[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers through the Season 1 finale of Stargirl, “Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E. Part One and Part Two.”]
The fun of The CW series Stargirl, created by Geoff Johns, comes from the absolute joy that’s obvious every time high school sophomore Courtney Whitmore (Brec Bassinger) puts on her supersuit and joins up with her superhero team, the Justice Society of America, to go out and save the day as Stargirl. Learning just how well they can work together when they all trust each other, these young superheroes just want to do what’s good and right and stop the evil villains that attempt to take over the world, or at least their small town of Blue Valley.
During this 1-on-1 phone interview with Collider, Brec Bassinger talked about her favorite moments in the finale, filming a fight scene with a CGI character, possible villains for the already announced Season 2, whether we could see Courtney have a romance in the future, and what she hopes the final surprising reveal means going forward.
Collider: Everything came together in these last two episodes. When you read them and shot them, what were your favorite aspects of the way the season wrapped up? What were your favorite things involving your character, and was there anything with the other characters, that you found yourself specifically drawn to?
BREC BASSINGER: It was such a small moment, but I really appreciated it, with Rick and Courtney, at the very end. There’s this sense of solitude between them. I feel like he grew so much in that last episode and he finally got justice, instead of his revenge mentality. I loved seeing that transition in him and Courtney acknowledging it. Even though it was so small, on set I definitely felt it.
And then, my favorite is Courtney giving Pat the mug. That was so full circle. I have to give props to Geoff. In the very beginning, in the very first episode and the very first time you see Courtney, she has this gift, and the very last time you see her, in Season 1, she’s giving this gift away. It’s so full circle, and such a beautiful bonding moment. I love it because Barbara and Courtney know how much it means, and even though it does mean a lot to Pat, he doesn’t realize the extent of what it means. I just love it. She doesn’t do it to show off, but truly just because she feels that way. She just feels inclined to give it to him, and I love it.
In this episode, Courtney had to face off with Pat because of the ISA’s evil plan. What was your reaction to that scene, with Stargirl and S.T.R.I.P.E. having to do battle, and what was it like to be a part of that?
BASSINGER: Reading it, I was completely in shock. I feel like Stargirl does this thing where you get something like, “Oh, Henry has his powers and he’s good. Just kidding, we’re gonna take him away from you. Oh, Courtney might make a friend and his name is Joey. That’s taken away from you. Oh, Courtney and Pat are all father-daughter and it’s beautiful. Just kidding, we’re gonna make them fight.” It pulls at your heartstrings. Filming it was a really funny experience because I had never filmed a fight scene just with a CGI character, and I was literally filming it with no one. I was staring up and going, “I’m your daughter,” but I was just starting up at a pole. It was a bit anti-climactic, but reading it was so fun.
Even though Courtney was obviously against telling her mom about Stargirl and the JSA, in the beginning, how does she feel now about her mother knowing and being a part of everything?
BASSINGER: The main reason that she didn’t want Barbara to know is because she was afraid she would take it away from her, and it’s her priority. It’s the one thing that she loves, where she feels completely herself. And now that Barbara knows and hasn’t taken away Stargirl from her, there’s this sense of ease and the weight is off of her shoulders, but it also complicates things because it does make it more dangerous for her mom. She’s so close to her mom and their bond is really special, so I’m glad she’s able to be open and honest with her, but I do imagine that it’ll raise difficulties when it comes to issues of safety. And of course, now that her mom knows, she’ll be more on her back about it, which I’m sure Courtney won’t love because she likes the freedom of Stargirl, too.
We get to see hints of who some possible villains could be, and Cindy is still around and she’s got enough teenage angst to last a lifetime. What do you think we’ll see, as far as villains go, in Season 2? Are you expecting things to just get more and more challenging for this new team?
BASSINGER: Yes. You see Cindy, at the very end, pull out the diamond that has Eclipso in it. So, just seeing that, I would assume that we’ll have to deal with Eclipso, but I’m just making an assumption from what we saw.
I love the fight scene between Cindy and Courtney because they’re just so opposite.
BASSINGER: So opposite, but so similar, at the same time.
What’s it like to get to do fight scenes with her, and how was this fight scene, compared to the other one that you guys had?
BASSINGER: This one was different, in that I was more in control, which I liked. But I personally love Shiv and Stargirl and their rivalry. It comes straight from the comics, so I love the nostalgia aspect of that. I also always compare us to Kim Possible and Shego. Stargirl fights these grown men and it’s like, “Okay, cool.” But then, seeing her be catty with another girl her age, I think is so interesting and fun to watch and film.
Seeing Stargirl in the supersuit in the snow, at the end of this episode, shows the need for a warm-weather version of the costume. Have you made any suggestions about having different variations of the costume?
BASSINGER: I don’t feel like it’s plausible, just because she used Starman’s suit to make her suit, and the suit is special superhero fabric. But we filmed the first season in the summer in Atlanta, so I was grateful for the crop top. If the timeline is what it looks like it’s gonna be, we’ll be filming in the winter and it gets to zero degrees. I’m gonna be freezing my butt off. Maybe it will add something. I don’t know. Maybe it will keep me on my toes. It’ll be great.
Maybe you can bring legwarmers back in style.
BASSINGER: Legwarmers! LOL. I’ll run that by Geoff. Every time I bring up an idea to him that’s clearly not great, he’s like, “Yeah, we’ll do that in Season 10.”
We’ve seen a little bit of a romance brewing between Courtney and Jordan’s son, and obviously there’s some chemistry with Rick. Would you like to see some sort of romance for Courtney, in the future? How do you think she’d deal with something as normal as that?
BASSINGER: Oh, gosh. It’s so funny because Stargirl is her main priority, and that might cause her some trouble in the future. All superheroes have a hard time balancing real life and being a superhero because, of course, that makes sense. But me, myself, Brec, I grew up always loving the teen romance TV shows and movies, so I would love to see it. Stargirl just has so much on her plate that it’ll all be about balance, story-wise and real life-wise.
Both Yolanda with Brainwave and Mike with Icicle make the choice to kill someone, in the finale. Do you think that’s something that they’ll have to continue to deal with as they face more villains? Do you feel like those life-or-death stakes are going to become more and more real, for all of them?
BASSINGER: Yes. I feel like that’s something that Courtney struggles with, a lot. Killing is never an option for her. But then, she also knows that, if this season proved nothing else, there’s true evil out there. Brainwave is horrible and so evil. And so, when there’s evil like that, sometimes those tough decisions are gonna be brought to you. We’ve seen that in the first season, and I imagine we would continue to see that, but I’m not sure.
At the very end of the finale, we got to learn that Starman is still alive. When did you find out that he’d be returning in the finale and what do you hope that means for next season?
BASSINGER: I found out when I read the 13th episode, probably the day of the table read of the 13th episode, two days before we started filming the 13th episode, and I was so shocked. I remember going to Geoff and being like, “How?! Isn’t he dead?” He was like, “All things are possible with DC.” What I keep learning, the more I’m part of this, is that truly anything is possible. There are so many comics and so many storylines that there’s a storyline for any character to come back and any character to die. No one’s ever safe, but no one’s ever dead.
Stargirl airs on Tuesday nights on The CW.
Christina Radish is a Senior Reporter of Film, TV, and Theme Parks for Collider. You can follow her on Twitter @ChristinaRadish.