With Gold Coast Supanova just around the corner, I was given the opportunity through Novastream to interview one of DC Comics biggest journalists: Jimmy Olsen.
Played by Mehcad Brooks, James Olsen has played a huge role in Supergirl’s journey to becoming a true super hero. But, in addition to this, he has also taken up the mantel of Guardian.
Hey, it’s Mehcad. I’m all online. How you doing?
Hi Mehcad, how are you?
I’m very well, how you doing?
Very well, thank you. So, I hear you’re going to be on the Gold Coast for Supanova. Have you come to Australia before?
I have! Yeah, I’ve been to Sydney, I’ve been to Hamilton, and I’ve been to Hayman Island, actually. I had a great time, it was amazing. Really, really beautiful country and great people, great food. Actually, one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen, aesthetically.
That’s fantastic! But are you up to date with our lingo? Do you know all about how we shorten everything?
I know people say ‘I heaps keen on this arvo’, right?
Haha! But I have a few Aussie terms for you I was wondering if you knew what they were? Cause they’ll definitely be helpful for you.
Alright, let’s check it out. Let’s go, I’m ready.
Have you ever heard of the Australian proverb to ‘chuck a u-ie’?
‘Chuck a u-ie’? I’m going to say that means to take a u turn.
Fantastic! Hundred percent. So, if you get lost, you’ll know to ask the taxi driver to chuck a u-ie.
Chuck a u-ie! That’s cool.
The other one, which might be very, very good for you, is ‘a Maccas run’.
Say again? What it is?
Yeah, that’s it.
Haha… You guys sound like Snoop Dog. Um, wait… Maccas run… Don’t tell me. Uh, a McDonalds run? You’re going to go grab McDonalds.
Look at that! That’s two for two. Well done!
You should just live in Australia, man. You’ve got this 100% down pat!
I can be persuaded!
So, Supergirl has such an amazing voice in how it tackles social issues. Like, with the illegal aliens and then also the refugee problem that’s actually just world wide at the moment. What’s it like being a part of a show that’s just more, so much more than just entertainment?
It is a dream come true… I mean, honestly, we all get into this business to exercise our artistic muscle, right? But when you can do that and also be subversive about a message, right, you can also have a voice. And when you can do both, when you can exercise your artistic muscle and also have a voice for positive change in the world, or at least make people who may not have looked at same sex relationship, or a refugee, or a black person, or any subset of minority groups, or women! Who are treated like a minority group but they’re not, obviously. And make people who may not have had the opinion an hour ago have a different opinion. Or at least question their opinion, right?
So, one of my favourite things to do is go on Twitter and the people who say: ‘well now I don’t like this, don’t like this, don’t like that’, I just ask them why? Why, what’s wrong? What’s wrong with being two fictional characters in love? Because they’re both women? What’s wrong with a girl doing this? Is the show the problem? Or should you be questioning your old ideas? You know, so, I really, really enjoy being a part of that and that’s probably my favourite part of the show. That and jumping up, doing weird stuff in front of green screens.
So, you enjoy the fight scenes? Is that you doing the fight scenes, or do you have a stunt double?
Oh, I have a most incredible stunt double in the world. This guy’s unbelievable. I’m very lucky, (my stunt double) is incredible. But I do what they’ll allow me to do. But I can’t do half the stuff he’s doing. He’s amazing… He’s doing like backflips. For instance, it’s really hard to see out of that helmet. It’s hard for me to walk fast in that helmet. Right?
I can do some spin moves, I can do some punches, I can do blocks, fight choreography. But when it comes to, like, these high kicks and jumping off of stuff, and flips and like the half turns in the middle of the flip. That’s all him, trust me. If you’re impressed by what the Guardian’s doing, it’s not me.
I’m very impressed, but I think you should just tell people it’s you.
Yeah, you know what, I’m afraid he might kick my arse.
Oh! That’s actually a very good point.
Nah, I’m kidding. He’s a great guy.
And that Guardian suit is incredible. I heard in one of your interviews that pieces were 3D printed for you, for that uniform. How grand does it feel? How amazing is it?
How did it feel on?
Yeah! Well, I would imagine probably uncomfortable.
