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SDCC 2016: ‘Supergirl’ Star Chyler Leigh Talks Daddy Danvers, Sisterly Bond with Melissa Benoist & Project Cadmus

Nora Dominick ’17/ Emertainment Monthly Co-Executive Stage Editor

Last season, Supergirl flew across our TV screens and introduced young girls everywhere to a strong, independent female superhero. Alongside Supergirl/Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist), Alex Danvers (Chyler Leigh) left her mark as another determined, well-rounded female character for girls to look up to. Now entering its second season, and moving to The CW, Supergirl is back and has more stories to tell, especially for Alex.

At SDCC 2016, Chyler Leigh sat down with us to talk about her sisterly bond with Melissa Benoist, Project Cadmus and exploring Alex’s backstory in season two.

When fans last saw Alex Danvers, she was dealing with the realization that her father maybe alive and Project Cadmus. According to Chyler Leigh, Project Cadmus will loom large in season two of Supergirl. She says Project Cadmus “brings about a lot of big bads that we are gonna come into contact with even in the first few episodes.”

Leigh says finding to find her father is priority one for Alex. She says, “I know that’s a big mission obviously for Alex and for Hank/J’onn (David Harewood) and for Kara as well too. To really try to figure that whole storyline out. We end up learning about how deep that rabbit hole goes and how much is really involved in it and Project Cadmus is a very bad place. Very bad place.”

She continues saying, “Obviously that is a very big goal of her’s to find that out in general that he’s potentially still alive.” Leigh even has an idea of a hashtag to get trending for Alex’s storyline. She says, “David [Harewood] and I were joking about it and I kind of just said “#DaddyDanversAintDead.” So maybe Daddy Danvers ain’t dead? I don’t know, we’ll find out.”

Chyler Leigh and Melissa Benoist in Supergirl season one. Photo Credit: CBS
Chyler Leigh and Melissa Benoist in Supergirl season one. Photo Credit: CBS

Last season of Supergirl focused heavily on the bond between Kara, Alex and Hank/J’onn. Their relationship was tested throughout the season as Kara fully transformed into Supergirl and Alex and Hank dealt with the D.E.O. Leigh absolutley loves the relationship the three of them share. She says, “They’re so fun to work with and we’re in it. You know? We are just so dedicated to it and just really adamant about telling a great story.” She continues saying, “I love the bond between the three of them and that they get to really work together and all the different elements that they bring. Alex doesn’t have super powers, but she’s still powerful and she can still hang. Maybe one day she’ll fly? I don’t know.”

One part of Alex that Leigh loves is that she’s not from the comics, Leigh is originating the role on Supergirl. She says, “These are great characters and they’re so well rounded and it’s so much fun for me because Alex originated in the show. There is no Alex Danvers in the comics and so, to be part of their story as well, it’s just a really cool thing to do. I get to be with Supergirl and Martian Manhunter. It’s just really cool.”  

Although Alex and Kara share a strong, sisterly bond, they did hit some rough patches during season one. From Alex killing Astra (Laura Benanti) to Kara coming into contact with Red Kryptonite, the sisters relationship was tested. Leigh teases that Alex killing Astra will continue to affect season two. She says, “You can’t ever like erase that. So, yeah there’s going to be a part of that. And even with the Red Kryptonite episode with some of the things Kara ended up saying to Alex, it kind of went both ways in a sense.” She continues saying, “There’s a lot of truth to what happened, but they’re sisters. What I love so much about it is yes there’s difficulty with family, yes you’re going to run into those kind of things, but it’s always family first. That’s a personal thing for me as well.”

Leigh and Benoist also have a very strong bond off-screen. The two of them have grown extremely close. Leigh speaks about working closely with Benoist saying, “I love Melissa with all of my heart, so for us it’s very natural to do a lot of this. Even in those Red Kryptonite scenes and the scenes where our characters are fighting a little bit, it’s hard. It really is hard because I do feel legitimately like she’s a sister.” She continues saying, “I love the fact that we’re on a show that shows that family isn’t perfect, but you fight for each other and you work for each and you grown. They grew together last season and that’s what’s just going to continue to happen in next season as well.”

Chyler Leigh in Supergirl season one. Photo Credit: CBS
Chyler Leigh in Supergirl season one. Photo Credit: CBS

Looking ahead to season two, Leigh says fans can expect more of Alex’s backstory. She teases, “This season for Alex, the group journey for her is obviously Project Cadmus and trying to find out about her Dad. For Alex, it’s kind of fun because you get to see more about who she is as an individual and more about her life.” Leigh continues saying, “So much was obviously dedicated to protecting Kara and just really being that motherly figure, in a sense, for her. Now we get to see really where Alex came from and her life outside of the D.E.O. because she doesn’t really have one.”

Leigh jokes that she just wants to know where Alex lives. She jokingly says, “She just goes to the cave and goes to where her apartment is?! I don’t even know where she lives!” She continues saying, “We were joking about it and it’s like maybe she has a room downstairs or like lives in some creepy house next door or something. I don’t know. We’ll get to see more of that.”

Chyler Leigh also can’t believe she gets to work with Lynda Carter, Helen Slater and numerous others who contribute to the Supergirl legacy. She reflects saying, “It’s an honor. They’re iconic. It’s an honor to be part of that legacy it really is. To have them come on board.” In a truly heartfelt statement, Leigh ends with, “I mean Melissa is next in line. She’s going to be that person too. Down the road.”

Catch Chyler Leigh on Supergirl, which airs Mondays at 8/7c.

Supergirl season two premieres October 10th on The CW.

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