Supergirl star Azie Tesfai reveals how she came to write an 'epic' Kelly episode
A quarantine project ended up opening a new and history-making professional door for Azie Tesfai.
The Supergirl actress is co-writing an episode in the CW drama's sixth and final season and becomes the first actor to ever contribute to an Arrowverse script. During an Instagram live interview with EW and Superman & Lois' Elizabeth Tulloch on Tuesday, Tesfai, who plays Kelly Olsen, revealed this groundbreaking opportunity came about after she wrote a spec script for her character Kelly Olsen during the pandemic lockdown.
"I love Kelly Olsen so much and I'm so protective over her. And truly the fans, over the years, have made me step into being more protective over her and they've kind of empowered me to fight for her and speak up for her," said Tesfai, who is co-writing the season's 12th episode with supervising producer J. Holtham. "I actually wrote a spec script during the break, during COVID when everyone was home, just to kind of show Kelly's voice and maybe some ideas, and that led to me writing the episode."
To prepare for the script, Tesfai spent a little over a month in the show's now-virtual writers room. "I did the 9 to 5 on Zoom with everyone, so I realized I probably like a 9 to 5 [job] more than I thought," she said. "I think [we're] on the fifth round of draft notes right now. So it's been really exciting."
For Tesfai, seeing the show from this angle was a reminder of how important representation is both in front and behind the camera. "It's been great, I think, the nuance of not just representing the Black voice, but the Black female voice, and every Black experience is different," she said. "To have David Ramsey directing the episode... that makes me really excited. Ramsey and I had dinner the other night and just talking about his perspective and experiences; they're very different than mine. So, I think to have such a well-balanced [group] between me, J., who I'm writing the episode with, and David Ramsey, I think fans will feel really excited and hopefully seen and heard."
She added: "[Episode] 12, in my opinion, for Kelly, is the most epic episode of the season, so I'm excited to get to pen it."
Before the interview ended, Tesfai also teased that Kelly fans will be very excited about where her character goes in the 20-episode season. Said Tesfai: "The fans have been very vocal about what they want to see for Kelly — and I feel like they know what I'm talking about — and they, especially in the back half of the season, will get everything that they want, and it makes me very excited."
Supergirl is expected to return later this year on The CW.
(Video provided by Warner Bros. TV).
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