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Lying for Truth: Staz Nair Risks it All on Supergirl

Lying for Truth: Staz Nair Risks it All on Supergirl

By Tim Beedle Friday, November 1st, 2019

It may be Kara’s cousin who goes big for truth, justice and the American way, but you have to think Supergirl’s pretty big on those as well. She certainly seems to have a hunger for bringing wrongdoing to light, both as National City’s hometown hero and as CatCo’s premiere reporter. It’s never easy to be a warrior for truth, but it’s particularly hard when the people who are supposed to be your allies in the fight seem to be working against you. That’s precisely what Kara is facing this season on Supergirl with the introduction of CatCo’s new owner, Andrea Rojas, and its flashy new reporter, William Day.

Or is she?

In last week’s episode, “In Plain Sight,” Kara discovered that there may be much more to William than she realized. His seemingly unwavering loyalty to Andrea is—at least according to William—a carefully constructed act to hide the fact that he’s really working undercover to investigate her billionaire family. Could Kara’s workplace foil turn out to be a powerful journalistic ally?

Sunday’s new episode, “Dangerous Liaisons,” will finally reveal Kara’s response to William’s confession, but we couldn’t wait any longer to discover what’s in store for this likely pair of enemies-turned-friends, so we called up actor Staz Nair to ask him what it’s like deceiving one of the world’s most powerful heroes. In the process, we learned some of what we can expect from Andrea Rojas as the season unfolds, whether William suspects that Kara is Supergirl and which of Nair’s personal heroes inspired his take on William’s brand of journalism.

So how would you describe William’s relationship with Kara going forward? I’d imagine it’s going to change.

If she ends up believing William, I believe there will be a meeting of the minds. Our ethos is very similar in terms of what we represent. We both are willing to stop at nothing for the sake of the truth. We’re exposing the truth and willing to put ourselves in the firing line. William’s even willing to put on the most disingenuous mask possible to get around a whole bunch of peers—some of whom he admires, like Kara—for the sake of exposing the truth. It’s the Machiavellian idea of losing the battle to win the war. I think they’re both willing to do that. They’re both willing to sacrifice. I think that will connect them.

Obviously, Kara being Supergirl has been through a lot, but this isn’t William’s first rodeo. Being an undercover journalist is terrifying. You don’t even have the protection of the police. It’s not like being an undercover policeman. You’re kind of on your own and using your wits as opposed to your skill in combat. I really believe that if Kara ends up believing William and giving him a chance, I think they’ll realize that they have a lot in common and hopefully that will mean they can take on the enemy together.

Can we expect to see them working together a bit more in the future?

I think so. Again, it’s all provided that the confession that William gives her at the end of episode 4 resonates enough with Kara to allow him a chance to prove that he is the nice guy that he claims to be. Right now, it’s all in Kara’s hands. But I think that if they cross that threshold, there’s no stopping them as a journalistic pair.

In Sunday’s episode, William learns that Kara’s discovered a lot of things about him, but he’s discovered a few things about her too. Is he on to her secret?

This is only my opinion, it’s not based on anything I’ve seen, but you know when something is just so close that you can’t see it? I think that he is just so hellbent on covering Andrea Rojas, and also, he’s been frightened to death by a Martian! He knows Martians exist, and you don’t want to see one in a dingy sewer when you turn around and look up. It’s terrifying! He’s going to remember seeing Supergirl, but I think he has bigger fish to fry. He’s interested in Kara, but the idea of her being Supergirl I don’t think is even on his radar. He’s too busy trying to figure out the stuff he’s been working on for the past two and a half years, which is the Rojas family.

On that note, how much worse is Andrea Rojas going to get?

Behind every evil person, there’s a complexity that is difficult to understand unless you go back to their nature and nurture. Their psychological state, if you want to talk about it from an actual human perspective. I think you’re going to see every side . That’s what I love about this show. They’re very good at humanizing even the worst of people. So, I think if you are going to see her get worse and worse, you’re probably also going to see a more human side to her. Again, this is just speculation—things I’m thinking. No one’s born innately evil. I think as it gets worse, maybe it’ll also get more understandable.

It was stunning to see her take down Lena Luthor.

Oh yeah! Well, there’s a power behind her. She’s also a billionaire. It’s not a typically innate power, but it’s innate in terms that she’s been living in wealth her whole life. That’s the only kind of person that really can challenge Lena. Lena needs her for funding. Andrea is the one person who, to an extent, has something on Lena. I think you’re going to enjoy her story. It’s going to be really fun.

Julie Gonzalo’s wonderful, by the way. I’m so lucky to have started the show with her. She’s fantastic.

Now that Kara has learned the truth about William, will you get a chance to share more scenes with her allies?

If it turns out that she accepts William’s story, they’re still going to be testing each other. You can’t be working with someone for two or three weeks thinking they’re the antagonist, and then the next day be fine with them. The respect and the relationship will hopefully result in meeting them, but who’s to say? She might not trust him enough. She might trust him as a journalist but keep him at CatCo out of safety. It’s a waiting game at the moment.

If it does happen, is there a character or actor in particular that you’d like a scene with?

Absolutely. They are all fantastic. Two people come to mind straightaway just because of my childhood. As we all know, Lex Luthor will be reappearing this season. I would love to work with Jon Cryer, bearing in mind that I grew up on him as a comedian. So, fingers crossed our worlds come together somehow at some point. I don’t know how, but that would be nice.

Also, David Harewood. I grew up watching the man. Merchant of Venice, Blood Diamond, Homeland, theater productions… He’s unbelievably brilliant, and to find out that he’s really nice as well is just massively humbling. To be working with him is honestly like a bucket list thing. I grew up admiring his work. Even sharing the screen with him is an honor.

It’s such a family here. Everyone’s so brilliant and talented, and they care about the work. That’s all you can ask for as an actor is to work alongside other people who take care of the work.

All of the Arrowverse shows are about heroes of some kind or another. I’m curious, who do you think is William Day’s personal hero?

I actually haven’t thought about that—who his heroes are. But I will say, along those lines, I was raised without a father. But there was a man I met when I was about twelve years old who has become a father figure. He was a journalist of war. He went to Bosnia-Herzegovina during the Bosnian War. He had this veracity for truth, and he even gave me a book at fifteen about Stalin and Hitler so that I could understand. At that age, you don’t really need to be reading that, but I wanted to understand what makes these people and he would always kind of nurture that. I thought of him when coming up with the character. The desire and passion for exposing and documenting something truthful, and knowing that you have because you were there. William’s hero, through me, is Lloyd Donaldson. That’s the honest answer. That’s who I’m representing when playing William.

But I think his heroes are going to be the Martin Luthor Kings and Frida Kahlos of the world. The people that took a stand. Whether it’s artistic greatness, political greatness or racial upheaval in a positive way. He’s a harbinger of truth. That’s how I look at him. He’s someone who is hellbent, even if it’s at the expense of himself, on exposing the truth because that’s what people need and there’s not enough of it these days. We’re not reaching people anymore. People don’t care. We’re too busy worrying about taxes and our own problems to stop and think, what is actually going on around us? William is just one of those people who says, “No, I’ll just keep shoving it down people’s throats if I need to for the sake of what needs to be heard being heard.”

Supergirl airs Sundays at 9 p.m (8 p.m. CST) on The CW. Visit our official Supergirl page for more features, news and articles on the Girl of Steel's adventures.