DC’s star girl is now three episodes into its third season and it just keeps getting better. The show’s commitment to positivity is a rarity in today’s cultural landscape, but that’s one of the reasons it’s so special. The writing, the character arcs, and the cast all lend themselves to it star girl‘s feel-good themes that only deepen in this excellent third season.
One of the standouts of the new season is Joy Osmanski, who portrays the reformed supervillain Paula Brooks/Tigress. After her release from prison, Paula, her husband Crusher and their daughter Artemis move next door to the Whitmores, creating fertile comedic ground that takes the story in an unexpected direction. Among the surprising developments is Paula’s budding friendship with Amy Smart’s Barbara Whitmore, which has quickly become one of the show’s best dynamics.
We had the chance to chat with Osmanski about all things star girlincluding (but certainly not limited to) Paula’s transformation from ruthless criminal to clumsy suburban mom.
STARBURST: Let’s start by letting people know what Paula Brooks is up to this season.
The latest change for them is that they’ve moved right next to Barbara, Pat, Stargirl, and Mike. They’ve blended into their lives whether they like it or not, and they’re pretty relentless in making their presence known. They’re kind of a nightmare neighbor I guess. [Laughs]
One of the coolest aspects of Season 3 is that Paula and Barbara aren’t really enemies anymore. They’re more like friends now. What do you think makes this dynamic so fun and interesting?
I loved it, if only for the opportunity to work with Amy! You and I are good friends and we have so much fun together. Building this blossoming friendship between our characters… we just had so much fun doing it! Writing for us was so much fun and really supports the caring, generous part of Barbara’s character and that awkward, fish-out-of-water aspect of Paula who is so confident in all these other situations. But she just has no idea how to act as a human. I’ve certainly been in a lot of social situations where I’ve been asking, “How am I supposed to act now?” I think a lot of people relate to that. It was really fun to portray that on the show and I have a lot of empathy for Paula in that regard.
One of the things we spoke to Amy Smart about was how different Paula and Barbara are, but also how similar they are in how much they love their children.
Total! As a parent, I meet many other parents who I might not necessarily be friends with were it not for the fact that we both have children. You quickly discover that there is a common vocabulary and desire for the health, safety and well-being of your children. Something like that trumps everything else. I think it’s great that these two women have found each other. I think for Barbara too, I mean, you don’t see her hanging out with a lot of friends. Perhaps, oddly enough, these two were meant to be together as friends.
Your role is cool to watch because you get those comedic lines, but you can also do action set pieces and intense stunts. We know there’s a scene in one episode where a fight breaks out at a grocery store. In a previous interview you talked about how stunt work used to be a self-imposed limitation for you. Now that you’ve been doing this for three seasons, what kind of stunts can you do that you couldn’t do before? How did you get promoted, so to speak?
I think what has always saved me is that I have a background in dance. What stuntwork really is is a series of moves and it’s all choreographed so it requires that mind-body connection. Dancing is also possible. It has enabled me to hopefully adapt to movement more efficiently than if I had no dance training. I have a sense of where I am in space. Geoff [Johns] is so great because once he finds people he loves, he keeps working with them. When I saw that, Walter [Carlos Garcia] directed the episode and acted as stunt coordinator, I thought, well, that’s perfect. Awesome!” Because we all already trust and love Walt. So if you have to do these very strenuous things physically, you already have a high level of trust involved. That helps enormous to be able to do these really intense, complicated sequences. And the stunt team…they are the best!
It all lends itself well to those action scenes. The scene in this week’s episode where the Crocks go grocery shopping turns into this intense action scene with stunning choreography.
The way Walt’s mind works is simple… love it so much! I love that they’re in a completely mundane setting and you can tell they’re going crazy. They’re doing all the things they’re supposed to be doing and… my god, they’re shelving sodium-rich items! So boring! When he comes in, they say, “Let’s go!”
Stargirl was really good at delivering great action sequences in mundane, everyday spaces. Like, for example, Eclipso, who let off steam in the cafeteria at Blue Valley High.
I love this episode! It’s so cool.
It’s really cool that they’re able to do these amazing things in the most everyday of environments.
I think it’s wise. It really keeps the show grounded. It doesn’t try to escape from its reality. It’s about dealing with it and using it, which is really, really smart.
Based on a previous question, I think a lot of people hold back in their own way and don’t really realize it. Has performing your own stunts led you to overcome fear or limitations in other areas of your life? Has that given you confidence in areas you didn’t expect?
Yes! I had to start training when I first got the role for it, just in a basic physical way that I hadn’t done in a while. I just wanted to get through the long days on set because I knew it was going to be an intense role. I knew there would be requirements and I wanted to try to meet them. Being cast on the show has really changed my life from a health and physical perspective that I didn’t expect. It was a lasting thing for me. Now I’ve made a habit of exercising and being in a physical place of power that I’ve really gotten used to.
This is also a matter of mental health for me! I shoot without her. If everyone could just be shown a picture of a supersuit that scared them, would they say, “I’m going to wear that? I’ll start training right away!”
When you first got the role, the nature of your character came as a surprise, right?
I didn’t know it was a dual character. I didn’t know who she was. Didn’t know the context. knew nothing. Thank god I didn’t know that! I would have freaked out.
Mark Ashworth, who portrayed Janitor Justin/Shining Knight in Season 1, told us something similar. All he knew when he got the part was that he was going to play a janitor. Then Geoff said, “Oh yeah, by the way, you’re wearing Excalibur too.” And he said, “Oh!”
Yes, I wish all parts were like this! I think I was told my character was a gym teacher? That’s all I knew. Maybe it was just “aggressive soccer mom” or something. I knew nothing about her. But I wish all parts were like that. You’d say, “Hey, I’m playing the cop…and the devil himself!!!” It’s so much fun to have reveals about each character.
let’s talk star girls future. Amy mentioned that by the end of the month you would all know if Season 4 is happening or not.
Hopefully! I have no idea. You might know before I do. Of course we all hope so! Unfortunately, I’m also a realist, so I put my hope out there and let what happens happen.
STAR GIRL Season 3 is currently airing on The CW in the US.