In case you missed it, “Supergirl” is headed to The CW from CBS in season 2 of the show so big things are due to happen for Superman’s cousin – including the fact that Superman will finally be making an appearance!
But before we get into the upcoming season, thanks to our friends from Warner TV, we managed to get hold of an interview with David Harewood (Hank Henshaw aka Martian Manhunter), where he discusses his initial skepticism over “Supergirl”, drops clues on where his relationship with Melissa Benoist’s character (Kara Zor-El/Supergirl) is going, and why his character has beef with Superman.
What can you tell us about your character in “Supergirl”?
I’ve been reading up on the mythology of my character, Hank Henshaw. He has his own huge story arc in the comic books – but that was difficult to play in the pilot because it was mainly Kara’s story. We’ve got a long way to go.
How would you describe Hank?
In the comics, Hank Henshaw ends up becoming Cyborg Superman, who battles Superman. I’m looking forward to that! He’s a bit of a super villain and he seems pretty indestructible, which I like because I keep getting blown up in these things. I’m looking forward to being indestructible.
What excites you the most about the research you’ve done into the character?
As I do more and more research, I think it’s wonderful that it’s all so interpretive. There are so many magnificent offshoots. For me, it’s like a Shakespeare play. You can go and see 6 different productions of Hamlet and you’ll see 6 different shows. What’s great is that, yes, I am playing Hank Henshaw – but I want people to say, “I saw David Harewood as Hank Henshaw.” Hopefully, it’s fresh. Hopefully, it’s new. I’ll try to embody a lot of the characteristics of the guy you read in the comic books, but I want it to be original, too. I want to put my own spin on it.
In the pilot of “Supergirl”, Hank has a lot of definitive views and he isn’t the friendliest person to Kara. Is he going to become her mentor?
I don’t know. Why does he have such a problem with her? I think there’s going to be something in that. She’s obviously got great abilities. Why would somebody in Hank’s position not want her on his team? It’s going to be very interesting to unpack that and find out exactly what his relationship is with her and where that’s going to go. I think the audience is going to be very surprised with what they find.
Hank seems fine with Superman, but not with Supergirl…
Oh no, he’s got a problem with Superman, too. In the comic books, Superman is responsible for his wife’s death. It’s kind of muddy, but he’s got a problem with aliens and people from other planets in general.
What can you tell us about Hank’s story arc in season 1?
In terms of my trajectory, I’m leaving it up to the executive producers Ali Adler, Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, and Andrew Kreisberg to really unpack that. At the moment, all I can say is it’s really exciting. We may not be sticking exactly to the mythology of the comic books, but it is going to be very interesting.
Have you been speculating about what Hank might look like with cybernetic body parts?
I already have cybernetic parts! No, I’m joking. I’m interested to see how we interpret this character, because this is a guy who is augmented in some way. It is going to be good to see how we make that possible, whether it is natural or unnatural. It is going to be interesting to see what they do with it.
What was your initial reaction when you first read the script for “Supergirl”?
When I first heard about the show, I remember thinking, “Supergirl? What?” But then I read the script and I discovered that it was really good. Really good! It read like a movie. Getting to work on the show and seeing the other actors has probably been one of the favourite things I have done. I’m so excited about this series. It’s unbelievable. I can’t wait for everyone to see it.
What was the reason behind your initial skepticism?
I don’t know. I guess I wasn’t looking for something with “super” in the middle of the title. I felt like I wanted to do something up to date and maybe more natural – but that’s what was most exciting about reading the script; it had humour, it had action, it had danger – and a love interest. It had all these different things that I wasn’t really expecting it to have. I think the show works in a really refreshing way. Despite my initial anxiety, it turned out to be everything I could have hoped for.
Who do you enjoy working with the most on set?
All of my scenes have been with Alex (played by Chyler Leigh). Chyler and Melissa Benoist, who plays Kara/Supergirl have been wonderful. Acting with these beautiful women all day long… It’s tortuous! I think it’s going to be very interesting to see how my relationship develops with both of them. We’re essentially there as a department that fights extraterrestrial beings – but who knows where this trajectory takes us. I want to play with some big guns. And I’m looking forward to shooting some aliens!
Don’t forget to catch “Supergirl” first and exclusively in Malaysia via Warner TV HD (HyppTV Ch613), 2 episodes back to back every Tuesday at 9pm. The series is also available on HyppPlay (HyppTV Ch830) and on the HyppTV Everywhere mobile app.