‘Stargirl’s Meg DeLacy on Suiting up as Shiv & Cindy’s ‘Heart’
A normal, teenage life is overrated — especially for the students at Blue Valley High on DC’s Stargirl.
Courtney Whitmore (Brec Bassinger) and the new Justice Society of America have taken on members of the Injustice Society already, but their latest threat doesn’t have a seat at that table just yet. Cindy Burman (Meg DeLacy) wants one, though, and she’s determined to prove to her father that she deserves it.
Here, DeLacy breaks down Cindy’s motives, discusses suiting up as Shiv, and more.
We’re really getting a sense of who Cindy is beyond the mean girl with last week and this week’s episodes. What have you been looking forward to viewers seeing about your character?
Meg DeLacy: Just the fact that she’s not just a mean girl. She has layers. I was curious just to see how it was going to read on camera because [you see what makes her] the person she is and why she is so mean. I was excited for people to get insight on her home life and her relationship with her dad.
It looked like for a minute there, Cindy and Courtney could have become friends, and so much of Cindy’s life could have changed as a result.
What did Cindy see in Courtney that made her invite her over? Anything besides Courtney just being the new girl?
Cindy has such a horrible reputation at school that it’s hard for her to get close to anyone, so of course she would jump at the chance to befriend the new girl because it’s a clean slate. She needs another outlet because she feels like she’s all by herself up in this world where she’s living a lie, in a way. It was genuinely just, “Hi, I know you don’t know me. Is this a way for me to maybe act like someone else or find a different part of me that will thrive?” With this new person, there’s no expectation.
And she can’t help but be mean. All the moments that Courtney caught her in the act, she’s called out, and no one calls her out. It’s like, “Okay, this girl has some courage.” It’s almost refreshing for her to be approached that way, and she sees strength in Courtney. She just doesn’t know it’s on the wrong side.
Is it just easier for Cindy to be the mean girl/villain in a way?
Yeah, there’s so many situations that Cindy hasn’t yet really paid attention to, so as a result, she’s just negative. She has all these insecurities, which is where all [that] comes from. She hasn’t been addressing any of her issues because she’s too busy trying to prove herself to her dad, to herself in general, and get a seat on the ISA.
Can you talk about Cindy’s relationship with her father? They’ve never had a regular father/daughter relationship, right? He did experiment on her….
Yes, he’s been experimenting on her since she was about 7, so really crucial years of growth. Her aspect of reality changed completely once she came to terms that she wasn’t just going to be a regular teenage girl. She is an experiment, but she still has a heart and she still has a brain and a mind, so she feels all the stuff, even though her body feels like it’s detached.
She feels like she’s invincible and also she probably feels like she’s fragile because inside, she’s soft, but it’s too cold on the exterior for her to ever get to that place. That all roots from the fact that her dad has never been warm, never shown any appreciation, never a “good job,” just “Oh, you’re my best experiment. You are not a daughter. You are not my child. You are an extension of me in a way where you’re a trophy daughter.”
Even her house is cold…
It’s so fake, yeah. It’s so empty.
It seems like earning a spot on the ISA is maybe Cindy’s only chance of getting some respect from her father?
Yeah. She wants her dad’s approval first. In her head, she’s like, “Once I get my dad’s approval, everyone else in the ISA will want me on that team, too.” That’s her major goal.
How much more of Cindy and her family’s backstory are we going to learn this season?
There will be little blips here and there about stuff that her dad and her have been talking about and what they haven’t been and what they need to talk about, but flashbacks or any type of in-depth storyline will probably be saved for Season 2.
Can you talk about suiting up and now getting to play the more action-y side of Cindy as Shiv?
This is my first time ever playing any type of super-anything. Getting into and out of that suit was insane. The tailoring took months and months and months. I was flying back from Atlanta every other weekend to tailor the suit and make it a little more tight, a little more perfect on my body. Training in it, you have to stretch it out. It took three or four people to put it on and take it off. You really do feel like you are a different person in that suit. You do not feel like a human. You feel like you’re about to fight.
And learning about stunts and sequences and trusting your body that way was incredible. It was a full-on costume, and I’d never been in a full-on costume like that, where the piece in my hair and my makeup and my staff … My suit is super intricate. It took them a very long time to get it done. Once it all came together, it was beautiful. I learned so much, though, from my stunt double, so patient, so great. It was one of my favorite parts of the whole show.
And we saw how much Cindy wanted that suit.
I know. When I walked in on set for that lair day, I saw it on the wall, and I was like, “Oh my God,” because in my head, in the script, it wasn’t as clear as it was in person, obviously. It was a beautiful moment, to be like, “That’s what I’m going to wear soon?”
How does Cindy feel about Henry, especially as he’s going through his own stuff?
Her relationship with Henry started off — she saw Yolanda was with Henry, and they were on the up and up on running the school, so a control situation happened there. Also the request from her father to keep an eye on Henry and see if he has Brainwave’s powers was a task that eventually turned into a chore, and her relationship wasn’t necessarily fun anymore. It wasn’t the hot jock and the hot girl/cheerleader running the school.
It was, “You for some reason have all these headaches. You’re such a downer. I don’t know what’s going on. I’m bored up here. I don’t want to be in this school anymore, I want to actually get my hands on something real.” Towards the end, it’s almost like she resents Henry for putting a stop to her plans because her dad won’t let her move forward until she gets more information.
We saw Cindy release Yolanda’s photos. Now that they’re on opposite sides of the hero/villain fight, will we see the two meet on the battlefield?
In Season 1, no, but in Season 2, possibly. That would be super fun. That would be amazing. Yvette’s one of my best friends, so fighting my best friend would be great.
Is there anything coming up in particular you’re excited for fans to see?
I’m excited for fans to get a glimpse of what Cindy’s redemption’s going to look like, which you will get a taste of in Season 1.
Stargirl, Tuesdays, 8/7c, The CW