“It’s incredibly personal” – CBS Baltimore

(CBS) – Super girl returns tonight with a brand new episode on The CW at 9 / 8c. In tonight’s episode, titled “Blind Spots”, Kelly Olsen takes on the role of Guardian. Azie Tesfai, who plays Kelly Olsen, also wrote this episode marking the first time an actor has written for a Greg Berlanti show.

CBS’s Matt Weiss spoke to Tesfai about his groundbreaking opportunity and what it’s like to be a superhero.

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MW- Hello Azie! Congratulations on the new episode of Super girl going out tonight on The CW at 9 / 8c. You had the opportunity to become the first actor to write an episode for a Greg Berlanti show for this one. How does that feel?

TO- I didn’t know I was the first one until I was good writing it, which is probably a good thing. It’s incredible. I had a really lovely conversation with Greg afterwards and I feel very lucky that I got to be the first and that this character, specifically becoming a superhero and stepping into his power, it all feels very fortuitous. I feel lucky to be the person who does.

MW- How do you think it would have been different if you had known?

TO- Yeah, probably a monster or two [Laughs]. It’s a lot of pressure, I wouldn’t have wanted to ruin everything. I can’t be the last and so if I don’t do it right I might be. I don’t want to spoil this opportunity or someone else coming in and saying I want to write and they’re like, we tried this, we don’t do it anymore.

I had already written a sample script for Super girl that I sent to my show riders and they loved it and sent it to Warner Brothers and our producer Greg Berlanti, and they allowed me to write an episode. I also did the writers’ room for a month. So I joined the writers room and did 10 to 5 all day, which I’m a big fan of, especially during COVID, because we did a virtual writing room.

So I was in my pajamas all the time, then put on some sort of sweater that felt presentable and had all my food, snacks, and dog in it. It was like a dream, I’m like, I could live this [Laughs]. Since I don’t know why I’m going to put on and do my hair makeup every day, I might.

But it was amazing, then I found out that I was going to write the episode and become a superhero; it just blew me away. Then I found out that I was the first to write an episode. So it was good that it didn’t all happen at the same time because I think I might not have been able to go through the process in the same way.

MW- This is a good point, it would be scary to know all of this in advance. You are the first and you don’t want to be the last. When you get on set and it’s time to shoot the episode, what was it like putting on the costume for the first time?

TO- Emotional, which I was very surprised at the first time you put on your own tracksuit, is like a power you didn’t know you had. You just stand a little taller, it really is a game changer in your confidence, you walk differently. It’s not normal to go to work and put on a superhero costume. Laughs]. So I think I underestimated how special it was.

Our team was great and allowed me to be a part of the suit design process. Also seeing it in its final form from the animation we started with was amazing. We had started two years ago, before COVID, and then had six full months to actively develop it with the studio here in LA. We worked with Ironhead who also made the Wonder Woman and Batman costume and I realized over and over again how cool the costume making process was.

MW- Was it a different experience on set for an episode you wrote yourself?

TO- It was very shocking and shocking in the best possible way. I think from the start of writing until being there on the set, even little things like signage for a store. I would be like oh my god I made that up! Then I would take 100 selfies and photos with it. It was all very surreal.

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MW- It’s really funny that you got this acting job, that you wrote an episode, that you became a superhero; but when you look back it’s the improvement in your posture and the accessories store signs that get you excited the most [Laughs].

TO: [Laughs] Everyone thought I was crazy, but it’s a crazy thing to think of a name of something and then see it. It was truly a dream come true.

MW- You mentioned that you collaborated on the design of the suit. So what parts of the costume were you specifically?

TO- The hair makeup, we worked very closely together and so doing the braids was something that I felt lucky that we had an idea with her and they approved of it right away. I always wanted to do the half helmet because of the comics and the gold.

The gold was approved pretty quickly, then the half-helmet logistically, there were concerns like can we do that? Doing stunts and stuff in there, but Ironhead was amazing, they figured it out. Then once we had that base and the character was visible, there were all these other little things that I wanted to do. Things like little gold coins, braids, and little accents. They really let me go and loved all the ideas.

The costume designers were really, really good at making it usable too because it’s something I hadn’t thought of. It’s like wearing it after lunch, having an interview at home, or like, if I decide to hydrate that day and make sure it’s going to take off a lot.

You sit in this costume for about 15 hours every day and I was one of the last costumes to develop, so I had the benefit of dealing with all the issues that everyone had for mine. I’m by far the most comfortable person on set like, I feel good [Laughs]. So I was very lucky to have my superhero costume later because I took advantage of it. It’s like being the youngest kid, like, you know, they figured it out. And then you are hopefully less damage. May be

MW- Your mate’s pain was your testing ground [laughs]. Last question before letting you go for all those who are so excited to finally see you in the costume and to see you as the guardian; what message do you have for the fans?

TO- Dude, I hope you enjoy the episode. Much hard work has gone into making it happen. It’s incredibly personal. Many words that [Kelly] said I wrote with the feelings I have. It was very, very personal. I felt empowered to be a superhero and I hope a lot of our fans see themselves in this character and feel empowered.

MW- Congratulations again Azie and I can’t wait to see these photos of signs on Instagram or something so we can all see them.

TO- I will start, I will post the 400 photos [Laughs]

MW- Lots of slides, can’t wait. Thanks and all the best!

TO- You too Matt, take care of yourself!

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Watch new episodes of Super girl on the CW. Check your local listings for more information.

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