HVFF London 2018: Supergirl Stars Discuss Experiences On Set, Their Leading Lady, And Their Character’s Futures

Credit: Livvy Edwards / 4YE

Heroes and Villains Fan Fest knows how to go out with a bang. The final panel of the weekend featured a rather very super trio in the form of Supergirl’s Mehcad Brooks (James Olsen), Tyler Hoechlin (Clark Kent), and Italia Ricci (Siobhan Smythe).

The panel spoke quite a bit about what it meant having the show Supergirl in their lives, and how it changed them. Mehcad Brooks said he originally auditioned thinking he wouldn’t stand a chance because he “wasn’t the traditional image of what James Olson is”. “There was this big overwhelming feeling of hope once I got the role and that’s progressed, and it’s been really fruitful to my life and my spirit, so it’s been kind of amazing”.

Tyler joined Supergirl for season two and was first introduced to audiences at San Diego Comic-Con. He explained that it was nice coming on set after having met everyone before. “It was nice, given that the response wasn’t completely positive when I got [the role], it was nice to have their confidence and be excited to go out there and be challenged to play that character”, he said. “It’s been a lot of fun, I’ve enjoyed every day working on it, and now that everyone’s seen it, I hope that they enjoyed it. It’s been nice being a part of that world.”

“I had never been given the opportunity to play pretend so hard than when I was [Silver] Banshee, I didn’t know what to expect”, said Ricci. “Once I was in the costume, and it was the first crossover episode of The Flash, and I’m standing there like ‘What am I supposed to do?’ and I forget that it’s not actually happening”.

The panel then spoke about the heavy effects and CGI they are using on both Supergirl and The Flash, and that it’s easy to forget that Melissa can’t actually fly. “Melissa is like ‘take off’ and then jumps and then lands and then runs away”, said Ricci. “We have to play pretend, I felt like I was four years old, and I was just out of my mind. It was so much fun. Once you let go and realize how ridiculous you feel is appropriate and it will look good on camera, you forget that they’re real humans.”

Tyler Hoechlin, Superman himself, jumped in and called filming the flying scenes one of the “most humbling thing you’ll ever do”. “You feel so stupid dragging your cape on the ground.”  “Now imagine being an actor in that scene and watching him do that, trying to keep a straight face – I deserve an Emmy”, joked Mehcad.

Italia spoke about how there was never any noise coming out of her mouth when she pretended to scream as Silver Banshee, but only had a fan shooting air in her face. “I think I screamed once, only to get a reaction out of Calista [Flockhart], but that’s it”, she said.

Take a look at our gallery from the panel below:

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The trio had big praise for their leading lady, with Hoechlin saying “they couldn’t have cast a better Supergirl” than Melissa Benoist. “She just has that energy all the time … She really is a joy to work with.”

Italia agreed, saying it was very difficult to be a villain to Melissa’s Supergirl. “I felt so bad being mean to Melissa, it’s not me, it’s my lines”, she said. “She’s so sweet, and it was so fun. She’s so nice working with, she’s the best team captain. She is so fun to play with and against”.

“What you guys have to understand about Melissa is that she is the perfect blend between Kara and Supergirl”, continued Mehcad. “Take the best parts that you like about Kara, and take the best parts you like about Supergirl, and put that together, that’s what she is.”

When a fan asked why the relationship between James and Kara was built up but dropped rather quickly in season two in favour of developing Kara and Mon-El’s relationship, Mehcad addressed the firing of former Supergirl executive producer Andrew Kreisberg over sexual harassment allegations. ”I had the exact same question that you had for some people who are no longer with the show”, Brooks said.

“We had a showrunner at the time that was not allowing a lot of other opinions in, and he saw one thing one way, and it didn’t matter what we shot, it was not really dealt with. I don’t have an answer for you. I had that same question for a long time, and I think that the show is a lot more free now.”

Catch up on more highlights from the panel below:

While Mehcad is a series regular on Supergirl, the future of Banshee and Superman on the show is less certain. The panel urged the fans to voice their opinion and tweet the writers that they’d like to see them back. “My show [Designated Survivor] just got cancelled”, Italia reminded the audience about her availability for next season. So if you want them back, make some noise.

Mehcad also joked that they should produce a Superman spin-off which would air right after Supergirl. “Wouldn’t you guys like to see Tyler have his own show? Wouldn’t you guys like to see Superman come on after Supergirl, starring Tyler Hoechlin? Tweet that. Make that happen!”

Supergirl returns with new episodes this fall on The CW.

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Verena Cote

4YE's lead events editor. london-based tv enthusiast with a passion (but not necessarily the budget) for traveling and exploring the world. prefers dogs to humans. current obsession: getting into the good place.
Verena Cote
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