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CW Superheroes

Supergirl: Tyler Hoechlin teases epic super showdown in finale

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Supergirl vs. Superman!

The Girl of Steel (Melissa Benoist) will face her toughest showdown yet in the upcoming Supergirl season finale as cousin Clark Kent, a.k.a. Superman (Tyler Hoechlin) has somehow turned bad. In the wake of the Daxamite invasion of Earth, Kara went to confront Rhea (Teri Hatcher) only to find the Daxamite queen had a trick up her sleeve that seems to involve forcing Clark to be evil. What’s really going on? EW turned to Hoechlin to find out.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Can you talk about why Superman has suddenly turned against Kara? Is he under Rhea’s control?
TYLER HOECHLIN: Rhea is a tricky one, so there’s always a chance that she’s behind something.

How will this affect Clark emotionally being pitted against Kara?
Any time you find yourself squaring off against someone that’s family, it takes on a little bit more of a toll. But that’s something you’re going to have to wait and see to find out; it’s a little more complicated than it appears.

What can you tease for the epic showdown between Superman and Supergirl?
It will definitely be epic. These guys did such a great job with this. They’re calling it the battle of the century, and they really wanted to make sure it came across that way. We don’t hold any punches back. It’s a lot of fun. I think it’ll be a really fun for people to see them square off against each other, and not just fighting alongside each other.

How difficult was filming this giant fight scene?
Luckily I’ve had a little bit of practice with fighting in the nights in the cold. It was not the first time around. Our whole team — the stunt guys — did an incredible job. It’s one of those things where usually if it’s a little less comfortable to shoot it, it looks a lot better, and it’s a lot more fun to watch. That’s always a comforting thought when you’re getting tossed around and you’re wondering how much longer you have to go, you just know it’s going to be that much better.

RELATED: Supergirl: Will Lena learn the truth about Kara in the finale?

With Clark on the loose, should we worry about the rest of Kara’s family?
I think there’s reason to worry for everybody in this finale.

How do you think Clark would feel if he learned Kara actually teamed up with Cadmus?
That’s something where I give Clark enough credit to make a judgment call in that particular situation. It’s interesting that sometimes it’s necessary to team up with old enemies in order to accomplish something that needs to be accomplished. The more time he’s spent in those scenarios, you realize things aren’t always so black and white; there’s a lot of gray in the middle you have to evaluate sometimes.

General Zod will also appear in the finale. When you first took on this role, were you hoping to see something like this?
Honestly, I didn’t really know what I was hoping for, but to see that pop up so quick in the script, I was like, “Oh, well this is really cool!” It was definitely a nice surprise to see that kind of an enemy for him pop up so quickly.

Anything you can tease of how this Zod story line may differ from what we’ve seen in the past?
I’ll be honest, I haven’t seen any of the other Superman-Zod battles, but I can promise that it will be different; that much I can promise. I’m not actually sure how to hint that it is, but you will know what I mean when you see it.

Did you finally get to act opposite Dean Cain at all?
I’m not sure if I can say that or not. Can’t say. [Laughs] I’ll give my go-to: You’ll have to wait and see.

You made your Supergirl debut in the season premiere. How do you think the finale compares to when Clark first came in?
I would say that it’s different in the fact that when I first got up there for the premiere, we were settling into a new place, and finding a new place to jump off from going into this season, so it was also Clark being introduced into that world. It all felt that everyone was kind of finding something. Whereas this time, he’s coming back into a situation where they’ve been dealing with an enemy for a while now, and it’s become a little bit heavier. It’s not necessarily all the same playfulness in the beginning of being excited for a new job, and all these things that were going on with Kara in her own world. It’s dealing with the task at hand, so it’s a little bit of a different feel in that way.

Is there anything new you got to do this time around?
We covered a lot of bases the first time around. There are a few things, but I believe they are all things I’m not allowed to tell you. It’s funny, I haven’t done interviews in a minute, so I’m remembering how often I had to say, “Yes, but I can’t say anything.” [Laughs]

Does the finale at least leave the story open for Clark to return?
I will say this: If he’s alive by the end of it, then I would love to think there’s a possibility he would come back.

What have you learned from playing this character?
I’ve learned about Clark that he’s a lot of fun, and he’s got a really big heart. It’s fun to come into a character where you have this idea that their whole goal is really just to help people, to be there for them in whatever way they need them. To be able to play that character without trying to find a way in which he compromises that, and actually just fully committing to that idea and allowing that to be completely true, playing any other human character, that’s hard to commit to without lying about it a little bit. We all try our best, but not necessarily succeed in the same way that he does.

For myself, just as an actor, I learned not to fear any criticisms or critique of what you’re going to do. Obviously this is the most iconic role I’ve ever played as an actor, and it would’ve been really easy to feel pressure or feel like I needed to do it a certain way to make people happy. I think at the end of the day, Greg [Berlanti], Andrew [Kreisberg], and I felt really confident in what we wanted to do and what we felt made him special and we ran with that, and it turned out pretty well. Some of the people didn’t hate it. It was a nice experience as an actor to realize that you can make choices sometimes without having to think too much about what other people are going to think about it, if they’re going to criticize it, just have faith in your vision and go for it.

The Luthors are very prevalent at the end of the season. Are we going to get a sense of Clark’s feelings toward them and toward Kara letting them into her life?
You’ll get a sense of how Clark is feeling about a lot of people in Kara’s life in this episode, so the Luthors have definitely made their way into that circle, and I’m sure they won’t be exempt from that.

The Supergirl finale airs Monday at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.