A new generation of justice has come to The CW with DC’s Stargirl, and although Trae Romano’s character Mike Dugan doesn’t have any superpowers… that we know of, he packs a mighty punch with his one-liners and overall kid step brother persona. Romano, who landed his first series regular role in Stargirl, steals the show whenever he appears. I mean, who doesn’t love a sarcastic pop-tart obsessed pre-teen?
The young actor cohesively stars alongside on-screen dad Luke Wilson and superhero step sis Brec Bassinger. Mike might be unaware of his dad’s sidekick alter ego, but being uprooted from his life and dropped into the quaint town (filled with bad guys) of Blue Valley, Nebraska could quite possibly be the perfect antidote to his newfound boredom. Despite his rocky relationship with his dysfunctional little instant family, he’s slowly but surely assimilating to his new digs. Including bonding with his stepmom (Amy Smart) at the school’s science fair where he builds a chocolate lava spewing candy volcano! Talk about deliciously diabolical.
Romano spoke with FANDOMIZE about his experience on Stargirl, Mike’s love of poptarts and cheetos, his upcoming writing projects, and dishes all the things on DC’s latest adaptation.
MCKENZIE MORRELL: Do you find that you are more similar or different than Mike in real life. Any examples of either?
TRAE ROMANO: Wow! Great question. I’d say I’m very similar to Mike overall. I am kind of a smart ass (can I say that?) and usually have some banter with my sisters. I’m super close to my dad and we are always together. I LOVE gaming and absolutely love Pop Tarts! The differences would probably have to be that I’m not really a dog person so getting used to Buddy on set was a process. I’m more of a cat kind of guy. I have 2. Also, I feel like Mike isn’t very athletic…. that I’m know of, and I love all sports. Especially golf. But overall, I think there are more similarities than differences.
MM: Using 3 emojis, describe Mike’s personality to the readers.
MM: Mike wasn’t big on the move to the small town and made it known through his sarcasm, but he is slowly warming up to the idea of living in Blue Valley. How do you think he’ll react if/when he finds out his half-sister is now a superhero?
TR: I think it will be a double-edged sword. On one hand, I think he will have a lot of respect for her. He sees her more as a pain in the neck, so finding out she’s flipping cars and flying will certainly show that she is legit!! On the other hand, there may be a bit of jealousy. It’s been a big adjustment having to share his dad with not only a wife, but another Sibling. Couple that with the fact that she’s a superhero and that just compounds everything.
MM: Can the fans expect any development between Courtney and Mike’s relationship? It doesn’t seem like these step-siblings have given each other enough of a chance to get to know each other yet.
TR: I think the viewers will notice a shift in their relationship. Courtney will see Mike as a friend/sibling/confident and will respect his place in the family. Mike will see Courtney as someone who is able to balance between two worlds. He also sees the struggle she has dealing with the loss of her father and trying to integrate into her new family/life.
MM: Can you say if he knows anything about his dad’s heroic past… I would assume he’s in the dark seeing as that kind of information is sure to catch a teenage boy’s attention.
TR: Mike is absolutely in the dark. Pat has been very effective in hiding it from him. Mike constantly walks in at the worst times between Pat and Courtney and both manage to cover their tracks- at some point, Mike will start to put 2 and 2 together.
MM: Let’s say Icicle (Neil Jackson) and Mike played a video game together, who do you think would come out triumphant?
TR: Mike will definitely crush Icicle. Clearly no bias here. The only problem for Mike is that he might end up like William Zarick. I think Mike has a leg up on anyone when it comes to gaming. Icicle is all business, with no time for child’s play
MM: If you could portray any superhero on TV or in movies, who would it be and why did you choose that character?
TR: Deadpool… enough said.
MM: Which DC Universe hero would you like to see on a crossover with Stargirl?
TR: Black Adam
MM: I hear you are a fan of Luke Wilson, I mean, who isn’t! How has the experience been getting to work alongside him as his on-screen son. Has he been able to give you any pointers?
TR: It was a blast. We have a great time on and off screen. When we weren’t working, we spent a lot of time goofing around, throwing the football, playing frisbee, and watching golf. Oh- can’t forget, lots of eating out. As far as any pointers? I’d have to say he mostly gave me pointers when it came to golf. Not so much when we were working.
MM: I assume you’re not able to do any acting right now with COVID-19, but you are working on a script. Can you talk a bit about what you’re working on and how you got into writing.
TR: I’m working on several. The one I’ve been working on recently Is a short film that my friend and co-writer, Patricio, and I have collaborated on. I met Patricio at a table read for a movie we were working on. We hadn’t seen each other for a while, and he contacted me over insta to get involved in a film he was working on and we have been working on projects ever since. It’s called Santa Catalina. It’s about a lonely hit man that goes to Catalina Island for a contract kill. Can’t say any more at this point.
MM: What’s something that fans might not know about you.
TR: I am going for my Italian dual citizenship.
MM: I like to throw in my signature question, if you were to construct a donut based on your personality in real life, what kind of donut would it be and what kind of toppings would be on it?
TR: This is definitely the first time I’ve been asked this question. It would be a Krispy Kreme because I’m from Georgia. It would be filled with Cannoli cream to pay tribute to my Italian heritage. Crushed Pop Tarts and Cheetos on top because of Stargirl! Sounds gross.
MM: To wrap up, why should the viewers tune into Stargirl? Can you tease anything that’s coming up in the DC Universe…
TR: Viewers should tune in because this is a great show that combines the superhero world with a wonderful balance of family. So many superhero shows only show that side but don’t show the day-to-day life when they’re not dressed in their superhero costumes. There’s really something for everyone. People my parents’ age tune in and enjoy it as well as my sisters who are in their 20s, and my friends who are teenagers. I especially like the way it’s shot and the color grading. It feels more like a movie than a tv show.
To be perfectly honest, I’m new to the comic book world so I’m not able to give you any info on DC universe teasers. I’m sure that sounds weird, but before my audition, I had never even read a comic! Now I’m a believer! I clearly missed out on a lot during my childhood!! Now I’m actively trying to play catch up and learning as much as I can.
Watch DC’s Stargirl, Tuesdays 8/7c on The CW