NYCC 2015: Interviews with the Cast and Producer of ‘Supergirl’

Supergirl, premiering on CBS November 2, stars Glee alum Melissa Benoist in the titular role. It is being brought to the small screen by Arrow producers Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg, as well as former Glee producer Ali Adler. At this year’s New York Comic Con we were fortunate to speak with producer Ali Adler, as well as Supergirl co-stars Mehcad Brooks and Peter Facinelli, who play James Olsen and Maxwell Lord respectively.


Mehcad Brooks & Peter Facinelli

In our discussion with producer Ali Adler she stated that CBS is a “network of incredibly strong women.” Melissa Beonist’s Kara Danvers/Supergirl will be another addition to CBS’s list of strong female characters. Like other CBS series on the air, there will be some procedural moments as well. Those procederal moments will most likely come in the form of the typical villain-of-the-week format we’ve come to expect from other shows of this type.

Like other shows of its type, Supergirl will also have plenty of flashbacks to her childhood on Krypton and on Earth. Both Dean Cain, who once played Superman on the series Lois & Clark, and Helen Slater, who originally played titular role in 1984’s Supergirl, will be seen in the Earth flashback sequences.

Given that Supergirl’s backstory has been repeatedly retconned and retold in DC Comics, Adler states that there are a lot of stories they are drawing inspiration from in building this version of the character. While Superman does exist in this world, Adler promises his presence won’t overshadow Supergirl’s, as she states they don’t “spend a lot of time” talking about him. That being said, they may explore how Supergirl accomplishes things differently from her cousin.

Adler promises that, like most comic book based series, Supergirl will have its fair share of Easter Eggs. After reconfirming that both Reactron and Red Tornado will make their way from page to screen, Adler dropped the news that DC Comics villain Toy Man will make an appearance on the series.

Much of what Peter Facinelli stated about his role as Maxwell Lord makes the character seem like the Lex Luthor of the series. Like Luthor, Lord is a billionaire CEO who doesn’t believe superheroes bring anything good to table. To Lord, Supergirl is a “magnet for trouble,” and he believes that “humans should save themselves,” rather than being saved by aliens from other worlds. That being said, this version of Maxwell Lord takes a lot of inspiration from real life CEOs like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, rather than Donald Trump. He will be hipper and cooler than what some expect from a man of his type, but will have several other facets to his personality as well. Facinelli promises the “essence of the character is still there.”

Overall, Facinelli seemed really excited to be joining the DC television universe, not having acted in a comic book based property before. He also promises that Supergirl will be something the whole family can watch and not to expect anything too dark from it.

Mehcad Brooks, who plays both a friend of Superman and mentor to Supergirl, had a lot to say about how this version of the character, although a different approach than other incarnations, is much the same Jimmy Olson we know from the comics. While this version of the character is suave and has “more swag”, according to Brooks, the core elements of what make the character who he is are still there. He will even have Olson’s famous signal watch which, in the comics, is used to contact Superman.

When asked if Olson will have a romantic relationship with Supergirl, Brooks stated that if something like that were to happen it would be after a lot of time has gone by. He also stated that there is a “bro code” between him and Superman that would prevent the character from pursuing any romantic involvement with his friend’s cousin. For the most part Olson will be there for emotional support and advice for Supergirl.

Supergirl‘s series premiere is still a few weeks away, and thanks to Ali Adler, Peter Facinelli, and Mehcad Brooks we now have a lot more to look forward to. Catch the premiere on Monday November 2 at 8/7c on CBS, and feel free to let us know what you want to see from the series in the comments below.

Photo Credit: Matt Wheeler