Stars
4 Digital +
2 Print/Digital Issues
Photo Credit: Sergei Bachlakov/The CW


By Yolanda Crous, reporting by Deanna Barnert

For Chyler Leigh, playing Supergirl's butt-kicking secret agent sister Alex Danvers is as fun as it looks. "It's just so opposite of who I am," she says. A big part of the thrill? Getting to pick up serious fighting skills on set. "I work really hard on stunts with our coordinators," she says. "You've just got to go all out, because we don't get a lot of time before we actually do the fight sequences. We're learning a lot of it on the fly. Our stunt coordinators are incredible."

Of course, to look that good sparring with Supergirl herself [Melissa Benoist], you need to stay in prime condition. Here, some of The CW star's training secrets.

Supergirl airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW. Stream next day free only on The CW!

Supergirl's Chyler Leigh strikes a fighting pose on set.

Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW

Build A Foundation

I wasn't very active when I was younger. I just got good habits, as far as eating really well and taking care of myself.

Keep Moving

When I'm not working, my husband and I try to stay as active as we can, whether taking the kids hiking or just taking them out. We're constantly on the go and trying new things!

Chyler Leigh

Photo Credit: Dean Buscher/The CW

Battle It Out

When we do fight scenes, we're working out for six hours, just doing the same thing. We are burnt for the next few days. I think that's really where I get my caloric burn count.

Work Out At Work

Melissa and I try to do as much as we possibly can. In my trailer, I've got resistance bands and medicine balls and things like that. I try to do it in between, but we have very little downtime.

Chyler Leigh and Melissa Benoist on the set of Supergirl

Photo Credit: Katie Yu/The CW

Learn Some Skills

If you use the exact right moves, I'm prepared to counter—I'll take you down. I joke about that. I could kick someone's ass if they do it a certain way and I could see them coming.

Stretch Yourself

I love Pilates. It gives such a good core foundation. When I can go, it's awesome.

Chyler Leigh in action

Photo Credit: Dean Buscher/The CW

Originally published in Watch Magazine, July-August 2018.

DISCOVER MORE: Check Out The Latest Digital Issue Of Watch—Available Now!

Supergirl airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW. Stream next day free only on The CW!

Photo Credit: Robert Voets/ 2020 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc

By Nate Millado

April Fool's is an apropos day to launch a laugher: Chuck Lorre's new comedy series, United States of Al, premieres April 1 on CBS. The sitcom centers on the friendship between Riley (Parker Young), a Marine combat vet struggling to readjust to civilian life in Ohio, and Awalmir aka "Al"(Adhir Kalyan), the interpreter who served with Riley's unit in Afghanistan and has just arrived to start a new life in America.

If you're wondering, "Where have I seen those guys before?," we've got you—here's everything you need to know about co-leads Parker Young and Adhir Kalyan!

United States of Al premieres Thursday April 1 at 8:30/7:30c on CBS and Paramount+.

Adhir was born in South Africa

Adhir Kalyan got bit by the acting bug early on! Born and raised in Durban, South Africa, Kalyan got his start in stage productions of Macbeth, Oliver, and A Christmas Carol. In 2005, the aspiring thespian moved to London to further his career, which led to memorable stints on multiple BBC series like Holby City VIII and Spooks V, and supporting roles in indie films Out Loud, The Eastern Bride, and The Sunflower.

Parker was a desert explorer in Tucson

Meanwhile halfway across the world, Parker Young was spending a lot of his childhood pretending to be an explorer in Tucson, Arizona. "I remember suiting up in camo and spending time out in the desert climbing around on rocks and mountains," he told College Magazine in 2013. "It's f—ing miserably hot but it's really nice. It was a great place to grow up." Parker played high football (as a running back) while participating in theater.

Kalyan's American TV debut

Adhir Kalyan at The CW upfront

Aliens in America star Adhir Kalyan arrives at The CW Network Upfront in 2007.

Photo Credit: Jim Spellman/WireImage/Getty Images

United States of Al isn't Kalyan's first foray into fish-out-of-water/buddy comedy territory. His big break came in 2007's Aliens in America on The CW, where he played a Pakistani exchange student staying with a teenage boy and his family in Wisconsin.

