Bassinger, Stargirl grew during first season of CW show

Rick's Reviews

Stargirl (Brec Bassinger) returns to action for a second season of the CW Network series. (Photo courtesy of CW Network)

(KGET) — The first season of the CW Network’s “DC’s Stargirl” revolved around high school sophomore Courtney Whitmore – as played by Brec Bassinger – trying to wrap her head around being a second-generation superhero. She not only had to adapt to her new powers but also had to deal with being the leader of a group of young heroes who are also new to their skills.

Bassinger found it easy to relate to what Courtney was going through because she had to face a whole new world herself as the star of the series. Now Bassinger and her character bring a year of experience to the second season of “DC’s Stargirl” slated to debut at 9 p.m. Aug. 10 on the CW Network.

“Going into season one, I was definitely intimidated just walking onto such a big set and a role that I had never played before,” Bassinger says. “But it was so cool getting to come back with season two. And I would have hair and makeup people come up to me and just say, ‘Brec, your walk is different when you’re Stargirl this year.’

“I felt like I not only had bigger confidence in Courtney, but more so in Stargirl and just how a superhero would walk, how to hold a six-foot staff, how to twist it around when we were doing fight scenes. I was thinking less about the choreography and more about Stargirl as a superhero. So I definitely was able to come into season two feeling more confident as Stargirl, which was fun to get to play with.”

One of the major tests for Bassinger in the first season was the physicality of the role. You can’t have a series based on a comic book character and not expect a lot of big fight scenes.

Bassinger generally felt confident with that part of the role because the Texas native had been a gymnast when she was younger. The problem was the stunt work had to be done while handling the massive Cosmic Staff.

The Cosmic Staff is the spear-like weapon Starman used when he was battling evil. The moment Courtney got near the weapon, it linked with her and has been the source of her fighting and flying abilities.

Having a Cosmic Staff is a great weapon for Courtney but a cumbersome prop for Bassinger. She stands only 5-feet-2 and the Cosmic Staff is 6-feet long.

“I was always tripping over it. The amount of cameras I hit with it, the amount of people I hit with it (in the) first season, was not my brightest moment,” Bassinger says.

Don’t expect her to give up the Cosmic Staff. After a year of working with the prop, Bassinger has formed what she calls “a weird attachment” to the weapon. She now sees it as her version of a security blanket when she is on the set. Cast members have even caught her talking to it.

Courtney will need the staff this year as a pair of villains are going to test Stargirl and her team. They will face the sinister Eclipso and the mysterious The Shade.

The other big adjustment Courtney had to make during the first season was dealing with how her stepfather, Pat Dugan (Luke Wilson), is also her sidekick, another thing she inherited from Starman.

Being parent and partner opens up vast possibilities. Wilson and Bassinger didn’t find it necessary to have long talks about the unusual relationship between the pair. They both found a way to deal with the issues through the script.

“We discovered how funny it was to have Stargirl ordering Pat around,” Wilson says. “We just always kind of had fun with those scenes, where Pat was exasperated and Stargirl was really kind of driving the train. We’ve always just kind of had fun doing those scenes.

“Then those scenes where it gets more serious and we really do have to work together, we always kind of manage to switch gears.”

The father-daughter/hero-sidekick dynamic felt very natural from the start for Bassinger. She credits Wilson’s sense of humor for making the connection work so quickly.

Bassinger adds, “I get the giggles really badly, so that’s something I have to watch out when I’m doing scenes with Luke. I do think he’s just so funny.

“I love doing our scenes where we have those comedic moments. Whenever I see that we’re shooting one of those scenes that day, it’s almost like a relief because this scene will be easy, lighthearted, fun because I feel like it was natural.

The cast also includes Amy Smart as Barbara Whitmore, Yvette Monreal as Yolanda Montez/Wildcat, Anjelika Washington as Beth Chapel/Dr. Mid-Nite, Cameron Gellman as Rick Tyler/Hourman, Trae Romano as Mike Dugan, Hunter Sansone as Cameron Mahkent, Meg DeLacy as Cindy Burman/Shiv and Nick Tarabay as Eclipso.

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