BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Melissa Benoist, star of CBS' new series "Supergirl," wasn't a comic-book geek or fan girl when she was growing up.
"My favorite superhero was Michael Keaton as 'Batman,'" she said in a recent interview.
She also wasn't athletic or sporty.
"I'm not coordinated in that way. ... I would have moments where I felt confident and where I felt strong and brave and like I could do anything. But then, like everyone else, I have really, really awkward, horribly awkward, moments," Benoist said.
She stars as Superman's caped cousin, Kara Zor-El, known as Kara Danvers, in the new "Supergirl" series, which premieres Monday night (8:30 p.m. EDT).
The audition process was a long one, but Benoist, 27, best known for her role as Marley Rose on "Glee," was a standout.
"We were like, 'We have to get a diamond ring for that girl,' but then we still needed to date the nation," said executive producer Ali Adler. "We had to see maybe a thousand more women, and we never stopped being in love with Melissa."
Benoist recalled learning about the part and realizing that it was special.
"The second that I saw in my email inbox the title 'Supergirl,' I just knew automatically that it was something important and it was something exciting and rare and that I wanted to be a part of it," said Benoist. "From there it was kind of that's where the journey started."
In this version of "Supergirl," Kara doesn't arrive on Earth until she is 13, so she remembers planet Krypton. Viewers will see flashbacks of Kara's mother, Alura, played by Laura Benanti.
Kara has known all along that she has superpowers, but she's been afraid to use them. Now, 10 years later, she's ready to embrace her abilities and help fight crime.
Benoist says putting on the "Supergirl" boots and cape for the first time was exciting. (She showed photos of her dressed as Supergirl to family members, including her mother and husband, actor Blake Jenner.)
"I put on the cape and see that 'S' and something transforms," she said.
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This story has been corrected to show that Ali Adler is executive producer, not producer.