Though he’s currently seen playing a good man gone bad as the star of the hyper-violent film “Vendetta,” for thousands and thousands of fans, Dean Cain will always be known as the Man of Steel from 1990s ABC series “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.” This fall, however, a new generation will come to know him as another member of DC Comics‘ Man of Steel mythos: Supergirl’s adoptive father, Fred Danvers.
“I’ll be in it as much as they will have me,” Cain told CBR News of the extent of his role in the new CBS series. But while he’s not clear on how often his father figure will show up in Kara Zor-El’s life, he’s not worried about leaving the S-shield in “Supergirl” star Melissa Benoist‘s hands, telling CBR, “There’s a certain essence you need to have to play the character, I believe, and she has it in spades.”
CBR News: After such a memorable run as Clark Kent and Superman on “Lois & Clark,” what does it mean to you to be included in things like “Smallville” and now, “Supergirl?”
Dean Cain: I love being part of the whole Superman lore. If I get a chance to do anything in the films or shows, I embrace it. It’s not something I feel pigeonholed into since I’ve done so many other films and projects. I’m a fan, as well as someone who has gotten to play these characters. I embrace the heck out of it. I’ll do it as often as I can. I’m really looking forward to doing some fun stuff on “Supergirl.”
What’s impressed you most about “Supergirl’s” leading lady, Melissa Benoist? What does she bring to this iconic character?
Well, I’ve seen bits and pieces of her, but I’ve not seen the entire pilot. I’ve refused to watch the one that leaked. She brings a sense of goodness, and wonder and positivity. There’s a certain essence you need to have to play the character, I believe, and she has it in spades. That smile she has is so disarming and genuine. Those are all traits you need to have to play Superman and Supergirl. Her character Kara’s genuine excitement to help people and do the things that she does is amazing. I think Melissa is going to catapult to stardom, and she deserves it because she’s extremely talented.
You guest-starred as a villain on “Smallville,” but “Supergirl’s” adoptive father sounds like a more vital component of the new show. Is that fair? Will Fred have a big presence on the series?
That’s going to be up to the producers. I’ll be in it as much as they will have me. I’ll be very happy to show up on that set every day. It’s just a matter of how much Greg Berlanti and the producers want to expand that role as time goes on. He has to be there, because he is her father on Earth. He and Helen Slater are the parents of her sister, as well. We’re scientists, so we’ll be able to interject things here and there. It’s going to be fun. I just don’t know how much they are going to do. There’s nothing set in stone.
Having you and Helen Slater on the show is dream casting. How did it all come together?
I worked with Greg Berlanti way back on a film we did called “The Broken Hearts Club.” We became good friends and respected colleagues. I like to think they said, “Let’s try to populate this with some Superman lore. Let’s bring in the other Supergirl and bring in a Superman, who is now old enough to be her daddy.” Barely. Just barely old enough. [Laughs]
Interestingly enough, you’ve played two recent characters with the same last name – Mason Danvers in “Vendetta,” and now Fred Danvers on “Supergirl.”
Believe me, when I had to say the name Danvers, I was like, “Man, I just played a Danvers, but a different one completely.” Alternate realities.
“Supergirl” lands on CBS this fall. “Vendetta” is in theaters and available on demand now.