It seems 2022 is the year of the teen superheroine. One of the women fighting evil and saving the world on the small screen is Hollywood actress Brec Bassinger.
The 23-year-old actress plays superhero Stargirl/Courtney Whitmore from the DC Universe in the eponymous TV series, the second season of which releases in the UAE on streaming service Starzplay on April 15.
‘Stargirl’ first released in 2020 and followed high school student Courtney who stumbles upon the powerful weapon called the ‘Cosmic Staff’ in her basement and inspires a new generation of superheroes that will rebuild the earlier destroyed Justice Society of America (JSA).
In an email interview with Gulf News, Bassinger talks about what it was like stepping into the trailblazing role and how she hopes to inspire other young women.
What was your first reaction to getting the role as a superhero?
Overwhelmed. Throughout the audition process I really tried to protect my heart, and not get too excited. But as soon as I got the call and it was official — I would be Stargirl; I would be a superhero. I immediately let myself feel it all. The excitement, the nerves, the honour, all of it.
What is your favourite part of being in the show and playing such a cool role?
I love scenes with the JSA. I think getting to be a part of a superhero team is so rewarding. When we have scenes around the lunch room table and we are coming up with a game-plan, the energy and stakes are so intense and real. We are a team on and off screen and we have to work together in the scene as both our characters and ourselves.
How do you prepare for the physical aspects of the character — in terms of fitness, stunts etc?
I try to go into each season above what I need to be physically. That means training like crazy before we start filming. Because realistically, after a 15 hour day of filming, the last thing I want to do is hit the gym. Throughout the season, it’s more stunt rehearsals where I am learning specific choreography and honing in on those staff skills. Before we started filming season 1 they put me in a bootcamp where we trained lots of Bo-staff [martial arts weapon] and wire work (which is so fun!).
You’re playing a super heroine, which must be very empowering as a woman. And it’s definitely a great show for young women to be inspired by. Did you feel a sense of responsibility to get it right for female audiences?
I try to not look at it as a responsibility but more of an opportunity. I have been given the opportunity to play a young female superhero, and I want to make sure I give it everything I’ve got. Growing up, there were very few female superheroes on TV or in movies, and I feel so blessed that I get to be that for some little girl.
What did it feel like completing season one?
Like I had just completed a marathon. It was the hardest eight months of my life, but the most rewarding eight months. I pushed my mind and body more than I thought I could, and had officially been a part of making a show I was SO proud of. I also couldn’t wait to watch it…
Season two of the show is out. What can audiences expect from it?
Season two is MUCH darker. Season one was tonally inspired by movies like ‘Karate Kid’ and ‘Back to the Future’. Season two takes a turn with inspiration coming from movies like ‘IT’ and ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’. Our villain for season two — Eclipso — might be the one thing to prove to Courtney that not everyone has good in them… Oh, and a lot of really cool fight scenes.
In the future, what would your dream character or role be?
I would love to do a book adaptation. Growing up I loved ‘The Selection Series’, so something along those lines.
Who is your personal favourite superhero and why?
I have always loved Spiderman. I think because of his age, I felt I related to him the most. Another reason I love playing Stargirl — a younger audience can relate to her.
Don’t miss it!
‘Stargirl’ season two streams on Starzplay from August 15.