Model behavior

Parker Young poses for a portrait

Actor Parker Young of Imposters poses for a portrait in the NBC Universal Press Tour portrait studio at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena on January 17, 2017.

Photo Credit: Maarten de Boer/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images


Before becoming a professional actor, Young earned a living as a model for Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein.

Parker (and his abs) land a TV show

In 2008, Young booked his first TV role—as a delivery man for one scene in a daytime soap. Several bit parts ensued until 2014, when he was cast as gold-hearted jock Ryan Shay in Suburgatory. As evidenced by this hilarious throwback, Young really goes for it in every part he plays!

Adhir Rules!

Timmy covered in soup

Russell and Timmy (Adhir Kalyan) make a commercial for their new soup spoon, on CBS' sitcom, Rules of Engagement.

Credit Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS via Getty Images

After guest-starring in Season 3 of CBS sitcom, Rules of Engagement, Kalyan became such a fan favorite that he was upgraded to series regular! As the long-suffering assistant to David Spade's Russell, Timmy had to endure some pretty humiliating sight gags. "'Cool Hand Soup!'" Kalyan recalls to Entertainment Weekly of the season 6 episode. "Timmy literally has soup bazooka'd into his face, repeatedly, for Russell's video for his spoon invention. Traumatic." You might have also spotted Kalyan in Nip/Tuck and Second Chances.

A veteran of playing veterans

Enlisted's Parker Young in uniform

Parker Young Enlisted in the 2013 FOX comedy about three military brothers.

Photo Credit: FOX Image Collection via Getty Images

He plays a Marine combat vet on United States of Al, but Parker Young has served his country (on television) before. In FOX's sitcom Enlisted, Young played one of three brothers (along with Geoff Stults and Chris Lowell) stationed at Fort McGee in Florida. Young's other credits include Bravo's Imposters and Arrow on The CW.

Marathon man

While Young has been competing in triathlons for years now, Kalyan was able to cross a milestone off his bucket list prior to the pandemic: Running his first marathon in March 2020!

Oh, baby!

"We weren't sure if 9 months was too soon to share the news, but we're having a baby girl in about 3 weeks!" the proud papa-to-be posted on social in early March. Kalyan and his wife—fellow actor Emily Wilson—welcomed Mira Kalyan to the world on March 23!

Daddy's girl

Kalyan will probably be hitting up his co-star for tons of parenting advice! Young is Dad to 2-year-old Jaxon, whom he gushes about constantly on his Instagram!

Young traveler

Scroll through Young's 'Gram if you want a serious case of FOMO: The globetrotter has swam with dolphins and monkeyed around with chimps in such exotic locales as Abu Dhabi, Seychelles, Montenegro, and Bali!

United States of Al, premiering April 1 on CBS!

The cast of United States of Al

Parker Young as Riley, Adhir Kalyan as Al, Elizabeth Alderfer as Lizzie, Dean Norris as Art, Kelli Goss as Vanessa, from the CBS series United States of Al.

Photo Credit: Robert Voets/ 2020 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc

Now that you know a little about the leads of United States of Al, meet the rest of the ensemble: Elizabeth Alderfer as Lizzie, Riley's sister; Dean Norris as Art, Riley's father; Kelli Goss as Vanessa, Riley's ex-wife; and Farrah Mackenzie as Hazel, Riley and Vanessa's daughter.

United States of Al premieres Thursday, April 1, at 8:30/7:30c on CBS and Paramount+.

Photography by Christopher Ross | Illustration by Christopher David Ryan



Whether pummeling her way to planetary peace on Supergirl, or rocking out on Broadway as the young Carole King, Melissa Benoist is a multi-hyphenate force.

Director of Photography Christopher Ross captured The CW star, aka Kara Danvers/ Kara Zor-El—for the July-August 2018 issue of Watch —and the results are out of this world! See this kick-ass cover girl slay in these striking photos—including web-exclusive bonus images—plus learn fun facts and interview tidbits about Melissa Benoist.

Supergirl returns Tuesday, March 30 at 9/8c . Stream next day free, only on The CW!

Star bright

Melissa Benoist sits on a stylized playing card bench.

Photography by Christopher Ross | Illustration by Christopher David Ryan

Fun fact: Before landing in Supergirl, Benoist starred as Glee's singing and dancing Marley Rose.

