Interview With Corrine Lawrence The Supergirl From Melbourne
I recently began following an amazing Melbourne, Australia, based Supergirl cosplayer named Corrine Lawrence. Although @supergirldiaries, is relatively new to Instagram, her Supergirl cosplay is one of the best I’ve seen. Corrine recreates some of Supergirl’s most memorable moments in comics and film. With the assist of digital rendering, Corrine manages to truly bring Supergirl to life.
A lot of cosplayers do a lot of different characters but you only seem to do Supergirl, why is that?
Corrine Lawrence: A lot of people cosplay for various reasons. It’s my understanding that people who do multiple cosplays do so without deep personal connection to their character. For me, Supergirl is almost part of my DNA. I’ve been dressing up and idolizing her since the age of 4, she has been a huge factor in inspiring the person I have become. We build our core values and beliefs about ourselves between the ages of 0 and 7 years of age, so for at least 4 of those years were spent watching and mimicking the actions and beliefs of my hero. Whenever faced with a problem or an enemy, I owe my strength and resilience to her. Today she’s a bit of a metaphor of my life. Some other characters who inspired me are Mary Poppins, She-Ra and later Jessica Jones. So who knows! In the future I might develop something with them but for now, Supergirl is a very strong symbol and a message to little girls that their purpose in life is not sitting and waiting at the top of the tower for prince charming but do get out there and create their purpose by doing good in this world and that they are not limited to what they can do just because of their gender. I enjoy spreading the same message that was given to me by Helen Slater.
That’s a great answer! You said you first idolized Supergirl when you were four, how were you introduced to the character, was it Helen Slater’s movie?
Corrine Lawrence: Well first I saw the Christopher Reeve films. I never knew there was such a person as Supergirl. Then one night, there was an advertisement for the Film on TV but it was past my bedtime so my Dad taped it for me. I couldn’t believe there was a female Superman who looked just like me. I was instantly hooked when I got home from Pre-school the next day
Were there any other Supergirl influences growing up? Did you read the comics or watch her in the Superman cartoon?
Corrine Lawrence: I bought my first comic book when I was 6. Well, I grew up in a very remote part of Australia, so I was very limited to access to all things Supergirl, and at the time she wasn’t a popular character. She was killed off in 1985 in Crisis and didn’t emerge again really until the early 90s when I bought the comics based on the Matrix. The Matrix was a shapeshifter so she took on the form of Supergirl.
I barely know anything about Supergirl so this is all interesting to me.
But I do know the famous cover of Superman holding Supergirl after she died
Corrine Lawrence: Yes, that is the famous Crisis pose, which I have recreated for Instagram!
So, if you’re like me, and I assume millions of other kids, your first cape was probably a towel you took out of your bathroom, right?
Corrine Lawrence: haha close! This was the 80s early 90s so mum’s scarf collection was pretty useful! But by the time I was into Supergirl, my mum came home from work one day and surprised me with a handmade Supergirl costume that belonged to her boss’s daughter, who had it for a ballet concert. I spent most of my childhood in it and Helen Slater signed it in 2014 with Margot Kidder.
Whoa, that’s amazing. Did you try to fly or do anything dangerous that angered your parents? When I was young, I saw the Flash on TV and every day I would sit in front of the TV changing the channel looking for the Flash again and whenever it stormed, I would run around in the rain hoping to get hit by lightning.
Corrine Lawrence: Haha, well I was not afraid of heights… I was no stranger to running and jumping off things. Supergirl made me fearless.
How high would you jump from?
Corrine Lawrence: I climbed on the roof of the house and jumped from a small part. I didn’t break anything. I think I am going to have a great time in my old age if I ever get dementia.
I think that’s more dangerous than trying to get hit by lightning.
Corrine Lawrence: Probably! If it wasn’t the roof it was a tree or something. Riding bikes with no hands. Anything to fly!
When you’re on a plane, do you imagine you’re flying alongside it?
Corrine Lawrence: I do – it actually distracts me from my hatred for being stuck in an airplane. I hate flying in airplanes. If I’m not driving, then I don’t like it. Haha.
When did you get your first official costume?
Corrine Lawrence: 4. My mother has made everyone that followed.
Even the ones you wear now?
Corrine Lawrence: Yep, I think there has been about 5 or 6 in total.
Your mother is amazing.
Corrine Lawrence: She certainly is.
You said that Supergirl inspires you. Have you used your cosplay to inspire other people?
Corrine Lawrence: Absolutely. I get a lot of nice messages from followers on Instagram. I feel if I haven’t made people believe that a mortal Supergirl can exist then I haven’t done my job. The purpose is to be a symbol of hope and give people the belief in themselves that they don’t need a cape and powers to be a hero. It can be done as a mortal. Who we become, how we define our character is based on the decisions we make. It is one thing to have an idea of who you think you are, or who you’d like to be, but who we are is our behavior. Having said that – superheroes aren’t perfect either.
I completely agree they’re not perfect. I’ve seen some pictures of you with kids, have you visited any children’s hospitals or have done any charities with children? I know some cosplayers that do that.
Corrine Lawrence: Well I am definitely going to be doing the Good Friday Appeal in April next year. That’s the Children’s hospital in Melbourne. I love kids. Inspiring them is what matters most to me. They are the reason I put on the suit. Supergirl and any superhero give kids confidence. It also teaches them to be brave and sick kids need that. I missed a couple of charity events because I spent a bit of time overseas this year that is.
You have the best answers to every question. What was your first comic-con like?
Corrine Lawrence: Daunting. Despite putting on a bright blue, yellow and red suit I find the attention difficult to handle but I’m getting used to it. My cosplay friends are a lot of fun so they make it easy for me.
I wonder if it’s easier for cosplayers with masks. What do you think of the current Supergirl show and what do you hope to see happen?
Corrine Lawrence: I think it would be! Well, I love the new show. It came at a really critical time for me when I needed her most in my life and I’ve laughed and cried and related on every level of her experiences. What I love most is the writers got it right this time and we are also seeing friendships and relationships being portrayed in a healthy way! You don’t see that in a lot of dramas. My hope is that they answer the unresolved questions about the appearance of the Omegahedron, because that thing is needed for Argo City if it’s tying in with the movie, and if Argo city exists, it means her parents could be alive? I wonder if there will be any more movie ties?
I’m definitely finding the movie today. Apparently, I’m missing a lot in the Supergirl show.
Corrine Lawrence: I like Mon-El. Some people criticized the relationship but it’s hard being a strong woman and to find a man who is willing to accept our strength without feeling less of a “man”. I love love. But I don’t want to be with a man who tries to break that down to make himself feel like a man because he’s intimidated by my strength.
I agree. I loved that she didn’t fall into any of the usual female tropes. She is a strong individual. Last question: What does the future hold for the Melbourne Supergirl?