Nicole Maines, cast as TV's first transgender superhero in Supergirl,
has acknowledged that she feels a tremendous sense of responsibility in
taking on the role. "It feels fitting to say with great power comes
great responsibility," she observed.
The CW's superhero shows have always had strong themes of inclusivity
and representation. That message was reinforced at San Diego Comic-Con
2018, when The CW announced that actress Nicole Maines has been cast as Dreamer, the first transgender superhero. Her character was described
as "a soulful young transgender woman with a fierce drive to protect
others," and the character arc - which sees Dreamer evolve into a
superhero - will deliberately parallel Kara's own journey to rediscover
what it means to be Supergirl.
Maines, who was featured in the HBO documentary The Trans List,
admitted she's well aware of the pressure that comes with taking on
this role. In an interview with Variety, she admitted she hadn't really
wrapped her head around it yet. "It feels fitting to say with great
power, comes great responsibility," she observed. "Iím nervous because
I want to do it right." The actress feels this is an ideal opportunity
to help fans and TV viewers understand the trans community. As Maines explained:
"We can be whoever we want, we can do whatever we want,
we can be superheroes, because in many ways we are. Weíve
had trans representation in television for a while but it
hasnít been the right representation."
It's clear that Maines is delighted that The CW actually chose to cast
a trans actress for the role. She reflected back on the recent
controversy that saw Scarlett Johansson depart from Rub & Tug, and
insisted she doesn't believe cisgender actors take on this kind of role
out of malice. But Maines still insisted that this kind of
representation is important. "With trans folks we have a lot of people
accusing us of just playing dress up for whatever reasons," she pointed
out, "and thatís just not true." The implication of Maines's logic is
an interesting one; she fears that casting a cisgender actor for this
kind of role role subtly reinforces the prejudice.
The CW's superhero shows have a strong tradition of this kind of representation. Legends of Tomorrow, for example, features live-action
media's first Muslim superhero, Zari Tomaz (Tala Ashe). Black Lightning
had the first black lesbian superhero, while Supergirl season 2
featured a major plot involving Kara's sister Alex accepting that she's
a lesbian and starting to date a woman. This is just the next step in reinforcing the message of inclusivity and cultural representation that
has been core to the DCTV superhero shows. For all Maines may be
feeling the pressure, her showrunners are well used to supporting their
actors through it at this point.
[ I may have injured my eyes from rolling them so hard ]
Dems & the media want Trump to be more like Obama, but then he'd
have to audit liberals & wire tap reporters' phones.