What’s the perfect cure for the Quarantine Blues? A telephone interview with Supergirl’s Nicole Maines!
2020 HRC Upstander Award Honoree, Nicole Maines, is a hero for the LGBTQ+ community in many unique ways, shining as the breakout star and standout character Nia Nal aka Dreamer, TV’s first transgender superhero, on The CW’s Supergirl. Maines plays Nia/Dreamer, Kara Danvers’ strong, hopeful and inspirational second half, who is a truth-seeking news reporter at CatCo with Supergirl when not protecting the citizens of National City.
I had the privilege of chatting with Nicole about art, acting, video games and more. It was a morning full of laughter, insight, and FUN! Let’s hear what our Dreamer had to say on this fine Sunday.
PURE FANDOM: Hello, Nicole. I hope you are staying safe. You posted how you are staying busy during this quarantine, playing video games, watching Netflix, and working on your art. I was wondering what type of art you do and how you got started with that?
Nicole Maines: When I was in college I was majoring in Studio Art. My go to is normally digital art. I would set up my tablet and watch a show and just doodle away. I’m better at drawing people and I’m slowly working on getting better at scenery. I’ve been working on portrait of a character from a book, since Christmas.
Do you have any artists you draw inspiration from?
My Mom is a really amazing painter, illustrator, and now quilter. I always grew up with these insane oil paintings that she does hanging around the house. It’s really nice, I’ll be working on something and ask her for advice. She’ll be working on something and ask me what I think.
What type of video games are you playing at the moment?
I re-downloaded Skyrim on my computer. My friend has been helping me with mods. He is always trying to send me things. I am always paranoid about viruses. My parents instilled that in me growing up.
Me too! Switching gears for a moment. I wanted to know, do you remember the moment you knew that acting was where your heart was?
I had the acting bug for a while, since high school. I loved the group-family aspect of theater. It was amazing how an ensemble could come together.
I got the television/film acting bug when I did, Royal Pains. It was such an incredible experience. Everyone was so amazing and the sets were spectacular! I remember being in that hospital set, everything looked so detailed and real. Then, looking up and there was no ceiling. I thought, “This is crazy,” and “Oh my God can I please do this forever?!”
After that, how long were you auditioning for before you got Supergirl?
It was about 3 years.
I want to talk about one of the most recent episodes of Supergirl you did. Episode 15, “Reality Bytes,” I’m going to be honest I sat and cried through most of this episode.
Yeah, a lot of us did.
When you read the script, did you have a meeting with the writers to go over the episode? It was a pretty heavy episode.
I was involved with every aspect of the script. The writers and show runners, were fantastic with asking me questions and making sure I was comfortable. We talked about who we wanted this guy, Angus to be. Does he have a back story? Does he have a motive?
We were very specific about what we wanted to keep in there. When I read it I was more excited than anything else. As horrific as the storyline was, I was excited to get to tell it on television. I was also excited to explore the darker parts of Dreamer.
Right. Not only was the topic darker, Nia’s reaction was too. It wasn’t what we came to expect of her.
Nia is normally brighter and happier. Dreamer is not someone we have really seen with a dark side. We’ve seen her heart, her as the victim, and heart broken for most of the season. She lost her Mother, her Sister, and broke up with Brainy. Nia lost her universe, died, and came back to life.
Yeah, Nia has really been threw it.
She really has. In her eyes all the events that happened were her fault, because she didn’t see it coming. Nia didn’t see crisis, or her Mom dying, and she couldn’t interpret Yvette getting attacked. So she snapped. It finally all boiled up to the surface and exploded in a vengeful way, when Angus was brought in.
The question was, “Does she hang up her cape to stop him from hurting people?” or does she say, “Enough is enough and stops him.” If she does, how does she stop him?
The episode was so impactful. How was the reaction on social media?
It was very powerful. Everyone had sort of the same reaction you had. Lot’s of tears and “I can’t believe we are talking about this on television,” moments. We wanted to bring up the way police sometimes sweep these issues under the rug, misgender in reports, and tackle trans crimes.
It’s episodes like these, I’m baffled that superhero shows are never brought up at the Emmy’s.
Exactly. A lot of times these types of shows and movies get overlooked. There are some powerful performances on these shows! No matter the genre, everything should be considered if it makes a difference.
Finally, one last thing we need to discuss. I noticed you were a Star Wars fan. What were your thoughts, on the final movie?
When they said there was going to be a gay kiss, I thought Finn and Poe were going to kiss. I wasn’t the only one thinking that, right? Also, I don’t think Rey and Kylo needed to kiss. I thought their relationship was much more powerful as a platonic thing.
Yes! Thank you. It was so nice talking with you. Stay safe and be healthy!
You too. Thank you. It was such a pleasure. Take care!
Chatting with Nicole was a joy, whether it be about Star Wars, art, trans topics, or Supergirl. Nicole is a kind person with a good soul! Make sure to check her out as Dreamer on Supergirl.
Tune in on The CW to see our Dreamer on Sunday nights, at 9pm.
IMAGES: The CW