SPOILER: And I love how the series allows its heroes to fail and isn’t afraid to show their humanity.
BREC BASSINGER: Yeah, well, we’re all new superheroes; we are all rookies, especially in the first season. We don’t have teamwork skills, we barely know how to use our new powers, and we’re going up against a group of villains who have been doing this for years. So, I think it’s only reasonable that we get beat and have to learn. But I think it makes our wins that much more deserved and that much more fulfilling, even for the viewer. It’s a bigger payoff.
SPOILER: Do these scenes ever linger after they yell cut?
BREC BASSINGER: I think it depends on the scene. If it’s an emotional scene, it will stay with me for the rest of the day, because I feel like I have to put myself in a place both physically and mentally where it’s very difficult to snap out of it really quickly. The comedy scenes, which have made up most of my career up to this point, I just let them go with me. I think it’s fun once we get on a roll on set and we just keep that going once we’re off.
SPOILER: What are the most memorable scenes you filmed?
BREC BASSINGER: The first Stargirl versus Brainwave fight in season 1—it was my first time wearing the suit on the show! Also, season 1, episode 11, when I give my dad the necklace—it was such an emotional scene for Courtney’s story and really impacted her, and was also very memorable for me. And then season 2, episode 6, the fight against the Injustice Unlimited. That fight scene was by far the biggest we’ve ever had and there were so many fun and crazy moments while filming!
SPOILER: Do you ever feel like people confuse you in real life with your characters?
BREC BASSINGER: [laughs] I feel like most of the people who watch our show are old enough to understand the difference. But even on set, sometimes people will call me Courtney—no one ever calls me Stargirl—and I’ll just turn around [and respond]. I mean, it’s hard though. We have three names for almost every character: We have our real-life name, our character name, and our supername. And God bless our crew, because they have no luck [laughs]—there’s a lot against them.
SPOILER: Is there a piece of you in Courtney?
BREC BASSINGER: One hundred percent. Courtney and I have a lot of differences, but I feel we have even more similarities. My quirky sense of humor definitely sneaks through some. Also, our overall belief in good. I do believe people are good, and I feel that’s one of the things that makes Courtney, Courtney.
SPOILER: Have you been to a convention yet?
BREC BASSINGER: That was one of the things I was most excited about when I was cast as Stargirl. I was like, “I’m gonna get to meet people who watch the show and are fans and it’s gonna be so fun!” But since our show debuted at the beginning of the pandemic, I have not gotten to go to a convention yet. It breaks my heart. It’s actually a conversation I’ve had with my loved ones because it weighs heavily on me. I haven’t really gotten to meet very many people who watch Stargirl, so sometimes I’m like, “Do people actually watch it??”
SPOILER: They do!
BREC BASSINGER: [laughs] I know they do, but when we’re working 80 hours a week, I’m like, “Are people actually watching what we’re working hard on?” But I cannot wait for the day when I can finally go to one. From a writer’s perspective, the slow burners always have the best payoff and storyline, and I feel like that is my life with conventions right now. I’m just waiting and it’s such a slow burn for when I’m gonna go. And when I finally get to go to one, it’s just going to be that much more fulfilling.
SPOILER: What got you into acting originally?
BREC BASSINGER: I wanted to be an astronaut until I was about 6, and when I found out the moon wasn’t made of cheese, I didn’t wanna be an astronaut anymore. And at the time, I was in natural beauty pageants, and we had a talent portion, and I did ventriloquism. I did a little sketch with my puppets—I know this sounds really silly, but it’s the truth—and I just loved performing in front of people. So around six-yearsold, I told my mom, “I’m gonna be an actress.” And after that, anytime anyone would come up to me and ask what I wanted to be when I was older, I would say, “I don’t want to be anything. I’m going to be an actress.” And so finally my mom put me in an acting class when I was 10, and I took acting classes like crazy for three years. And when I was 13, I went out to LA for the very first time to test out the waters. I had gotten an agent who told me to go out for a week to see how it goes. And it went really, really well. So I went back for a month, and I ended up booking The Haunted Hathaways, which as a really strong recurring role that kept bringing me back to LA, which allowed me to continue auditioning. And then I booked other stuff and the rest is history!
SPOILER: Was it hard getting into this industry at only 13?
BREC BASSINGER: I was so excited! The hardest time I’ve had so far in my career was getting an agent. I could not get an agent to save my life. I was sending out my headshots every month to every Texas agent for probably two years. We would never hear back. And so I’d spend more money on more headshots. And I told my mom, “I don’t care if I’m the girl on the swings in the background, I just want to act!” I just loved acting so much and I just wanted to do it. So in LA, just getting an audition felt like a win.
SPOILER: What advice would you give to someone trying to get into this industry?
BREC BASSINGER: I always like to ask my fellow actors, “How did you get into acting?” And I find the main consistency among all of us is “acting class.” We were all working on our craft, training, being around fellow actors, and through that, you meet people, you learn, and that’s where I finally met my manager who’s still my manager today, who finally helped me get an agent, which is the reason I came out to LA.
SPOILER: Did you face a lot of rejection early on?
BREC BASSINGER: I would say I book probably only one out of every 100 auditions I go on. About two weeks before I got the audition for Stargirl, I had screen tested for an Amazon show, and it was between me and one other girl. And I just thought, “This is gonna be my career! I’m moving to New Zealand! It’s gonna be such a wonderful experience.” I loved the script and, I kid you not, it was the best audition I ever had. I went in and I went, “Okay, this is mine.” And I didn’t get it. And at that moment I thought, “Well, maybe acting isn’t my thing.” It was the first time I had ever put it into question because I was always so sure. But that one kind of just broke me. It hurt a lot. And then I got the audition for Stargirl two weeks later, and I wasn’t even super excited about it. I was just being a Debbie Downer, a little negative. That being said, the audition was very secretive. There were like, fake names and they didn’t tell you where it was going. So I was like, “Just another audition. I don’t know what t is is.” But I ended up going and doing it, even though I was like, “I’m probably not gonna get it anyway,” which is so unlike me. I’m annoyingly optimistic [laughs]. But good thing I went and persevered for those two weeks.
SPOILER: But the grind never stops, does it?
BREC BASSINGER: Oh yeah. Like the film I’m on right now, I auditioned for it, I chemistry tested, I screen read—it was a whole process. I will say I probably have more opportunities now, but I’m still very much having to grind.
SPOILER: How do you get yourself in the right mindset before an audition?
BREC BASSINGER: I get extremely nervous. I’m a very nervous person in general. So definitely some deep breaths to calm myself. I say a little prayer, and then I go and do it.
SPOILER: What is your favorite food?
BREC BASSINGER: Pizza… No, no, no, wait! Steak.
SPOILER: What is your perfect date?
BREC BASSINGER: “April 25th: not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket.” That’s a quote from Miss Congeniality [laughs]. But I’d say the perfect date is something adrenaline-filled. Like I’ve gone bungee jumping on a date. That was awesome!
SPOILER: If you could do anything right now, what would it be?
BREC BASSINGER: Take a walk along the beach.
SPOILER: Do you believe in ghosts or the paranormal?
BREC BASSINGER: Absolutely. My friend and I were messing around with this app that made recordings go backwards and we were saying “murder” to try to get it to say “redrum,” which is “murder” backwards. And it wasn’t working because the sound isn’t like the spelling, and so we just started making noises—and I was only 13 and was being so stupid. And at the very end of this recording, there was this whisper. And I kid you not, I still have the recording, and it just went, “Redrum, redrum.” And we looked at each other and we just started bawling. We were just terrified.
SPOILER: Do you like Halloween?
BREC BASSINGER: I love it. One of my favorite holidays.
SPOILER: If you could be on any show other than Stargirl, what would it be?
BREC BASSINGER: Peaky Blinders.
SPOILER: If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
BREC BASSINGER: I would want to be able to teleport. I value my time more than anything else and being able to skip traffic or travel would just be awesome!
SPOILER: If you could be Stargirl in real life, would you do it?
BREC BASSINGER: Absolutely! I want a Cosmic Staff!
SPOILER: Did you learn anything new while working on the series that you can use in a practical situation?
BREC BASSINGER: Weird answer, but I have learned how to better care for my curls. They wanted Courtney to rock my natural curls, and our hair department has taught me so much about how to care and emphasize naturally curly hair.
SPOILER: Do you rather play the hero or the villain?
BREC BASSINGER: Funny enough, I’ve always wanted to play a villain! Most of my career I have played the “girl next door” or “team leader,” and I think it would be so fun and really push me in my craft to play a villain.
SPOILER: Do you think social media has helped the superhero genre?
BREC BASSINGER: Most definitely. Social media has given a way for comic book fans to connect. It’s like a giant comic book club!
SPOILER: If you were in a zombie apocalypse, what would your weapon of choice be?
BREC BASSINGER: A cast iron skillet. I’m gonna have a Tangled moment.