Supergirl is already a fun, exciting series with a badass woman at its center, but superhero fans young and old alike have an extra incentive to tune into the Oct. 24 episode. I’ll give you a hint — it’s a woman, and she is quite the wonder. That's right, Wonder Woman herself, Lynda Carter, will play President Olivia Marsdin in Supergirl Season 2, starting with Monday's "Welcome to Earth."
According to the episode description, Olivia Marsdin is the President of the United States, and she’s in National City trying to assuage the alien rights versus human rights debate when she is — shockingly — attacked. Of course, Kara and the rest of her crew have to find out who would want to hurt the President, which, in their present climate, could be anyone. I love this for a few reasons, starting with the obvious. Carter played Wonder Woman in the eponymous television show in the 1970s, so if there is any woman on the planet that needs to be on this new superhero show, it’s Carter. She doesn’t have a special suit on in this role (well, it’s probably designer, but it’s not alien), but she should still manage to channel her superhero roots.
My other reason for loving Carter in this role? She took her inspiration from one of the most groundbreaking female politicians ever — Hillary Clinton. In an interview with USA Today, Carter explained why she looked to the presidential candidate when portraying Olivia. “I really did model my character off of Hillary Clinton because I’ve known her since 1983,” the actor said. “I know who she is because I’ve seen her in all kinds of situations… When she’s working, she’s got her first-class brain going, and the difference between her and most other politicians is it’s not just her own voice she likes, she listens. That’s what I tried to convey in what an effective president would be: warm and passionate.”
Carter was playing a superhero when she was similar in age to Melissa Benoist, so I’m sure she has an understanding of how Benoist feels in the role. Carter told USA Today in the same interview, “She plays a superhero extremely well, and it’s difficult because the tendency is to make fun of it and you can’t do that. You have to play it with complete sincerity, otherwise it doesn’t work. She does a beautiful job and she’s a wonderful young woman.”
We're used to seeing Carter as a female hero, and now on Supergirl, she'll be playing a woman who is still extremely powerful, but in a very different way.
Images: Diyah Pera, Bettina Strauss/The CW