“Oh. My gosh. I auditioned for that Stargirl a month before this Stargirl,” Brec Bassinger, heroine of The CW’s new Stargirl series, told Refinery29 over the phone, name checking Disney+’s March 2020 film and her own TV show. “Then, a few months later, I got the audition for this Stargirl, and I responded to my agents, like, ‘I already auditioned for this. Are they resending it out? Did they not find anyone?’”
“People will comment on my stuff, like, ‘Isn’t this already out on Disney+?’ I’m like, ‘No, it’s different,’” Bassinger continued with a laugh, more amused by the mixup than frustrated.
Bassinger has little reason to be irritated since her teen superhero drama stands out on its own. Her Stargirl is inspired by a long running DC comic book (rather than a 2000 Jerry Spinelli YA novel). It follows Courtney Whitmore, a high school gymnast who battles evil with the help of a superpowered staff. Courtney’s ascendence to the role of Stargirl comes a decade after the previous generation of heroes, who fought as the Justice Society of America, was wiped out. That means Bassinger is flipping and jumping her way through Stargirl within minutes of the high-octane series premiere, which details Courtney’s move from her birthplace of L.A. to the Middle American small town of Blue Valley.
Courtney’s much-hated move nods towards Stargirl’s other huge differentiating factor: the presence of Legally Blonde and Charlie’s Angels resident cutie Luke Wilson. Wilson plays Pat Dugan, step-dad to Courtney, which makes him the latest dreamy CW dad in a modern tradition started by the late, great Luke Perry. Keep reading to find out how Wilson ended up joining the newest addition to the Arrowverse crown — and what adventures to expect from the wild world of Stargirl season 1.
Refinery29: What did you know about Stargirl going into the series?
“I knew little to nothing about Stargirl. She’s not a very mainstream superhero. Neither is the Justice Society, which is really interesting considering it’s the first superhero group ever — before the Avengers, before the Justice League. The Justice Society is the OG superhero group.”
What was the most fulfilling part of filming?
“I really loved the diversity that welcomed me on set. One day I might be hanging from wires on a green screen and the other I could be doing an emotional scene with Luke Wilson.”
It’s so fun that Stargirl scored Luke. How did that happen?
“I know! When I first talked to Geoff Johns, the creator and our showrunner, he was telling me about each character. At this point, I was the only one who was cast. He was like, ‘My dream Pat would be Luke Wilson. But I know that probably won’t happen. But picture a Luke Wilson type.’”
That’s a really great type.
“After that, I could only picture Luke Wilson. I was really familiar with his work from Legally Blonde. After seeing him in that, even though it was years ago, I was like, Oh my gosh, he would make the perfect step-dad, bad-dad-joke dad.
“I know there was a point where it didn’t look like it was going to work out. I even got this text from Geoff, saying, ‘I tried to get Luke Wilson. But it didn’t [work out]. We’ll find someone great.’ And then it ended up working out.”
The pilot does a lot of setup in a short amount of time. What can we expect going forward in Stargirl season 1?
“Throughout the first season, one of the primary plot points is Courtney building the new JSA. She is recruiting different people at her school. Also, the town is a lot more twisted than you originally think. Everyone’s connected. The villain could be anyone. Any kid could be a villain.”
How does it feel to be joining the current YA TV boom?
“Just joining the CW Arrowverse in general is an honor. Those shows are so iconic and have such big fan bases. It’s an honor in that way. But also for me personally, my favorite movies and TV shows sit in that YA genre. Literally two of my favorite movies are Edge of Seventeen and The Duff.”
“Yes, yes, yes, yes. Robbie Amell is in it! In Vancouver — this was probably two years before I booked Stargirl — I was there filming a different movie and I saw Robbie Amell. Like I said, The Duff is one of my favorite movies. And I… freaked out.
“I hadn’t said this out loud — I hadn’t made that connection. I tweeted him when I got back to my hotel room and I was like, Oh my gosh, just saw Robbie Amell. He tweets me back, he was like, Next time, say hi! And now,, I’m in the same Arrowverse as him. Oh my gosh, I just put that together. That’s hilarious.”
I’m so excited for you!
“That was a roller coaster.”
This interview has been edited and condensed.