Ask any actor, and they’ll tell you how hard it is to get a good role in television. Cruising near the top of the difficulty scale is playing a superhero on the small screen. Even though comic book television is arguably in its golden age, the process of picking the actor/actress to bring these characters to life can be challenging. Plus, because these shows are using characters that have been around for decades, there is already an established fanbase that is primed to criticize, making it all the more important to pick the right lead. Take Melissa Benoist, the Glee alum and star of the upcoming CBS series Supergirl.
Benoist described her Supergirl audition process to EW, mentioning that it lasted three months and was more intense than what she went through for Glee. Said Benoist:
I never thought that I would say it, but it was even more intense than Glee. I had a pretty rigorous audition process for Glee, but this one, rightfully so, they really wanted to be sure that they found the right person for Kara. It was a long, drawn-out, three-month process. I auditioned around Halloween 2014 and then didn’t land the part until February 2015. I went through multiple screen-tests, multiple auditions with the producing team. There was a lot.
As we all know, things worked out for the Glee actress. When she found out she landed the role, Benoist mentioned feeling a mixture of positive emotions, like “elation, relief and immense joy.” However, she soon after realized that her work was cut out for her and began preparation to play the latest iteration of the Girl of Steel . No doubt Arrow star Stephen Amell and The Flash star Grant Gustin went through similar processes when they auditioned for their respective shows. It’s worth noting that Arrow, The Flash and Supergirl use the casting director David Rapaport, and considering how successful these CW series have been, clearly the man knows what he’s doing.
After DC Comics released the first image of Benoist in the Supergirl costume, filming for the pilot began in March and finished at the end of that month. Now that Supergirl has been picked up for 13 episodes, the actress has more time to delve into the character and learn what makes her tick. The actress is the third woman to play Supergirl in live-action, following Helen Slater in the 1984 Supergirl movie (fun fact, Slater will play Kara’s foster mother in the series) and Laura Vandervoort in Smallville.
Supergirl will premiere October 26 at 8:30 p.m. EST on CBS before moving to its normal 8 p.m. EST timeslot on November 2.