We are now well into the second generation of the comic-book arms race, as more and more TV series appear on the air wholly independent of any movie tentpole. The big-budget "Supergirl," which first premiered on CBS but is moving to the CW for its upcoming second season, is a smart, feminist translation of the DC universe onto the small screen. And its caped star, Melissa Benoist, is a welcome piece of unexpected casting, having come from the song-and-dance school of "Glee." For the Royals portfolio, we paired her with one of the stalwarts of the first wave of superheroines, Halle Berry, who first appeared as the thunderbolt-throwing Storm, in 2000's X-Men.

What was the first thing you auditioned for?
I think the first thing I ever auditioned for was my aunt's church production of Alice in Wonderland. And she did give me a part. She was a good aunt, and I played the Ace of Spades and the Bread and Butterfly. This was in Aurora, Colorado, and I missed two of my entrances. [Laughs] I was four.

Did you get the acting bug?
Oh, yeah. I had the bug before that, I think. I would put on productions for my family.

Oh, really? You wrote them?
Yeah, or it was just me dancing to Bon Jovi for all my stuffed animals. "Dead or Alive." [Laughs] My family would videotape me secretly. Because I would be shy and stop if I saw them with a camera.

Was there a moment you told your parents you wanted to be an actress?
No, I don’t think there was any particular moment. I think they always knew. And I'm pretty sure it was grandpa who told my mom, "That girls needs to be on the stage." I think they could all just see how much I loved it. I wanted to be on Broadway, and I still do. I grew up singing, and dancing, and acting. Tap dancing was my favorite. So I came to New York to go to college after living in Denver, and then I moved to LA when I got "Glee."

What did you do for your "Glee" audition?
I sang about 12 songs: some Indigo Girls, Sara Bareilles, maybe a David Bowie song, I think some Talking Heads. Like, weird songs you would never think to sing for a "Glee" audition. [Laughs]

Did you get a lot of feedback from the world when you got "Supergirl"? It's a big responsibility, Supergirl.
Yeah, I have learned this. You know, everyone still asks me, "How does it feel to be a role model?" Or, "Do you feel a responsibility or a burden?" And I never did until I would see groups of little girls or young women, and how much they were affected by the "S" and what Supergirl stands for. How much hope she brought. So yeah, I do feel that responsibility. It seems she is someone who people gravitate towards because she's so full of hope, joy, and optimism.

And they get to be her for Halloween. [Laughs]
Right? It's such a great costume. There's a skirt. It's cute, but it's still modest. You're not sexy Supergirl, although I'm sure some people will do that.