Melissa Benoist is taking her superpowers behind the camera.
EW has learned that Supergirl‘s leading woman will make her directorial debut with the 17th episode of season 5. According to Benoist, this has been a long time coming.
“I’ve been wanting to direct since season 3, but couldn’t last year because of scheduling conflicts, so [star] David Harewood did it first,” Benoist, who plays the Girl of Steel, a.k.a. Kara Danvers, tells EW. “I just felt really drawn to it for a couple of seasons now, just because you know the show so well, and you get to know the character, and the world, and the tone of the show so well that you can’t help but envision certain scenes in a certain way. I want to play with that.”
Even though her episode won’t air until the spring, Benoist has already started preparing for it. So far, she has sat in on a concept meeting for the season 5 premiere while shadowing producing director Jesse Warn and plans on shadowing director Tawnia McKiernan, who helmed season 4’s “O Brother, Where Art Thou,” which introduced Jon Cryer as Lex Luthor.
“These shows are so massive that it’s not like directing any other show on TV, I would imagine, and everyone has said as much to me. I’m literally trying to be a sponge, and I will learn something new every single day I’m shadowing,” she says. “It’s just a matter of talking to actors, making sure everyone feels creative and collaborative even though we have these massive constraints with budget and special effects. It’s like a chess game, I’ve realized. You move your pawn one way, and then someone knocks your rook down because you can’t do a certain stunt you wanted to do. It’s all about compromising and trying to be as creative as you can within those boundaries, which is a cool challenge.”
As of right now, the thought of directing herself is “the one intimidating part because I don’t know how people do that,” she says. “But luckily, I’m surrounded by a bunch of people that are really supportive and we can divvy out responsibility. I don’t know how a brain can split like that.” If anyone can do it, though, it’s Supergirl.
Supergirl returns Sunday, Oct. 6 at 9 p.m on The CW.
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