Azie Tesfai on Kelly Olsen’s Journey to Taking up the Mantle of Guardian in ‘Supergirl’
DC fans are on the edge of their seats as American actress Azie Tesfai is set to make her debut in the last season of Supergirl on September 21, 2021, as Kelly Olsen prepares to follow brother James' footsteps to suit up as National City's new Guardian.
Besides playing a prominent role in the plot, Tesfai also co-wrote the episode alongside co-producer J. Holtham, which will also include themes of racial inequity.
While some may not have seen that coming, Tesfai said that Kelly will be finally stepping into her purpose — and that it's something fans have been rallying for all along.
David Ramsey, who will make an appearance as John Diggle, directed the episode, and it will be quite recognizable to Arrow fans.
Azie Tesfai on Becoming Kelly Olsen
During her conversation with Nerds of Color, Tesfai explained that Kelly's story is about watching her come up as much as it is about Tesfai growing into her own power as a woman.
When the fans see this arc, it isn't just watching Kelly step into her power. It's watching me, Azie, as a person, stepping into my power as a Black woman. And so it means a lot to me.
Tesfai expressed joy at playing the character she calls her "role model," noting that she aspired to exist and be like Kelly.
She revealed how much she could relate to Kelly as she believes they both lead with their heart and really want to put good into the world and have compassion for others.
"I think of Kelly as me on my very best day," she added.
Azie Tesfai on Putting on the Guardian Suit
Tesfai shared her emotional journey of putting on the super-suit for the first time, which reminded her of her roots and the community she was representing. She revealed filming every bit and piece of the time while they dressed her up as the Guardian.
We were able to address Kelly picking up the mantle really organically, and it burst from this episode where she starts seeing real holes in the system as a social worker and realizes that there are more ways than one to help people in need.
On Creating Kelly Olsen
Tesfai went on to express her passion for writing. She marked the importance of showing flawed characters on screen as a superhero so that it is relatable to the greater audience.
Being able to spend a month in the writers' room and contribute to the upcoming story arc and the episode that she co-wrote allowed her to tell a personal tale and depict a side of Kelly that no one had seen before.
She hopes that the character bridges the gap between everyone else and a gay black woman. "I think it's Kelly finally stepping into her purpose and what she realizes is her destiny in so many ways," she added.
Supergirl stars Tesfai as Kelly Olsen, Melissa Benoist as Kara Danvers, David Harewood as Martian Manhunter, Chyler Leigh as Alex Danvers, Nicole Maines as Dreamer, and Jesse Rath as Brainiac-5. The series returned to The CW on Tuesday, Aug. 24 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.