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Tonight, Season 2 of SUPERGIRL premieres on The CW. For those who saw every episode of Season 1 on CBS and for new viewers watching the series on The CW for the first time, SUPERGIRL will have a new look.
Cast additions and many changes sparked by the show moving from Los Angeles to Vancouver will give the show that new look.
The series star, Melissa Benoist (Kara/Supergirl) had some time to spend discussing those changes, her character’s evolution, crossovers and the rumor of that musical episode. Here are her thoughts on…
What Benoist has learned about Supergirl since taking the role. In a lot of respects, Benoist still is learning a lot about her character. Last season, Kara spent a lot of time figuring out how to be a hero. Benoist admires “her fortitude…. her character…I’m always astonished by how much character she has. This character never gives up”. Melissa likes how Supergirl manages to handle a bad situation, even when things get dark and sticky.
Introducing Superman to the series this season. Asked if Superman would draw focus away from Supergirl, “It was the natural progression of this story. He is her only living family member.” In the season premiere, Kara says that she always has wanted an opportunity to team up with her cousin. ”Whenever you’re around someone else in another superhero costume, it feels familial. Not many people get a chance to do that. It’s really exciting and flying with Superman is very cool.”
She thinks that Tyler Hoechlin is perfect casting for the Man of Steel. Last season, Clark/Superman was only personified by texts, and Benoist had to use her imagination to define her relationship with her cousin. “Now, I think of Tyler when I think of Superman, and it’s really nice to have that kind of relationship. The relationship feels closer and solidified, especially for Kara.”
“Now you get to see how amazing the relationship between Kal-El and Kara is, and he has relationships with everyone on the show”. He has history with a lot of these characters, and then others he meets for the first time…like Winn…and it’s hilarious. The producers have rewarded us with a wonderful cast.”
SUPERGIRL adding several new cast members this season. One of the new cast members is Chris Wood of THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, who will be playing Mon-El. “Mon-El has fallen to Earth in a pod just like Kara’s and it’s pretty mysterious. They don’t know where he came from or how he got to Earth, but he has a huge role to play in this season and he’s going to change everyone’s lives. He’s part of a lot of changes in Season 2.” Mon-El makes his mysterious debut in the season premiere.
Lena Luthor’s arrival. Another cast addition is Katie McGrath as Lena Luthor, sister of Superman nemesis, Lex Luthor. “When you add a Luthor to the mix, it’s not good for House of El. Lena comes to National City to rebrand her brother’s company in the name of good.” [Lex is currently in prison.]
Lena wants to change the world for the better. “That being said, it’s hard for anyone in the House of El to trust a Luthor. Clark and Kara both know that. But Kara and Lena’s relationship is an interesting one and one that we’re still figuring out.” It definitely could pose some changes and is an interesting relationship. “I think people will be really interested in [it].”
Her new CatCo boss, Snapper Carr. Kara gets a new boss this season as Cat Grant will be seen less because Calista Flockhart dropped to recurring status when the show moved to Vancouver. Cat’s absence could create one of Kara’s biggest challenges yet. There was a sort of comfort to the relationship with Cat — they were growing together and Cat pushed her to do her best. Kara really thrived from that guidance.
The new situation “is such a joy to play, and Ian Gomez is fantastic as Snapper Carr. He’s a great addition, although it doesn’t fill the void of Cat Grant for Kara.” “He pushes people past their limits, and he is a tough critic and boss to work for. That makes you a mentor when you challenge someone that much. He doesn’t make eye contact with Kara for the first few episodes. He doesn’t like Kara or Supergirl.” “Ian is sharp-witted, and he is a great addition to the CatCo world.” Snapper will cause Kara to grow in a different way. She may not like it. She doesn’t like change. But now she has to make her own success.
The show’s relocation to Vancouver. The show changed shooting locations when it moved from CBS to The CW. How does Melissa think the move from Los Angeles to Vancouver has changed the show? She thinks that being in a different country has brought the cast closer together. “In L.A., we would go home and live our regular lives outside of work. Now it’s solidifying. Everyone is really happy with scripts, because there are so many exciting new stories. Every character is getting a lot of attention, and a lot of changes are in store.”
The romance with James Olsen. One of those changes is Kara’s relationship with James changing from love to friendship. How is that affecting her? “I wouldn’t rule out anything for her this season. Relationships for a superhero are always complex. James and Kara’s relationship would change even if they decided to move forward. You can’t rule out that nothing will happen.”
On Lynda Carter’s new role and Carter’s barrier-breaking role as WONDER WOMAN. Carter, who will recur as the President of the United States, broke boundaries when she brought a female superhero to life in the ‘70s.
“I do think that women’s rights are prominent in politics, as it should be with women fighting for equality. I hope our show has done something to further that goal. Everyone should be on an even playing field.” “I learned a lot about that from Lynda. It should be that it’s so normal that it’s not an issue. Lynda was the only female superhero of her time, and that was very impressive.” “Everyone was so excited for her to come. She is just what you would expect. She is a joy to be around and has such wonderful stories. She has had such a unique perspective and looks amazing.”
On loss and attitude. Kara lost her Aunt Astra last season, and her relationship with James is about to go from love back to friendship. Is loss affecting her outlook? ”A trait of Kara’s that I’ve always admired is how she chooses to find the positive in anything and she’s really working to overcome all of that loss”.
Last season, she experienced a tough loss, but Melissa thinks it is ingrained in Kara to “keep moving forward” and to keep fighting for what is right and good, regardless of any loss and pain. “I think that’s one of the constants about her, even when she’s shaken to the core — I think she knows she has to turn it to survive. She’s a survivor”.
Her new job as a reporter. Kara decides to accept Cat’s offer for a new position by becoming a reporter. It allows her to get out of the office more without having to make excuses as often, but it is a lot to juggle. ”It will, I think, heighten her senses,” says Benoist. “It’s a huge part of her. She might be involved in something that she thinks is a good story, and now she can pursue that. It gives her a bigger purpose, too.”
On upcoming storylines. There is a 4-way crossover with THE FLASH, ARROW and LEGENDS OF TOMORROW, a rumored Supergirl doppelgänger, a threat from Cadmus, and requests for a musical crossover with THE FLASH. (Benoist and Grant Gustin aka Barry Allen/The Flash were both on GLEE.) What were Melissa’s thoughts? “There would be unique and funny interactions with all. A chance to interact with ARROW could be fun, and of course, there is already a rapport with Barry. How fun is it to be with that many people in superhero outfits!”
On the doppelgänger storyline, “I really loved Red Kryptonite Kara. That was really fun to play.”
About Cadmus, “They are going from an outside threat to something closer, more ominous. You’ll see quite a bit of them up close.”
And on that musical crossover? “Wish I could [tell you more] but I don’t know much about it. It’s happening and I’m excited, but that’s all I know.”
SUPERGIRL airs tonight (October 10) at 8:00 p.m. on The CW