After three seasons of DC’s Stargirl, Courtney Whitmore (Brec Bassinger) and Cameron Mahkent (Hunter Sansone) are finally official. And in tonight’s episode of The CW series, the cute young couple took things to the next level with not one, but two adorable date scenarios.
“It’s extremely satisfying,” Sansone told Decider of seeing the relationship finally come to fruition. “Brec and I are very happy with how it came out.”
In the episode, the duo are clearly into each other, but now have to deal with the rest of their friends — and frenemies — finding out about the new relationship. Complicating matters is that Cameron is just starting to develop ice powers, something that the members of the Young Justice Society take exception to… Particularly considering Cameron’s dad repeatedly tried to kill them using ice powers of his own.
To find out more about the relationship, what’s next for Cameron, and whether they’re in it for the long haul, read on.
Decider: I talked to Brec about this a while back, what it’s like finally getting to move forward with the Courtney and Cameron relationship after three seasons?
Hunter Sansone: It’s extremely satisfying. It’s definitely been a slow burn. But I think that’s paying off in the way that it was handled. Yeah, it’s really neat to see it kind of come to the forefront and see everybody’s reactions. It seems like people are finally getting what they wanted, as far as the Camny relationship goes. And it’s cool to see it come out, we had so much fun shooting it, and we knew it was finally going to happen, and here it is. Brec and I are very happy with how it came out.
I don’t know how engaged you are socially. But if you are, it must be a nice relief to not have to say like, “I don’t know, leave me alone. It’s coming later,” to fans, and that it’s finally out there.
I saw some people kind of getting after it on Twitter wanting to see it. So, I’ll peek in occasionally on the social media there. I’m happy they got what they were looking for.
You have a few cute, very down to earth date moments in this episode: a kiss on the front stoop, hanging out by a fire… So, given that you have these very non-super powered moments, how has it changed how you approach the character when you’re playing these scenes, if at all?
Well, I think it actually is just is the same approach. Because regardless of Cameron having these powers and these bizarre things happening to him, he is very much just a teenage boy trying to navigate high school and navigate being essentially an orphan. And so, you know, at the end of the day, that’s what it comes down to for him. It’s having these very real, human moments with the people in his life, especially Courtney, which I do think informs his powers all that much more. It’s the same approach at the end of the day.
As you mentioned, he finally does have these ice powers… Has it been an adjustment for you at all to have more special effects moments in each episode?
As far as just the acting of it goes, no. I had worked with the special effects team before, a little bit here and there. Season 1, we had that little ice breath moment in the diner, which is a very standard, explaining how it will play out at the end of the day, and when the final cut comes out. And then, Season 2 I had a few moments here and there. So I knew what to expect. Season 3 is a massive jump, as far as all of that goes, but it wasn’t much of an adjustment. I was excited for it. And, you know, I always look forward to see how that stuff comes out on the big screen once it’s actually completed.
I imagine most things, like the eyes whiting over, creating ice with your hands, that’s all happening in post, so it’s mostly on your part, getting the right look there right on set?
Yeah, absolutely. That’s what it is. The special effects supervisor will just have a conversation with me about it, and let me know what they’re going to go for in the end result. And so I just try to line up with that, it is definitely an interesting concept when your eyes are gonna be glazed over with ice, or breathing ice, or shooting ice, all that. It’s definitely a cool, cool thing, but that’s what it’s all about at the end of the day. That’s why I love doing what I do.
You’ve got Lea Thompson back to direct on this episode, which is always great to see. I imagine there’s a certain level of comfort now with having her in the directing chair?
100%. She’s the best. She’s been there since day one with us. Obviously I didn’t get to work with her as much as everyone else did in prior seasons, but really getting to dig into some cool stuff with her here was, it was a really nice experience. She’s kind of got this fluid approach on set where everything feels like it has a natural flow to it. And I never really found that I was stuck or confused or lost. She had this fluidity that made everything kind of feel like, “Okay, yeah, this is where this is where things are supposed to go.” It was a very relaxed environment on set with her, which, as an actor, you very much appreciate.
There was one scene in particular that I had with Meg DeLacey, where we’re facing off against each other in the hallway there. And, she was just really, really supportive and gave some great compliments after that scene. And, you know, those things matter to an actor. So, it was nice to get that feedback.
In that scene, how much anger is Cameron holding in at this point? Cindy certainly speculates about it later, or at least tells Courtney, “Yep, he’s gonna go bad.” But it feels like you’re playing both sides there a little bit.
