Spoilers below for anyone who hasn't yet watched the fifth episode of Stargirl's first season.
Now halfway through its first season, DC Universe's Stargirl has seemingly pulled together the first wave of its revised Justice Society of America heroes, with more recruits still on the way. (Just probably not The Flash or Green Lantern.) The first five episodes gave fans a lot to talk about, from the doomed fates of the first Justice Society to the reemergence of Icicle's and the ISA to Courtney getting more comfortable as the titular hero. Obviously, Stargirl also inspired a lot of questions.
Thankfully, star Brec Bassinger recently talked with CinemaBlend and offered some answers about several of our burning questions, along with one not-so-burning inquiries. Without further ado-gan – I feel like Pat would have appreciated that pun – let's get started.
What Can Stargirl Fans Expect From Solomon Grundy?
After appearing briefly near the end of Episode 2, the villainous beast Solomon Grundy was more formally introduced in Episode 5, or at least a rendering of him was. Doctor Mid-nite 2.0 confirmed that Grundy purposefully caused the death of Rick Tyler's parents, including the O.G. Hourman, thus dooming Rick to a negativity-filled adolescence. When I talked with Brec Bassinger, I asked about what we might see from Solomon Grundy, and here's what she excitedly told me:
Ooh yeah, yeah, yeah, Solomon Grundy. It definitely is more towards the end of the season. You have to wait for a bit. But there's a specific scene with Solomon Grundy – or a specific fight scene, I should say – that is going to be iconic. I've gotten to see a rough cut of it. Because, you know, anything with Solomon is 100% digital effects, so when they're filming it, they're literally filming an empty room, just moving the camera, which is so funny. And it looked awesome. I'm so excited for fans to see it. I know there was a Solomon Grundy on a different show, and I just think people will be like, 'This is the Solomon Grundy that we needed. This is how I pictured it.' So I'm really happy to be able to give them that.
It's very likely that Brec Bassinger was taking a winking shot at Gotham with that sentiment, seeing as how the bonkers Fox drama reconfigured Drew Powell's Butch Gilzean to actually be Cyrus Gold, the alter ego of the comics' Solomon Grundy. While I personally enjoyed the campiness of the zombified Butch, it certainly wasn't wholly representative of Grundy's more monstrous nature. Thankfully, though, Bassinger makes it sound like Stargirl fans will get to see at least one mind-blowing fight sequence with the all-CGI character. I am here for it.
What Happened To William Zarick's Wife?
After Stargirl rather shockingly killed off William "Wizard" Zarick and his son Joey, viewers probably didn't expect to see the grieving mother and wife Denise (Cynthia Evans) again. Yet she showed up again in Episode 4, initially wanting Pat to take a look at her vehicle, and then getting emotionally flustered after her family got brought up. The episode ended with Pat discovering her vehicle all smashed up in the middle of an auto salvage yard, with no sign of Denise (though her black cat was up and about). When I asked Brec Bassinger about this mini-mystery, she didn't sound too optimistic about the character's fate.
I don't know if the audience really gets clarity, at least for a few episodes, if at all. I mean, you can assume [what happened], considering the ISA killed the son and then killed William Zarick. Like, I think you could make some presumptions.
It sounds like Stargirl has taken Denise Zarick out of the equation, thus altogether eliminating the family from the show. And judging from the damage done to the vehicle itself, viewers can likely suspect that the aforementioned Solomon Grundy had something to do with Denise's presumed death. However it went down, it doesn't appear as if the show will return to that character at all. Here's what else Brec Bassinger had to say when I mentioned being concerned for the still-mourning Denise:
No, I know. That's how we were when we first read the script, like we were worried. I think Geoff made a joke, like, 'No, she's just gone.' So I don't know exactly. I don't know. I don't have the answer.
If anything, Denise's absence/death speaks to the all-consuming way that Jordan "Icicle" Mahkent handles those that threaten him. He took out all three Zarick family members over William backing down from Icicle's requests to help in taking out Stargirl, so just imagine what he'll do to those who stand more firmly in the way of his goals.
