‘Supergirl’ Star Melissa Benoist, Boss Ali Adler Talk Superman: ‘He’s Not Coming in to Save the Day’

Jacob Bryant

The first season of “Supergirl” saw the Girl of Steel (Melissa Benoist) come to terms with her abilities, don the famous House of El symbol, and take to the skies.

Now — as Season 2 begins — Kara has experience as Supergirl under her belt. She’s made an ally of the Martian Manhunter (David Harewood), saved National City from Non’s (Chris Vance) plan, and learned that her adoptive father Jeremiah (Dean Cain) may not be dead after all.

Variety spoke with Benoist and executive producer Ali Adler about what to expect from Season 2, Superman heading to National City, and the show’s move from CBS to The CW.

I know you’ve been asked this question a million times, but have there been any major differences in your transition from CBS to The CW?

Adler: CBS gave us the opportunity to fly and now with Season 2 I think we’ve learned to do some tricks up in the air. The CW has offered us a real home and I think we really fit in with the rest of the hero universe on the network.

Benoist: Now we’re in a different country [Canada], so that’s quite a big change. It’s been nice though and I think it has really solidified the cast. We are closer now, because last year in L.A. we would go and live our own lives after work, and now we’re all up here together as a unit.

Was it always the plan to bring Superman (Tyler Hoechlin) into the fold in Season 2, and were there any concerns about introducing him?

Adler: It was always the hope to tell the story of Kara’s super-cousin, but it is very much her show and through her lens. It would be remiss of us not to tell the story of Superman, but it remains very much her story. They’re working together — he’s not coming in to save the day — and they really end up helping each other.

Benoist: I wasn’t worried about it, I thought it felt like the natural progression of our story. We spent last season solidifying how Kara wanted to approach being Supergirl, and Superman being her only living family member, it’s a necessary relationship to explore.

I think it’s only going to reap benefits, and Tyler is the man to do it.

Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart) has always been hard on Kara, but it’s pretty clear it’s because she sees potential in her. How challenging will it be for Kara to have a new boss who may not be as impressed with her?

Benoist: It poses one of her biggest challenges yet. There was a sort-of comfort with that relationship with Cat — she always pushed her to do her best and Kara really thrived from that guidance — and now it has to be her on her own.

Snapper Carr (Ian Gomez), the new boss, is fantastic. He’s headstrong and really sharp-witted, and a great addition to the CatCo world. It doesn’t necessarily fill the void of Cat Grant for Kara though, because he doesn’t like Kara or Supergirl.

Last season was focused on Kara learning how to be Supergirl. What kind of focus or theme can we expect from Season 2?

Adler: Last season was about Kara becoming powerful, and being an example to all the characters around her. This season is about the rest of our characters — Chyler (Leigh) as Alex, David (Harewood) as J’onn J’onzz, and so on — they’ve taken cues from Kara in them becoming more powerful this season. They were inspired, as National City was, to become their best self.

“Supergirl” returns for Season 2 Monday night at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

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