Forty years after Lynda Carter's debut as "Wonder Woman," Melissa Benoist is giving women a voice in the superhero world once again.
In the new CBS series, "Supergirl," Benoist plays the DC Comics character, Kara Zor-El, the cousin of Superman. After 12 years of hiding her true identity, she decides to embrace her superhuman powers and leap into the spotlight.
Although you don't see his face, Benoist said Superman is definitely a presence in her character's life. "But it's her story," Benoist stressed on "CBS This Morning" Monday. "That's what's important."
Despite the pressures of playing such a famous comic icon, Benoist said she took it as a "cue" to "really make her my own," beginning with her costume. Benoist discussed the thoughtful decisions behind her character's outfit, which is less racy than what one might expect of a female protagonist hero.
"We knew there were some people who would kind of want the character to go into that direction...but that's not her and that's not what's important about her," said Benoist.
One important scene of the pilot episode highlights just that, as Kara changes from skin-tight, revealing costumes until she settles for her blue top, red cape and skirt, and the iconic "S" shirt. With boots and tights, this female hero is all covered up.
"I think that everyone will be able to take something from it, but I really would love to reach young girls to be a good model for them," said Benoist.
Even before its launch, the show has received a lot of publicity, thanks to GOP candidate Jeb Bush, who called Supergirl "pretty hot" after watching the show's teaser.
"I'm glad he's excited to watch the show," Benoist said, laughing.
"Supergirl" premiers at 8:30 p.m. ET Monday, Oct. 26 on CBS.