Hometown: Los Angeles, California
Kara Zor-El/Supergirl in “Supergirl”
Melissa Benoist stars as Kara Zor-El/Supergirl in The CW’s hit series “Supergirl.” The series follows her character’s tumultuous journey to heroism after a natural disaster impels her to embrace the powers that she spent so much of her life hiding.
Benoist starred in Peter Berg’s “Patriots Day,” a drama about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing in which she appears opposite Mark Wahlberg, J.K. Simmons, and John Goodman. Benoist plays Katherine Russell, the wife of one of the two brothers who planted the bombs.
Additionally, Benoist wrapped production on the feature film “Sun Dogs,” opposite Michael Angarano, Allison Janney and Ed O’Neill. This is the feature film directorial debut of Jennifer Morrison, penned by Anthony Tambakis, that tells the story of a courage-obsessed misfit who takes a Marine captain’s advice to protect the homefront a little too seriously. She also appeared in the Jason Blum and Brian Grazer produced film “Lowriders,” which takes place in the world of lowrider cars and street tagging in East Los Angeles. Directed by Ricardo de Montreuil, “Lowriders” premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival on June 1, 2016. Benoist also completed production on “Billy Boy,” a feature film on which she collaborated with actor/singer Blake Jenner, who also wrote the film.
In January 2016, Benoist starred in “Band of Robbers,” a comedic thriller based on Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.” Benoist also shared the screen with Scott Eastwood and Britt Robertson in “The Longest Ride,” based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks. Benoist plays Robertson’s best friend and sorority sister, Marcia, in the modern day tale of star-crossed lovers who must somehow meld their seemingly incompatible loves of bull riding and modern art. In March 2015, Benoist teamed with Al Pacino, Annette Bening, Jennifer Garner, Bobby Cannavale and Christopher Plummer in the feature film “Danny Collins.” Dan Fogelman’s directorial debut found its inspiration in the life story of folk singer Steve Tilston.
In 2014, Benoist starred alongside Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons in the critically acclaimed drama “Whiplash,” based upon writer/director Damien Chazelle’s own experiences in the Princeton High School Studio Band. The film follows an ambitious jazz student Andrew (Teller) and his abusive instructor (Simmons). Benoist co-stars as Andrew’s love interest and girlfriend, Nicole. “Whiplash” met wide success upon its premiere at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, at which it won top prizes for the Grand Jury and Audience Awards. The film also earned a nomination for Best Picture at the 87th Annual Academy Awards.
Born and raised in Colorado, Benoist made her film debut just one year after graduating high school. She emerged on the scene as Laurel in the 2008 drama “Tennessee” alongside Mariah Carey, Adam Rothenberg and Ethan Peck. The story follows two brothers’ journey to find their estranged father after he is diagnosed with terminal leukemia.
From there, Benoist catapulted into the spotlight with her starring role as Marley Rose on seasons four and five on “Glee.” Her character, colloquially dubbed The New Rachel in the premiere episode of season four, rode the waves of success from Lea Michele’s character, Rachel Berry, yet was quick to earn her own acclaim as the beloved new addition to the show.
Benoist has graced television audiences on a multitude of shows since 2010, including “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “Blue Bloods,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “The Good Wife,” an arc on the series “Homeland,” “Waco,” “Freedom Fighters: The Ray” and The CW’s “Arrow,” “The Flash,” and DC’s “Legends of Tomorrow.”
Benoist also recently made her Broadway debut in the production “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.” The show is about Carole King’s early career, centering on her song writing with former husband Gerry Goffin and her friendly competition against Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann for the spotlight.
She currently lives in Los Angeles, when she is not filming.