TCA Winter 2016 Tour: Quick Takes from the Set of SUPERGIRL

As a special treat, Warner Bros. invited the Television Critic Association to tour the set of SUPERGIRL and to chat with the cast and producers about the show.


Attending the Q&A were: executive producers Sarah Schechter, Andrew Kreisberg, Greg Berlanti, Ali Adler, along with stars David Harewood, Chyler Leigh, Melissa Benoist, Calista Flockhart, Mehcad Brooks and Jeremy Jordan.  Here’s what they had to share about SUPERGIRL:

When asked about depicted the issues of anger management for a superhero, star Melissa Benoist said she enjoyed exploring the theme of women’s expectations on how to handle anger and she had not realized that even in her own life how little she expressed anger and it felt great to do so for a change.  Executive producer Andrew Kreisberg applauded Melissa’s portrayal in unleashing all that pent up fury as he feels SUPERGIRL has been unfairly perceived as being overly “sunny” in its portrayal of superheroes and the world that Kara lives  in.  So it was important to start shows the cracks beneath Kara’s “sunny” personality — the fact that Kara has lost everyone she loved, including her mother and father, when her planet was destroyed — the trauma that she had survived and survivor’s guilt that she had brought into her adult life.  Co-executive producer Sarah Schechter chimed in to add that it was important to parallel Kara and Jimmy’s difficulty in expressing anger in that episode as the world we live in makes it so difficult to allow women and African American men to exhibit anger.   Then co-executive producer Ali Adler said it was good for the show to take what was typically thought of as a “negative” and use that to defeat the villain that Kara faced in that episode.

Addressing the theme of family and what makes a family in SUPERGIRL, Andrew Kreisberg said for Kara, her aunt is still family, no matter what she has done or whatever crimes she has committed.  So that one last blood connection means something to Kara, and she cannot just torture or kill her aunt and erase that one last connection to her birth family.  She wants to believe and has to believe that her aunt is not beyond redemption.

SUPERGIRL has been quick to address and dismiss the issue of the physical similarities between Kara and Supergirl, and Cat’s belief that they are one and the same.  The show knew that the audience would not buy the fact that Cat could not see the similarities or the coincidence of timing of when Kara disappeared and Supergirl appeared, so they tackled that question head-on.  Star Calista Flockhart said that her character Cat is a bit of a narcissist and does not really take in Kara when she is around.  She is not really looking at her.  Plus, it is out of context in that she sees Kara around the workplace.  Then when Cat sees Supergirl, she is a bit flustered being in the presence of someone so powerful and extraordinary.  Thus, it just did not occur to her initially that Kara and Supergirl could be the same person.  But when she stopped to consider it, she had to find out.  Fortunately, the show had a quick resolution for Cat’s suspicions:  introduction of J’onn J’onzz hiding in plain sight as Hank Henshaw — a shape-shifter who could pose as Supergirl to help divert/derail Cat’s suspicions that her assistant Kara was Supergirl.

As for teasers about what is coming up on the show, it was announced that Episode 13 this season is entitled “For the Girl Who Has Everything.”  That episode shows Kara waking up and she is back on Krypton.

Another big announced was that Laura Vandervoort is guest-starring as the villainess Indigo in Episode 15.  (Laura had previously portrayed the character of Supergirl in the TV series SMALLVILLE. So this is a huge “get” for the show, obviously.)

And for fans wanting to see more of the story how J’onn J’onzz became Hank Henshaw, that story is coming too.  Like Kara, J’onn J’onzz lost his family, his wife and his children; he is the last survivor of his kind.  As Kara has her cousin and her aunt and even those unruly Kryptonian villains, she is not yet the last of her kind.  But for the Martian Manhunter aka Hank Henshaw/J’onn J’onzz, he is truly the last of his kind.  That solitariness weighs on him.  But he also has a mission:  to save our world from destruction. He does not want it to befall the same fate as his home planet.

Then as to what is next for Winn, star Jeremy Jordan laughing refuted the idea of Winn just being the “unrequited love guy” by saying, “Winn would be the best boyfriend ever!”  But he did acknowledge that Winn is not the type of guy to go out and pursue things in the world, he just sits and waits for things to happen to him.  Unfortunately, in tonight’s upcoming episode, a rather unpleasant face from Winn’s past returns — his father.  Winslow Schott, Sr., portrayed by Henry Czerny (REVENGE), makes an appearance as Toyman and that will provide a window into some of the abuse Winn suffered growing up.  For those Team Winn, executive producer Sarah Schechter reassured that Winn moves past being the “unrequited guy” and has some real fun stuff coming up for him.  Jeremy also revealed: “The fun thing about this show is that we see all the characters around Supergirl see that they need to be better and what they need to make better about themselves.  As she grows stronger, she has more of an affect on those around her — especially Winn.  He’s someone who does not have a lot of confidence and over the course of the rest of the season, he begins to understand what his real power is — and he gets a lot of confidence thanks to Kara.”

To find out just who else may be visiting National City and what other villains shall be making an appearance this season and just what big discovery Winn makes about himself, be sure to tune in for all new episodes of SUPERGIRL on Monday nights at 8:00 p.m. on CBS.