Character study

Melissa Benoist wears a sheer transluscent blue top.

Photography by Christopher Ross

"What I find the most interesting about playing Kryptonians is that they're so squeaky clean. Be it Clark Kent or Kara Danvers, they're so all-American that sometimes you want their moral compass to stray a bit, for them to have a dilemma." — Melissa Benoist

Carrying the torch

Supergirl's Melissa Benoist wears a purple top and a sheer white transluscent skirt.

Photography by Christopher Ross. Illustration by Christopher David Ryan.

As Benoist's character Kara Zor-El's badass side edges further to the fore, comparisons are being made to Lynda Carter's iconic Wonder Woman.

Sporting chance

Supergirl's Melissa Benoist wears a star patterned blouse in front of a purple tinted starfield.

Photography by Christopher Ross. Illustration by Christopher David Ryan.

Kara's hyper-athleticism, confesses Benoist, is not a talent she herself can claim: "I still can't even catch a ball to save my life."

Word nerd

Melissa Benoist sits on a styized playing card bench.

Photography by Christopher Ross

Fun fact: Benoist is a fan of The New York Times Crossword. "Monday's the easiest one," she encouragingly informs our writer.

Song bird

Melissa Benoist.

Photography by Christopher Ross | Illustration by Christopher David Ryan

During this summer's filming hiatus, Benoist is doing a two-month stint on Broadway, starring as the young Carole King in the hit musical Beautiful.

Practice makes perfect

Melissa Benoist.

Photography by Christopher Ross | Illustration by Christopher David Ryan.

Benoist says that David Harewood, Supergirl's Hank Henshaw, inspires her on many levels—and cites his turn as Othello at London's Royal National Theater as a testament to his stellar acting skills.

The world's a stage

Melissa Benoist wears a sheer transluscent blue top.

Photography by Christopher Ross

In Kara Zor-El's complicated relationship with love interest Mon-El (Chris Wood), Benoist also finds Shakespearean echoes. Mon-El is from Daxam, "which I guess you could relate to Romeo and Juliet's Montagues," says Benoist, "and she was a Capulet, on Krypton."

Bright lights, big city

Melissa Benoist.

Photography by Christopher Ross | Illustration by Christopher David Ryan.

Benoist grew up in Littleton, Colorado, and moved to New York to attend Marymount Manhattan College, where she majored in theater arts. Soon after graduating from college in 2011, with a few onstage gigs under her belt, Benoist auditioned for her fate-changing role in Glee.

Strange magic

Melissa Benoist.

Photography by Christopher Ross | Illustration by Christopher David Ryan.

Exposure to New York's grittiness, says Benoist, was a revelation: "Just because you might not be happy doesn't mean you're not inspired or fulfilled or stimulated."

Welcome to Canada

Supergirl's Melissa Benoist sits wearing a shiny dark purple top and red striped velvet skirt.

Photography by Christopher Ross

Fun fact: Supergirl films in Vancouver, British Columbia—a city Benoist has come to love.

Role calling

Melissa Benoist.

Photography by Christopher Ross | Illustration by Christopher David Ryan

Feeling a responsibility to the young women who watch the show, Benoist explains that while Supergirl's scripts pass through many hands, she too has a say in her character's behavior.

Aspiring to inspire

Supergirl's Melissa Benoist wears a purple top and a sheer white transluscent skirt.

Photography by Christopher Ross

"We all, especially the women on the show, feel really special to be a part of it, and every day we have conversations about what we're saying to young girls, and what we're teaching them." — Melissa Benoist

Supergirl returns Tuesday, March 30 at 9/8c . Stream next day free, only on The CW!

Photo Credit: Ugo Richard/Contour by Getty Images

Watch Michelle Yeoh in Star Trek: Discovery exclusively on Paramount +.


Shiatzy Chen

Michelle Yeoh in a lacy blue Shiatzy Chen gown.

Michelle Yeoh in a Shiatzy Chen gown, Chopard jewelry, and with a Roger Vivier clutch.

Photo Credit: Barcroft Media/Getty Images

Ermanno Scervino

Michelle Yeoh wears an Ermanno Scervino blue lace dress.

