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Exclusive: Joy Osmanski Talks About Stargirl Season 2

August 10th is right around the corner and a brand new season of Stargirl is awaiting us! Reflecting back on season one, we were all in the beginning stages of this pandemic and Stargirl came to us at a pivotal time, where many families needed to escape and see something new and hopeful. Now as we march closer to August, many are starting to leave their homes, enjoy seeing people again, and are fully vaccinated! As Stargirl.tv gears up for season two of Stargirl, we had the enormous opportunity to speak with the ISA surviving member, Tigress, aka Joy Osmanski. We talked filming in a pandemic, what to look forward to in season 2, bees and the rise of Asian hate in America! Join us as we speak with Joy Osmanski:

Stargirl.tv: How has quarantine been for you so far?

You know, I think I've had some challenges, but I'm very lucky in most regards. I can't complain about my time in the lockdown. It's been fine.

Stargirl.tv: Speaking of quarantine, Stargirl has obviously has been filmed during the pandemic. What's that like? What changes when you film during pandemic?

For me, and (co-star and villian Sportsmaster) Neil [Hopkins], we would often be going at the same time to shoot stuff. We're traveling because we're not living in Atlanta where [filming] is happening, we're based in LA. So we're having to travel and I remember the first time we had to do that, during the pandemic, was right before Thanksgiving this past year, and it was bizarre. I mean, we were completely on edge, I think we were wearing like five masks apiece. [Our thinking was] we have to protect ourselves. We certainly don't want to bring anything in and jeopardize any of the other cast members.

Once you're on set, there's all these protocols in place. And it's very rigorous as it should be. There was a ton of testing and a ton of precautions taken. I saw everyone being super mindful. Because you know, the picture here is let the show please go on. And the fact that, I mean knock wood even now, that we never had to stop is nothing short of a small miracle.

Stargirl.tv: Tigress and Sportsmaster are two of the few members of the ISA that survived season one and you have a daughter Artemis on the show, what can you tease about Tigress and your family's journey in season 2?

You get to see deeper into their family dynamic, which is great. You know, in season one, you definitely get a very clear picture of them as intense parental figures, certainly going far, far beyond what is legal. Neil [Hopkins], and I would always laugh, we'd get fans of the show being like, 'I want you guys as my parents'. We'd be like, do you really? I don't know, but I appreciate that sentiment, because of course everyone wants a parent that's going to go to bat for them literally, in that way. But in season 2, you get to see a little deeper into our family dynamic and get to see, I think, the true vulnerabilities in all of our characters because we love each other so much! It's a really fun thing to explore

0178 joy a Photo by: Sarah Ford

Stargirl.tv: A lot of the promotional work for Stargirl season 1 was done through zoom presentations. You and your fellow ISA members did a Q&A and what stood out was how silly all of you can be. What’s a favorite on-set moment you’ve had?

Seriously, anytime the ISA was gathered in our secret meeting room around that massive table, because all of us are total goofballs, we had to work hard not to slow down the production. We were all just laughing so hard, and you know, making it so hard for each other. I know that for some takes, I remember Chris Baker [Brain Wave] having to do a take, while the rest of us were like shaking with laughter. He had to show this very intense 'Brain Wave' moment, and we were all just off camera shaking. That's not easy to see in your periphery. We were, oh my God, we had so much fun. We made so many jokes. I mean, just about the H-Vac alone. There's that giant, giant fan in the ISA headquarters and Neil Jackson would make so many jokes about it like, dumb goofy dad jokes, it was such a good time.

Stargirl.tv: How has your background as a ballet dancer helped you in the very physical demands of playing Tigress?

