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SDCC 2016: ‘Supergirl’ Star Melissa Benoist Talks Move to The CW, Crossovers & Much More

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

Since assuming the role of Supergirl last year, Melissa Benoist is at the top of everyone’s “actresses to watch out for” lists. She has brought the character to life better than anyone could’ve hoped for. In a few words: She is Supergirl.

At SDCC 2016, Supergirl star Melissa Benoist swung by to chat about the shows move to The CW, 4-part crossover and so much more!

Last season, Supergirl did a very good job at defining what kind of person and superhero Kara Danvers is. After a season of establishing the character, Melissa Benoist reflects on season one saying, “I do think that season one was kind of her ‘coming out’ party and her really figuring out how she fit in, in the world. I think she built a solid base for herself.”

Although she enjoyed building the character last season, Benoist is super excited for what lies ahead. “Now it’s time to really mature and come into her own as a woman and as a hero, in her career, in her love life and as Supergirl. Really learning how to juggle it all and find balance.” Benoist says.

Out of all the DCTV shows currently on the air, Supergirl has a much lighter tone. Benoist speaks the the light-hearted nature of the show and being a female superhero saying, “I think it’s essential right now. Not just because she’s a woman, but because she stands for so much good. I think we really need that in the world right now.” She adds, “It’s a really scary place. For boys and girls I hope that she inspires hope and bravery and courage and the will to never give up.”

Not only will Supergirl be launching into a new season come the fall, it will also be on a new network. Following a first season on CBS, Supergirl is flying over to The CW for season two, a move Benoist couldn’t be happier about. “I think it’s such a good fit, I’m really excited about it. I already feel great. They’re so welcoming. It doesn’t make sense that we weren’t there before.” Benoist says. She adds, “It’s all the shows. It’s so cool to me that Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday has all superhero shows. That’s amazing.”

When asked if the tone of Supergirl will change with the network switch, Benoist comments, “I do think it feels a bit more vibrant. I think we have a lot more leeway to really focus on stuff from the comic books that we might not have been able to do on CBS. We’re gearing it towards a younger audience, a younger demographic, than we were on CBS.” She continues saying, “I don’t think it will be much different because we really wanted to carve out our little niche of what the show felt like last year, with the tone, and I felt like we were in a really good place. I don’t think it will feel much different.”

Melissa Benoist in season 1 of Supergirl. Photo Credit: CBS
Melissa Benoist in season 1 of Supergirl. Photo Credit: CBS

Although Supergirl itself is a more lighthearted show, Benoist does think Supergirl has some dark elements. She says, “I think innately she has a dark story and a really traumatic past. So, there are elements of that definitely inside of her, but what I think is so beautiful is the way she overcomes and the way she always finds the silver lining.”

Benoist has connected a lot with her character over the last season. She is elated that she gets to portray such a vibrant, good hearted superhero. In terms of where she wants Kara/Supergirl to go from here, Benoist says, “I just want her to keep growing. I love when she’s happy and I love when she overcomes the obstacle that she’s faced with.” She adds, “There’s not one thing I’m more particularly excited about, I’m excited about all of it.”

One of the big events across the board for The CW superhero shows this year is the monumental 4-part crossover event. Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl will all crossover with each other, an occasion that will coincide with Arrow’s 100th episode.

Benoist reflects on the crossover with The Flash in Supergirl’s first season saying, “The crossover was this energetic, awesome thing that was so exciting to be apart of.” Looking ahead to the 4-part crossover, she says, “I have no doubt we are going to do more and just have more characters and more fun and more fighting. It will be awesome.”

One of the best things about the 4-part crossover is the interactions between characters. So, between all four shows who would Benoist be most excited about possibly working with? “Black Canary [Katie Cassidy] if I get the chance somehow. She’s awesome.”

Catch Melissa Benoist on Supergirl, which airs Mondays at 8/7c.

Supergirl season two premieres October 10th on The CW.


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