You know what? At first it was extremely uncomfortable. It was like trying to put a grown man into a baby spandex scuba suit. It was crazy. Awful! We’ve gone through different evolutionary processes of the suit and it always looks the same to you guys, but it’s been different. There was a time where it was different every episode. You know, there was a onesie thing going on at one point it time, and it was kind of cutting into the cash deprises and something like that. Yeah, it was not good. It was like a wrestler outfit under the pant suit. Like, ‘Nah, I’m good on this’. Then there were buttons down there for a second, then there was a zipper down there from a second, then there was Velcro down there for a second. Now we have these snap things, that seems to work the best… The more you use it, the more it fits like a glove. So, now it’s my favourite suit. It fits just as comfortable as wearing James’ outfit. It’s really comfortable, cause now I’m used to it. At first it was kind of a nightmare. It’s been great.
Will we ever get to see you as Guardian on any of the crossovers? Cause I actually found some videos of you singing online and I feel robbed you weren’t in the musical crossover!
You know, we have so many actors across all these shows. Like, you just have to fit in where you fit in. So, James and the Guardian were needed on Supergirl that episode. So I think it was me and Chyler who carried the torch on that one while the others went and played elsewhere. We’re all a big family, all a big team, so I’m happy to go to Flash, and Arrow, hang out, and sing, and kick some arse! And I’m sure we’re going to have plenty of opportunities to do that.
That would be amazing. I’d love to see that. I feel like Guardian would fit in well with Arrow. But is there any other show you really want to? Like, is there one that stands out you feel you’d fit in really well?
I think Stephen Amell (Green Arrow) and I would complement each other really well. He’s a confident tough guy, but he’s a teddy bear at hear. Same thing with me, like I can come off tough but I’m like a big kid. I think we would complement each other really well. Love Grant (The Flash). I can’t pick a favourite. Victor Garber (F.I.R.E.S.T.O.R.M.) is amazing, I love him too. And Jesse L. Martin (Joe West) is fantastic, I mean, that guy’s a legend… I’d be happy to play with any of these casts. But I think Arrow would be a good pick because of the Meta Human thing.
And where you surprised when you were told that Jimmy Olsen… Sorry, James Olsen, was going to be given the role of Guardian?
Extremely! Cause I know the cannon, and that wasn’t it. I know that Jimmy in the comics was close with Guardian and gave him scoops. But, you know, here’s the thing: if you hired a 6 foot 4, 240 pound dude to play Jimmy Olsen, if you don’t let me punch somebody at some point in time it’s kind of a waste. You know what I mean? I got to punch somebody!
Yeah! Definitely! And because of that, and because it’s nearly two seasons in now, I think I would have the OK from fellow wrangers and all the redheads out there to welcome you as an honorary redhead and welcome you to the clan.
Ha! Are you a red head?
I certainly am!
Oh, fantastic! Thank you! You’re the first person to induct me into the redhead hall of fame. I appreciate that.
I’m pretty sure the welcome basket is on the way.
Oh, great! Awesome, I can’t wait. SPF 50, right?
Haha! It might get lost in the mail, but we tried.
All good, all good. I’ll hold you to that if I see you down there.
Oh no, oh gosh.
Now you got to give me a gift basket!
Yeah, I know! I’ve dug myself a hole now! If you weren’t Guardian, who would you like to portray as James Olsen? What superhero persona would you like to take on?
The Green Lantern.
Yes! That would be incredible!
Yeah, wouldn’t it be?
That would be fantastic.
I think it would be fantastic. I really do.
I think redheads united will try and see if we can talk to a few people, see if we can get you as Green Lantern! That would look brilliant!
That would be brilliant, you know, it’s all in the family. From this recording to God’s ears, maybe it will happen.
Start a petition.
Yeah! You start it, I’ll sign it.
Fantastic! Thank you so much for chatting with me today, Mehcad. It’s fantastic. Have a good one! And have a fun time down in the Gold Coast.
I will! Have a good one!
You can catch Mehcad Brooks in both the Gold Coast and Melbourne Supernovas for general admission Q and A, as well as photo sessions throughout Saturday and Sunday in both cities.