While the first four episodes of DC Stars Girl were mainly the story of Courtney Whitmore/Stargirl, another important character emerged whose story began to play in the CW/DC universe series: However, Beth Chapel, the young woman who will be the new doctor at midnight this week, begins to take shape when she finds these special glasses in Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite takes her first real steps with Beth on a heroic journey that can also easily change her non-hero life.
The performance of Washington Beth’s Angelica promises not only to bring the brains to Courtney’s new American Justice Society – with those glasses and an impressive super suit – but also to give viewers something important by presenting another young black superhero on television in a room so often dominated by white male heroes. They had a chance to talk in Washington about Beth’s chapel, the responsibility of the role of the black superhero, the next steps for Beth and the rest of JSA, and the active ability to be friends.
Read on for our conversation with Washington!
Interview with Angelica Washington Star (Photo: Drea Nicole, CW)
How well did you know the comic and the cartoon character for Stargirl?
Angelica Washington: Actually, I didn’t even know Dr. Meade Nite. My brothers love comic books, so I heard about the first Dr. Mid-Nite through JSA, but I didn’t know there was another generation, and there was a woman, and she was a super incredible and powerful heroine. So I didn’t know much. And the truth is, until the day I tested it, I didn’t even know I was playing a superhero. So it was a shock and very exciting at the same time.
This week’s episode really introduces us to your character and shows us how Beth picks up those glasses, Dr. Mead-Nite. As we’ve seen, Beth is so positive and enthusiastic, but it seems that not everyone around her really likes her, and she’s just getting fired. What can you tell us about Beth?
Everything you said is true and she is definitely super social, very positive and very energetic. And I think sometimes it can be very overwhelming for other people. But in general she is just a girl who loves people, loves everyone and wants to be a part of this world. Plus, she’s gonna try to find out where she is right now.
What we have noticed, in one way or another, is that the series these beautiful characters, at different levels and nuances, both the originals and the old, and gives them somehow new copies, new stories that correspond not only to what they are, but also to this new version of the series. How does it feel to take a character from a comic book that some people really recognize and give it a new look? What kind of responsibilities and challenges did she give you?
On the whole, as a black woman, I feel a great responsibility. I think performance is so important for black and brown girls. When I was a kid, I didn’t have anyone who looked like me and played a superhero. Generations are coming, and I want to bring him this new version, because we are all much younger, we are more naive, we are not super-informed, and we are informed and enlightened about JSA or even superheroes in general in the Blue Valley.
So I think this is an exciting new generation of these superheroes. I’ve been inside my head, I feel like a superhero breakfast club because we’re all such outcasts who don’t belong anywhere. But in the end, we joined forces and really created the power you need to take into account.
It must be an incredible feeling to be the person who brings something to television that you didn’t have when you were a child.
Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. I’m not taking it for granted. I’m very grateful to you.
One of the things we see as teeth in this episode this week is how Dr. Meade Nite and Beth are going to play with Rick and Hoorman. The other day, I talked to Jeff Jones about the characters, and he described Beth and Rick as kind of yin and yang. He explained how they created comic books together and described this balance. What can you tell us about their dynamics?
Rick and Beth, we’re gonna… Dude, it’s hard to say. Rick and Beth are really gonna grow up for me. It’s a part of JSA that people will really appreciate. I know in comic books, they’re very, very close. So we’re hoping we can do more. I keep my fingers crossed that we’ll have two seasons and three seasons and we’ll see even more, because now it’s a big part of the whole group.
But, I agree with Jeff, it’s very yin and yang. I’d say Rick and Beth are very well balanced, they’re very well balanced. And it’s really exciting, because Rick is exactly the opposite of Beth, and Beth is exactly the opposite of Rick. So it’s gonna be fun, and I like, I like working with Cam, of course, because he’s working on Beth. I’ve worked with Cam more than anyone at the fair. And like I said, I talked to him this morning, we’re very close. And he’s a very good friend.
You can really see something like that, even if you only see numbers. One of the things that really stands out is a real love, both for the material and just between the actors.
I’d like to… I couldn’t agree more. I can say a lot when you watch a show, especially the things in the comics or the superheroes, things because we really play that make you believe, so you can really see if we take it seriously. And if we really believe in what we see.
And I think that’s what we’re really trying to do, to really believe every word and everything that happens and lives in this world. And I’m very grateful that people see that, because it’s hard work. But I’m glad that the work we’re really trying to do to bring this world of Blue Valley and Star Girl to life is to make sure people can see it.
Another thing that often comes up when I talk about the show is the concept that it’s about family. We see elements of family dynamics and everything, including Beth’s story. This ray of love and light, compassion and knowledge. And he’s so close to his parents, but they hung that wall somehow. What can you tell us about the parenting dynamics for Beth and her family?
To Beth, her parents really are her best friends, and she is 15 years old and has the almost naive feeling that she doesn’t even think about going out with friends. She’s like that. Why do I need other friends? I’ve got you. Which, in a way, looks a lot like me, because my mother is my best friend.
They are your best friends and [for Beth] their parents just encourage them to go out and make other friends. You’re the kind of people you need to live your life. So it’s going to be very, very nice to see Beth discover this friendship, because it’s not exactly what she once had. So it will be very nice to see how well she gets along with others and how well she learns to make friends.
I also think it’s very important, because friendship is an active thing. It’s not just what you say. Okay, we’re friends now. It’s an active skill.
That’s right. Yes, of course. And she doesn’t really have that ability. So it will really develop in the first season and I am happy that everyone can see how it goes. Sometimes when people feel uncomfortable in society, they have no friends and she is always there. Courtney is new, but Beth grew up in Blue Valley and still doesn’t have a group of friends. So people will be very interested to see that.
We won’t all see Beth as Dr. Meade Nite this week. You can see her with glasses, and that’s cool. But on the pictures of the season and the show we saw them in all their super bright splendor. What was it like dressing like a cult hero?
Honestly, it was usually such a great costume in a great suit. I think the idea is very unrealistic. I can’t believe this is really happening.
So the first day I put on my amazing suit was so, so special. And I never take it for granted. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I remember him, I wrote him down, I have pictures of him. The only reason I stay with myself is because I have to wear a great suit. So that was really, really cool.
Star Girl broadcasts Tuesday at 8/7 on CW. The new episodes start on Monday in DC Universe.