David Harewood Blasts the Depiction of Cyborg Superman on ‘Supergirl’
David Harewood was in Perth, Australia for the Supanova Comic-Con event and he sat down with a young Supergirl fan named Tanisha McAteer to give an interview about his role(s) on the show. Tanisha clearly came prepared with some great questions that allowed Harewood to talk about his experience working on the show. In response to his favourite characters on the show Harewood remarked on having the opportunity to “play some comedy” with Jeremy Jordan’s Winn Schott whilst hoping that his character would have more screen time in season three with Chyler Leigh’s Alex Danvers, his D.E.O colleague.
Another question concerned Harewood’s dual role on the show. He was asked between J’onn J’onzz and Cyborg Superman, which one was the most fun to play? To which Harewood replied “Oh definitely, J’onn J’onzz” whilst calling Cyborg Superman “boring”. He expanded on his decision in a lengthy answer that I have transcribed below:
“I’ll let you into a secret; I don’t like playing Cyborg Superman. It’s boring. They didn’t really flesh it out, they didn’t really write for the character, they just gave me this rather cheap-looking mask and no costume and said ‘okay you’re Cyborg Superman’ but it didn’t really pan out, they didn’t really go into why he was a Cyborg, how he became a Cyborg, what its powers were, it was just kind of randomly calling him Cyborg Superman. I was very excited about it at first but then I very quickly realised that there wasn’t really much to it. […] Whenever I’m walking to my trailer and I see that costume, I just switch off because I know it’s gonna be a really boring day.”
It’s clear that Harewood is not happy with the way the show has handled Cyborg Superman. However, in light of an interview with RadioTimes in 2015, it really starts to contextualise his disappointment on the direction the show has taken with the character, given his excitement when he signed up for the role. At the time, the show was recently commissioned and RadioTimes caught up with the actor on the BAFTA’s red carpet to discuss his upcoming role as Hank Henshaw.
Harewood described his character as “a bit of a villain” and hoped he’d get a “villain costume”. He continued, “I’ll be trying on my villain shoes pretty soon. But it’s a long way to go until I become this Cyborg Superman, as my character becomes known as.” Moreover, in response to whether he was a Superhero fan, Harewood mentioned that he “read comic books when [he] was a kid” and that it was “really interesting for [him] to see a lot of [those] characters come to life now.”
Cyborg Superman’s depiction on the show was also criticised by fans as many thought he was not given the storyline that he deserved given his importance in the comics. From the costumes alone, it is clear the level of effort that has been put into J’onn J’onzz depiction in comparison to Cyborg Superman’s cheap face mask. This brings into question the direction the show will take in season three with the character, if the actor is not enjoying the role and the fans are not enjoying its depiction, where can it go next?
Have the writers of Supergirl written themselves into a mess or can they develop the character in season three and redeem Cyborg Superman?
Supergirl Season Three is scheduled to premiere on Oct 9th 2017.