Published On: Thu, Jan 28th, 2016

David Harewood talks Martian Manhunter on ‘Supergirl’

CBS’s Supergirl added a DC Comics superstar in Martian Manhunter, played by David Harewood, who has been known as Hank Henshaw on the show.

Now revealed as J’onn J’onzz, Harewood said that Supergirl is following the comic book storyline wherein a fire has wiped out the Green Martians. He explained the White Martians committed “massive genocide,” killing almost everyone.

“They just rounded us all up, and just burned us all,” Harewood said. “You see that; you see where he gets his fear of fire from. You see why he’s the last son of Mars.”

martian manhunter on supergirlThe 7-foot green giant has been likened to Superman in terms of his powers and empathy toward mankind, has telepathic powers and can shapeshift. J’onn J’onzz has vowed to protect Earth from extraterrestrial threats. As Hank Henshaw, he heads the Department of Extra-Normal Operations. Here, he works alongside Kara and her sister, Alex (Chyler Leigh), to protect mankind.

Hank is not just shielding J’onn’s physical appearance, but his inner sadness and feeling of isolation, too.

“Everybody he knows has been burned to death,” Harewood said. “On Monday, you’ll see that. I think you’ll see the depths of his fear, and I think you see how strongly he feels about the loss of his people. I think it will be a pretty emotional ride.”

David Harewood Chyler Leigh Supergirl photoAs Hank has helped Kara learn to be Supergirl, so she’ll help the Martian Manhunter learn how to be J’onn J’onzz.

“In terms of Kara, I think what we’ll see is that she begins to mentor him about being different; about being comfortable with your superpowers; about being comfortable with being non-human; and allowing people to see you as who you are,” Harewood said.

J’onn is “pretty terrifying,” Harewood said. “People are not going to tolerate somebody who looks as different as J’onn. I think he’s very weary of it, but I think she … provides him with valuable information about being different – which he’ll act upon in future episodes.”

Harewood said that “I was very excited that this great character had somehow fallen in my lap” saying that Melissa Benoist has been an encouragement to Harewood.

“I have to say, she is an absolute star,” he said. “She’s an absolute star. And she’s not only the hardest-working actress … in Hollywood right now, (but) she’s in every scene, and she never complains. She never asks for a break. She’s there every single day. She works harder than any of us. …

“Even though she’s No. 1 on the call sheet, she’s incredibly approachable and she never says no when anybody asks for a photograph. She never says no when kids come – they love visiting the set all the time to meet Supergirl.”

“She’s always got a smile on her face,” Harewood said. “She’s just a wonderful, wonderful actress; a wonderful person; and I just literally can’t speak highly enough of her.”

Harewood said Benoist “fits the role perfectly.”

“I think she’s been a real revelation. And I’m just really pleased to get to spend so much screen time with her,” he said.


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About the Author

- Sierra is a copy writer for The Dispatch, focusing primarily on pop culture and stories linked to the latest Christian headlines, both in the U.S. and overseas.

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