Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's the latest addition to the CW's superhero block "Supergirl." The kids from National City return tonight for a second season in a new location. But this series has already made big waves in the comic book 'verse in the hearts and minds of little girls everywhere.
At Comic-Con, we sat down with "Supergirl's" cast and crew, including executive producer Sarah Schechter, "Supergirl" newcomer Tyler Hoechlin (playing Superman), David Harewood, Jeremy Jordan, Chyler Leigh, Mehcad Brooks and "Supergirl" herself, Melissa Benoist, to talk superpowered feminism and new season fun.
The actors revealed how "Supergirl" has changed the lives of many fans they've met and had an effect on their own work as well. Schechter promised that the addition of Superman wasn't going to overshadow Supergirl, plus we got an early glimpse at new cast member Lynda Carter, who is joining the "Supergirl" universe not as Wonder Woman but as President Olivia Marsdin.
Last year, you were establishing "Supergirl" at Comic-Con. What's the mood like now?
Harewood: What's been really cool is seeing so many Supergirl costumes. That's awesome. Last year, people were just getting to know us. But I was out there yesterday and you see people as young as 5 up to grown women wearing Supergirl outfits.
Brooks: And a couple men.
Benoist: And some dogs and puppies.
Brooks: People come up to me and say that this cast has changed their lives. And affected their lives. I was really touched by that. It makes it worth it. Honestly.
It was hugely important for this show to empower little girls. Do you have any fan stories?
Leigh: We did a Comic-Con in Chicago. There was a mother, husband and there were three little girls. And we were doing the autograph signing and they went through Melissa's line and then they came back and went through my line. They had this wonderful conversation with Melissa and I didn't know. And then they came over and had this wonderful conversation with me. The mom was talking about how relevant the show was to her own family. She had two young daughters and an older daughter who was 13.
She was adopted. They had this really interesting dynamic in their household, because she never felt like she belonged. And she related so much to Kara. To see the sister dynamic and to see it played out in a way that was realistic, where it's not like it's an adoptive family and everything's great, or the parents are awful and everything's terrible. This girl identified so much with her, and the mother wrote the nicest letter saying what we're all doing and making is changing people's lives.
Brooks: It's humbling.
That's the charm of the show. It's fun, it's uplifting, it's "Supergirl," it's capes, but it's also when she goes up the tree to save a kitten, it's a snake.
Schechter: That was Melissa's least favorite stunt.
Benoist: And you guys almost made me do it with a spider too. And I read that in the script and I was like "I can't. I can't."
And lots of big changes. You guys are welcoming Superman. How does it feel to be a part of this new National City?
Hoechlin: I wish this group had more fun. That would be nice. [Laughs]
No, today has been amazing. This is kind of my first day on the job, really. But I'm excited to get up there [Vancouver, Canada, where the show is filmed]. These guys are great, and it's going to fun. It's crazy, I don't know what to expect, I've never played anything like this before, so it'll be fun.
Leigh: Join the club.
Can either of you tease out what your relationship is like?
Hoechlin: I can say... nothing.
Schechter: I think it was important for us to establish that "Supergirl" is about Supergirl and it's about Kara. Our shows are optimistic and hopeful and funny and have great action, and all that stuff, but they're also about families. This show in particular is about the family that you choose and the family that, as an adult, you build. And for Kara, the only part of her family that's left, now that Laura Benanti is full-time committed to playing Melania Trump, is Clark. And so now that we know Kara as well as we do, it feels like an important relationship to explore. It'd seem strange not to.
Speaking of family, you just joined the CW family. When did you find out about that?
Harewood: I think I might've found out on Twitter.
Schechter: I think I did too if it makes you feel any better.
Jordan: I found out in a text from one of you, after you found out.
Brooks: Yeah I found out in a group text from Chyler.
Schechter: But it's super exciting because we're all really grateful to CBS for launching this show and taking such good care of it and putting Melissa on the side of buildings all over the world. But it's also great to come to the CW. We were able to do a little bit of a crossover with "Flash" last year. But all being on the same network, we're really going to have some fun with crossovers, and also we're on a network that really understands superhero shows. They just have that experience. "Arrow's" going to its fifth season, "Flash" is in its third season, and so there's a shorthand, you can kind of say to them, "Well, there's going to be a meta-human," and you don't have to stop and explain what that means. So it's just great, and they're so excited to have this show and immediately this cast became part of their family, and they're just so thrilled so it's nice to have that enthusiasm.
Jordan: We met a lot of the castmates being here at Comic-Con on the other shows and they've been super sweet and welcoming. Some said, "Let's get together and we'll show you the city."
Schechter: They do competitive karaoke up there, so they really need Jeremy.
The "Supergirl" and "Flash" crossover was so fun. What do you think "Supergirl" is bringing that the CW doesn't already have?
Benoist: I think it's a lot of that, and I think she's just intrinsically hopeful and bright and always finding a silver lining and never giving up. So I think that positivity is what we're bringing to the table.
Jordan: We're bringing a show with us from CBS that the whole family can watch together. And I don't think that's going to change. That's one of the great things about the show.
It's nice to have an uplifting superhero show.
Schechter: The world is a dark place. It's nice to bring a little joy and lightness, and I think we all owe a great debt of gratitude to Dick Donner's "Superman" and Christopher Reeve, and then there's a little bit of "Working Girl" in there. So there's Dick Donner and Jim Brooks.