David Harewood Interview: ‘Supergirl’ Season 2 and Martian Manhunter

Supergirl stars Tyler Hoechlin and David Harewood
Tyler Hoechlin and David Harewood from ‘Supergirl’ at Comic Con (Photo © Richard Chavez / Showbiz Junkies)

Supergirl star David Harewood said he spent three weeks reading up on the Martian Manhunter because he wasn’t familiar with the character before tackling him in season one. During roundtable interviews at the 2016 San Diego Comic Con, Harewood said that after learning more about the character, he feels it’s been an honor to take the role on. Harewood also discussed J’onn and Alex’s relationship and what he hopes to see incorporated from the Martian Manhunter mythology in the upcoming second season of The CW series.

Supergirl will premiere on October 10, 2016 at 8pm ET/PT.

The Martian Manhunter history was touched upon in season one. What do you want to see pulled in from his mythology in season two?

David Harewood: “Probably having his brother, Ma’alefa’ak, who kind of masquerades as J’onn in some of the comics and almost ruins the Justice League. Having a bad guy brother who was apparently responsible for the death of Mars would be a pretty awesome foe to deal with. But we have to wait and see.”

How excited were you about your big reveal in season one?

David Harewood: “Oh man, it was a great episode. What was really cool was seeing the online reaction. A couple of people posted videos of people literally jumping up and down, kids screaming and running around the floor. It’s pretty cool that people love the character that much that they were excited to see him, and it just looked awesome. He’s got a great look, the outfit looks great, and so he’s been cool to play.”

Did you know going into the season that that reveal was coming or did they hold that back?

David Harewood: “I had no idea. In fact, when I did this panel last year I had no idea what character I was playing. They only told me about a week before we started filming that I was really not Hank Henshaw, and so it was a little odd doing this last year because I just didn’t know who I played. I knew it was changing, but I didn’t know what it was changing to. I’m just happy that it was Martian Manhunter.”

How does Superman react to having you around?

David Harewood: “I have to say there’s going to be a little bit of tension. The first two scripts really kick it off, really kicks it off with Superman (Tyler Hoechlin) and Martian Manhunter. […]There’s history and that’s what great. You see a bit of backstory immediately. There’s another great reveal of how they met and why they fell out. So, it’s pretty cool. It’s something I’m excited about.”

What will the relationship be like between J’onn and Alex (played by Chyler Leigh) in season two? Is it still almost like a father/daughter type dynamic like some fans have commented on it being?

David Harewood: “I’m looking forward to more people picking up on that. But, I think what’s also going to be cool is we both explore our own individual identities a little bit more. I can’t talk too much more about that. But, it’s going to be fun to see them develop individually and not just together.”

How much is practical effects? How much is you wearing a motion capture suit?

David Harewood: “The face is motion capture and I have to physically embody the guy. Putting the suit on is awesome. There’s a little bit of a disconnect because I know that once I’ve done my performance, I then hand it over to the tech guys and they draw Martian Manhunter. So, there’s been a little bit of a disconnect. But I love the outfit. It looks so cool. In fact, when I see the stuntman wearing my outfit, it’s like seeing someone else with your wife. It’s like, ‘Get that off!’ I hate it. It’s great people are so pumped every time he arrives. It’s very exciting.”

Watch the full David Harewood interview:

(Interview by Fred Topel. Article by Rebecca Murray.)