Here’s Why the Women of ‘Supergirl’ Hold All the Power

Supergirl - Melissa Benoist, Katie McGrath
Diyah Pera/The CW
Pictured (L-R): Melissa Benoist as Kara/Supergirl and Katie McGrath as Lena Luthor

Having Superman swing by now and then is nice, but these National City ladies can take care of themselves—and each other. We asked the actresses of The CW’s Supergirl to reflect on their butt-kicking, high-flying characters.

Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist)

Supergirl - Kara Zor-El aka Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) - Comicon 2017 SIPHer superpower: “Kara has so many strengths—literally, heat vision and the ability to fly!—but I’d say her biggest is her compassion,” Benoist says. “She has the biggest heart. It’s what makes her a good superhero: her capacity to love and understand people’s pain.”
Best fan interaction: “I’m astounded every day by women and girls alike who feel empowered by our show, but what affected me most this season was Kaylieann Steinbach in California, a 3-year-old who is 75 percent deaf. She dressed as Supergirl in her school picture, carrying a Superman doll. She loves helping people, just like a true superhero.”
Kara’s role model: “Kara is pretty obsessed with President Marsdin [Lynda Carter], so I think it’s safe to say she’d look up to women like Hillary Clinton or Elizabeth Warren. But [Kara’s boss] Cat Grant [Calista Flockhart] always wins as Kara’s biggest role model.”

Alex Danvers (Chyler Leigh)

Supergirl - Alex Danvers (Chyler Leigh) - Comicon 2017 SIPHer superpower: “Alex’s greatest strength is her devotion to family,” Leigh says of Kara’s sister. “I believe that family always comes first, and that’s where we are alike.”
Favorite Alex scene: “Episode 206 [‘Changing’], where Alex breaks down in her apartment with Kara after being rejected by [future girlfriend] Maggie. The bond between Melissa and me has always been so powerful. I find our ‘couch’ scenes incredibly genuine.”
Alex’s role model: “Kara! The two always feed off each other and encourage each other to be their best selves.”

Maggie Sawyer (Floriana Lima)

Supergirl - Maggie Sawyer (Floriana Lima) - Comicon 2017 SIPHer superpower: “Maggie has the courage to follow her own moral compass,” Lima says of her National City detective. “And she’s strong at work but allows herself to be sensitive in her personal life.”
Best fan interaction: “It’s hard to pick one! The greatest thing I hear is how my character gives so many fans hope for stronger representation of LGBTQ characters on TV.”
Maggie’s role models: “Wonder Woman, Susan B. Anthony and Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird.”

Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath)

Supergirl - Katie McGrath

Pictured: Katie McGrath as Lena Luthor

Her superpower: “No matter how hard she gets knocked down, no matter how much it hurts, Lena just gets back up and keeps on going,” McGrath says of Kara’s billionaire CEO pal with the dubious last name.
Favorite Lena scene: “It’s in episode 221 [‘Resist’], when Lena gets to have a total Princess Leia–Dale Arden moment when escaping with Mon-El!”
Is your character or your stunt double tougher? “My stunt double is better at playing my character than I am!”
Lena’s role model: “Joan of Arc.”


This article appears in TV Guide Magazine’s Comic-Con special issue.

Purchase the 2017 Comic-Con collector’s issue for more Supergirl.