It doesn't take a Luthor-level evil genius to see that the character of Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath) has taken off like a shot with Supergirl fans since she was added to the show in Season 2. And while she's put herself on a darker (and certainly less heroic despite good intentions) path this year, the love for her character has only grown, which is something McGrath doesn't take for granted, no matter how surreal it may feel.
"Sometimes I sit down and I think about it and my mind can't actually wrap around it, you know?" McGrath told TV Guide. "You're just trying to make the episode great or the series great or the season great or even on a daily basis just trying to make the scene brilliant, and I don't quite think about what it does afterward... Then I meet people or I find out that the response people have to her is so amazing and gets to places that I don't even quite understand. I've had engineering students write to me like, 'Thank you so much, you've sort of given me a passion for science and you made me see it was OK for a woman to be intelligent and passionate and engaged in science' and I'm like, 'I couldn't even have imagined that that would be what this character could have done for somebody.'"
It's not hard to see why fans (young, female fans in particular) would connect so easily to a character like Lena. On one hand, she's everything most girls hope to grow up to be: strong, capable, compassionate, intelligent, and beautiful. On the other hand, despite all those stunning qualities, she's also insecure, defensive, and at times deceitful. She gets it wrong for all the right reasons, a lot. In summary, she feels like an incredibly real person whose faults are relatable and virtues inspirational.
And if your heart wasn't already melting, McGrath also made it clear that that inspiration works both ways.
"If, at any point, Lena can make anybody in this world feel good about themselves or feel braver or feel anything, I am so completely humbled by that. I'm so blown away that something that we make in this little studio in Vancouver or in the middle of nowhere has an effect on people's lives around the world. I'm not lying when I say that's a very great privilege... It makes long days very much more manageable when you know that that's sort of the end of it. No matter how hard it is to do, if that's the result? Yeah, I can do this."
Supergirl airs Sundays at 8/7c on The CW.
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