They walked down the aisle, their red capes leaving a trail of smiles behind them.
My level of excitement for film and television blossomed throughout my childhood and remains intact as I approach the age of forty. However, the stark reality of a world so cocooned in fear and misery can make even this entertainment girl a little disillusioned. My view can sometimes cloud with a mist of cynicism and entitlement but every now and then, the briefest of moments can dissipate the mist and let a little bit of wonder shine in.
‘Supergirl‘ panel at the 2016 PaleyFest LA event
Taking time out of their Sunday night schedule, cast members Melissa Benoist (Kara/Supergirl), Calista Flockhart (Cat), Chyler Leigh (Alex), Mehcad Brooks (James), David Harewood (Hank/J’onn), and Jeremy Jordan (Winn) along with Executive Producers Greg Berlanti and Ali Adler joined us for an evening of laughter, discussion, and shared affection for this beloved series. Each of the panelists were absolutely delightful and the camaraderie between them evident – from Jeremy and Mehcad “suggesting” an interesting twist to the James/Kara/Winn love triangle to the heartfelt exchange between the Danvers sisters’ portrayers when asked about their off-screen relationship. I think Calista summed it up perfectly when she declared that “This is one of the most amazing, supportive casts…”.
Even before the lights dimmed and the panelists took their seats onstage, inspiration hit me like a ray of sunlight. I knew that I would write about the event after the fact, but was unsure how to present it, until I saw all the young girls in their Supergirl costumes. “This is what matters,” I thought as I stood alongside fellow fans along the Dolby Theatre’s balcony, straining to get a peek of the press line. A young girl with long blond hair walked up next to me and peered over the balcony. I grinned and said, “Are you excited?” The shy smile and wide eyes answered my question, warming my heart and sending my spirit soaring.
Before I knew it, my memory flooded back to myself at a young age. My long blonde hair fell over my Cinderella shirt as I’d watched the Main Street parade, waiting with growing anticipation for the arrival of my favorite animated princess. I waved emphatically and to my utter shock she pointed to me and said, “You look like me.” Thirty-some odd years later, at the TV version of a stage door experience, a young girl waiting to see her favorite character wiped that cloud of disillusionment right away.
The inspiration continued throughout the event as the actors talked about the positive influence of a show like Supergirl for the younger generation. Chyler spoke about how meaningful it is for her being a part of this show, given she has two young daughters, and the look of awe and excitement on the faces of children who visit the set and see Melissa in costume.
The moment that touched me most was when Mehcad Brooks took off his mic, jumped down to the front row, and placed a young fan on stage so we could all see the adorable Supergirl costume she had on. She had just asked Melissa if she could be her friend, to which Melissa immediately replied, “Yes, of course!” And when they realized that the rest of us couldn’t see the costume, Mehcad flew in to save the day. What a moment that must have been for that precious child whose smile hadn’t faded by the time we all left the theater an hour later.
It’s moments like those that reaffirm my support for the show and the delightful cast. As Melissa said, “I’ve been so privileged to get to know all these little kids who’ve been inspired by the show.” And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what makes Melissa (and her on-screen counterpart) inspiring to those young of age and young at heart.