It was a hot and sweaty weekend in Metropolis, Ill., but comic book fans still came out in droves to celebrate all things Man of Steel at this year's Superman Celebration.
That includes all things Supergirl, too, particularly the CBS show that recently moved to The CW for its second season. The Celebration hosted two stars from the series: Peter Facinelli and Mehcad Brooks.
The two stars hosted a Q&A session with fans, which touched on subjects ranging from the show's change of networks to the characters they portray on the series.
The first thing on everyone's mind, though, was definitely the show's new network. Most fans realize that The CW will probably have a lower budget than CBS had for the show, and Facinelli joked about what fans can expect in season two.
"I think with Supergirl, we're going to cut the CGI," he joked. "You'll see the strings now."
All joking aside, though, the two actors assured fans that the move to The CW will actually bring more to the series in its second season.
"We're actually getting some things," Brooks said. "We're getting the crossover potential with The Flash, Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow. We're gaining more than we're losing."
Facinelli also mentioned that Superman will appear on the show, and the two actors were mum about the casting of the role, although fans like to speculate about it. There were a lot of daring stunts on the first season of Supergirl, including one with James Olsen in an elevator shaft. Brooks spoke a little about that scene, including mentioning how terrifying it was to film.
"Yeah, that was me," he told fans. "I was crying. There were plenty of fluids coming out of my body. It was great."
Facinelli also shared his own story about filming stunts for the show.
"You guys remember the scene where I'm tied up in the chair?" he asked. "So I'm swinging this wrench around. I was supposed to be using a crowbar, but then they thought that a wrench would work better so — usually, they use like a big prop wrench — but they were out or something and I had a real wrench. And we were shooting this scene for a couple of hours and I guess my arm was getting a little tired. I'm sitting in the chair and I'm swinging it around and threatening him and I go to switch it from one hand to the other, and it slides down my hand and it boomerangs around and catches him in the knee. And Mehcad goes down.
And so they actually had to shut production down and he went to the hospital. I felt horrible and I was calling him, texting him, but he's OK. And he was out for like three days."
However, the incident wasn't forgotten, so when Brooks' birthday came around, Facinelli surprised him with a reminder: a variety pack of wrenches.
"And I said, 'If you ever need a day off, call me,'" Facinelli laughed.
Brooks also shared his one fanboy moment on set.
"I was a Superman and Batman fanatic as a kid," he said. "And so, I read the pilot before I even got the role. I was reading the last scene, and there's a moment where James Olsen says 'up, up and away.' I freaked out. When we went to shoot the scene, it was my first day at work. I'm super tired and we're on this rooftop and the director calls out 'Go!' And I was nerding out — I was geeking out — so bad that I couldn't say it right."
Facinelli mentioned one of his favorite scenes as Maxwell Lord on the show.
"I like Maxwell Lord and how he lightens up scenes by saying random things like 'Go get me a Dr. Pepper,'" he said. "But my favorite was — you remember that tentacle thing, Black Mercy? And so it was shriveling up in the corner and my line was 'that's one real messed up daffodil.'"
One factor that plays into Supergirl is that, in the pilot episode, there's no mention of Superman at all, something fans noticed immediately. To the actors, though, this made sense.
"I thought it was kind of cool that we just sort of alluded to him, but at the same time, it's Supergirl's show," Brooks said. "Superman has a lot of fans, we're trying to tell Supergirl's story. This is her thing. So do we want to borrow Superman's fans? Sure. But we don't want to base it on that. And it's time to focus on a female superhero."
"Once you start adding Superman, it's much more likely to become the Superman and Supergirl show," he said. "So the idea is to keep it focused on her."
It's not a secret that Brooks doesn't fit the Jimmy Olsen role that fans know from previous Superman movies, TV shows and comics, and that fact wasn't lost on the actor.
"So there's this character who looks nothing like me," Brooks said. "We don't really look alike, you know what I mean. So I was kinda' like, 'Man, what do I do?' And they were just like 'just be you.' But I'm like 'he's not me.' But they were like, 'yeah, yeah, we're going to change him.' So it's like we're keeping the DNA of that character — he's still the eyes and ears for the audience.
"Here's the thing: I grew up as a huge Jimmy Olsen fan, a huge Superman fan. So I was very familiar with Jimmy Olsen in comics and who Jimmy Olsen was. So when I got the audition, I was like, 'They know I'm black, right?' So I couldn't play him as he was always portrayed, so I just went in there as myself.
And that's the thing: if you ever want to be something people think you cannot be, just be yourself."
The second season of Supergirl premieres on The CW this fall.