Supergirl’s best friend Winn Schott (Jeremy Jordan) has major daddy issues — and for good reason. His father, the diabolical Toyman (Henry Czerny), transforms toys and games into deadly weapons. In the DC Comics source material, the Toyman is one of Superman’s most twisted adversaries. Now, he’s broken out of prison to pay Winn a visit.
Ahead of tonight’s all-new episode on CBS, “Childish Things,” Jeremy Jordan spoke to CBR about Winn’s screwed-up childhood, confronting his father and whether he is destined to follow in the Toyman’s footsteps. In addition, Jordan weighed in on Winn’s growing importance to Team Supergirl and his bromance with James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks).
CBR News: When you signed on to “Supergirl,” how aware were you of the baggage associated with your character’s name, Winn Schott? Did you assume he would eventually become the Toyman?
Jeremy Jordan: I guess I did do that at first, but I will say it never really factored in to how I played the character. I just did what was written. I’ve watched enough television and read enough genre stuff to know there were things, in terms of turning into a bad guy, that are never immediate. There’s always something that happens or turns them. I think it’s safe to say I found out shortly after that Winn’s father was actually the Toyman.
That’s not to say he doesn’t have the genes within him. That’s one of the big struggles we will see with Winn. It’s probably one of the reasons Winn is this happy-go-lucky, quippy, whimsical character. It’s all a sort of defense mechanism. He’s actually terrified of what his father is and the fact he might have that inside of him as well. He’ll be dealing with that in the upcoming episode. I thought it was a cool idea and we’ll see how the series goes, but, for now, Winn is still a good guy.
In “Childish Things,” Winn’s dad Winslow Schott, Sr., the original Toyman, breaks out of prison and pays his son a visit. What does he want?
Dad has some mental issues. Basically, the idea is when Winn was a kid, his dad loses his marbles and kills somebody. His dad, who is loved and idolized, turns into this maniac. His dad now feels like he went off to prison and deprived Winn of a real childhood and a father. What he wants to do is come back. He still thinks of Winn as this 13-year-old kid and he wants to teach him all the wonderful things he should have given Winn as a child. It sounds great, but coming from a maniacal killer, it’s a “lovely sentiment.”
How excited were you to delve into some of Winn’s pain, angst and backstory?
Very excited. I love playing Winn and one of the reasons I was so excited about the role is he is a lot different from must characters I’ve played. I tend to play a little bit darker characters. Winn is so much more like me in terms of the sense of humor and his goofiness and having fun. At the same time, that’s one dimension. For me, especially doing a television show, when you are filming and everything is so segmented and pieced out, it’s a bunch of short scenes and a couple of jokes in it.
There wasn’t a lot of meaty stuff, so when I read the script, I was very excited to flex those muscles. There were a few things in the episode that I got to play that I’ve never really done before in any other show or movie. It was really fun to find that darker side of me and then put it into Winn. It was very gratifying.
So far, Winn hasn’t really participated in Supergirl’s capers. How much fun was it being involved in the action?
It was a lot of fun. I loved being there when they were doing stunt work. I got to hang out and be around a lot of gunfire. It was really one of the only episodes I got to shoot on location because I mostly have my stuff at CatCo, which is on the Warner Bros. lot. That was fun, traveling around.
Let’s talk about another of Winn’s relationships. There seems to be a bromance between him and James Olsen. What does he make of James?
At first, Winn had a secret, envious relationship with him. Over the course of time, he found out that James is actually a really good guy and that they work well together. Because of their shared affinity for Kara, which, at this point, they are both kind of realizing is happening with each other – that they are both into the same girl — that has brought a bigger connection. Throughout the season, you’ll see their relationship strengthening.
It’s always been a fun relationship for Mehcad [Brooks] and I. It started really awkward and strange between Winn and James. Now, we are friends. It’s nice because Winn doesn’t have a lot of friends. In fact, I don’t know if he has any friends besides Kara. Now, he has James. We see through this relationship with James that Winn is learning to let more people into his life. We’ll see in Episode 10 why he doesn’t let anybody in.
We have Maxwell Lord, Bizarro Supergirl, White Martians and Alura all lurking about. In what ways does Winn pitch in and fit into some of those storylines?
First of all, there’s a pretty heavy aftermath of Episode 10. Winn won’t be gone, but he’s taking some time to recover. Winn doesn’t really deal with the White Martian problem. Then, when the other players come along, Winn’s specific set of skills — which is he’s this computer genius, sort of hack master, who has squandered his talents being an IT guy at CatCo — are called on. He’s the son of the Toyman, who is this genius inventor. As the series progresses, Winn starts to realize his own potential and so does everyone around him. He gets to help out a lot more.
“Supergirl” airs Mondays at 8 pm EST on CBS.