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Jason Behr: 'Supergirl' dad becomes childlike on Earth

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Jason Behr: 'Supergirl' dad becomes childlike on Earth
Zor-El (Jason Behr) experiences super powers when he joins Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) on Earth. Photo courtesy of The CW

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Jason Behr, who plays Supergirl/Kara's (Melissa Benoist) father, Zor-El, on The CW series, said his character becomes the child when he visits his daughter on Earth. Behr joined the show in its sixth and final season, and Zor-El reaches Earth in Tuesday's episode.

"She's the one with knowledge, information and experience," Behr told UPI in a phone interview. "To come to Earth, to be a complete fish out of water, he definitely looks to Kara for guidance and information."

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Kara met her father in the second episode of the season. When Lex Luthor (Jon Cryer) sent Supergirl to the Phantom Zone, she found Zor-El there.

The Phantom Zone is the hellscape where Kryptonians sent their criminals. After the explosion of the planet Krypton, Zor-El was able to survive by sending himself to the Phantom Zone.

Earth gives Kryptonians super powers, so Zor-El will have the same powers that Supergirl does when he arrives. Behr said Benois showed him how to perform flying stunts.

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"She's been doing this for a while and this is my first time," Behr said. "I couldn't help but belly laugh and I was grinning ear to ear. That was not just appropriate to the scene, but that was just me."

As Zor-El experiences flight, super strength and heat vision, he gets a bit overzealous. Discovering Earth's environmental problems, Zor-El attempts to solve the climate crisis with Kryptonian technology.

Much like Zor-El's failed attempts to save the planet Krypton with Superman's father Jor-El, Zor-El's experiment causes more problems that Supergirl has to solve. Zor-El's invention goes haywire and teaches him a valuable lesson.

"Zor-El's hubris and ego are what blinded him on Krypton," Behr said. "You can't address a situation or a problem like this with hubris and ego. You have to come at it from a point of working together to fix the problem."

Behr, 47, returned to The CW in 2020 after an eight-year break. Behr found success in his 20s in the teen series Dawson's Creek and Roswell.

Behr said it was parenthood that made him step back from acting. He has a 7-year old son, Atticus.

"I'd had a child and really wanted to spend some time with him before getting back into all of this," Behr said.

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The first role that brought Behr back to television was The CW's reboot of Roswell, called Roswell, New Mexico. After five Season 2 episodes in 2020, Behr joined Supergirl, which he said made him feel like a kid again.

"To put on a super suit with that S on your chest, it was a childhood dream come true," Behr said. "I felt like I was an 8-year-old boy again."

After Supergirl, Behr's next project will be a behind-the-scenes role. He is producing the movie The Pearl Fisher and will not appear in it.

"It's a true-life story about an opera singer who loses his voice and has to retrain himself to a baritone," Behr said. "It's never been done before in the history of that world so it's pretty amazing."

Supergirl airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EDT on The CW.

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