Why Melissa Benoist Will Make a Great Supergirl

Supergirl

By now, most of you probably already know that CBS’s Supergirl has cast Glee actress Melissa Benoist as its lead, Kara Zor-El. I’ll admit to not including Benoist on my original list of actresses that I thought would be great as Supergirl. However, now that we know she will be taking on the role of Kara, I couldn’t be more excited; in fact, I think Benoist is the perfect choice for Supergirl, and here’s why.

First, let’s look at CBS’s official logline for the series: “Kara Zor-El escaped her home planet of Krypton amid its destruction years ago. Since arriving on Earth, she has concealed the powers she shares with her famous cousin. But now, at age 24, she decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant to be.” This description leads me to believe that Kara has done everything she can throughout her life to “fit in,” not unlike Tom Welling’s Clark Kent in The WB/CW’s Smallville. As CBS president Nina Tassler said at TCA winter press tour last week, Kara is an “every woman,” and Benoist, who has a very “girl next door” quality to her, has captured that image on screen multiple times throughout her career.

While Benoist’s most recent character, Nicole, from the Oscar-nominated film Whiplash, certainly showed similar qualities to the type of shy and easygoing personality that Kara is likely to have, these Kara-like trairs were most often put on display by Benoist as Marley Rose in the fourth and fifth seasons of FOX’s Glee. Making her debut appearance in the Season 4 premiere, “The New Rachel,” Benoist’s Marley proved to be anything but Lea Michele’s brash and overly ambitious character (and I say this as someone who loves Rachel Berry). Marley was kind and reserved, and maybe a little quiet, but she was also creative, talented, and strong, as shown by the way in which she deals with students at the school calling her mother, who is the lunch lady, names and, of course, by her two amazing performances (“New York State of Mind” and the closing number, “Chasing Pavements”) in the episode.

Even though I doubt we’ll be seeing much singing from Kara (although a crossover episode with Flash star and fellow Glee alum Grant Gustin could certainly be musical-themed–plus, we already know that Benoist can perform in a supehero outfit), it’s not Benoist’s great voice that made her such a pleasure to watch on Glee. It was her ability to be real, authentic, and relatable, even in the most ridiculous (this is Glee we’re talking) of situations.

Supergirl DC Comics

On Glee, Benoist demonstrated a vulnerability and earnestness that is needed for the role of Supergirl, as she made each kind word that Marley said, each hope and dream that she had (whether it was writing her own songs, or falling for the cutest, coolest guy in school) believable. As an actress, she has the talent to take an alien character like Kara and make her feel incredibly human, to tap into the universal desires and fears that Kara will have on Earth, despite being from another planet.

And really, to me, it is that vulnerability, that inherent human quality, that is more important to characters like Kara and Clark than any type of toughness or physique. Sure, Kryptonians are some of the strongest beings in the universe, with more powers than pretty much any superhero (DC or Marvel) out there. But without understanding their connection to Earth, a place that both Clark and Kara embrace as a home since theirs has been destroyed, we would never believe that these super-beings, with god-like abilities, would rescue humanity. It is their emotions and relationships that allow us to bond with them and cheer them on as they save the day.

That’s why I think Melissa Benoist will make such a great Supergirl, because she has the ability to make us believe in Kara, to make us connect with her, and, most importantly, to make us care about her. And when it comes to TV, that’s the greatest superpower that any actor can possess.

[Photos via FOX & DC Comics]


Add Comment

Several Theories On Why HBO Canceled Lovecraft Country
Behind Her Eyes: See How David Straightens His Records with the Police
New Dungeons & Dragons Bringing Back Characters from the ’80s Cartoon
You Season 3 Prepares for Its Most Awaited Return
Why Sidney Prescott’s Story Should’ve Ended in Scream 3
Three Movies That Quentin Tarantino Should’ve Moved Forward With
Five Underrated Movie Villains of 80s Movies
Five Movie Franchises That Would Have Rocked if They Stopped at One
10 Things You Didn’t Know about Tania Rincon
10 Things You Didn’t Know about Jessica Springsteen
10 Things You Didn’t Know about David Pascoe
10 Things You Didn’t Know about Mariah Fineman
batman fortnite 6
Batman’s Fortnite Adventure Concludes in Batman/Fortnite: Zero Point #6
batman fortnite 5
Betrayal Lies Ahead in Batman/Fortnite: Zero Point #5
batman fortnite 4
Deathstroke Makes His Move in Batman/Fortnite: Zero Point #4
batman fortnite 3
Batman/Fortnite: Zero Point #3 Pits Batman Against Snake Eyes
What We Know about Yona of the Dawn Season 2 So Far
What We Know about The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 2
What We Know about Horimiya Season 2 So Far
Will We See a Chivalry Of A Failed Knight Season 2?
battlefield portal
What We Know About Battlefield Portal So Far
Bowser’s Fury: New Game from Nintendo Satisfies Us Gamers
pokemon unite
What Should You Expect With Pokemon Unite?
symmetre gaming mouse
IOGEAR Delivers Affordable Gaming Mouse and Mouse Mats, But Should You Buy Them?