“Supergirl’s” James Olsen has a lot to juggle when it comes to his work-life balance. For one, he got a serious promotion when he took over Cat Grant’s job at CatCo. He’s also got a close network of friends, one of whom happens to be Supergirl herself. Finally, he just recently picked up a new hobby: vigilantism. Yes, James has taken up the mantle of the Guardian, and — according to star Mehcad Brooks — he’s not all that different from DC Comics fan favorite Batman.
During a recent set visit, Brooks told CBR and other reporters that James’ CatCo position has made him more like the Dark Knight. “I kind of liken it to Bruce Wayne, running an enterprise during the day and then at night putting on the sleek black suit and your costume,” he explained. “James in the DC Universe has seen examples of it before, right? He’s never had to do it himself. Yeah, I think he was ready for both of those responsibilities anyway, so now he’s handling it well, but at first not so much.”
As to the challenges of becoming Guardian, he said, “They fitted the suit to me, which is amazing. The gauntlets are 3D-printed, and everything’s really futuristic. It’s really cool! It’s skin-tight. It’s like scuba gear. So I was like, ‘I’ve got to fit in this every time!’ So I starting fasting everyday, which is really good for you and it’s made me feel better as a person. There’s a lot of research done about that, if you guys want to look into it, which you really should, because it’s really helpful. You just feel powerful!”
“The first time you put that suit on… I feel like I really fight crime, other than the fact that these would break,” he added with a laugh. “Yeah, it’s a different world… so, if you have superpowers, there’s definitely a way that you approach fighting crime — like you’re not going to get hurt, you can stop a bullet and you can fly over stuff — but if you don’t have any powers, you just have gadgets and skill. There’s got to be something a little off about you, so I’m kind of bringing that to the role, that he’d had so much in his life that he’s seen that’s so bad that he has to be Batman.”
“We have this sort of multi-layered war happening between me trying to support the Guardian and [Kara] feeling a little superhero jealousy,” he shared.
It looks like “Supergirl” star Melissa Benoist, who plays the Girl of Steel herself, would tend to agree. Asked if Kara is, indeed, feeling a little jealous of Guardian, she said, “Yeah, I think she probably is. I don’t want too much, because it is really fun the way they develop it… but I think she’s suspicious and distrusting of Guardian and not quite sure what his true motives are, because she’s unaware that it’s James.”
“I think there’s wariness, and her feelers are out,” she added. “I think anyone new in that sphere… I think she’s been the only hero in National City for some time now, so a new kid on the block might just surprise her a little bit.”
And that seems to be the reason James has been keeping his Guardian identity a secret from her. “He knows that Kara — in the true form of a superhero — cares about him, and he knows that she would stop him,” Brooks explained. “We also all know that she could. And she wanted to, right? So it’s more about him wanting to earn her respect in a world that he’s not in yet, so he can prove this is something he can do. You can’t just be like, ‘I want to be a blogger.’ You have to show people you can write about stuff that people care about and get some eyes on it. You can’t just go like [mimics typing] and then all of a sudden people are like, ‘Yeah!’ It’s kind of the same principle.”
However, Brooks believes that Superman would support James becoming a vigilante. “You know, I thought about that myself, and I think I should text that question to [executive producer] Andrew Kreisberg, because that’s a great question and I’d like to see us delve into that,” he shared. “You know, his proximity at the moment is to Kara and to Supergirl, and I think Clark would be all for it, honestly. You know how boys are. ‘Hey, man! Let’s go skydiving!’ ‘Great!’ And then you’re girlfriend’s like, ‘No!’ So, that’s kind of how it goes, at least in my experience.”
Starring Melissa Benoist as the Girl of Steel, “Supergirl” airs Mondays at 8 pm ET/PT on The CW. The series also stars David Harewood as Martian Manhunter, Mehcad Brooks as Jimmy Olsen, Chyler Leigh as Alex Danvers and Jeremy Jordan as Winn Schott and features appearances by Calista Flockhart’s Cat Grant as well as Tyler Hoechlin’s Superman.
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