Will Barbara's Work With Icicle Cause Problems?
Because Blue Valley is such a small town, relatively speaking, it's shaping up that the majority of Stargirl's important characters are all connected to each other in one way or another. For instance, Courtney's mother Barbara is working as one of Jordan Mahkent's underlings for his American Dream initiative, which means only one person is unwittingly standing between Stargirl and Icicle. In talking about this complicated situation, Brec Bassinger told me that everything will definitely come to a head in the near future, causing issues for Courtney, Pat and the woman they love.
I don't know what what episode it is, but I feel like there's a scene where all of it comes crashing down, where I find out she's working with them, and I think they may know that I'm Stargirl, and my mom still knows nothing. She's still in the dark. There also becomes a lot of conflict, with Pat wanting to tell my mom, and me not wanting to tell her because I'm worried she won't let me keep doing it. And this was the first time I felt this connection with my real father, so I want to continue lying to her. So there's also that conflict between Pat and I later in the season as well. I was gonna say, 'They want to protect us,' but Pat wants to protect me. But I'm not scared of him; I'm scared of my momma. [Laughs.]
Why are TV moms always the last to find out everything? Amy Smart's Barbara is all smiles and good-natured vibes, too, so I definitely hope that she gets to escape the line of fire when everyone discovers all the other characters' secrets. But then there was that reveal that she's going to develop...feelings...for Icicle. So have fun with those theories.
How Fun Is It Working With Luke Wilson And S.T.R.I.P.E.?
To me, Stargirl landing Luke Wilson was the same kind of inspired DC Universe casting as Titans had with Esai Morales' Deathstroke or...well, everyone who's in Doom Patrol. Not a lot of established Hollywood vets could pull off Pat Dugan's folksy earnestness without it coming off as pandering or parody, but Wilson hits those innocent notes just as well as Amy Smart and Anjelika Washington. It's partially because of the Texan actor's southern charms, which was a big factor in him getting along so swimmingly with Brec Bassinger. Here's what the actress told me:
It was awesome! He was such a good... I want to say partner in crime, but I don't think that is the best description; we're supposed to be heroes! We're both from Texas, so we kind of bonded over that, and I feel like there's a certain Southern hospitality you get if you grow up in Texas, so everything was really smooth on set. He got such a relaxed feeling. A lot actors with the resumé that he has, it'd be quite the opposite; you'd have to kind of tiptoe around them, or be very nervous. And he didn't [have that attitude]. It was just so fun.
Neither Luke Wilson nor Brec Bassinger look especially stressed out to be working together during Stargirl episodes, even when their characters are in the heat of the moment. Speaking of, I also asked Bessinger about what it was like handling scenes with Pat's S.T.R.I.P.E. suit, and it turns out that giant piece of mech-tech set the foundation for Bessinger and Wilson's friendship. Here's how she put it:
Every time we're in the garage, that's all practical. They built a 16-foot robot; it's gorgeous. Actually, the first time Luke and I met is when we went to go see the robot for the first time, so that was a really special day. But all the stuff in the fight scenes, when I'm flying on it, none of that's practical. Like even when I'm flying on it, you would think they could come put the practical robot in the green-screen room, but no. They just basically put like a big green on what looks like almost a gymnastics vault situation, and I just laid on it. And there would be people in green-screen suits like shaking it so it looks like it was moving. Yeah, but for like, a lot of the fight scenes, I would just stare at this 16-foot pole that had like a S.T.R.I.P.E. cardboard-cutout situation, but it was not. [Laughs.] It looks a lot better in [post-production], let's just say that.
It might take yours truly an uncomfortably long time to get used to not smirking anytime I'd look over to deliver serious lines to a 16-foot cardboard super-suit, so it's probably best that I didn't land the role of Stargirl. I mean, that's not the only reason, clearly.
While waiting for the surprise cameo from Owen Wilson as Pat Dugan's brother, remember to watch Stargirl every Monday on DC Universe, with episodes going live at 9:00 a.m. ET. The superhero drama also airs Tuesdays on The CW at 8:00 p.m. ET.