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

ghosts Funimation book adaptation Showtime YA Superheroes all-time book Lionsgate Discovery Channel PaleyFest high school PlayStation international crime drama superman foreign New York Comic Con crime TV war Sundance Now Winners a nightmare on elm street Tubi Martial Arts comic books festivals cancelled TV series Freeform Sundance TV Adult Swim Podcast anthology scene in color venice Toys TBS Calendar revenge chucky 20th Century Fox cartoon know your critic superhero series DC Universe OWN Music Rocky 4/20 cancelled TV shows spain cancelled television Tomatazos VH1 TruTV Awards Quiz miniseries 21st Century Fox Schedule spider-man archives hollywood Drama The CW nature Red Carpet 2016 El Rey Disney Channel independent universal monsters Grammys Cannes prank docuseries Action women Marvel Television Star Trek new star wars movies Marvel Studios Pirates adenture ABC directors 99% psycho APB Awards Tour Spike Elton John Trophy Talk animated lord of the rings Rock Thanksgiving Shondaland BET king kong GLAAD Masterpiece screen actors guild Lifetime comic screenings E3 Stephen King Black Mirror Musical Cosplay comedies sitcom sequel Amazon Prime Video space First Reviews Universal rt archives Mary poppins 24 frames political drama WGN jurassic park Winter TV Epix IFC Films medical drama TIFF adaptation IFC latino AMC Watching Series X-Men Academy Awards obituary Ovation cars sequels CMT Opinion pirates of the caribbean Nat Geo 2019 classics Anna Paquin sag awards popular NYCC kong Television Critics Association Disney streaming service movie Chernobyl 1990s streaming joker FXX aapi cats finale breaking bad news BBC Hear Us Out reviews HBO justice league TCM Tumblr fresh Pop TV PBS Best and Worst Film Comic Book kids spanish language emmy awards new zealand Comedy Central BAFTA Nominations slashers Hulu Netflix disaster National Geographic Creative Arts Emmys FX on Hulu A24 name the review Biopics zombies supernatural comiccon Comedy cooking Pride Month Television Academy sports Emmys Fox News natural history Vudu composers Netflix Christmas movies Song of Ice and Fire Interview Set visit RT History Amazon Prime game show Oscars Ghostbusters Travel Channel LGBTQ 71st Emmy Awards spanish Disney Plus E! Nickelodeon doctor who golden globe awards NBA TLC HBO Go Writers Guild of America Holidays south america Fantasy trailers Marvel concert The Arrangement Mystery Ellie Kemper DC Comics See It Skip It Character Guide Hallmark Christmas movies Sci-Fi DirecTV scorecard DGA documentaries Photos free movies streaming movies christmas movies Valentine's Day travel Walt Disney Pictures anime FOX 45 Comics on TV Polls and Games technology worst YouTube Red 2020 strong female leads binge boxoffice Classic Film Exclusive Video Bravo cops Animation cinemax talk show police drama facebook Image Comics green book new york The Walt Disney Company hidden camera Marathons GoT harry potter GIFs japanese crime thriller quibi aliens james bond casting VICE Baby Yoda Fox Searchlight American Society of Cinematographers Trivia halloween tv legend TCA 2017 YouTube TV One Rom-Com Women's History Month docudrama australia batman ITV Cartoon Network zero dark thirty telelvision thriller dc teaser best toronto period drama Year in Review golden globes football Election HBO Max criterion adventure MSNBC stand-up comedy cancelled franchise blockbusters The Witch critics dogs Wes Anderson politics Endgame Food Network LGBT A&E romance The Purge Lifetime Christmas movies video based on movie Turner Apple TV+ saw Logo Fall TV SDCC BBC America comics Western tv talk television kaiju black Sundance Premiere Dates discovery 2018 OneApp Tokyo Olympics true crime TCA Winter 2020 MCU ABC Family Britbox Mindy Kaling Film Festival 2015 Emmy Nominations biography satire Reality TCA Awards Disney singing competition french Lucasfilm ID Pet Sematary historical drama Apple Musicals asian-american indie 2021 fast and furious Trailer blockbuster zombie Sony Pictures Spectrum Originals Acorn TV Avengers spinoff marvel cinematic universe cults psychological thriller BET Awards reboot Esquire Spring TV transformers olympics The Walking Dead rom-coms monster movies hispanic documentary Video Games laika CNN dark video on demand TCA Christmas History Reality Competition Apple TV Plus witnail elevated horror Summer Star Wars Chilling Adventures of Sabrina richard e. Grant movies WarnerMedia robots vampires nfl suspense ViacomCBS 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards halloween parents dragons canceled TV shows what to watch crossover unscripted deadpool Rocketman Broadway CBS Paramount basketball live action The Academy mutant Columbia Pictures Superheroe 93rd Oscars ratings Syfy rotten TV renewals Shudder Legendary wonder woman CW Seed serial killer boxing Amazon Studios YouTube Premium Black History Month Dark Horse Comics social media CBS All Access godzilla canceled USA Network renewed TV shows Arrowverse stoner Horror remakes Mary Poppins Returns Box Office USA NBC Turner Classic Movies Extras Disney+ Disney Plus 007 mission: impossible child's play Crunchyroll Infographic werewolf Peacock First Look versus DC streaming service stop motion Tarantino Paramount Network Family Hallmark heist movie children's TV Crackle festival theme song nbcuniversal Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt diversity 90s hist science fiction dramedy Country Mudbound Captain marvel blaxploitation scary movies Mary Tyler Moore Alien 72 Emmy Awards MTV spy thriller Comic-Con@Home 2021 jamie lee curtis romantic comedy films target Paramount Plus Super Bowl TV Land SundanceTV Warner Bros. President BBC One RT21 Brie Larson indiana jones Heroines toy story TNT mockumentary Pop die hard FX Teen TV movies dceu Amazon twilight San Diego Comic-Con rotten movies we love Kids & Family Starz Sneak Peek award winner worst movies ESPN japan Pixar Countdown SXSW Pacific Islander Holiday 2017 game of thrones ABC Signature italian razzies Certified Fresh VOD Binge Guide