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At Moviepilot, we're always on the lookout for star-potential, and I think we've found our next bright, young up-and-comer in the form of Supergirl sweetheart Melissa Benoist!
The talented 26-year-old is currently preparing to take to the skies as the face of CBS’s first superhero show in 25 years - and you can get your first look at her in action below:
You might recognize Benoist from her minor role in last year's acclaimed drummer drama Whiplash, or, more likely, as Glee club wallflower Marley Rose. Though she's been hovering on the fringes of the spotlight for a while now, this talented young actress has now landed her perfect breakthrough role as Supergirl - the time of Benoist is now!
Those who already know her love her, and those who don't will do soon. So, on the eve of her ascension to stardom, take a moment to get to know the woman underneath the suit. This one's destined for greatness...
1. Much like Supergirl, she's an outsider
Both Supergirl and Benoist are isolated by their differences. She describes her challenging experience of high school, which has had a great affect on her acting career:
"I spent a lot of time by myself. I ate lunch by myself, and I was always okay with it. But I was definitely made fun of and I always felt like an outsider."
The endearingly-shy actress was raised in a single-parent household, and says that experience informed her performance significantly:
"I'm very close with my mom and can completely relate to that. She has an incredibly amount of strength and she just doesn't know how to use it yet."
Her background makes Melissa perfectly suited to this role, and I can't wait to see how she brings her personal experiences to the screen.
2. She performs her own stunts
Unafraid to get her hands dirty, the plucky actress does as much of her own stunt work as possible when it comes to Supergirl's action sequences:
"Already I’ve fought a male on the show. Supergirl’s fight moves are boxing. She’s really heavy-handed. There’s some flying that involves kicking and punching mid-flight that’s kind of awesome."
Benoist has to keep in top shape, training hard and often to maintain the type of physical prowess we expect to see from superheroes, and it's no easy feat:
"The wirework for training is mostly core work. It’s mostly ab-centric — the whole area of the body that nobody wants to work out. You have to get strong. You have to carry your whole body weight when you’re up in the air."
She gets more impressive by the second...
3. Without her, there would be no Supergirl
Executive producer Greg Berlanti was so sure of the casting choice, he said:
"If we had not found her, I would have said ‘I don’t want to make this.'"
The showrunners were desperate for someone who embodied the exuberance and freshness of being a young woman in today's challenging climate; a strong, driven female lead who could also convey real emotional depth. Judging by Berlanti's enthusiasm, they struck gold with Benoist.
4. She made her name alongside international superstars
Melissa clearly learned from the best, making her cinematic debut alongside legendary singer Mariah Carey in 2008's Tennessee. Not only that, but she's just finished filming the musical comedy Danny Collins, rubbing shoulders with none other than Al Pacino.
This rising star has surrounded herself with great company. If talent breeds talent, then this actress is headed all the way to the top.
5. She maintains an obscenely cute Instagram presence
A social media savant, Melissa loves to update her dedicated fans with snaps of her two adorable dogs, as well as of her fiancé and Glee co-star Blake Jenner. If there's one thing to be taken from her exceedingly cute pics, it's that the actress is as charming off screen as she is on it.
Take a look at some of her Instagram highlights: