‘Supergirl’ – David Harewood Interview on Playing Hank Henshaw

David Harewood Comic Con Photo
David Harewood (Photo by Richard Chavez)

David Harewood stars as Hank Henshaw in CBS’ Supergirl debuting on October 26, 2015 and starring Melissa Benoist in the title role. Harewood says there’s so much mythology involving the character, also known as Cyborg Superman, that he can’t wait to see Hank’s arc throughout the primetime comic book-inspired series. And during our interview at the San Diego Comic Con, Harewood provided a little insight into what viewers can expect of the new hour-long series.

What was your first reaction to the Supergirl project and then what was your reaction to reading the script?

“Honestly, it was like, ‘Supergirl, what?!’ I didn’t think that was going to work. I have to say when I read the script I was like, ‘This is really good.’ It was really good; it was like a movie. Getting to work and seeing the other actors, it was probably one of the favorite things I’ve done so far. I’m so excited about the series. I’m up for it!”

Can you talk about why you were initially skeptic?

“I don’t know. I suppose it wasn’t what I was looking for. I was looking for something not with ‘super’ in the middle of it. You kind of want to do something which is maybe more up to date or more natural. But that was what was so exciting about reading the script is it had humor, it had a love interest, it had danger and action. It had all these different things I really wasn’t expecting it to have, and I think it really works in a very old-fashioned way. Despite my initial anxiety, it has turned out to be just about everything that I could have hoped for.”

What can you say about Hank Henshaw?

“Well, you know, the mythology of Hank Henshaw – and I’ve been reading about it – is deep. He’s got his own huge kind of story arc. That was sort of difficult to play in the pilot because, obviously, you weren’t concentrating on him. It was mainly Kara’s story. But there’s a long ways to go.

In terms of my own trajectory, I’m kind of leaving it up to Ali [Adler], Greg [Berlanti], Sarah [Schecter] and Andrew [Kreisberg] to really unpack that. At the moment all I can say is it’s real exciting. We may not be sticking exactly to the mythology that’s in the comic books.”

Can you say anything about whether he’ll have cybernetic parts?

“I’m interested to see how they interpret it. This is a guy who’s augmented in some way. It’s going to be interesting to see how we make that possible. Whether or not it’s natural, unnatural, it’s going to be interesting to see what they do to him.”

What do you think of your character’s costume?

“I’m about the only character who didn’t change in the pilot. I have the same costume all four days. It’s going to be interesting to see how we can make that a little bit more original, fresher, and just to kind of paint that character. It’s such a great character. There’s a long way to go, lots of stories to tell.”

More on Supergirl: Melissa Benoist Interview / Chyler Leigh Interview