SDCC 2015: Supergirl Lead Mechad Books “I Never Thought of Myself as Being In the Running to Play Jimmy Olsen”

Michael Moccio ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Editor-in-Chief

In September of last year, Deadline reported that CBS committed to the Supergirl drama. In late May, the Supergirl pilot leaked to the internet, where it was seen by a substantial amount of fans. In July, Supergirl’s cast and crew took to San Diego Comic Con to interact with the press and reveal a little more about the series. Emertainment got the opportunity to sit down with Mehcad Brooks who plays James Olsen on Supergirl, now the art director working at Cat Grant’s paper in National City.

“I don’t know anything,” Brooks said off the bat. “We shot the Supergirl pilot and there’s a bunch of things that are possibly going to happen. We just hope that it goes for a long time so we can make great TV.”

As comic book fans, we were curious as to how close to the comics the show would take us. “The cool thing is that we took it out of Metropolis and put it in National City, which is kind of like our own playground to create the Supergirl mythology,” Brooks said. “So it’s not too far from the comics, but we can still do what we want. I would imagine with the team of writers that we have and the level of talent, we’re going to be able to delve into things and take our time with the stories and the character development. We all know who these people are in the Supergirl comics, but we don’t know who they are in 2015 on the CBS show.”

One of the things he touched on immediately was—in his own words—his unlikely casting choice for the Supergirl show. “I never thought of myself as being in the running to play Jimmy Olsen,” Brooks confessed. “When I auditioned, I was like, ‘Yeah, I’ll throw my hat in the ring.’ And then I got to the next level and everyone was amazing and pushing for me. I said, ‘You know I don’t look like him, right?’ and they said ‘We don’t care!’ They made me feel like a part of the family immediately with all the support since day one.”

“I grew up with Jimmy Olson and Supergirl a certain way, and we’re going to reinvent them,” Brooks said, expanding on his answer. Not in a disrespectful way, though. I wouldn’t say I’m the obvious choice to play Jimmy Olson, but I think that’s the amazing part. We’re getting to the point in society where we’re approaching this more color-blind. We were in a monochromatic existence when Jimmy Olson was created and people weren’t really thinking about it, so I’m really excited to be a part of the change.”

“It’s a daunting task in a good way to play an iconic role,” Brooks confessed, wrapping up the interview. “You want to give it justice, but at the same time you have to be yourself.”



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