'Stargirl' actor Neil Jackson says Icicle will leave viewers conflicted after episode 3 delves into backstory
Actor Neil Jackson spoke exclusively with MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) about playing the "villain" in the new The CW/DC series 'Stargirl' and the importance of humanizing his character
Comic book fans are thrilled to be getting another DC universe television series on The CW with 'Stargirl', however, this specific story is one that many may not be as familiar with. 'Stargirl' is what some would call a lesser-known story within the DC universe, however, it is one that is sure to resonate with audiences of all ages. 'Stargirl' follows teenager Courtney Whitemore (played by Brec Bassinger) as she uncovers the legacies of the first-ever team of superheroes in comic book history, the Justice Society. Of course, every superhero story has to have a villain, and MEA WorldWide's (MEAWW) Sam Davidson spoke exclusively to actor Neil Jackson, who plays the complex character of Jordan Makhen AKA Icicle. There have been many different iterations of this character, however, Jackson explains that the series shows a side of the Icicle that no one has ever seen before.
"This version that exists in the series is different than anything that appeared in the comic books thus far. What really fascinated me about this version of the character is that he is not a villain. He's a guy who fell in love and got married to a woman called Christine, they had a child, everything was great…and then she got sick and ended up dying. She was a teacher at a school that was built on toxic wasteland for a big pharma company and they covered up her death. So when she died, obviously he was angry and made it his personal mission to make sure nobody ever suffers the same injustice again. So in his mind, he's a hero. He is going to make audiences conflicted, which I think is fascinating, and that's what every good villain should have."
Clearly, there are many different layers to this iconic character, which is something that Jackson explains was very important to portray both physically and emotionally. While it is clear Icicle is set up to be the "big bad" of the series, in truth, he represents something much more complex.
According to Jackson, "Two of the main things we talked about was a sort of color pallet for Jordan. Obviously his alter ego is Icicle and he can turn himself to ice and freeze the things around him, so the natural color pallet were silvers and blues, but that also stretched into who he is emotionally. So we said if you extended that color pallet to his emotions, it would be easy to play him as angry and fiery, but it's more interesting to me if he was a little colder and detached. It all comes from this deep, blue sadness because he lost his wife, the woman that he loved. He doesn't want to have to do this and he wishes society didn't need him to do the things that he does, so I'm playing every single moment with that deep sadness."
The third episode of the series is titled Icicle, so we, of course, had to ask Jackson what to expect from the self-titled episode. While many series talk about a character's past, we often do not get to see it with our own eyes. However 'Stargirl' is gifting viewers with an episode that actually shows flashbacks of these past events, which makes it easier to understand why the characters are the way that they are.
"Episode 3 is the first time we really get a glimpse of his backstory and what happened to him. This episode is wonderful because at first you are introduced to this character who seems very cold and vicious, and is in some ways set up to be this imposing threat of the series. However, in this episode, we get a glimpse of who he was before he became Icicle. There is nothing in his backstory that screams villain or evil, he was just a person dealing with trauma that was fueled by love. There are so many scenes in that episode that were just gifts to get to play," Jackson said.
The other so-called "villain" in the series is Jordan/Icicle's son Cameron Mahkent AKA Icicle Jr. (played by Hunter Sansone). Jackson gave us a glimpse into his character's relationship with his son and his sacrifice to give him a better life.
"Jordan is kind of machiavellian, where the ends justify the means. He has a son and he wants to leave the world in a better place than the one he lived in. That means exposing people that are doing these terrible things and ultimately destroying them. So he is doing what he believes is the best for his son, but the sacrifice that that comes with that is the direct, personal relationship he has with his him. He's not as close with his son as he wants to be and his son is pretty much raised by his grandparents. So Jordan's parents basically raise Cameron, and that causes some conflict between the two of them because he hasn't really been a father figure to his son. Yet in his mind, he is being the best father that he can because he is making a big sacrifice to leave him a better world."
'Stargirl' will premiere on May 18th at 9pm on The CW.