The CW's bright and sunny superhero series is taking a major left turn in tone for season 2, and star Brec Bassinger, who plays the titular red, white, and blue hero, can't wait for people to discover just how different things are going to be this time around. "Every time [creator] Geoff [Johns] makes a season, he first comes up with what the tone of the season is going to be, and this one he said is like Nightmare on Elm Street and It," she tells EW. "I was like, whoa, that is going to be different! It was fun getting to do it."
As a longtime horror fan, the new direction was especially exciting for Bassinger. "Growing up, my dad I would go get a different Goosebumps episode every Friday night to watch together," she says. "So I was very open and excited about the idea of it this season. I was mostly just curious to see how Geoff was going to go about it because I knew his inspirations for season 1 were more like '80s coming-of-age, Karate Kid, and he did such a good job having that tone throughout the first season. How was he going to take a superhero show and put those horror elements throughout it?"
In the end, she was blown away by what Johns, the cast, and the crew were able to pull off. "It shocked me how he was able to do it," Bassinger says. "It was very helpful that our villain was Eclipso [Nick Tarabay] because he's such a scary villain."
Below, EW got Bassinger to reveal what else fans can expect from the darker season 2 and what's ahead for her onscreen alter-ego Courtney, a.k.a. Stargirl. Plus, watch the video above now to get an exclusive sneak peek at the season 2 premiere.
The CW Brec Bassinger on 'DC's Stargirl'
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What was it like filming all those darker scenes this season?
BREC BASSINGER: It's so funny because onscreen it looks really dark but when you're actually on set, you're there with some of your best friends who happen to have funny prosthetics on and you're all joking in between takes. I feel the same way about action scenes and stuff because it doesn't look that cool when you're filming; there are wires everywhere and I'm holding a light beam not a Cosmic Staff and seeing it translate onto the screen is always so shocking. I'm excited to see how it all turned out. I just think it's going to surprise people because it is so different from season 1. And the first six episodes of the season, you feel like it's going one direction, and then the last part of our season just goes completely haywire, and where the season ends up going will really shock people.
How do Courtney and the Justice Society of America go about fighting Eclipso this season since this is a villain that can get into people's minds?
It's a psychological battle. One of the best parts of Courtney is how emotionally strong she is, but Eclipso has it out for her and so does Cindy [Meg DeLacy], who finds the Black Diamond. Everyone wants revenge against Courtney, who is this positive superhero. [Laughs] But the JSA, the other members, they're all emotionally struggling right now so the different types of support she has to find while battling this psychological creature, it's different than your average fight scene.
Where is Courtney's head at going into season 2?
She loves being Stargirl. It's her destiny and she feels like that's the point of her life, almost to a downfall where she ends up letting other things slip between the cracks, things like failing school, hence the name of the season, "Summer School." This season, there's a big part of her that's trying to find the balance between being a superhero, being a daughter, being a sister, being a teenager, and still living life. [Laughs] I've always loved the idea of her being in high school and being a superhero because already balancing high school is so difficult so adding more on top of that, conflicts will arise. And trouble is going to follow the JSA so even though other people think there are no more villains to fight, she'll get to say some "I told you so's."
How do things change for Courtney now that her whole family is in on the Stargirl secret?
She already had Pat [Luke Wilson] telling her to be careful and now she has her mom too, and "careful" is not a word that's in Courtney's vocabulary. She's very impulsive, which is one of her greatest attributes but also gets her into a lot of trouble. So poor Barbara [Amy Smart], she is stressing a lot this season. But this season brings them a lot closer too. Her mom is her person, so getting to let her into what's going on in her life makes their bond so much more special.
Cindy's back in a big way this season. What can you tease about her eventual showdown with Courtney?
At the end of the season, we see her getting the Black Diamond and we don't really know what it is yet. So throughout the season, we're figuring out what it does and what it's capable of. But Cindy definitely wants revenge. She wanted to be part of the ISA, they wouldn't let her, so now that the ISA is gone, I think it's time she creates her own ISA.
The thought of Cindy leading her own ISA is terrifying.
It's terrifying, but also awesome because she's such a bad B! [Laughs] It's in the trailer where she's just walking through the hallway, I'm like, this is sick, who does she think she is?! She's such the opposite of Courtney, so that's such an awesome duo when they do face off.
I'm really excited for Green Lantern's daughter to arrive. What's the dynamic between Jade [Ysa Penarejo] and Courtney going to be like?
The rest of the JSA is very excited there's a new legacy. Jade is Green Lantern's daughter so naturally, you would think she's a new member of the JSA which is exciting for all of them. Courtney, though, is immediately intimidated. She's the leader of the pack and this new girl comes in who really is a superhero's daughter and Courtney isn't and she's still dealing with that. She's a little jealous, which is not a feeling that Courtney is used to, so her having to navigate those feelings and do what's best for the team — she has to take a step back and be less emotional for once.
And now that we know Sylvester Pemberton, a.k.a. Starman [Joel McHale], is alive and is looking for Pat, how does his arrival shake things up for Courtney?
There are a lot of questions that will need to be asked like, will the Staff still work for him? Will it still work for Courtney? Can it work for both of them simultaneously? And there's a lot of questions for Starman too, like who is this girl with my Staff? Why does it work for her? When they finally meet, that will be a long conversation.
DC's Stargirl season 2 premieres Tuesday, Aug. 10 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.