Online, many have seen the moment that the actress Sasha Calle, 27, knew her life had been utterly altered: The director of “The Flash,” Andy Muschietti, announced the casting of Calle as Supergirl by posting the video in which he tells her she got the job, beating out hundreds of others. It would be her feature film debut.
Her visceral reaction is even more real than you’d think. Up until that moment, Calle only knew that she had been auditioning for an unnamed character on an unspecified Warner Bros. film. She found out she was Supergirl at the same time she learned that the part even existed.
The role was a heightened introduction to the Hollywood studio apparatus. Aside from the sheer scale of a superhero movie, “The Flash,” in particular, had been rocked by years of delays and a spate of legal troubles surrounding its lead, Ezra Miller.
Sitting in a cafe in Los Angeles’s Eagle Rock neighborhood, Calle actively avoided speaking about Miller, even indirectly, instead focusing on her own experience taking on this role.
“Everyone says it to me, they’re like, ‘How are you feeling? Your life’s about to change.’ And I’m not there,” Calle said. “I smile, like, yeah! And kind of go with the flow, but I don’t think about it like that. I don’t know what it’s going to be like.”
In a discussion the morning before the film had its Hollywood premiere, Calle spoke about her audition, her inspirations and the possible future of Supergirl. Below are edited excerpts from the conversation.
You previously had only one acting credit, on the soap opera “The Young and the Restless.” At that time, could you envision getting a role like this?
I saw “Wonder Woman” when I graduated [from the AMDA College of the Performing Arts, Los Angeles] in 2017, and I cut out a picture of her, and I put her and Charlize [Theron] from “Atomic Blonde,” which was also that year, on my vision board. I stuck it there, and now God just messages me. I always say it was written in the stars. It was meant to happen.
Do you know how many people you were up against for the role?
They said more than 400. But I have a feeling it was thousands of tapes. It is really special to have such a talented director and an incredible human being that Andy Muschietti is, see me. He believed in me.
What do you think he saw?
He describes it [by saying] that I have toughness with vulnerability.
I also didn’t know I was auditioning for this role. It was an untitled Warner Bros film. Dude, it was one tape. And then after that, Andy called me, and he was like, can you cut your hair? Still didn’t know what it was. I was like, I’ll cut my hair. And then I signed my contract with Warner Bros. without knowing who I was playing.
You had no idea what you were up for throughout the audition process?
No idea. She had a gun in the audition. So I was like, somebody who has a gun. I get on the Zoom, and that’s the Zoom that was recorded. And he’s like, can you fly? What is he saying to me? Is he asking me to hop on a plane right now?
What was your experience on set working with Ezra?
I spent a lot of time with my stunt team from the moment I arrived to the moment I left. And it was incredible being with my stunt team. I can’t not talk about them. I swear to you, they were my family through and through.
Have there been people in the industry that you’ve found guidance from in navigating all of this?
This whole ride I’ve been really blessed to be very close to Leslie Grace, who was Batgirl from DC, and Anthony Ramos, who is in the new “Transformers” movie. They actually both did “In the Heights” together, and I was not in that movie, but I am literally adopted into that little circle. Believe it or not, Leslie, though this was a much harder experience for her through everything that happened, she has been there for me a lot. I’m fortunate enough that I get to experience her as a friend.
When you say that Leslie’s been there for you, do you mean through all the DC changes that included “Batgirl” being canceled?
Obviously, it’s been a hard transition. There’s a lot of stuff that has happened within the world, and we’ve just really been there for each other.
What can you say about the future of Supergirl in DC movies?
I don’t know. I hope to be playing her. I love her so much. [Muschietti doesn’t] know. Only the new bosses know.