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How Nicole Maines Got To Shape Dreamer's Storyline On Supergirl - Exclusive

Nicole Maines' Dreamer flew into Supergirl's National City with a plucky attitude and a dream — later becoming TV's first transgender superhero. When she's not saving the world, Nia Nal spends her time writing alongside Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist) for CatCo. As Kara's protege, she makes the world a better place through her writing, even when she hangs up her mask. Interestingly enough, Maines does the exact same thing behind the scenes. 

The actress has played a vital role in shaping Dreamer's trans storyline. She often even takes up a pen, writing lines like her iconic "Reality Bites" quote: "Your fragile ego was shattered, your sense of self is so shaky that anything outside of your narrow world view threatens it." Those are some strong words written by an equally strong actress. Suffice to say, if it weren't for Maines taking on an active role in her character's story, the series — and Dreamer — just wouldn't be the same.

Looper spoke to Nicole Maines for an exclusive interview, in which she dished on what it's like telling her own story as Dreamer, how she helped shape her character, and how she'd like Hollywood representation to continue progressing. 

From on-screen journalist to behind-the-scenes writer

While some writing rooms don't take their stars' lived experiences into account when writing for a character, Maines told us that The CW involved her in every step of the process. "Yeah, so the writers have been really, really fantastic. Any time we address Dreamer's transness, I'm always involved," she assured us. "They're always asking me what I think, as someone who's been through that, and then just also as someone who's familiar with who Dreamer is. They've been really, really good in valuing my input. They always have a general idea of what they want to do, and so they'll come to me." This level of respect and collaboration is precisely why Dreamer is such a strong voice for the trans community.

"They'll be like, 'This is what this episode's about, this is what we're doing, what do we think?' Then we kind of go from there. For last season, for 'Reality Bites,' we knew we wanted to do an episode dealing with trans violence," Maines revealed. "Because especially that year, we had been experiencing and are experiencing this crazy spike. We're seeing record levels of violence against specifically trans women of color, so they knew they wanted to do something dealing with Yvette being assaulted, and Dreamer kind of going after that — Dreamer trying to protect not only her friend but her community." 

Dreaming up a better future

While Hollywood seems to be slowly changing, Maines clued us in on what she'd like to see in terms of representation and actors, directors, and writers telling their own stories on-screen. "Yeah, so we've seen such a push for diverse casting and authentic casting, and that is brilliant. However, that needs to be met," she said. 

It's not enough to have representation on the screen. We need it behind the scenes as well. Maines agreed, adding, "By diversifying the writers' room, you are only helping yourself to tell a more interesting, more diverse story. Because if everyone in every writers' room looks exactly the same, then all of the stories are kind of going to be the same, and they're going to be from one point of view." 

The final season of Supergirl airs on Tuesdays on The CW. Fans can also look forward to the Dreamer comic that Maines wrote, which will appear in the 'DC Pride' anthology coming this June.