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BWW Interview: Jeremy Jordan Talks New Series SUPERGIRL & More

Broadway's Jeremy Jordan (NEWSIES, SMASH, BONNIE & CYLDE) stars as Winslow "Winn" Schott in the new action-adventure drama SUPERGIRL, premiering Monday, Oct. 26 (8:30-9:30 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. The series co-stars GLEE's Melissa Benoist and Tony Award winner Laura Benanti.

Today, Jordan speaks exclusively to BWW about the highly anticipated new series, and shares why he's "itching" to come back to theater as soon as he can.

SUPERGIRL is getting so much buzz and we're so excited for it to get underway.

Well thank you. I am too!

Were you always a comic book fan or did you have to do some research before filming began?

Well I'm a little bit of a comic book nerd, not the biggest but certainly a fan of the superhero genre for sure. But yeah, I did a little bit of research before the show, but with these kinds of things, it's all about reinventing the characters. You see a lot of that with comic books - people will start new storylines and give their own take on how these people became who they are.

As most superhero fans already know, your character Winn Schott is known to eventually become a villain in the comic book universe. Is that the plan for him in this series?

Well from what you'll see in the series, at least what we've done so far, my character does share the name of an infamous villain in the DC universe but he is far from that. He's a nice, good-hearted happy-go-lucky kind of fun, nerd, maybe even a little socially awkward, but he certainly has only the best intentions in the world. We will find out a little more about him as the season goes on, we'll see that there's a lot more than what's on the surface. I'm not sure what the eventual arc will be - they never tell us those things!

And in the pilot episode, there is certainly a hint that he hopes for a romantic relationship with Kara.

Well, I think in the first few episodes, it's sort of established that these two people don't really have many friends, so they kind of consider each other best friends, even though it's really just a working relationship. He's clearly head over heels for her and I don't think that she quite gets that. I don't really think that she has considered that possibility from him, so it's certainly one-sided at this point.

The chemistry between you and Melissa is terrific. Did you know each other before filming began?

No, I met Melissa at the chemistry read, I didn't know her at all before that. But she's wonderful, a great actress and a really great person and genuinely fun to be with, and a good person to have on our team.

Why did you decide to make the move to TV at this time?

Well, I've always wanted to go back and give television another shot after SMASH ended, and start something from the beginning. Last year I came into pilot season and got close with a couple of things but nothing caught. And then the whole FINDING NEVERLAND debacle happened and I needed to find an escape, a different kind of path for myself, so I came back out to L.A. for pilot season and tested for a few things and this is the one that caught. And this was definitely my favorite project that I was up for, so I'm grateful that it's the one that worked out.

I mean I wasn't specifically looking to become a TV star, things were a little slow in the theater world and so you go where the work is, and during pilot season there's hundreds of job openings. So I was just vying for one of those. But I'll come back. I'm already itching to come back to the theater. If they'll have me.

Well that's great news! This summer you had your first experience at Comic Con. What was that like?

Oh that was so crazy. We were out in San Diego and I walked the floor the first day while I still have the anonymity to do so. So it was crazy, overwhelming and a lot of fun. We did this panel in front of thousands and thousands of people, you know it was kind of surreal.

I'm interested in seeing what it will be like next year after our show, fingers crossed, is a hit, because it's like an anticipated sort of thing. This year nobody really knew the answers to what they were asking because all we had really done at that point was shoot a pilot. But it was still a lot of fun.

And if you think about it, those fans are not much different than theater fans as far as their loyalty and their depth of knowledge about the actors and shows that they love.

Oh yeah. I mean it's definitely a different breed but very similar in the devotion and sort of holding what they love dear, which I think is very similar to the theater crowd. But also, by the same token, aside from the few sour pusses here and there, everyone was just so excited and so happy and really pumped for something new. You know so often you hear a lot about the negative things, and as an actor that's sometimes what you remember. But with this, there is overwhelmingly more positive reaction and the fans are just really excited and grateful to have some of these properties that they love being turned into television shows. Shows that they will be able to cherish for hopefully a few more years to come. And I'm one of them, let's be honest, so I would be equally as pumped.

I was thinking, with you and Melissa and Laura [Benanti] in the cast, is there any chance we may see some

Jeremy Jordan, Katharine McPhee on SMASH

singing, maybe in a "Special Christmas Episode" or something like that?

[laughing] Oh jeez, I don't know, maybe down the line after we've established ourselves as a hit show, we can take those kinds of risks. But at this point there is nothing like that so far. I don't think you'll be seeing Laura's character and I doing a Christmas duet in some crazy strange alternate universe any time soon!

Well we've seen crazier musical episodes of TV shows before, so you never know.

That's very true, that's very true.

Well best of luck with the series, I think it's going to be a big hit, but by the same token, we're thrilled to hear that you hope to be back on Broadway in the near future.

You know what, fingers crossed, me too! Hopefully they'll be something, however small, there are no small parts as they say. So yeah in some shape or form I'll be back as soon as I can. Well see what happens next - it's always an unexpected crazy adventure!

About JEREMY JORDAN: Jeremy Jordan created the role of Jack Kelly in Newsies (Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations), Clyde Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde (TheatreWorld Award for Best Actor in a Musical), J.M. Barrie in Finding Neverland at the A.R.T., and played Tony in West Side Story on Broadway.

Recently, he took part in concert performances of both A Bed And A Chair at Encores! and Parade at Avery Fisher Hall. He played the lead role of Jimmy Collins in the television series "Smash," Jamie in "The Last Five Years," and appeared in "Elementary," "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" among others; as well as in the film Joyful Noise.

About SUPERGIRL: SUPERGIRL is an action-adventure drama based on the DC Comics character Kara Zor-El, Superman's (Kal-El) cousin who, after 12 years of keeping her powers a secret on Earth, decides to finally embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant to be. Twelve-year-old Kara escaped the doomed planet Krypton with her parents' help at the same time as the infant Kal-El. Protected and raised on Earth by her foster family, the Danvers, Kara grew up in the shadow of her foster sister, Alex, and learned to conceal the phenomenal powers she shares with her famous cousin in order to keep her identity a secret. Years later at 24, Kara lives in National City assisting media mogul and fierce taskmaster Cat Grant. She works alongside her friend and IT technician Winn Schott and famous photographer James Olsen, who Grant just hired away from the Daily Planet to serve as her new art director. However, Kara's days of keeping her talents a secret are over when Hank Henshaw, head of a super-secret agency where her sister also works, enlists her to help them protect the citizens of National City from sinister threats. Though Kara will need to find a way to manage her newfound empowerment with her very human relationships, her heart soars as she takes to the skies as Supergirl to fight crime.

Premieres Monday, Oct. 26 (8:30-9:30 PM, ET/PT), and moves to its regular time period (8:00-9:00 PM) on Monday, Nov. 2 on the CBS Television Network.

Photo credit: Matthias Clamer/Warner Bros.

Photo credit: Trae Patton/Cliff Lipson/CBS

SMASH photo courtesy of Will Hart/NBC

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