After half a season filled with a barrage of alien threats, Supergirl's next opponent is one of a more human persuasion, though no less dangerous than those from other planets -- Silver Banshee, a supernatural foe equipped with a sonic wail that kills her victims, is on her way to National City.
A frequent adversary of both Kara and her cousin Superman in the comic books, the "Supergirl" version finds Siobhan Smythe, played by "Chasing Life's" Italia Ricci, as a recent hire by Cat Grant. And, from the sound of it, Siobhan will be up to no good even before becoming a far greater menace as Silver Banshee.
At the time of this interview, Ricci had not yet filmed any scenes in her super-powered incarnation. However, in speaking with CBR News about Siobhan's debut on tonight's episode "Truth, Justice and the American Way," she explained "Supergirl's" take on the character, and promises, "You're going to love to hate her!"
CBR News: How much secrecy surrounded your audition for the role of Silver Banshee?
Italia Ricci: For "Supergirl," I actually didn't audition. It was more of if I was interested in playing this character. I said, "Yeah, it's a supervillain!" I looked her up and she was so cool and had so many things going on. It totally excited me. Who doesn't want to be bad?
Silver Banshee was introduced in the comics as a Superman foe, though she has tangled with Kara as well. What's "Supergirl's" spin on her for television?
They have chosen bits and pieces of her story to stay loyal to. There's so much information, she would need her own show to cover everything's she's been through and everywhere she's going. I feel like they've done her story justice, revealing enough of the history and what she's currently dealing with. I'm interested to see how fans are going to take it.
Does your Siobhan have supernatural roots, or is she a metahuman?
In the show, and in the comics, she's a human who is cursed. They are honoring that.
What were your thoughts on Silver Banshee's ghoulish appearance and how it would translate to television?
I loved it. She's scary, but kind of crazy. She's very powerful and looks the way the name sounds, which is very cool. We've actually had a few different tests to look into the best appearance for the show. She will look like a version of what you are familiar with in the comics. Again, I'm just so excited to see what the fans think.
As a new CatCo employee, what's Siobhan's interaction like with Kara, James and Winn?
She definitely shows up and wreaks havoc on a lot of the relationships the show has spent so many beautiful episodes making important and meaningful. In comes Siobhan, literally like a whirlwind, and cuts all of them up. And professionally, she considers Kara a rival.
How thrilling is it to come in as a guest star for a full arc instead of a stand-alone episode?
It's great. You get to sink your teeth into it, you get to build a relationship with the cast and crew. You get more comfortable and settled. It makes for a better performance. It's also better for the fans to be able to invest in a character and know they are going to be there for a while. It's not, "Oh, I really wish they were still around." It's always good for the story and shaking things up. That's definitely what Siobhan is doing.
Your fiance, Robbie Amell, plays Firestorm on "The Flash." Do the two of you ever geek out about being part of the DC Cinematic Universe?
We certainly geek out. "In what world are we both superheroes and supervillains?" We're in the same universe, at the same time. We just sort of keep shaking our heads. "Is this real?"
It was recently announced that you are joining Kiefer Sutherland's new television series, "Designated Survivor." What about the project enticed you?
It's a totally different speed. It's a political/drama/thriller where I get to play this no-nonsense, very fast-paced, very smart girl. Emily thinks she deserves to be in the position that she she's in and is worthy of being in that position. It's also like, "Holy crap. What am I doing here?" It's kind of like every time I book a job.
Plus, you get to work alongside Jack Bauer.
Oh, my God. I know. I still don't believe it's real. It's like I somehow snuck a seat at the grown-up table. I'm just trying not to get caught.
Siobhan Smythe arrives on "Supergirl" tonight, Feb. 22, at 8 p.m. on CBS.