EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Nicole Maines from ‘Supergirl’ Talks Nia Nal

In an effort to build a space for queer people like myself, every Tuesday I’ll be posting interviews, opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx/WOC community since I am Latinx.) Welcome to Queerly Not Straight! Enjoy and leave a comment below if you have a suggestion for what I should cover next.


In all my time at Fangirlish, I don’t think I’ve ever spoken to someone as inspiring, charming, and funny as Nicole Maines from Supergirl. In fact, it feels like a dream come true to speak with someone who is changing the game when it comes to trans rights and normalizing the trans experience. We got a chance to speak with Maines, who plays Nia Nal aka TV’s first transgender superhero, about her stand out episode “Reality Bytes,” what’s next for #Dreamdox, and what advice she has for fans in this day and age.

1. Any advice for people in Nia’s position in the Reality Bytes episode, especially on how to deal with trans/homophobia without having dreamer’s superpowers?

It’s really about taking steps to protect yourself, especially with online dating. It’s about going to public places, making sure people know where you are. Going with a friend. Keeping an eye out for each other.

Also, talking about it, which is why I think this episode [Reality Bytes] was so important. A lot of people were unaware at how common this is. And a lot of people didn’t really get that trans women face such a threat of hate related violence. So, it’s about talking about it and making sure that people are aware of that situation and they’re aware of what trans women are up against.

2. What was your favorite scene to film with Melissa Benoist and how was she supportive of you throughout the filming of the episode?

I love filming that scene where Kara came to check in on Nia and Nia basically said, “I love you. Don’t tell me what I can and can’t do right now.” I think that was such an important scene. Nia’s growth as a character, kind of her putting her foot down. And that was really the first time we saw her angry and vengeful. So I think that was a really important moment in her arc.

And Melissa is just so sweet and so supportive. On set she let me know how excited she was to be doing this episode [Reality Bytes] and she was just so sweet and checking in on me and I adore her so much.

3. Is there anything to tease for the Dreamdox stans?

Brainy and Nia, so going into the end of this season it’s going to be a question of is Brainy going to be able to make it up to Nia. Because of course, we as viewers know that what Brainy is doing is for the greater good and that he’s doing it to protect everybody. Nia has no idea why he’s done this. She has no idea why he suddenly broke her heart. And so the longer he waits to tell her the truth, the longer that this continues. The further apart they’re going to drift so it’s really just a matter of “is that love going to prevail?” Or is she going to move on?

4. We’ve seen the potential of Nia’s powers, do we get to further explore them later this season?

Yeah, we’re really excited because as the season progresses we’re gonna start to see her dream more and have more visions. And we’re going to see those visions have greater consequences.

5. What do you say to fans through this difficult time and the state of the world?

It’s just about taking steps to protect yourself and making sure that people around you are ok. Yes, practicing self quarantine and social distancing is important. But that doesn’t mean you need to isolate yourself, which can be really dangerous. So it’s about taking steps to reach out to your friends.

Over the past couple of days I’ve been playing lots of video games online with my friends. And I’ve been making sure that I’m not as alone as I would be. Skyping, calling people. Even if it’s just Skyping and having like a dinner date with some friends of yours. Just not isolating yourself because that’ll drive someone crazy.

Wild Card: Which super pet would you want to be quarantined with?

I think, probably Ush, Katie’s dog. I love that prince. Because Katie and I don’t get to do scenes that very often, so I don’t get to see Oisin as much as I would like to. I would love to be quarantined with that little bear.

On and a final note, have you seen the superpet fanart?

Oh yes, I’ve had stuff sent to me and I keep it in my trailer. I love it!

Supergirl airs Sundays at 9/8c on The CW.


Queerly Not Straight posts every Tuesday with opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx community since I am Latinx.)

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