|Intro||American film and television actress|
|Known for||Supergirl, Glee, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical|
|From||United States of America|
Film, TV, Stage, Radio
|Birth||4 October 1988, Littleton, USA; Colorado, USA|
Melissa Benoist is an American actress and singer. She is best known for her role in the CBS drama series Supergirl. She appeared as “Marley Rose” in the fourth season and the beginning of the fifth season of the Fox musical comedy-drama television series Glee. She has also appeared in other popular television series like Homeland, The Good Wife, and Law & Order.
Early life and education
Melissa Benoist was born on October 4, 1988, in Littleton, Colorado. She is of French, German, English, and Scottish ancestry. She has two sisters.
She attended Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado, and graduated from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City in 2011.
Benoist’s career began in 2008 with a role in Mariah Carey’s Tennessee.
She then had guest appearances in a two-episode arc on the Emmy-winning series Homeland, and a guest role on show Law and Order: Criminal Intent.
In 2012, she was cast as “Marley Rose” in the fourth season of award-winning show Glee. For her audition for Glee, she sang a variety of songs including “Fidelity” by Regina Spektor, “King of Anything” by Sara Bareilles, and a Colbie Caillat song.
In 2013, she was selected as a brand ambassador for Coca Cola’s new product, P10 300 ml Coke Mismo. She was flown to Manila, Philippines to endorse the product.
The year 2014 saw the release of her second film Whiplash, in which she played the love interest of Miles Teller. The film won the Grand Jury and Audience awards at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, and the grand prize and the audience award for the favorite film at the 40th Deauville American Film Festival.
In 2015, she appeared in the film Danny Collins, alongside Al Pacino, Jennifer Garner, and Annette Bening. That same year, she landed the leading role opposite Sam Heughan in the film Oxford.
She had the lead role in the CBS/CW superhero fiction adventure drama series, Supergirl. The first episode of the series aired in October 2015. She cited Susan Sontag and Gloria Steinem as inspirations for her role. To prepare for the role, she read the New 52 ‘Supergirl’ book.
Benoist has also appeared in Denver productions of Bye Bye Birdie, Footloose, Cinderella, and A Chorus Line.
Benoist has three tattoos: a bicycle on her left foot, a wolf on her left wrist, and the word “free” on the back of her neck.
Benoist got engaged to her former Glee co-star Blake Jenner in the spring of 2013. They married in 2015, and filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences, in December 2016.
In June 2016, Benoist appeared in a Human Rights Campaign video in tribute to the victims of the 2016 Orlando gay nightclub shooting.
Awards and Accolades
- Choice TV Breakout Star at 2013 Teen Choice Awards
- The Breakthrough Performance Award at 42nd Saturn Awards in 2016
In her own words
I have a very optimistic view of my future right now. I’m very excited to see where it goes, but I try not to make plans just because I know how unpredictable life can be. Especially the life of an actor, and especially the life of an actor on ‘Glee.’ I just want to be happy and healthy and surrounded by people I love, as cheesy as it sounds.
At school, when it came to being social, I had no idea how to do it.
I’m obsessed with Michael Fassbender. He’s unbelievable. I think he’s a modern-day Marlon Brando. Every movie that he’s done in the past couple years, I just died for him. He’s extremely fascinating.
I love female singer-songwriters!
Reading about myself on ‘Perez Hilton’ was kind of the weirdest thing ever.
I’m definitely interested in doing movies. I’ve always focused more on acting than singing because that’s where my true passion lies.
If I had any advice for my 16-year-old self, it would just be to stay strong, because acting is not an easy lifestyle, especially when you are starting out.
That being said, it definitely makes it all worth it when it does happen.
I was such a wallflower in high school. I did a lot of extracurricular theater shows, but at school, 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.
I don’t think of myself as that tough, kick-ass, badass woman. I’ve always been a pacifist, for one, and I was always weirder and quirkier and dorkier.
I was a DC fan, not so much the comics. I loved Michael Keaton’s Batman. I grew up with those movies.
[On her Supergirl costume] It’s impossible not to feel empowered when you put it on. You would think, “Oh, it’s silly. I’m putting on tights. I’m putting on a leotard and a skirt. There’s muscles built into the suit. There’s a cape. I’m going to feel like it’s Halloween.” But something changes internally. I feel like a different person almost. It really is an alter ego, where I feel inspired, hopeful and empowered.
I think it’s modest in that you can believe someone could fight for their lives in that suit without having a wardrobe malfunction and something popping out. That’s what I never understood about Wonder Woman. I’m like, ‘How does she fight?’
Every day, I just thank the universe that I am as lucky as I am. Because I went through periods of time when I didn’t have a single bit of work. Months and months where I was auditioning all the time. I mean, all the time and nothing was happening.
I don’t really understand why people haven’t always been ready for this. I think there are so many really successful franchises right now like The Hunger Games (2012), and I was a huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997) fan. I wish there were more of a pattern and more of a consistency to there being really strong female-driven stories.
I don’t think I’ve ever hit anyone before, and so I definitely had to learn technique – like how to actually punch someone and not hurt yourself more than you’re hurting the person you’re punching. And core work and Pilates and plyometrics, a lot of it.
Kara is so optimistic, and so positive, and just full of hope all the time. My tendency can sometimes be ‘Oh, man, if I were in this situation, I’d feel hopeless.’ But she never feels that. There’s never really a horribly dark moment in Supergirl’s life.
I had such a small role in that (Danny Collins) movie, yet every single person in that movie went to Al Pacino’s house to rehearse.