Arrowverse Casting Director on Casting TV's First Transgender Superhero

Seasoned casting director David Rapaport famously found exactly the right person on the first try when casting Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), and Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) -- but he admitted in a recent interview that finding the right actor to play Dreamer, TV's first transgender superhero and a major part of Supergirl's current, fourth season, was a different kind of challenge. That said, Rapaport seems to have reveled in the challenge somewhat, acknowledging that as a gay man himself, he has tried to make sure that whenever he casts an LGBTQ character in one of his shows, he is doing his best to make sure that character's representation is true.

“One of the reasons I wanted to work with Greg Berlanti, an openly gay producer, was to work on projects that highlighted LGBTQ characters and story lines,” Rapaport recently told Entertainment Weekly in a wide-ranging interview. “I was scared because I wanted to get it right.” Rapaport added that before landing on Maines, he looked around quite a lot, but that once he found Maines, he knew he had the right person. “She’s from Maine, so she took a little bit of digging to find. But this was such a great opportunity to tell an amazing story, and Nicole is a great actress and an outspoken activist. She’s such a hero to me.”

Maines's character will be prominently featured in an upcoming episode of Supergirl, stepping up to protect National City as the titular star has become public enemy number one, accused of a crime she did not commit (thanks to Lex Luthor and Red Daughter). Dreamer was among one of the big selling points of the season, with Maines's casting announced early, and no secret made of the fact that she was destined to become a costumed hero from the get-go. Maines was open very early about her excitement at the prospect of suiting up.

"I'm so excited. I'm trying to conduct myself on set in a professional manner and be like 'I'm not completely obsessed with the super-suit,' but it's all I think about," Maines said during a visit to the Supergirl set. "Every morning I wake up, 'I'm getting a super suit!' I'm going to sleep, 'I'm getting a super-suit!' I'm really, really excited. It's gonna be gorgeous! I have the best super-suit. I do."

Supergirl airs on Sunday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.

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