This article contains Stargirl spoilers.
Stargirl Episode 6
Throughout Stargirl season 2, there’s been a looming puppet master in the darkness. Working through the mysterious Black Diamond wielded by Cindy Burman (Meg DeLacy), Eclipso has been helping the teen put together a new iteration of the Injustice Society of America.
But in a shocking–or not so shocking–twist this week, Eclipso finally revealed his hand. The nefarious demonic creature had been playing Cindy all along. His aim was to use Stargirl’s staff to free himself, meaning he could live outside of possessing Cindy Burman. It was a grim surprise for the daughter of the Dragon King and it cost her and her new ISA cohort Isaac their lives. Eclipso murdered Isaac with one of Cindy’s own blades and then opened some kind of smoky portal that sucked the young girl to her doom. In the aftermath of the horrifying final act of episode 6, we spoke with Nick Tarabay about bringing Eclipso to the screen.
Like most people, Tarabay was not familiar with Eclipso before getting the role. But, interestingly, he also didn’t know who he was trying out to play at all as it was a blind audition. “There are the famous comic book characters that everybody knows,” Tarabay explains. “Superman and Batman, people know about these characters. But I did not know about Eclipso.”
The actor also didn’t actually know who he was auditioning for until he got the part as the role wasn’t listed while he was going through the process. Despite that, he still had a unique take on the then unknown character. “The way I interpreted him–because at that point I didn’t know who he was–was like Iago and Othello.”
When the actor did discover who he’d be bringing to life, he was exhilarated.
“Holy shit, this is a DC show. This is a real thing!”
Immediately he began to research and couldn’t believe that Eclipso wasn’t more well known.
“It really surprised me because once I started to look him up I realized this guy is really dangerous,” he says. “He’s really important. He’s really delicious! I can’t believe more people don’t know him, but I’m happy to be the one correcting that.”
Despite Eclipso definitely being a deep cut character, Tarabay sees it as a chance to make his mark. “You get to put your print on it. After that, everybody’s gonna kind of mimic it if you do a good job, kind of like Sean Connery as Bond. So when it’s not been done before it gives you a lot of freedom to do it.”
Tarabay was keen not to put himself in a box, so he didn’t dive too deep into Eclipso’s comic book history. Instead, he wanted to create his own take on the character. Luckily, he had some help. “When you put the prosthetics on, it speaks volumes,” the actor shares. “The prosthetics are really out there.”
There’s more to it than looking creepy, though.
“My job when I put prosthetics on is to ground the character,” he says. “My main focus, playing someone like Eclipso, is I don’t want the audience to think this is some fantasy thing that will never exist in real life. I wanted to leave this episode and every episode with them thinking this guy could exist right now in this world. I want them to lock their bedroom doors thinking Eclipso might show up.”
To do that Tarabay crafted what he described as an “animal” that matches the ferocity and violence that Eclipso evokes when he gets out of the Black Diamond for the very first time. But now that he’s out and has that freedom, what does he want? Tarabay tells us his thoughts on what’s driving Blue Valley’s newest and most dangerous foe.
“I can’t say too much about what’s about to happen, but put it this way: he’s here to clean house. My interpretation of him believes that only the finest, the purest, and the strongest will survive and should survive.”
To get into the mindset of Eclipso, Tarabay refuses to think in moralistic black and white, instead diving deep into what drives him.
“When I approach any character I don’t look at it as a bad character or an evil character. I think, what do I want? What am I going to do to get what I want? For him, it is to purify this place, to make it a better place. There is no space, there is no room anymore for the weak. There is no room for that for someone who’s delusional or in denial.”
It’s an interesting mindset as it arguably puts Eclipso on the same mission as the JSA, though obviously his approach is far more violent. In some ways, Tarabay likens Eclipso to Thanos, someone willing to do whatever it takes to get his way.
“There’s no such thing as pure anything,” he says. “You cannot say somebody is pure good, there’s no such thing. The only reason you know you’re good at certain things is because you have something to work off of. Meaning you know this room is bright because it was dark before, so without that darkness you don’t have that measure you will know. So if you say, ‘I’m gonna eradicate something,’ no matter what it is a big mistake. These kinds of mistakes are usually the things that give birth to creatures like Eclipso.”
As for what fans can expect from Eclipso going forward, the actor hints that he’s an intelligent foe who will always surprise and shock. “He gets turned on if someone somehow resists or finds a way to temporarily stop him,” Tarabay teases. “That’s a big turn on for him. That means, great, I get to play chess again. The more of a challenge you give him the more power he gets and the more excited he gets. And it’s not just with physicality, sometimes it’s just simple mind games, sometimes it’s with kindness too… you’ll be shocked.”