Melissa Benoist on how Supergirl sends a message of female empowerment

Jul 2, 2015 at 7:14 p.m. ET
Image: Bonnie Osborne/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc

When Melissa Benoist steps into Supergirl's suit this fall on CBS, she's taking on an iconic character, and this powerhouse actress sounds as if she's more than up to the task.

Supergirl is set to take flight this fall, and in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Melissa Benoist opens up about what she hopes people will take away from Kara Zor-El's (Supergirl's) journey. Benoist is without a doubt the best person Warner Bros. could have tapped to take on such an iconic role. The 26-year-old understands Kara and her importance on a level that will make you instantly adore her. Her interview is peppered with quotes about empowerment, strength and the hopeful nature of the series.

More: 8 Things you need to know about Melissa Benoist

Below, check out the best quotes from Benoist's interview and just try to stop yourself from getting excited about Supergirl. I promise it is not possible. Benoist and Supergirl are going to fly away with everyone's hearts and inspire a generation in the process.

1. "The first time I put the costume on, it was a mixture of a lot of emotions. It’s impossible not to feel empowered when you put it on. You would think, "Oh, it’s silly. I’m putting on tights. I’m putting on a leotard and a skirt. There’s muscles built into the suit. There’s a cape. I’m going to feel like it’s Halloween." But something changes internally. I feel like a different person almost. It really is an alter ego, where I feel inspired, hopeful and empowered."

Benoist also noted that she was wearing an eye patch the first time she put on the suit due to an eye injury. Awesome woman that she is, she did not let that take away from the incredible moment. It sounds like the minute she suited up, she started channeling her inner Kara.

2. "I want to do right by women. I want to portray someone they can relate to and look up to that’s not a trite or a shallow depiction. I want her to be complicated and flawed. I guess I just want all women to feel like they could be Kara and Superwoman as well."

How refreshing is that quote? There are not many female superheroes on TV or in film right now, so Benoist has to carry the torch in many ways. I think she is up to the task. She already sounds like a hero, that's for sure.

More: Watch this video and find out why Supergirl is so important to women

3. "The camp is going to be there. It’s a superhero show. But I don’t think that takes away from the female empowerment. Obviously you see Kara in her work atmosphere, it resembles the Black Widow parody, but what you don’t see is Kara kicking butt."

There were a lot of comparisons to the Black Widow SNL parody when the Supergirl trailer landed, but Benoist is quick to assert there's more to Kara than her work. The show is committed to showing Kara's human side as well as her kick-butt hero side, and that only makes the character more relatable.

4. "I’m so grateful that I get to be in this position, playing someone people will look up to. Hopefully I’ll help people escape from things they’re afraid of or be able to face the things they’re afraid of."

Everyone, meet Benoist; she is your new life role model.

More: The outcry over Supergirl's conservative suit revealed some serious sexism

5. "Also, it’s a girl. Supergirl, that whole discussion, it’s a girl figuring out how to become a woman."

Yes, she even addressed the concerns over Kara being called "girl" instead of "woman." In many ways, Kara is coming into her own in this story. She's growing and figuring life out while also saving the world, so no, calling her a girl doesn't undermine any of that. If anything, it is a reminder that Supergirl is a unique coming-of-age story that girls can watch and find a positive female character to look up to. There is nothing more empowering than that.

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