Courtney Whitmore isn’t the only character going through some growing pains in DC Universe’s Stargirl. When her mother Barbara married Pat Dugan, he also brought his young son Mike into the marriage. Like Courtney, Mike must adjust to his new blended family as well as his new hometown of Blue Valley, Nebraska. However, he may get more than he bargained for with a stepsister who is also a budding superhero.
Speaking with CBR, Mike actor Trae Romano offered some insight into the Whitmore-Dugan family dynamic. He previewed Mike’s relationship with his father, how much he knows of Pat’s superheroic past and why there’s more to him than meets the eye. He also teased his favorite Season 1 moment, his stunt work, his evolving relationship with Courtney and more.
CBR: Introduce me to Mike Dugan. How would you describe him?
Trae Romano: I would describe Mike as a lighthearted kid who is adjusting to his new blended family and moving from Valley Village, CA to Blue Valley, Nebraska. He hides a lot of his emotions with his wit and quirky personality.
How did you get the role?
I auditioned quite a few months before I actually got the call that I had gotten the role. I had almost forgotten about it and was lucky to get a call welcoming me to the Stargirl cast. It was a surreal experience!
Which one of Mike’s characteristics do you relate to the most? Why?
I relate to how Mike is left in the dark in certain situations. When you’re a kid, sometimes adults don’t know if you are ready to handle certain things. I can relate to this feeling. I also feel like overall, Mike and I have a very similar personality. It’s not like I’m really acting at all. What’s written feels like I would say the same thing. I really connected to Mike and his family dynamic. I’m very close to my dad and have older sisters, so creating him felt natural to me.
What kind of research did you do to prepare for the role?
I researched Stargirl and Mike by reading the comic book series. It was so interesting to see how the show and the comics are alike and different.
What is his relationship with his dad Pat like? Does he know anything about his father’s past as a superhero sidekick when the show picks up?
Mike’s relationship with Pat is very close. They’ve been on their own, just the two of them, so they really rely on each other. They’re almost like the same person in a lot of ways and love joking around. Mike is unaware of his dad’s past life at the beginning of the show. Pat will do anything to protect Mike from knowing about his past life.
What was it like to work with Luke Wilson?
Working with Luke was almost effortless. The moment we met, we had instant chemistry. He took me to a basketball game the first day we met so that we could have “father-son” bonding! That made such a difference in how we played off of each other. We formed an amazing relationship on and off screen.
How would you describe Mike’s dynamic with Courtney?
Mike and Courtney’s relationship is complicated because of their newly blended family. I’m looking forward to seeing how that changes throughout the season.
What does he think of Stargirl?
You’ll have to keep watching to find out, but I can tell you that he gains a new respect for Courtney!
Did you get a chance to participate in any of the action? Did you have any favorite stunts?
Yes! Unfortunately, I can’t say exactly what it is, but you see a new side of Mike. I think he may surprise you here and there!
Can you tease your favorite moment or scene from Stargirl?
My favorite moment in Stargirl was when Courtney and Mike were finally able to communicate and level with each other. I particularly liked when she started to see Mike, not for an annoying step brother, but as someone she really liked.
If you ever got a chance to play any superhero, who would it be and why?
If I could be any superhero, I would be Shazam! It would be so cool to fly and be able to shoot lighting from my hands!! The best part is he can turn his superpowers on and off and be a normal person whenever he wants!
How have you been keeping busy while you socially distance yourself? Do you have any game/book/TV/film recommendations for everyone stuck at home?
I’ve been keeping very busy working on school, hanging out with my family and Granddad (he loves to binge-watch all the latest series), gaming and playing ping pong! I’ve also been reading a book that Luke bought me, Blowing the Bloody Doors Off by Michael Caine.
DC Universe’s Stargirl stars Brec Bassinger as Courtney Whitmore (Stargirl) and Luke Wilson as Pat Dugan (S.T.R.I.P.E.). The series premieres Monday, May 18, on DC Universe, and Tuesday, May 19, on The CW.
Stargirl's Trae Romano, who plays Pat Dugan's son Mike, teased his favorite Season 1 moment, his stunt work, his relationship with Courtney and more.