DC TV shows may be dominating the airwaves right now, but there’s one thing missing from all of them: a female lead. Fortunately, that will change next year when Supergirl airs on CBS. It’s already earned a series commitment, and judging from the description, it looks like it will still be tied closely into the Superman mythology...well, at least the aspect of her being Superman’s cousin. Still, whoever is cast as Kara Zor-El will have big boots to fill...literally. Fortunately Laura Vandervoort, who played Kara on Smallville from 2007 to 2011, has some advice for the next actress to wear the ‘S’ shield, both acting and footwear related.
The actress recently spoke to IGN about her experience playing Supergirl, joking about superhero boots and relaying what she feels is the most important part of playing the character.
“Make sure you have some Nike soles in there. Just kidding! So you can run. Just make it your own. Everyone has an idea of how she should be, which I was concerned about when I played her, but when you find a way to relate to her and then bring your own self into it, I think people appreciate it. You can’t make everything the same. So, just make it your own.”
Vandervoort’s advice is right on the money. Those boots are huge! Without Nike soles, it’s going to be super uncomfortable (pun intended) fighting bad guys. Kidding! Although Vandervoort never officially took the name “Supergirl” on Smallville until the last season, she still has plenty of experience playing the female Kryptonian, so the actress that plays Kara next year would be wise to listen to her predecessor’s wisdom. As with any acting role where you’re playing a character that has been portrayed before, it’s not a good idea to copy the people before. Just find a way to relate to the character, understand her motivations and bam! You’ve got an original interpretation of a comic book character for TV.
One thing that’s already different for CBS Supergirl is her relationship with her adoptive planet. While Kara on Smallville got involved with all sorts of superpowered shenanigans relatively quickly, this Kara is 24 and will have lived among humans in secret for awhile. It’s just taken her years to “embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant to be.” Whether that means she’ll put on the red cape right away is an entirely different matter.
Although DC’s current TV shows have many important female characters, whether it’s Felicity Smoak on Arrow, Iris West on The Flash, or Zed on the upcoming Constantine, none of these are main female superheroes. Marvel has Agent Carter and Jessica Jones coming up, but Supergirl has more than enough name recognition to attract a variety of viewers, and since CBS is good at drawing in millions of people, that’s a plus for the Girl of Steel. Even the majority of people who have never read a comic book in their life know there is a female running around wearing the Superman symbol... even if they may not know what her real name is.
You can check out the full interview on the next page.