When fans first saw the DC’s Stargirl Season 2 trailer and spotted Ysa Penarejo as Jennie-Lynn Hayden, most famous in comic book lore as “Jade,” the daughter of Green Lantern, there was quite a bit of excitement, especially as Green Lanterns have been mostly missing from live-action for over a decade aside from a Snyder Cut tease here or a flying ring falling from the sky there, with a HBO Max Green Lantern show still a little ways away. With her power, Jennie is a force to be reckoned with — and she is the legacy that Courtney Whitmore (Brec Bassinger) long thought she herself had been.
Jennie is a prominent part of the August 17 episode of Stargirl which is titled “Summer School, Part 2.” It airs at 8PM ET/PT on The CW right before the season finale of Superman & Lois. To promote the finale, KSiteTV spoke with Ysa Penarejo offering some tips on what to expect! The interview can be found below.
KSITETV’s CRAIG BYRNE: How do Jennie and Courtney react to each other, now that things have settled a little bit?
YSA PENAREJO: Well, of course, we had that first fight, which is definitely not your normal welcome. Once things settle, it’s kind of like, okay, for Courtney it’s like “who is this girl intruding into my house and also trying to steal this green lantern?” which you’ll see that interaction more in that second episode.
Are there things about Jennie and Courtney that make each other jealous?
Oh, I think most definitely. You’ll see it first with Courtney, because in Season One, they left it off with Courtney finding out that she’s not Starman’s daughter, and for the longest time, she thought that’s why the staff was lighting up, and it was coming to her to be Stargirl.
And then, to have someone come in and be that legacy is definitely, I think, like a punch in the stomach. It’s like “Whoa, Who is this?” But also to I think with Jennie, you’ll see that as they go more into her story in that second episode, there is definitely a contrast to that. She’s going through some insecurities and whatnot.
Are you allowed to tease at all how Jennie’s ring works with the green lantern?
Well, I mean, we’re already close to the second episode. That’s something that the audience does have to watch for!
The second episode is definitely where everything will go into Jennie and how she got there, but you’ll see a lot of like interaction with that ring, with her and also the green lantern.
What was your reaction when you first saw the visual effects for your character on the screen?
Oh, my goodness, My jaw was to the ground. When we go in to do our ADR sessions, we see tidbits, but I was just so excited to see the final product. Even when we were filming, they’ll do rough drafts of what it was possibly going to look like. But especially seeing that fight scene – I just couldn’t believe it. I’m still in shock. I’m still super speechless.
Can you talk about Jennie’s interactions with Pat Dugan?
Again, I can’t like stress how much Episode 2 is really big for Jennie, because that all goes into that, but you’ll see that not only is Jennie interacting with Courtney, but she definitely interacts with Pat, and Barbara, even the JSA… and that is very impactful on Jennie’s journey.
What can you say about Jennie’s brother Todd?
That’s definitely part of her journey. For the longest time, Jennie has known of her twin brother Todd, and that’s what she’s been going for. This moment, coming into Blue Valley, and having these interactions is definitely a stop point that helps her with that journey of finding Todd. It also kind of helps Jennie understand more of herself to be like “okay, this is what I need to do in order to find him.”
How familiar are you with the Jennie of the comics who is also known as “Jade?”
I would say I was not familiar with this character at all. When I auditioned, they definitely had a different name; it wasn’t disclosed who I was auditioning for. And once Geoff Johns, the creator of the show and the project, explained to me who Jennie was, and I did some research with my dad about who this character is, and how she’s wrapped in this DC Universe, I was mind blown. It’s really crazy to me, still.
Can you talk about the reaction from fans when they first saw Jennie in the Season Two trailer?
It is the most exciting thing to hear and watch. It’s so cool to see how excited people were, and even to [see fans writing things] like “Jennie/Jade is one of my favorite characters and to finally have her character come to life on Stargirl is really exciting” – again, it was so great, but also I was really nervous because no one has played Jade. This character has never been introduced in the show, and this is the first time it’s coming alive… I wanted to make sure that I did it justice.
What can you say about the Stargirl experience in general, working with the cast and all that?
The experience was absolutely incredible. This project and this character is very new. This is the first time I’ve ever played a character like this. First of all, Geoff Johns is basically like an encyclopedia, with all this knowledge about the characters and their stories. Plus, working with such a great caas… Brec was so sweet and so amazing. Same with Luke, and Amy, and then getting to work with, like, Cameron… just everyone… it was overall, such an amazing experience.
Did you have a favorite Stargirl set?
I would say the garage is really cool. I like looking at STRIPE. I didn’t know what to expect coming in. I didn’t even know if the robot was CGI or if it was actually real.When I had a couple of scenes there in Episode Two, I couldn’t stop looking at STRIPE, because it was like “wow, this is real!”
What would you personally like to see for Jennie’s future on the show?
I’m so excited to see how she develops into her powers, because it’s still very new to her. But I would also love to see her finding Todd if that happens, and what that interaction would be because, again, she has known of her brother, but hasn’t heard or seen him since she was a toddler. So to have that interaction, and finding out whatever that potential is for Todd…. I would love to see that.”
What do you have to say to the fans on why they should be tuning in on Tuesday night?
There’s a lot that’s gonna happen. This season is just full of such great turns and twists, and I’m excited for the audience to experience that with the characters.
DC’s Stargirl airs Tuesdays at 8PM on The CW; some photos and other previews from tonight’s episode can be found here at KSiteTV!