Interview: Sasha Calle on the importance of representation in playing Supergirl in The Flash

As The Flash speeds into cinemas around the world this week (you can read our review here), where the titular superhero uses his powers to alter the events of his past, changing the course of the very future he once knew, we’re entering a new dawn of DC superheroes – including none other than Supergirl!

As embodied by Sasha Calle, the first Latina actress to play the role, Supergirl will be flying alongside The Flash and Batman in Andy Muschietti’s emotional, action origin tale of the legendary DC property.  To coincide with the release, Peter Gray spoke with Calle about the importance of representation within the superhero space and how it felt to work with such vast special effects.

First off, I think, like everyone who saw the video of you receiving the news of your casting as Supergirl, it’s just the most joyous thing to watch.  You can see the emotion in that moment.  And, obviously, women’s stories matter and representation matters, and your casting is the embodiment of that.  You now have this whole generation of children – Latino children – that are able to look up to you.  How does it feel to know you’re a superhero to so many people?

I mean, it’s so wild.  It’s a beautiful thing.  I feel so incredibly honoured and blessed and full of joy to be a part of (Supergirl).  You’re right, you know, I think representation does matter.  I can’t say that when I was growing up I saw myself on a big screen, you know? I remember there was a moment (on set) when I was recharging in the sun, you know that moment when (Supergirl) is just kind of taking in the sun, and Andy (Muschietti, director) was like, “Get her out of the wires.  Come look at the screen.” And he showed me, and I remember looking at the screen and it took my breath away.  I felt like little Sasha was looking up at her superhero in a way.  It’s so beautiful.  I’m just so excited for people to feel connected to her and feel seen and represented by her.  I think that she (Supergirl), through and through, is a character that is connected and is easy to connect with.

As you said, you’re up there on the wires.  How is it working with the effects? I imagine when you’re “flying” and acting with certain characters, there’s nothing actually in front of you.  How hard is it to just go, “Okay, I’m actually in the air talking to this created character.”?

Yeah, there’s a lot of training and a lot of people who really help you.  When I was doing the stunt training and when I was up on the wires, I was constantly being trained to not be so tense.  Sometimes you’re up there and you’re, like, “Ahhh,” because you’re in the wind.  And I’m like, “Oh yeah, I’m in the wind.”  There’s just such a big team helping you the whole time.  But you just have to let go and really use your imagination.  I couldn’t wait, it was such a thing, because I’d never done anything like it before, and I just remember (thinking) how I couldn’t wait to see the clouds and, like, what the sky will look like when I’m flying, and how will you see the wind or my superspeed in the air.  It’s been a really cool experience.  The visual effects people are so incredible at what they do, and it’s a team effort to get the movie at where it’s at right now.

It really is so awesome that you’re able to live this dream of being a superhero that so many of us have as kids.  You’re incredible in this film, and seeing Supergirl represented this way…

Thank you so much.  Thank you for being with me today.  And thank you for waking up this early (laughs).

The Flash is screening in Australian theatres from June 15th, 2023.

Peter Gray

Seasoned film critic. Gives a great interview. Penchant for horror. Unashamed fan of Michelle Pfeiffer and Jason Momoa.