Superman's cousin flies on to our screens

Melissa Benoist stars in the TV series Supergirl.
Melissa Benoist stars in the TV series Supergirl. Contributed

SHE can leap tall buildings in a single bound and she can fly, or at least, she thinks she can.

Meet Supergirl, Superman's cousin who also escaped their home planet Krypton before its destruction and also found an adoptive home on Earth.

Glee's Melissa Benoist stars in the new series about the DC Comics superhero.

But when viewers meet Kara Danvers, nee Zor-El, she's not wearing a cape or living a double life.

This new, 21st century Kara is just trying to live a normal life and it takes an unexpected emergency to force her into action.

Melissa Benoist and Mehcad Brooks in a scene from Supergirl.
Melissa Benoist and Mehcad Brooks in a scene from Supergirl. Contributed

"When she does take the leap it's her coming out party," Benoist tells APN.

"There are some bumps along the way and things she doesn't anticipate. It's a lot more difficult trying to figure out who you are when you've not been harnessing who you are for such a long time. It's like a crash course for her, using her powers and being a hero."

The light and entertaining series debuted to nearly 13 million viewers in the US and has been praised by critics as a family friendly female superhero show, the ying to Jessica Jones' yang.

"I'm really proud of what we've been working on and I have a gut feeling people will be pleased with it," Benoist says.

"Wouldn't that be embarrassing if there's all this hype and people don't like it?"

Her costume has received mixed reviews.

Melissa Benoist in a scene from the TV series Supergirl.
Melissa Benoist in a scene from the TV series Supergirl. Contributed

"I think I'm relatively lucky compared to a lot of other people," she says.

"I get a good breeze; it's like I'm in a dance leotard and the cape's not too heavy."

Calista Flockhart leads the supporting cast as ambitious media mogul, and Kara's boss, Cat Grant.

"Every day I work with her, I love her more and more," Benoist says.

Calista Flockhart in a scene from Supergirl.
Calista Flockhart in a scene from Supergirl. Contributed


"She's cheeky and funny and she doesn't take anything too seriously. She really handles herself gracefully and is a very wise woman."

Chyler Leigh (Grey's Anatomy) plays Kara's older, human sister Alex, one of the few people who know Kara's true identity.

The superhero role challenges Benoist in a different way to her two-year stint singing, dancing and acting on Glee.

"Glee was a hard job, very physically demanding," she says.

"This (Supergirl) is so fun. When we do the days where I'm flying and I'm harnessed up it's pretty exhilarating, before it starts feeling painful (laughs)."

Benoist hopes the show inspires young women to believe in their own abilities.

"I hope the show inspires girls to just never underestimate yourself and to never put any boundaries on anything you think you can or can't do," she says.

"Every day I'm at work wearing that suit they're who I think about and who I'm doing the show for. If any young girls can take anything away from it then I'm happy."

Supergirl premieres tomorrow at 7.30pm Qld, 8.30pm NSW on Fox8.

Topics:  dc comics foxtel superman

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