Alex Collins on Dr Mid-Nite, Eclipso, Geoff Johns
The CW DC Stargirl‘s Alex collins can finally talk about his role as Dr Charles McNider / Dr Mid-Nite. Since joining the cast in February, Collins has had to keep pretty tight control over the role of the Golden Age superhero who, until last week, was only heard as the voice of a pair of AI-style glasses, worn by Beth Chapel (Angelika Washington), the new Dr. Mid-Nite. After the shocking midseason reveals that Dr. Mid-Nite may still be “alive” in Shadowland, Collins can share his thoughts on the character. No stranger to the small screen, Collins is recognizable for his tough, brooding HBO characters Lovecraft Country and Real detective, FOX The gifted, and AMC Tour: Washington’s Spies. Now that Dr. Mid-Nite has connected with Beth, via the glasses, and has finally emerged onscreen, Collins talks freely with Bleeding Cool to discuss the job with Geoff johns, teases what we can expect in the final episodes of the season, and he responds if he could actually play Eclipso.
I know that growing up in England you were a huge fan of shows like “The A-Team”, “Knight Rider” and “Transformers”, and movies like “Superman”. How does it feel to work on a series like “DC’s Stargirl” and be part of the lexicon?
Alex collins: It’s every child’s dream, isn’t it? The first day I put on the awesome fitting suit I felt great. It was really good. Sexy isn’t the right word, but there is something about it. The costume has weight, and then the cape, and the hood and the helmet, the mask, everything. Just say, OK, it’s real now. It really feels good… for me it was pretty easy because my first day on the job was the funeral scene from the ninth episode, the flashback, so it took all the pressure off me. I think it was on purpose, it was kind of a red herring, ‘There’s McNider over there, but oh, don’t look over there.’
You took over the role of Dr. McNider from Henry Thomas. Was there pressure in his footsteps?
THAT: No. Henry is a great actor. I was a fan of him. I just wanted to do justice to the work he had already done and the character himself. It makes the transition easier for fans. You know, it’s not such a shocking change. I’ve already been in half the season basically as Chuck, the AI, like that kind of bad direction there, as Beth Chappell finds her way. And I think it helps the fans too. It’s like that sweet spoon before you see the character in person. I’m just really thankful that I can put on the costume and put on the glasses. I hope I do the character justice in terms of his version of Henry and then all the versions that came before him.
Let’s talk about “Summer school: chapter ten. “ We put the gas on Dr. McNider, getting more stories about him. What are we going to see happen with him in the next episodes?
THAT: Yeah, it was a slow burn. The very first scene of the entire season is my daughter Rebecca at the birthday party, and we see young Bruce Gordon. As we get into the final I think they’re going to blow people away. Anyone who has watched it both seasons already knows that there’s no denying how darker this season is, right? We’re really going to find out as we get into Episodes 10, 11, 12; really push the end of the season. It was a great way to not say anything specific.
It has been quite a season. Do you have a favorite “Girl of the stars “ moment so far?
THAT: Two really memorable moments for me. One is the emotional turmoil that Yolanda [Yvette Monreal] Crosses. It is truly heartbreaking. Her confessions are really heartbreaking, and I think she’s doing a lot of work there. Obviously, what is Angelica [Washington] does like Beth Chapel and sees what she’s going through. Adolescents who have to go through life is hard enough, isn’t it? Puberty is bad enough. And then you have to deal with absent parents, very successful and productive parents. It’s kind of that key kid that’s been forgotten, and she did a really wonderful job, Angelica as Beth. I think a lot of people can relate to this. As a society we get busier and busier and so engrossed in our devices and technology. An interesting juxtaposition here is that she has been forgotten by her family, and technology is really what connects and saves her in some way. That’s what connects her to me [Dr. Mid-Nite].
Is there a chance that you are not Dr Mid-nite and that you are in fact Eclipso?
THAT: I mean, there’s a chance for everything, right? It’s luck for everything. As we have seen, nothing is what it seems. I think that’s what’s really interesting about the show is that you can’t necessarily take it at face value. You have a little more depth, and I think it’s by design. And I think that’s part of the genius of Geoff (John). Even the simplest things usually have a ripple effect elsewhere.
How does it feel to work with Geoff?
THAT: That’s wonderful. As I said before, I think working on a TV or movie set can be a stressful business. It’s long hours, it’s late at night. It’s a lot of physically exhausting work. This show, in particular, there are so many amazing stunts, you know, and I think it can scare people’s nerves at times. A whole is this organism, this living organism that you start with leadership at the top, and Geoff has created such a warm and nurturing family environment. And maybe that’s because this story is so personal to him. You know, Courtney’s role is her sister. And so from day one, from the first moment, I was greeted as if I had been there from the very first scene. And that made my job easier because now I’m not in my head about things like that anymore. You know, I feel like I belong there. I feel equal. Leadership reverberates effectively… Geoff just creates that environment. Having very experienced actors in Luke (Wilson) and Amy (Smart) also helps set the tone… There is no arrogance. There is no problem with this set. When it’s time to work, it’s time to work. But when you want to relax, there is always an opportunity to go out, to relax.