‘Supergirl’: Jeremy Jordan Gets Deep with Winn’s Mom Laurie Metcalf

Supergirl - Jeremy Jordan as Winn and Laurie Metcalf as Mary McGowan
Diyah Pera/The CW
Jeremy Jordan as Winn and Laurie Metcalf as Mary McGowan

It’s been a long hiatus since Supergirl flew off to make room for Legends of Tomorrow, but she’s back tonight and amen to that!

Not only because it’s high time Kara (Melissa Benoist) returned to tracking down Reign (Odette Annable) and her fellow Worldkillers, but also because the first episode back features a guest appearance by the Oscar-nominated Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird) as Winn’s MIA mother. And trust us, if you think the family Metcalf is part of on the Roseanne reboot is wild, wait ’til you get a load of what her Mama Schott has put up with as wife of Winn’s superbaddie dad, the Toyman.

Here, Jeremy Jordan gives us some inside scoop on working with the theater vet, Supergirl‘s parental issues, and what may be coming next for our wisecracking Winn.

You guys come back with such a great episode for you.

Jeremy Jordan: Yeah. Yeah. It’s a nice little moment for Winn’s story to take the stage, which is always fun to do. This really kind of lets you know a little bit more about what sort of happened [with his family]. We found out in Season 1 that he had this happy life with his mom and dad, and then his dad kind of snapped and everything fell apart. Now we kind of learn what happened afterwards and what kind of led Winn to where he eventually ended up.

When did you guys find out that Laurie was playing your mom?

We knew for a while. She had wanted to be a part of the show for a long time. She was a fan and her daughter was a big fan of the show, so they always watched it together. It was a couple months before we shot it that we got word she was interested and they were trying to get her to play my mom. I was like, ‘Yeah, okay, easy!’ [Laughs]

So that was before the Oscars and everything.

Oh my God, yeah. This was early on in the season when these talks were [had]. So, maybe early fall or so. We had a great week together and it couldn’t have been more lovely.

You guys probably have mutual friends from theater, correct?

Oh, sure, yeah, yeah. We definitely talked a lot of theater for a lot of the time, because we’re both Broadway kids, so it was nice to at least have a little bit of a line back to my roots there with her. That was great.

You have a scene together that is really emotional. Is it different when you’re working opposite someone who knows who has done theater and has that skillset?

I don’t know. I just think when you’re working with someone that’s good and prepared and is as talented and skilled in the way that she is — and the way that many of the people that I’ve worked with on the show are — it falls into place much more easily. And the writers kind of gave us permission to be a little free with it, so I was able to find my way into it really organically and she was there 1000 percent giving back. That was actually the first scene we did together, I think. We might have shot like a tiny little half-page thing before, something really insignificant, but that was our first real scene together.


It was like, “Hi, I’m Jeremy. Let’s get deep.” [Laughs]

The episode also has that nice balance of the mother-son between you two and the father-son story with Hank (David Harewood) and his father (Carl Lumbly).

Yeah, it’s all about parental issues on our show. Let’s be honest. It’s always about mom or dad issues. [Laughs]

What else can you preview for Winn once we come back with all of this? What else is coming up for him?

So when Winn’s mom comes back into his life, she makes him deal with a bunch of stuff that he’s never dealt with. My whole thing with Winn is that he’s the happy-go-lucky, fun-loving guy, but it’s only because he doesn’t ever want to deal with any of his problems. He just buries it, buries it, buries it, buries it until he has to confront it, and then it all comes crashing down. So that’s kind of what happens in this episode.

There, of course, are fun, funny moments, as well. There’s flying monkeys in this show. But that [emotional stuff] it continues to linger over the next few episodes. We see him dealing with things that maybe he has never dealt with before. Deep-rooted things, and that’s the underlying thing that threads a little bit towards the end of the season. I’m not sure where it’s going to lead yet, but we start to see his veneer crack a little bit. I say that as a sort of undercurrent. We still have the same jokes that are kind of delivering your daily one-liner Winn kind of thing, as well.

What is he going to contribute to the hunt, or possible rehabilitation, of the Worldkillers?

Winn’s definitely going to be integral in the science-y, computer-y tracking and finding of these crazy creatures. But he’s mostly there for side commentary. Now, he will eventually get involved in the hunt a little bit more and we’ll have some pretty cool, dramatic and sort of fight sequence-y things that Winn becomes more involved with in the next few episodes, which is terrifying. [Laughs]

And where does he stand on the ‘kill Reign or save Reign’ debate?

You know, that’s an interesting question. I don’t know if we really discuss Winn’s particular outlook on that, but I’m pretty much positive that Winn is going to be on the Supergirl side of things, which is the sort of that line of ‘We don’t have to kill people.’ I don’t think he feels very comfortable killing people, regardless of if they’re evil or not. I don’t think that he wants to feel responsible for something like that, because he has that history with his father being a murderer and he doesn’t want to contribute to anything like that. He doesn’t want to have any blood on his hands.

Supergirl, Mondays, 8/7c, The CW