Hello Geek Vibes Nation! This is your pal and co-founder, Dane Alves. As many of you already know, we had the great David Harewood on our show Saturday night. The casual interview went swimmingly, mainly because Mr. Harewood was such a wonderful guest. The man is an actor’s actor and definitively good in his line of work. Whether playing the menacing Captain Poison in Edward Zwick’s Blood Diamond, or the director of the CIA’s Counter-terrorism Center, David Estes, in the Showtime series Homeland, the gent from Birmingham, England was a fantastic brain to pick. Of course, due to our page’s subject manner, there was a specific reason for his visit.
As if you didn’t know already, David plays the amazing Martian Manhunter, AKA, J’onn J’onzz, on the hit CW series, Supergirl. Right away I made a joke about how weird it was having him talk to me, because I felt like the actual Martian Manhunter was in my head. After a chuckle or two, we had the chance to ask him some questions. It was interesting to know that growing up, David admittedly wasn’t much of a DC guy. He was more of a fan of the Hulk and Fantastic Four, particularly during the Jack Kirby era. The character of J’onn J’onzz was very new to him when he got his part on the show.
We learned he originally got the gig playing Hank Henshaw, which slowly developed into the Martian Manhunter. The producers, like many of us, thought he had a great look for the character, but it more or less was just said in passing with little to no weight. That was until the big reveal in season one, and thus, the story went in that exact direction. The character would not only attract new viewers, but become the backbone of the show. David let us know many times he really loved playing the character, taking inspiration from the ’90s John Ostrander series, as well as gushing over the art from Tom Mandrake in that same series.
David gave us his thoughts on what he’d like to see his character explore in the future of the series. He really wants to see J’onn’s brother, the evil Ma’alefa’ak, become an enemy and threat on the show, maybe including an arc where J’onn goes looking for him. He also wants more character development for bad guy, Hank Henshaw, with more story built for Harewood and the audience to sink their teeth into. One thing that I wouldn’t have initially thought is that he would actually prefer practical makeup and prosthetics used instead of CGI for the look of the Martian. He wants the audience to see more of J’onn J’onzz on the show, and less of himself. He also wished that they could provide more of Martian Manhunter’s vast powers, but realizes the show is limited in displaying how truly awesome we all know J’onn J’onzz is.
The main reason that David Harewood is perfect for this specific role is something that he naturally shares with the character. He has this inherent dignity, great cadence with his speech, and a very commanding presence; something he personally sees in Mahershala Ali, whom he suggested portray the role if Warner Brothers were to cast his cinematic counterpart.
Being in my line of work, it was great to find out information about a fellow thespian you respect. Whether finding out they rewrote Blood Diamond after he improvised one of the first scenes he filmed, or the fact that he loves doing voice acting for video games like Call of Duty, simply because he too is a gamer; it was really a thrill. Just don’t offer him any Oreo’s. He had to go through four boxes on scenes that were eventually cut from Supergirl on the episode, ‘Manhunter’. Unfortunately, he no longer shares that particular trait of J’onn J’onzz.
Dane Alves – Geek Vibes Nation