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Why Stargirl looks so familiar

The CW's recent massive success with the Crisis On Infinite Earths crossover storyline has provided opportunities to expand the Arrowverse, and with that expansion comes Stargirl, the newest hero here to lead the ranks of the ruined Justice League post-Crisis. Courtney Whitmore is just like any other teenage girl, until she learns that, decades earlier, her stepfather used to be the sidekick for another hero, who wielded a powerful weapon called the Cosmic Staff. When fate intervenes and she comes into possession of the staff, this otherwise-normal girl is gifted with flight and the powers of energy projection. With all the youthful and naive energy any teen has, she's a fresh and happy face the Arrowverse could definitely use after its other shows have brought so much strife.

Brec Bassinger has taken on this new lead DC heroine role, but she's hardly new to working in teen dramas, or even as a leading lady. Working the child actor circuit though her teenage years has netted her the dream of many a young actress, securing her place as a blossoming pop culture icon that will enjoy quality work for years to come. Here's where your new favorite DC hero, Stargirl, came from, and why you might recognize her.

An erstwhile Nickelodeon star

Many kids get their professional start via the Nickelodeon media route, and Bassinger is no exception. She started small as a secondary character on The Haunted Hathaways when she was 14. With her foot in the door, she snagged plenty of other work with the childrens' network: A small musical short, then Nick TV movie Liar, Liar Vampire, and a Christmas special. All of it culminated in that universe's pinnacle, a leading role as Bella on Bella and the Bulldogs, a comedy series about a cheerleader who decides to take over as quarterback on her school's football team. It didn't last, producing only 40 episodes over two years, but when that fell through, she also appeared as secondary character Kale on Nickelodeon's series adaptation of the 2003 movie School of Rock.

All this background is critical to what Bassinger is looking to portray in her new role as Stargirl, as previous on-screen iterations of the character, on Smallville and Legends of Tomorrow, have been older. She explained to IGN, "That was an older, more mature version of Stargirl, and I think this follows the comics ... well, at least the Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. comics a little bit more, in that she's young, high school, naive, which I wanted to bring that into this version of Stargirl." Bassinger is 23 now, but she needs to remain relatable as a teenager, and she's got an entire decade of that specific kind of entertainment work behind her to maintain the illusion.

Brec Bassinger's Web TV work

Teen media has never been more popular – you can look at the prevalence of YA novels and their seemingly requisite film and TV adaptations to see it – but cable remains on a slow slide to lesser relevance as streaming takes precedence. Kids today just watch more stuff via the Internet, and savvy production companies have capitalized. Before landing her new superhero duds, Bassinger has been and in a couple of projects from the production company Brat, which exclusively distributes on YouTube. She held a role in several episodes of Chicken Girls, the flagship show for the network, during its third season. She also shot for a Brat-produced movie entitled Saturday at the Starlight but, as of this writing, the project is still in post-production despite initially casting all the way back in 2017.

If Hulu is more your jam, Bassinger also starred as Roni Sweetzer in the miniseries All Night. Over ten episodes, a group of high school seniors try to fulfill their last desperate teenage wishes at the traditional overnight senior lock-in before they have to say goodbye to high school life forever.

Brec Bassinger at the movies

Acting work between film and television doesn't necessarily cross streams but, in her relatively young career, Bassinger has dabbled in some of what B-movies have to offer. The highest-profile of these is 2017's 47 Meters Down: Uncaged, the sequel to 2015's 47 Meters Down. It didn't exactly garner critical acclaim, but Rotten Tomatoes shows better audience scores. Shark movie schlock is a fun genre unto itself, and if Sharknado can have a clutch of sequels, why not 47 Meters Down? Bassinger appears as Catherine, one of the beleaguered clutch of teen girls. We'll let you find out if she's one of the characters permitted to survive all the way to the end of the movie.

Beyond that, it's largely been TV and direct-to-video movies for Bassinger. She starred as Kilee, the main character's daughter, in the Lifetime supernatural horror movie The Killer Under the Bed, and has a secondary role as the main character Kyle's sister in the teen comedy Status Update. The aforementioned Saturday at the Starlight is a feature production, too, but even if it's eventually released either in theaters or YouTube, it's unlikely we'll see her in any feature films for some time, now that Bassinger has a very full-time job on her hands saving the world at the CW.