Michelle Yeoh wears an Ermanno Scervino lace dress, Richard Mille watch, and Dior shoes.

Photo Credit: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

Elie Saab

Michelle Yeoh in an elegant blue and gold Elie Saab Haute Couture gown.

Michelle Yeoh wears an Elie Saab Haute Couture gown, Roger Vivier clutch, and Moussaieff diamond jewelry.

Photo Credit: Karwai Tang/Getty Images

Elie Saab

Star Trek: Discovery's Michelle Yeoh in a light blue Elie Saab.

Michelle Yeoh wears an Elie Saab gown, Roger Vivier clutch, and Richard Mille watch.

Photo Credit: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Elie Saab

Michelle Yeoh in a feathered silvery Elie Saab Haute Couture gown.

Michelle Yeoh wears an Elie Saab Haute Couture gown with a Roger Vivier clutch.

Photo Credit: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Shiatzy Chen

Michelle Yeoh in a white patterned Shiatzy Chen dress and gold sneakers.

Michelle Yeoh wears a Shiatzy Chen dress.

Photo Credit: Richard Bord/Getty Images

Elie Saab

Michelle Yeoh in a white lacy dress and solid white blazer.

Michelle Yeoh poses in an Elie Saab dress and blazer.

Photo Credit: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Barney Cheng

Michelle Yeoh in a diaphanous green couture gown by Barney Cheng.

Michelle Yeohin a Barney Cheng Couture gown.

Photo Credit: Rich Fury/Getty Images

Shiatzy Chen

Michelle Yeoh in a bright green Shiatzy Chen dress.

Michelle Yeoh in a Shiatzy Chen dress, Yeoh's personal emerald ring from Crazy Rich Asians, and Roger Vivier clutch.

Photo Credit: TPG/Getty Images

Dior

Michelle Yeoh in a shiny silver Dior suit with high-soled sneakers.

Michelle Yeoh in a Dior suit and Stella McCartney Elyse shoes.

Photo Credit: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Shiatzy Chen

Michelle Yeoh in a white blouse and black pants and vibrant green shoes.

Michelle Yeoh in a Shiatzy Chen blouse and pants and Roger Vivier shoes.

Photo Credit: Jim Spellman/Getty Images

Gyunel Couture

Michelle Yeoh in a black gown with a bold white stripe.

Michelle Yeoh wears a Gyunel Couture gown with Chopard jewelry.

Photo Credit: Venturelli/Getty Images

Elie Saab

Michelle Yeoh in a lacy black dress with golden and green embroidery.

Michelle Yeoh wears Elie Saab Haute Couture dress and Chopard jewelry.

Photo Credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Jason Wu

Michelle Yeoh in a black leather jacket and lacy black dress.

Michelle Yeoh walks the red carpet in a Jason Wu dress.

Photo Credit: Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images

Armani Privé

Michelle Yeoh in a vintage inspired black and purple dress.

Michelle Yeoh poses in an Armani Privé couture gown, Bulgari diamonds, and Richard Mille watch.

Photo Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Marchesa

Michelle Yeoh in a bright red off-the-shoulder Marchesa gown.

Michelle Yeoh wears a Marchesa gown with a Richard Mille watch.

Photo Credit: Steve Granitz/Getty Images

Shiatzy Chen

Michelle Yeoh in a pink Shiatzy Chen top and high black boots.

Michelle Yeoh models a Shiatzy Chen top and skirt with Roger Vivier boots.

Photo Credit: George Pimentel/Getty Images

Elie Saab

Michelle Yeoh in a peach and silver detailed couture gown.

Michelle Yeoh walks the red carpet in an Elie Saab Haute Couture gown, Chopard jewelry, Richard Mille watch, and Roger Vivier clutch.

Photo Credit: Dan MacMedan/Getty Images

Originally published in Watch Magazine, January-February 2021.

SUBSCRIBE NOW: Enjoy 4 Digital Plus 2 Print/Digital Issues Of Watch Per Year— For Free!

Star Trek: Discovery streams exclusively on Paramount +.

MOST POPULAR

Trending

By viewing our video content you are accepting the terms of our Video Services Policy.
© 2020 CBS Interactive. All rights reserved.

Follow us: