EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Brec Bassinger & Geoff Johns Breaks Down Stargirl Series Finale

WARNING: This interview includes FULL SPOILERS from the series finale of DC’s Stargirl!

Another beloved DC heroine has finished her run on The CW as the series finale of DC’s Stargirl aired tonight on the network, as Courtney Whitmore and the Justice Society of America had their ultimate showdown against the Ultra Humanite and Icicle.

The Flash Podcast recently sat down with Brec Bassinger, who plays Stargirl, and showrunner/executive producer Geoff Johns, to break down the emotionally charged series finale, as the Frenemies saga got wrapped up.

DISCLAIMER: Please do NOT reproduce the interview or break up pieces through screenshots or screen recording of the video version of the interview. We request that you link to our original article and video when using it on other platforms.

The Flash Podcast: This is so bittersweet. I have loved the show since the beginning, and it took me three times to rewatch this until being finally able to accept ‘Okay, this is the end,’ well, I guess ‘Never The End’ as it said on the screen in the end. Talk about filming that finale, for you, Geoff, to write it and you, Brec, getting to film it, knowing that this could be the end.

Geoff Johns: Well, we knew it could be the end so early on, which is why the season is designed the way it is. But it was still emotional to shoot it and emotional to write. I loved writing it because I knew exactly where it needed to go and where it was going to go, and I was super excited about all those scenes. There’s only one scene that was cut, but it’s going to be on the Blu-Ray, which I’m excited about.

Brec Bassinger: I didn’t know that!

Geoff Johns: The Mike and Jakeem scene with a little ending of a character from season 2; that it’ll be fun. But it was fun, emotional, satisfying, sad, and exciting all at once. It was every good emotion that you could have, I had.

Brec Bassinger: Definitely emotional. I would say there were so many moments on set, particularly in that last fight scene when we were all at the junkyard together because that’s where our season wrapped. Sometimes a season could be wrapped with the first scene of the episode if that’s how the schedule goes. But I actually season wrapped when we were filming the big epic fight scene.

There were so many moments [where] I would stand there, look around and look at who I was surrounded by, with exploding cars and super suits. [There was also] 6’5 Joel McHale fighting me for a Cosmic Staff, and I couldn’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude, gratefulness, and emotion. [It was] all positive, but still deep down, when you love individuals and love something so much, you can’t help but have this tinge of missing it, but still so grateful that it happened.

 

The Flash Podcast: We have to talk about that fight scene with you and Joel. When I talked to you back at the beginning of the season, never did I ever imagine, ‘Oh, these two are gonna fight each other!’ How much fun did you guys have rehearsing that and finally executing it?

Brec Bassinger: My favorite thing is I’m very small, and in every scene that I have with Joel, there would be apple boxes. Our stunt doubles are amazing, and they really are the other half of the JSA; I give them so much credit. But there were a couple of sequences that we actually got to do together. A lot of times, if I’m doing a fight scene, I’ll do it with Joel’s stunt double and vice versa, just to keep everyone as safe as possible. But there was one part, in particular, it’s right when I come in and try to take the stuff from him, we got to do this cool little twisty thing. It felt really cool because it felt like I was actually taking the staff from him. There were always jokes throughout the season, ‘I’m the real Starman,’ and I would be like, ‘Oh look at the name of the show. Joel McHale!’ [laughs] So it was super fun.

 

The Flash Podcast: I’m sure a lot of people are asking this but was there any attempt at shopping the show around to other platforms like HBO Max in case The CW didn’t renew it?

Geoff Johns: We had an idea, and we tried to find a new home for it, but [it was] super complicated, and ultimately we just didn’t find another home for the show. It’s hard, too, when it’s in season 3 going, possibly into season 4. But we tried everything we could to keep the show going because we loved doing it. Honestly, when I was working on season 3, at that point creatively, I was so satisfied with the stories and where the characters went. It was more about being able to hang out with everybody [laughs] and do another season, so we can have fun making something because that’s what it became about. When I first saw thought of the show, I thought of three seasons as this trilogy. I always knew Joel was going to be Ultra Humanite; that’s why he was planted in season 1 and throughout season 2.

This season, [it was about having] Stargirl overcome Starman and essentially taking the legacy on for herself. That was the story [as well as] having all these characters reconcile and become a real family, that was a story. The story was about closed up [when season 3 was completed.] For us, I think, it was more about being able to work and hanging out with each other because we had the best cast, crew, writers, and post-production team. It was nothing but a joy every day. I’m grateful we got 3 seasons to tell the story we did and have the experience that we did. Every season was more and more fun. Despite COVID, it was kind of a miracle – because we got to shoot seasons 2 and 3 during COVID, we weren’t as “locked up” as everybody else. We got to see and be with people who cared about having fun working. We were really lucky to be able to do this throughout [COVID.]

 

The Flash Podcast: Brec, did Geoff tell you from season 1 that Sylvester was Ultra Humanite? When did you and the cast find out?

Brec Bassinger: Geoff always kept me pretty in the loop. The cast would always come to me and ask, even in this third season when we were filming, ‘Who killed The Gambler?’ I’d be like, [shrugs] The crew didn’t know. There were some crew members when they got that script; they were shocked. We got to see a little taste of what the audience might think and feel throughout the cast and crew. But Geoff kept me on the inside.

Geoff Johns: Yeah, it was actually great to see that episode last week and have people’s reactions because it was wrapped up pretty well, and it connected well. It was great to see that surprising twist pay off in such a wonderful way. It also pays off in the final episode too.

 

The Flash Podcast: Since you knew from season 1 that you wanted to do this with Starman, how key was it to make sure to have Joel in the background as much as possible and build up to him while doing all of these other villains?

Geoff Johns: Yeah, it was a long game. When I write comic books, I like the long game. It was the same thing [here] when talking to Joel about the story, the character, and getting him on board. Because he was only coming in for a few episodes in season 2, and then he was going to join the cast in season 3. It was important for him to know the story and be excited about the story. The way we have Sylvester throughout season 3, you like him, then you don’t like him. Then you’re questioning him, and then he can be a jerk. But then he’s really understanding and sympathetic. It was going back and forth [in terms of] moving your emotional heart how you felt about Sylvester that kept you a little bit off kilter so you wouldn’t suspect Sylvester. The number of people that have been totally surprised by the revelation was great and we worked really hard on that.

 

The Flash Podcast: That was great too, because in the superhero business, things leak online all the time, but this was something you guys really got to keep a secret, which was awesome. I think you both talked about filming two alternative endings. Can you disclose anything about that second ending, or is that something you want fans to see if it’s on the Blu-Ray?

Geoff Johns: It’s not that different. There are only a couple of lines of dialogue that are different, which would have sent us into another story. We’ll probably talk about it someday, but I don’t know if it’ll be on the Blu-Ray or not. There are a couple of deleted scenes that are on the Blu-Ray, [at least] two right now from the season that was worth putting on there. [There are always] scenes that get dropped, but these two were worth [to put] on there. But I’m sure at some point we will [see it], but it’s not a massively different ending. It’s just a slightly different ending that sends them off on what would have been a really interesting season 4 story. Again, someday we’ll talk about it, but for now, we just want people to enjoy the ending we have.

 

The Flash Podcast: Fans would murder me if I didn’t ask this because when I talked to Brec last time, crossovers are something people are always asking about, and then you two went up to Toronto for something-something! [everyone laughs] What can you guys talk about that [photo they took with Titans’ Ryan Potter, who plays Beast Boy]? Because I am sensing we will see Stargirl again in 2023…

Geoff Johns: I will get in so much trouble at this point [laughs] I can’t say anything but but never the end.

Brec Bassinger: I’ve watched the finale twice, and both times, when ‘Never the end’ comes up. I immediately start bawling. I watched it with my mom last night. I get so emotional, and Geoff, I’m so grateful you made such a wonderful ending that had so much closure and so much clarity. Then just to say ‘Never the end,’ it really hits me in the core. I love it; I’m proud of that ending!

Geoff Johns: The ending is an ending, but this stuff goes on forever, those characters live on and have adventures that live on, and it is never the end for our JSA heroes, including all the relationships we made. It doesn’t feel like an ending. It was the best, special time I’ve ever had in my career and life, and it was super special to do that.

 

The Flash Podcast: We just got the JSA on the big screen, and they could always use a Stargirl. Brec, would you be down to show up in the movies, even if it was a different version of her due to the Multiverse? Or would it be important that you still get to play the version that you’ve been building up for 3 seasons?

Brec Bassinger: Geoff knows I’m obsessed with being Stargirl; I identify as Stargirl! [laughs] She will forever be a part of me. So whatever it can mean, I’m down as long as Geoff’s there.

Geoff Johns: I just think Brec is Stargirl, and anybody would be lucky to have her continue to play Stargirl in any shape or form. But regardless, I’m so proud of the three seasons we put together, and I’m just quite grateful we got to tell a complete story. Even our season 4 idea wasn’t about regressing character arcs and going backward because once Cameron and Courtney are together, I don’t want to break that up. Once Rick reconciles with Beth, I don’t want to screw that up. The relationships that we’ve forged, it wasn’t like we would have gone backward and broken any of those. It was just a very different type of story we going to tell next if we did another season.

 

The Flash Podcast: We had all of these sweet family moments, were some of them going to be saved for a series finale if this had been a season finale or was this always the timing you had in mind?

Geoff Johns: Because we knew this was probably going to be the last season, I just wrote it like it was going to be because we knew it was a pretty good possibility. So all those moments were designed for the end of the series, especially that last scene. Some of those scenes I had in my head since day 1, and some of them came into existence during season 3.

 

The Flash Podcast: Brec, how much did you geek out about the flashforward scenes and hearing what Starwoman and the JSA had been up to?

Brec Bassinger: Absolutely! I feel like Stargirl is such a part of me, like part of Brec, that it was so cool. Like, ‘Oh, look, look what I got to do, that’s awesome! You fall in love with the characters you play, and you fall in love with Courtney, her best friends like Wildcat. I have fallen in love with Wildcat as well. So to get to hear and see that they were all successful of these characters that you love, you can’t help but just be happy for them. It sounds weird, but it’s how I feel.

 

The Flash Podcast: I’m going to rephrase a question I asked previously without getting anyone in trouble. Since Geoff executive produce Titans and Doom Patrol, could the Stargirl characters somehow live on through those shows or appear in an episode or two?

Geoff Johns: You didn’t ask it different enough, I’m sorry, I can’t answer that! [laughs]

 

The Flash Podcast: Fair enough! Let’s talk about Jay Garrick in that final scene because I love John Wesley Shipp and because this was taking place 10 years in the future, was this something that you had a conversation with Eric Wallace [The Flash showrruner] about?

Geoff Johns: I talked to Eric about The Flash how we were using him just so he knew and keep everyone up to speed. But because it’s in the future, so to speak – no pun intended – it didn’t really affect the other show. That final scene with Jonathan Cake, who played a wonderful Shade, such an amazing actor – our whole cast from from A to Z was brilliant – but having that last scene be [about] The Shade and the Golden Age Flash, was really important. The Shade hadn’t showed up in a while and Jay Garrick was a nice surprise. I don’t think people are seeing him coming, which is cool.

 

The Flash Podcast: Fair enough! Let’s talk about Jay Garrick in that final scene because I love John Wesley Shipp and because this was taking place 10 years in the future, was this something that you had a conversation with Eric Wallace [The Flash showrruner] about?

Geoff Johns: That last final scene was really important because it gave, it was important not to have our main characters; it was important to have Shade and Jay. You see how far the Shade has come; it’s all about, ‘Look how far the Shade has come!’ Then he gives you the perspective on the JSA, and for him to give that tour, for him to be there, that shows he’s changed a lot, thanks to Pat and the JSA. He gives a perspective on what they’ve done, where they’ve gone and what the JSA is all about.

That I think is a real perfect send-off into the future. Then Jay comes in for that final fun beat and reveals that ‘According to Courtney Whitmore, you’re a member of JSA now too, let’s go,’ and I wanted to send everybody off into the next adventure because their adventures do go on forever. I think it’s fun to let just let our imaginations go wild and the worst thing would have been if they all put their suits away and went ‘That was fun, we’re done.’ My intention was to make sure that you knew they went on forever.

 

The Flash Podcast: Well, for anyone who finds the show in the coming years, whether it’s on HBO Max or on Home Release, what do you both hope they take away from Stargirl as a whole?

Brec Bassinger: I go back to the character of Courtney, who is such a light. I love watching TV shows, and I love content. I’m an actor, and I live for it. So to get to be a part of a show that’s just a positive show, I feel like so much of the content nowadays it’s sometimes hard for me to watch. I want to come home, have a relief and escape to a different happy reality of superheroes and the JSA. I hope our show can continue to bring that to people because it’s definitely brought it for my family and me. Every Wednesday, we sit down, my grandparents come over, and we want to continue to do that for someone.

Geoff Johns: Just be nice to people, care about people and enjoy it. Look for the good in everything; look for the good first because there’s so much good in the world. That’s what Courtney does and believes in. Hopefully, that’s something people find that they can share with their families. Like if somebody watches it now and they’re young, maybe when they have children, and they’re older, they can watch the show with them because that’s what it’s designed for.

 

The Flash Podcast: One of my final question that is a fun one for you both – did either of you get to keep a copy of Cosmo?

[Both Brec and Geoff give a teasing silent smile]

 

The Flash Podcast: Anything else you want to share with the fans who will be reading and listening to this as we say goodbye, at least for now?

Brec Bassinger: Thank you for watching and supporting our show, I had the best time of my life getting to make it and getting to connect with so many people. Like over the past year, with a lot of the pandemic regulations going away, I’ve gotten to meet so many fans of Stargirl, and almost every convention I go to, I cry at some point. We are so lucky to have such a beautiful, positive, accepting group of people who watch our show. I’m just so thankful and grateful for them.

Geoff Johns: I’d echo that too. We didn’t have the opportunity to meet the fans in person and the people who watched the show in person until recently. I want to thank everybody that’s watched and supported Stargirl, who the show’s connected with, and it’s such a wonderfully positive, passionate fan base. I hope they enjoy the finale as much as we enjoyed making it, but thanks for watching it and thanks for sharing the show; it means a lot.

 

The Flash Podcast: Thank you for all the work you both have done and everyone who’s worked on the show for three years especially during these hard circumstances. Thank you for sharing Courtney with us in the world; I’m still holding up hopes that somehow the show comes back or we will see Stargirl somewhere, maybe next year…I know I’m such a tease, I’m sorry for like poking at this! But that photo of Brec and Ryan, it broke the internet, I hope you know that, Brec! [laughs] Did you have fun meeting him?

Brec Bassinger: I already knew him, I knew him before! [laughs]

 

The Flash Podcast: Thank you both so much, and congrats on a three-year journey that’s been such an amazing roller coaster and we will see what happens in the future.

Brec Bassinger: Thank you!

Geoff Johns: Thank you so much, Andy!

DISCLAIMER: Please do NOT reproduce the interview or break up pieces through screenshots. We request that you link to our original article when using it on other platforms.

DC’S STARGIRL

“Frenemies – Chapter Thirteen: The Reckoning” — (8:00-9:00 p.m. ET) (TV-
PG, V) (HDTV)

THE FINAL SHOWDOWN — Courtney (Brec Bassinger) and the JSA find themselves in the fight of their lives against their biggest threat yet. Luke Wilson, Amy Smart, Yvette Monreal, Anjelika Washington, Cameron Gellman, Trae Romano, Meg DeLacy, Hunter Sansone, Alkoya Brunson and Joel McHale also star. Walter Carlos Garcia directed the episode written by Geoff Johns (#313). Original airdate 12/7/2022. Every episode of DC’S STARGIRL will be available to stream on The CW App and CWTV.com the day after broadcast for free and without a subscription, log-in or authentication required.

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