As far as what he’s holding back in that moment with Cindy in particular, he is still pushing down so much rage, anger that’s bubbling to the surface. She knows exactly how to push his buttons, and that’s why she is so dangerous. She is just so crafty mentally, and knows how to exactly get to your weak point. Cameron is 100% holding it in as strong as he can. And even as there’s a point where it bubbles over, as you see the eyes, anytime that the powers show for Cameron, that’s him losing his cool a little bit, losing control of his own choices. [He] definitely loses it a bit there. But just in general, as far as the entire storyline goes, Cameron is discovering all of this for the first time. He doesn’t know what he’s fully capable of. He doesn’t know what he’s not capable of. He’s learning as the audience is learning. We’re witnessing him go through it for the first time.
I wanted to very quickly recognize the good pun that you brushed by with saying, “Losing his cool.” So thank you for that. Appreciate it.
[Laughs] Yes, I love it. I’ve been hearing some great puns out there.
Photo: Annette Brown/The CW
There’s another super tense moment between Rick and Cameron in the cafeteria. Which, honestly as a viewer is very fun to see just because of how hard Rick goes at Cameron. We find out afterwards why Rick hates Cameron, he says it pretty specifically. But what do you think Cameron thinks is going on in those moments?
There’s nothing that’s really stated as the reason why Cameron is going back against Rick. But, he’s really defending himself at the end of the day. And Cameron, I went with the choice that Cameron thinks Rick may have some sort of thing towards Courtney. And maybe he’s a little jealous of that. Now, there’s nothing written or hinted towards that in the actual script and storyline. But as an acting choice, I kind of went with the fact that this kid is bugged that I’m spending time with the girl that he’s got a crush on. That’s one angle I went with, and that this guy is notoriously, especially in previous seasons, been known as the jerk of the high school. He’s just been a dude with an anger problem, and he always looks to mess with whoever he can.
Obviously Cameron doesn’t know where Rick comes from, as far as his history. He doesn’t even know that their history is so similar, as far as both being orphans and things like that. If they actually just ever had a real conversation, they would end up being buddies because of how much they can relate. But they let that macho, tough guy thing get in the way.
There was an implication last season that Cameron might know more about his father than he’s letting on. Do you think he suspects any of the Icicle stuff or is he totally in the dark there?
I believe he’s in the dark as far as the Icicle stuff goes. Not anything with the powers or the supervillain aspect of it all. But I do believe that Cameron questions who his dad was. But it’s not going as far as the powers go. Maybe what he was really doing when he was away on those business trips could be up to question. But no, it never does cross his mind that he’s out there killing people and doing supervillain type things.
Getting back to the exchange with Cindy for a second, there’s a pretty pointed thing she says that he was in an institution between second and third grade. Is this potentially the Helix Institute that we were introduced to last season? Or is it something entirely different?
I don’t believe it’s the Helix Institute. From what I gathered, it was more so a boarding school that Cameron attended at an age that his parents sent him off to, as a result of having little development problems. And as far as anger and little things here and there. But no, nothing and related to the Helix Institute as far as I’m concerned.
Obviously he’s getting more involved in Courtney, but when are we going to see Cameron get more involved with the main thrust of the action?
Well, you can definitely expect more of that sort of thing to unfold as the season continues. I don’t know how much I can dig into that as far as beyond episode five and six goes, but that camaraderie, or lack thereof, definitely will be unfolding more throughout the season.
We get a very little hint of the grandparents in the background, who are two of my absolute favorite characters of the show. It’s always terrifying when they come in. Are we going to find out their deal at some point?
Yeah, definitely. Just like Cameron, they get their moments. They’ve definitely come to the forefront here as far as being fan favorites in one way or another, which is great, and so funny. They’re the best people on set. I mean, I literally would just sit and hang out with them, and talk with them, and just crack up because they’re here doing these crazy things at two, three in the morning and just sitting on set, and they’re just the best team players. They’ll definitely get their moments. And I believe fans will be satisfied with what they learn about those two.
Heartbreak is almost an essential part of relationships in superhero shows… Are Courtney and Cameron in it for the long haul, or are they headed for disaster?
That is the question, my friend. That is the question everybody wants to know. What I’ll say about that is when you think one thing is going to happen, the other does. So, Geoff [Johns] and the entire writing team did a fantastic job on making the journey with Cameron and Courtney extremely unpredictable. And, like I said, right when you think something’s gonna happen, the other does. So, you’re going to ebb and flow with them throughout the season. And it’s going to go in a few different directions. But, it’s gonna be one hell of a ride. But, ultimately, where they end up, I think people are going to resonate with it and be very content with how it wraps itself up.
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
DC’s Stargirl airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on the CW.