragons nfl YouTube Premium Crackle hist dogs DC streaming service SDCC popular spanish spy thriller sequel FX on Hulu Amazon witnail Disney Channel superhero The CW golden globe awards Country DirecTV classics Reality Competition VH1 TV Land richard e. Grant social media television stand-up comedy A&E Winners 2021 discovery Pop TV latino Baby Yoda Spike Fall TV Starz Elton John Star Wars versus Paramount Plus GIFs rom-coms parents Brie Larson romantic comedy Lifetime Christmas movies Netflix TCA 2017 Amazon Prime docudrama Spring TV comiccon cars Sundance Mary poppins prank razzies toy story Logo spain fresh Grammys canceled documentary Polls and Games Superheroes Ghostbusters Creative Arts Emmys Adult Swim Super Bowl directors DC Comics Hallmark 20th Century Fox game show Vudu festival Certified Fresh Tumblr all-time foreign Animation Arrowverse universal monsters Universal TV One golden globes Travel Channel History Rocketman BET Bravo series fast and furious cancelled television sitcom reboot Disney+ Disney Plus Shudder dc stop motion kaiju animated Chernobyl Marvel natural history Mystery theme song twilight Family Calendar Funimation composers