‘Supergirl’ Star Chyler Leigh on the Evolution of Sanvers Relationship
Leigh expressed reluctance for her character’s storlyine to shift away from her relationship with her sister Kara (Melissa Benoist), and revealed she only found out the revelation about her sexuality three weeks before shooting.
The rest is history, and the relationship between Leigh’s Alex Danvers and Detective Maggie Sawyer (Floriana Lima) has become a fan-favorite development lovingly referred to as a “Sanvers.”
From the outset, Leigh was concerned with how the portrayal would play out on screen.
“I was really concerned about how it was going to be approached,” she said. “I didn’t want it to be some ratings ploy. I wanted to make sure that if this was done, and we were doing something at this level, and this is a character now that’s on a comic book show — I know they’ve done it with ‘Arrow’ and there’s characters in the Arrowverse [that are LGBT] — but because this is such a female-driven show, I wanted to make sure it was done delicately.”
The actress also discussed how she and Lima tried to infuse naturalness into the relationship on screen.
“Off screen, however, Lilian and Rhea — played by genre vets Brenda Strong and Teri Hatcher, reunited after years together on Desperate Housewives — are as delightful as you could hope for. Hatcher is “a complete hoot, and she’s got the most zany, crazy sense of humor,” McGrath says, and Strong is “the most elegant, well-spoken comic.” Working on Supergirl is grueling — “16, 17-hour days, it’s tiring and you’re away from your family” — and McGrath loves that both women are not only brilliant actors, but also keep up the spirits of those around them. “Whenever [Hatcher] gets to set, she does a little dance for me and it always makes me happy,” she says with a laugh. “I am so grateful that they both turned out to be really good people. It’d be difficult if they weren’t.”
Part of her character’s allure, muses McGrath, is in the unpredictability of Lena’s story. “I had no f**king clue what was going to happen! I didn’t sign up for that many episodes, so I thought I was just coming in and I’d have a little small arc and that would be it,” she says. But as she made more and more appearances, the character continually bucked her expectations: “I kept waiting for the script to come in that would be, ‘Oh, I get it. There you go. She’s Lex now.’ And it never happened.”
“A) We met at a high school football game, and Zac introduced us, he’d been wanting us to meet. But she was like, y’know she’s a trendsetter, right? She’s very fashionable, we love the way she looks, we love it! But, at the time she was doing DIY stuff. […] She took fishnet pantyhose and had it draped around her. […] That’s maybe not that weird now, but in our little Christian private school realm, I was really confused. But, she was awesome.” - Taylor York on meeting Hayley Williams 15 years ago.
Lin-Manuel Miranda himself is aware of this; he has confirmed that the Hamilton in his show, at least, is bisexual. If you follow his Tumblr, he’s very supportive of the ship the fandom calls “Lams”, and reblogs shippy fanart with the best of them.
Do you have any tips on not feeling like you need someone else to make you happy? I think it’s incredibly important for every person to have their own thing going on. You have to have your own hobbies, because whether it’s a professional relationship or a partnership of love, you’re going to be disappointed if you rely on another person. You have to be content with your own being as well.