I can't imagine what I would be like without it. It gave me the ability to do as much as I was able. I think I had some really wrong ideas about stunt work before I had this experience, and those were quickly righted. Primarily because my incredible stunt double Lauren Mary Kim, makes it look so easy. But what she is doing is risking her life often; scaling walls, being on wires and getting thrown through the air and she makes it look so easy. There is absolutely a physical toll to that, and I would see her sometimes just covered in bruises and she doesn't blink. She's such a bad ass. She doesn't complain. That's just what they do.  And I remember being like, 'Oh, that's what that is. Okay. I'm good. Just let me do my little moves.' But the dance was a huge part of making it at least believable to me. You know, I just know where I am in space and understand the choreography. Walter Garcia is genius, it was great to work with him. He's very empowering. But that dance training, thank God, I had it.

Stargirl.tv: Stargirl is very close to Geoff Johns since he created the character to immortalize his late sister. What is it like working with Geoff on a project that is so close to him?

Well, I think, we all went into this knowing that and so I think it just gives it such a personal motivation, gives you the inspiration to really dig in to your character. I think everyone is such a professional that of course is going to happen anyway, but you're honoring something bigger. It's like there's a legacy that's always kind of humming in the background. During that final table read for season 1, we were all so emotional. The inscription at the end, Geoff is just such a professional, it's not like he ever makes it about that, but just like I said, I think just having that thrum of it underneath all the work that we're doing. For me, it's really inspiring. Just lends to the bigger picture of the show with this amazing female lead.

Stargirl.tv: You're known as one of the hardest working actors in Hollywood, but even before that, you graduated with a creative writing degree and started your own graphic design company, how did you end up choosing to be an actor? 

It was really just boredom. I was working as a graphic designer, I had my own business (this was in the Bay Area), a long time ago, another lifetime ago, and it was creative work, I was making things but I was sitting at a desk all day. I thought this isn't me, this isn't who I am, and I didn't know who I was. But I knew that wasn't it. I was just creatively unsatisfied, and I said, 'what do I miss?'. I remembered all the dance experiences that I had. It was just a group of people working toward a creative end, I think that's what I miss. But I don't want to dance anymore, that's over for me. What could it be? And then I saw this posting for a community theater production of Our Town, and I was like, oh, yeah, I think I remember reading that play in high school, it was good. I literally have nothing to lose. So I found a piece of text and thought this could make a good monologue. It wasn't actually a monologue. I'm like, I can make this a new monologue and I memorized it, and I showed up at the audition, and that's how it happens. Just on a whim and you know, from boredom.

Stargirl.tv: My wife, who is half Asian raised in Hawaii, her favorite part of the show was seeing a multiracial family because she doesn't see it represented as often. How do you describe their family dynamic, and what can we learn from that diversity? Or even your own diverse family?

It's always a wonderful gift to see that represented on screen. The fact that we have a biracial daughter, and then in my own life, have a biracial daughter. I think, to me, what I love is that it was never commented on. It was never an issue. It was never something that was highlighted. It was just the fact, and you know, that shows a real evolution of thought in terms of how we handle diversity on screen, is when there's not like a highlighter over it. We're not like look at what a special thing is, right? It becomes a mundane thing, and I just love that. Also, Neil [Hopkins] is married to a Persian woman, and he has biracial children. So it's the same for both of us. That is the most natural unthinking fact to have about our lives on screen. But no, it does not escape me that that is a rare thing to be represented, and I'm very grateful for it.

Stargirl.tv: The rise in Asian hate has been nothing short of alarming. How do we as a society change the narrative away from common, harmful tropes associated with Asians and Pacific Islanders?

I think the things that we just talked about are a huge part of that. When I think back on my history as a viewer, the kinds of tropes that I was exposed to as a kid that continue today much less, but their presence had a huge impact on how I viewed myself in the world. You know, I feet like for a long period of time, it was either full metal jacket, it was that portrayal, or it was like a newscaster. So it was either like a hyper-sexualized version of an Asian woman, or like an asexual version of an Asian woman, but there was no human portrayal of myself on screen. I think the entertainment industry is hugely responsible for a lot of the perceptions that we have of Asians and it's a problem. I think it is getting better, especially when we have Asian representation on screen that, again, is just factual. It doesn't have to be within the context of historical fiction or pain or anything like that. It's just look, an Asian person.

