Why Supergirl's Fight Scenes Are Especially Hard For Melissa Benoist

Anyone who is familiar with the process of making a superhero movie or TV show knows that the training can be incredibly rigorous. We’ve seen Tom Holland, Stephen Amell and others show us that training for fight scenes can be tough. While Supergirl’s Melissa Benoist isn’t doing salmon ladders or crazy flips during her training, she recently said the fight scenes haven been extremely difficult for her to accomplish. Here’s why:

I’ve always been such a pacifist. I grew up in a household full of women, and if you hit someone, it was a huge deal, even just a slap. The butt-kicking is new. That’s a new muscle I’m flexing, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I liked it.

While I wasn't expecting the pacifist comment, the rest totally makes sense. If you’ve kept an eye on Benoist and her awkward-but-endearing character during CBS’ Supergirl, the actress doesn’t exactly look like a Ronda Rousey-type--someone who has been used to heavy exercise or fighting throughout her life. While her character, Kara Zor-El, has held her own during the first couple of episodes of the hit series, a lot of her strength comes from CGI work, like holding up planes in the air and allowing bullets to ping off of her chest, rather than a slew of super athletic stunts. Even though she’s unused to the physical labor of action sequences, at least the actress seems to be jumping right in, rather than complaining about the process.

In fact, even when she explained that the stunts can be challenging to The National, she goes on to be incredibly upbeat about the work.

I’ve been training since the pilot and before. It’s challenging. It’s tiring. It’s a good thing, though.

Benoist has been pretty open in the past about how difficult learning to throw a fake punch or doing wire work for the CBS drama has been, and in a lot of ways, the learning curve is a lot harder for a heroine who has to be “super” right off of the bat than some of the other women on superhero shows right now. When Laurel Lance, for instance, decided to pick up her sister’s mantle and become Black Canary, she went through a period where she had to do some major training and learn how to become a hero. In real life, this probably made the learning curve a whole lot easier. Kara Zor-El, however, is an alien from Krypton. She was super even before she decided to take on the villains in National City and that has to show on the small screen each week.

With that in mind, we only expect the action sequences to get better as Supergirl progresses. If you’d like to catch Melissa Benoist in action, you can tune in to CBS on Monday nights at 8 p.m. ET.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.