For the ex-prince of a 1,000-year-old unbroken monarchy, Mon-El is surprisingly flexible. He’s become the epitome of “go with the flow,” especially when you consider how many times a day he must realize he has no idea what everyone is talking about. Most of us get frustrated when our friends have an inside joke we don’t understand. Imagine living in a world where your friend’s inside joke encompasses, well, everything.
But don’t be fooled. He’s catching up one cultural reference and misplaced metaphor at a time. He’s even discovered Shakespeare. And in the time-honored tradition of every television character to ever read Romeo and Juliet, he’s completely failing to see its heartbreaking conclusion racing towards him. Where is Mr. Feeny when you need him, am I right?
So let’s help out Supergirl’s resident outsider. And have some fun ourselves, of course. Ladies and gentlemen, patrons of the arts, I present to you the cast of Supergirl’s Ro-Mayo and Juliet. Now with less dying.
Sure, gender swapping is popular when you’re looking for a new casting take, but this has a lot more to do with personality than edgy publicity. If ever there was a superhero between our two Shakespearian lovers, it’s definitely Romeo. Like Kara, Romeo takes most of the action. He keeps striving for solutions even if every move he makes just complicates things more. He’s banished from Verona; Kara is banished to her apartment. And, finally, his own death by poison mirrors Kara’s vulnerability to Kryptonite blades.
The more naive of the pair, Mon-El as Juliet is kind of a no-brainer. Both of them advocate for running away when things start getting dangerous. Both have some pretty intense blinders on when it comes to their respective love interests. (I mean, Kara may be the last daughter of Krypton, but nobody’s perfect.) And neither are any good at clear communication with their parents. Though, in Juliet’s case, the problem is more on her. For Mon-El, it would be nearly impossible to get anything through to…
And not just because she’s Mon-El’s mother. I mean, mostly because she’s Mon-El’s mother, but that slap across the face—a moment she shares with the real Lady Capulet—pretty much cements it. It is a small role, though, and we have by extension cast Teri Hatcher, so maybe we should think about…
Double casting: Rhea would make an awesome Tybalt! Near-sociopathic tendencies toward violence? Zealous and destructive overprotection of Juliet/Mon-El? Her suspiciously well developed skills with armed combat? I think we’ve got a winner. John Leguizamo will be so jealous.
Juliet’s dad. Mon-El’s dad. Both waver about how much they care about their child’s autonomy. Yep, that about sums it up.
Maybe you expected me to go with Zor-El or Jeremiah here, but no dice. Snapper is Kara’s surrogate father figure, it’s true, but what really gets my casting approval on this one is both characters’ almost constant eye rolling. Yeah, yeah, they may have started their respective conflicts as younger men, but these days they’d settle for an uninterrupted fifteen minutes with their coffee and a donut.
Snapper’s clear female counterpart, Cat wins this one in the name of practicality. It’s a small part, and we can only afford Calista Flockhart for one scene.
I mean, who else would play our Juliet’s guide through the world? The moment of joy on Winn’s face when Mon-El joins him for tonight’s Star Wars quip can only be summed up as Proud Mom. Keeping Mon-El/Juliet alive is a challenge unto itself, but educating either of them about the world? That’s the real adventure.
A bit like Lyra in tonight’s episode, Peter sometimes gets forgotten in productions of “Romeo and Juliet.” Think of him as the Nurse’s muscle—her faithful companion who can be insanely loyal, but way more morally ambiguous. That’s pretty much Lyra wrapped up with a bow.
Romeo’s cousin is way more level headed, and so spends his time keeping Romeo from doing anything too stupid. This pretty much sums up Alex. Both are perpetual second parent figures, yes, but they’re also most likely to be found standing by their heroes’ sides ready to joint the fight. Don’t be surprised if they simultaneously explain why what they’re about to do is a horrible idea, though.
No joke, Mercutio is my favorite. Maggie is also my favorite. So for me this match was obvious. Want something a bit more concrete? Okay, sarcastic jerk with a heart of gold who gravitates more towards the Montagues (Danvers) than to his or her actual family (Prince Escalus/National City Police). Got it. Both are also intensely attached to Benvolio—textually more so than Romeo—which, with Maggie Sawyer in the role, makes more than a little sense.
Oh, J’onn. Probably the most difficult casting choice of all, I agonized over this one. But in the end, much like the Friar, J’onn does his absolute best to guide his collection of misfits. He’s not without his flaws, but his heart is always in the right place. Plus, the monologues! (Seriously, give David Harewood all the monologues.)
One is a political figure that we really only see when the plot necessitates it, who likes to lay down regulations without having to enforce them, and may or may not be from a completely different planet. The other is President Olivia Marsdin. (Zing!) They’re basically interchangeable.
Anyone familiar with Romeo and Juliet may want to point out here that we never actually see Rosaline on stage, but in fairness, James isn’t exactly getting the bulk of the screen time, either. So, let’s checklist this: Ex love interest of Romeo (Kara)? Check. Who fell out of love with them over one night (episode)? Double check. Voted most likely to survive this plot by not being directly involved in all the drama? Triple check.
Katherine Siegel is a Chicago-based writer and director, and a regular contributor to Paste. You can find out more by checking out her website or follow her on Twitter.