Stargirl Season 2: Yvette Monreal teases 'a lot of darkness' ahead for Wildcat
Anyone who's watched Stargirl can attest to the sunny disposition and general optimism of the show – which made Yvette Monreal's confession all the more astounding. The actress plays Wildcat/Yolanda Montez in the superhero drama, and said that her character arc in the second season would be "very dark" and that "there's a lot of inspiration from the movie It and Nightmare On Elm Street."
The superhero drama revolves around the titular character, who finds a powerful staff and carries on the legacy of the former wielder of the staff. After discovering that her predecessor was part of a superhero group called the Justice Society of America (JSA), she recruits a new generation of superheroes to bear the mantle of the previous generation. In the series, the second member she recruits is Yolanda Montez, who becomes the agile and feral Wildcat who wields lethally sharp claws.
Spoiler alert — the first season saw many traumatic events happening to Monreal's character. As a student, private photos that she sent to her boyfriend, Henry, were leaked to the school, resulting in a devastating scandal for Yolanda's devout Catholic family. Later, she discovered that said ex-boyfriend's father was Brainwave, a devious supervillain who was one of the archenemies of the JSA — and watched him die at the hands of his father. Then in the season finale, she killed Brainwave after he took on the form of his son in an attempt to defeat her.
So what's going on in Yolanda Montez's mind in Season Two?
"She's questioning her worthiness, she doesn't know if she deserves to be Wildcat, because in her mind 'Ted Grant [the previous Wildcat] didn't kill anybody, I killed Brainwave and I can't tell anybody, I can't tell the other members of the JSA," said Monreal. "There's a little trauma from that. It's eating her up inside."
And that darkness plays into the villain for Season Two – Eclipso. Although little of him has been seen in the first four episodes of the drama that were screened for media, he's been portrayed as a sinister, disembodied voice that has the power to take over the bodies of other people. In the comics he is one of the enemies of the Justice League, and wields vast magical abilities in addition to being able to possess and corrupt individuals. His appearance in Stargirl marks his second television appearance, after being featured in 2001's Justice League animated series.
"I definitely do run into Eclipso [in the second season]. He feeds off pain and misery, that just makes him grow. Our pain, he loves it, he eats it all up, and [Nick Tarabay], who plays him, does a phenomenal job," said Monreal. And there's a lot of darkness for her character Yolanda, as after the deaths of her ex-boyfriend and his father, she'll "be seeking redemption. She wants forgiveness." The events of Season One "are really eating her up inside. So that's really weighing heavily on her."
But it's not all doom and gloom in Season 2. Audiences will still be able to enjoy the superheroics, which have levelled up in this new season. "The stunts as just as amazing as Season 1, if not better, and I can't wait for you guys to see that. That was really fun shooting." She also teased that there would be some fun action sequences for episode 6 of the season.
Although she plays a DC superhero in the show and is likely to be a favourite for many fans, she revealed the two DC superheroes that were her favourites.
"I really love Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot, she's amazing," Monreal gushed. "Like on screen, off screen, she's very inspiring, I look up to her a lot. And I love Shazam, he's so great," she said of the character in 2019's Shazam.
In that film, a young boy is given the ability to transform into a powerfully muscled adult with lightning abilities and Superman-esque powers, Shazam. The adult form is played by Zachary Levi.
"He's so funny! I love to laugh, so that's why I love Shazam, he makes me laugh a lot. I love that movie. It's a tie between those two — best female, and best male."
Monreal also revealed a secret — her favourite prop on the show! "I took one of the pink pens. Don't tell anybody this," she said.
But those aren't any normal pink pens. In the show, a genie named Thunderbolt lives inside the pink pen, and he can grant wishes to the owner — with the caveat that he cannot grant the same wish twice, nor can he kill anybody.
"There were like five pink pens. I was like, 'there's five of these, I need something to be like, I need to show that I was on this show.' So, I took a pink pen."
Could this be a hint that Wildcat may wield the powers of Thunderbolt at some point in the series? We'll have to watch it to find out!
New episodes of Stargirl premiere on Warner TV (StarHub Ch 515; Singtel Ch 306) every Wednesday at 9pm.
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