Stargirl.tv: That's actually really poignant, showing some representation and then showing that as not something different, but normal.

Exactly, and not exhaustiving it in any way or fetishizing it in any way. But just relating that for an Asian American, which, by the way, is such a comically broad term, it includes experiences across the diaspora. They're so varied, but to include experiences like that on screen that are just human and mundane and part of everyday life and not like this weird person's life who lives in this really different way? I just don't think it's something that I relate to at all necessarily, especially because I was adopted and grew up with white parents and ate tuna noodle casserole. This word is so overused, to "normalize" a wide range of experiences as being factual and not unusual.

0178 joy b Photo By: Sarah Ford

Stargirl.tv: Living in downtown LA, in an apartment, you and your husband still find time and the ability to have a beehive and harvest honey! Where did your interest come from and what do you do with the honey you harvest?

Oh, yes. So my husband is really the primary beekeeper. I'm like the beekeeper assistant, I think it was in 2009. So he had long been interested in beekeeping, but yeah, living in an urban environment, we're like, well, how do you do that ? I knew in other cities, Chicago, New York, Paris, people were keeping bees in a very dense populated area like that, but neither one of us really knew how, and so we asked our landlord, Tom Gilmore, who has owned a lot of property in downtown [Los Angeles] and has been a huge influence on that area. We were like, "Hey, man, what do you think of having some rooftop hives?" And you know, bless his heart, he's even allergic to bees I think, he didn't even blink. He was like, huh. Well, let me think about it. And we were like, okay. So, the next time, I think Cory was in the elevator with him. Tom says, hey, there's a swarm of bees on the tree about 10 feet from the front door. If you can catch them, you can keep them.

So we scrambled as we we didn't have any of the proper equipment, but we had a friend who had started keeping bees and he had a new box, which is like a temporary shelter for the bees. He had some gloves. We didn't have veils. We didn't have beekeeping garb. We didn't have anything. And I think he had a smoker. I think we probably did everything wrong. But somehow it went very, very well. No one got stung. I remember all these people were at a restaurant right across the street. And everyone was like, what are you doing? Because you know, when bees swarm, they just become like a massive ball. And the queen is in the very center. So she's very protected, and they're actually really docile, they're loaded up on honey, because they're looking for a new home. You know, there's no babies to protect. So we shook them out of that tree and put them in some hives up on the roof. And they have been there for over a decade and they produce the most incredible honey.

Stargirl.tv: Are you bottling that up like crazy?

Well, Cory always jokes that we do micro harvests. But we do like micro micro, the goal really is to just let them be. And when we do steal from them, we try to steal very little. You know, they don't live in a harsh climate. So they're not having to create all this storage for the winter like they do in other regions. But yeah, we take a little bit and it's different every time because they have like a 10-mile radius. They're pulling nectar from so many diverse origins that the honey is like, just the most incredible thing you'll ever taste. It's not like, you know, a single crop like a clover honey, it's wild. It's so good. Yeah, it's sooo good.

We want to give a very special thank you to Joy Osmanski for taking the time to speak with us on a variety of topics! Stargirl season 2 starts August 10th only on the CW! Let us know what you thought of the interview in the comments below or in our forum! Don't forget to follow us on Twitter for breaking news!

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Eric Johnston
Author: Eric JohnstonWebsite: https://stargirl.tvEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Eric Johnston is the primary admin of Stargirl.tv as well as Supergirl.tv and Batwoman.tv. He's been involved in the entertainment industry for over four years now and enjoys covering DC hero shows.

Comments   

#2 Representation appreciationsamuraix47 2021-06-15 12:11
I'm half asian as well and I really do appreciate asian representation in media. It was few and far between when I was growing up in the 70s and 80s. I also lived in Hawai'i for my high school years. I'm looking forward to the new season!
#1 RE: Exclusive: Joy Osmanski Talks About Stargirl Season 2RobertAnthony 2021-05-25 17:04
Joy I think needs to watch out for killer bees...those Africanized bees that were the result of a lab mix-up...they are VERY aggressive.

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