Melissa Benoist Talks About Her “Supergirl” Directorial Debut

Melissa Benoist

Last night’s new episode of “Supergirl” was Melissa Benoist’s first time in the director’s chair, and she told that she was terrified about going from being in front of the camera to behind it.

What jumped out at you from a directing perspective when you read the script for the first time?

MELISSA BENOIST: Considering it was the first time in the director’s chair for me, I think I’d be remiss if I didn’t say how terrified I was. That just went without saying, that I was scared, but reading it also had this thrilling aspect to it because I was going to get to be the one to visualize it and make sure the tone was coming across. I guess only since season 4, we’ve had these episodes that were a departure from the story and took a step back and gave us Lex Luthor’s point of view, and this is one of those episodes. So, I couldn’t believe how lucky I was that I got to be the teller of that particular story for our season, where we recap the entire season from Lex Luthor, Jon Cryer’s eyes. And I was very excited to get to work with him closely in an actor-director relationship. Aside from the initial terror, and wondering whether or not I was capable of doing it, I was so excited and immediately just imagining what I wanted to do and thinking of shots.

With Lex Luthor as the main subject of the episode titled “Deus Lex Machina,” Benoist goes on to talk about what it was like working with Jon Cryer.

MELISSA BENOIST: Working with Jon Cryer, I felt so spoiled rotten that he was the primary actor I was getting to work with, and the cast surrounding him too, because we get to see Eve Teschmacher and Lillian Luthor [Brenda Strong] make [their returns]. All these characters that kind of surround his orbit, they’re all so deft when it comes to those kinds of scenes where it’s really wordy and talkative. He’s an evil genius and manipulative, so I had to really keep track of who he was manipulating when and for what reason [Laughs] to make sure that each scene was really clear where it fit into his master plans and where it was taking us, and how it affected the super friends. But working with him, he’s just so smart and far more experienced than I as an actor. Honestly, I felt bad. I didn’t feel like I really needed to give him that much direction. It was more just playing, which I loved, and that’s part of the reason I love being an actor – when you get to really just bite into the words and what’s on the page and really play, and there’s no wrong answer within the arc you’re telling.

You can read the full interview at