Playing a nearly invincible superhero might sound like a big task to take on, but Melissa Benoist, who takes on the title role in CBS’ new “Supergirl,” felt up to the challenge.
“I think the second that I saw in my email, ‘Supergirl,’ I just knew that it was something exciting and rare that I wanted to be part of,” said Benoist, speaking at the panel for the show at the Television Critics Association press tour.
“Melissa was the very first person we saw for Kara [Supergirl]. As soon as we saw her, we just knew she was the one. She had the strength, the hope, the heart, the humor,” explained Andrew Kreisberg, one of the show’s executive producers.
But Benoist’s Supergirl isn’t totally unstoppable. “It was important for us, especially to have a weekly TV show, to put her in situations where she isn’t all powerful, so you can root for her,” said Kreiesberg. “You want to feel like Supergirl might not survive any of these things.”
Taking on a character with decades of history in comic books means there's quite a lot of backstory to draw from, and Benoist said there were a few things she tried to keep in mind in taking on the part. “I just knew that she’s such a beacon of hope and I knew that her bravery and strength were so intrinsic to who she is and I needed to feel that myself in order to play that.”
Don’t expect Supergirl’s cousin Clark Kent to be popping up, however. “He will be a factor in her life, but you won’t see him exactly on screen. He’s going to be more in the background. But he does play a part in her evolution of becoming a superhero,” said Geoff Johns, Chief Creative Officer at DC Entertainment.
Co-star Calista Flockhart, who plays Kara’s “Devil Wears Prada” type boss, Kat, did have one good idea about how to get him on the show.
“I think it would be a really good idea if Kat becomes romantically involved with Superman,” she suggested.