Supergirl star Melissa Benoist teases Kara's 'lovely' ending: 'I feel fantastic about it'
The high-flying CW drama's farewell begins Tuesday with a premiere that pits Kara (Benoist) and the Super Friends against both Leviathan and professional narcissist Lex Luthor (Jon Cryer), who brainwashes half of the world into loving him. Defeating the ego-maniacal supervillain will, however, come at a major cost for Kara and sets the stage for her to face both her mortality and the potential limits of her power.
Ahead of the premiere, EW caught up with Benoist to discuss what's in store as the series flies off toward its ending.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How do you feel about the show ending? Do you feel like this is the right time to say goodbye to Kara?
MELISSA BENOIST: Yeah, I think we all kind of came to this conclusion. We're so proud of everything we've been able to accomplish in the last five, almost six years. It's been such a journey: changing networks, changing cities we shot in, and changing the nights we've aired. We've gone through so much on this show, and I think creatively we were all able to step back and say that we're really proud of everything we've done and it felt like the right time.
Do you have an idea of where Kara's story is heading? How do you feel about the ending that's in store?
They pitched it to me because they wanted to know if I had any input as to where I wanted to see Kara ending up at the end of the series. I had one request, and it wasn't even something they were thinking about doing. And they pitched me the end, and it's really lovely. It's a great ending. I feel fantastic about it.
When we spoke for the cover story, you told me you approached each season from the perspective of Kara's evolution. How is Kara growing this season?
The more Kara matures, the more she's grappled with her power and what it means to carry the powers that she has on Earth and her identity as either an alien or human, or where she belongs. Those are things we're really exploring this year with her. And what makes you strong? What makes you feel empowered? Those are things we're looking at this season across the board for all the characters. But with Kara specifically, this season is going to be more of a self-exploration, looking in the mirror and [contemplating] what her power means because it's almost limitless and it makes her so strong on Earth. Where does she draw the line? How does she reconcile that with her humanity?
Where do things stand with Kara and Lena this season?
I think everything they went through last season really solidified their bond and their friendship, and the fact that they're able to heal shows just how deep that friendship runs. Lex is back in this season, so the ever-present danger of her psychotic brother is enough for them to let water flow under the bridge. That relationship, I think, is one of the most important on the show. Katie [McGrath] and I have always approached it really wanting to explore female friendships and how women relate to each other and support each other. That will definitely be a part of this final season.
Did you feel a sense of relief now that you've moved past how angsty those two were last season?
Yes, completely! I love working with Katie McGrath and any excuse to do any scene with her is fine by me, but yeah, I think both of us are a bit relieved there's no tension anymore.
Kara and Alex's [Chyler Leigh] relationship is another fundamental aspect of the show. What's in store for their relationship in the final season?
I think that sisterhood is the bedrock of the show. There's no shortage of Kara and Alex moments this year, of course. I think, Alex has her own journey of coming into her own, realizing her full potential and what living her best life looks like. There's a two-parter where we get to see young Kara and Alex again. I think those kinds of episodes are some of our strongest when we go back to Midvale. You know, just taking a look and seeing what makes their bond so strong, I think, is really fun for fans to see, really relatable as well.
Chyler made her directorial debut this season. How was it having her as a director?
I didn't get to be there! I was on my maternity leave so I was gone, but I heard from everyone that she killed it and it was fantastic. I heard from her how much she loved it and that she really found a passion in directing. She's been working for such a long time and she's such a pro. This is by no means her first series so she knows how a set runs and how to treat the actors and crew, so I have no doubt she was amazing.
Given your maternity leave, how much of you will we see in the first half of the season?
I came back from maternity leave in January and I had some catch up to do. So, I'm not absent from the first part of the season, but I'm in a different place. Supergirl is quite isolated.
What has been the most challenging part of the final season?
The most challenging part, to be honest, has been more logistics. It's been the fact that we're still in the pandemic. Of course, everyone is very grateful to have jobs and we're grateful to be together to be able to see each other, but there is that barrier with masks and how many protocols we have for everyone's safety. That's been the biggest challenge because everyone just wants to hug each other, and we're getting near to the end and it's kind of a bummer that we can't just can't go all out and give hugs and kisses and there's this added weight of the pandemic still going on.
Supergirl returns Tuesday at 9 p.m. on the CW.
Kara (Melissa Benoist) steps out from her super-cousin’s shadow to become Supergirl and defend National City in the third Arrowverse show.