‘Law & Order’ star Stephanie March on playing Lady Akira in ‘Naomi’, having a supportive spouse: ‘I’m lucky’


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Stephanie March stepped out of the courtroom to take on the role of a “Ripley-inspired intergalactic badass” — and she’s loving every second of it.

In December, it was announced that the former “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” star was playing the role of Lady Akira for Ava DuVernay and Jill Blankenship’s DC superhero drama “Naomi.”

The CW show, based on the comic book series of the same name, follows a teenage superhero when unlikely and outside events impact her hometown. The actress plays the role of a “metahuman” who remains a mystery to her.

Stephanie March as Lady Akira and Kaci Walfall as Naomi
(© 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.)

The 47-year-old spoke to Fox News Digital about her debut as Lady Akira, whether she misses “SVU” and what it’s been like to have husband Dan Benton by her side through it all.

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FoxNews: Congratulations on your debut as Lady Akira.
Stephanie March: Oh thank you, it’s been a really fun world to be a part of, and I appreciate it so much. Lady Akira has been described to me as a “Ripley-inspired intergalactic badass.” Who doesn’t want to do that? And I would work for Ava DuVernay. I was reading the phone book aloud, word for word, for Ava. So it was an easy yes.

FoxNews: How was it working with Ava DuVuernay?
March: It was a dream, honestly. She made such an effort to employ so many women to be part of the cast and crew. And it welcomes creativity. He’s a breath of fresh air to work with. Kaci Walfall, who plays Naomi, is an absolute ray of sunshine. You take a job because you hope the role will be good. But it’s an added pleasure to be part of a cast as dynamic as this one.

Stephanie March is proud to be part of the comic field.

Stephanie March is proud to be part of the comic field.
(Josh Stringer/The CW — © 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.)

FoxNews: What was it like for you to be part of the comic world?
March: It was a very interesting experience. Comic book fans are very supportive and loyal. This is no different for “Law & Order: SVU” fans. What’s different is you’re not in the courtroom *laughs*. It’s fun to have those powers and flip cars or send shockwaves. It’s a hoot. It’s a fun escape.

FoxNews: Is Lady Akira an alien or a metahuman? And how do you prepare to become one or the other?
March: I asked the same question, and I can’t say I could give a definitive answer now. But to me, she’s a metahuman. At least that’s what I’m going to call it for now. I was treated as a foreigner and I don’t take offense. But I prefer the metahuman. How do we prepare for this? I’m still learning *laughs*.

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But in terms of challenges, it’s important to keep the suspense going and not spoil it for fans with spoilers. So even the actors don’t know what’s going to happen. It can be quite difficult to figure out who you want to create and how you can play an interesting character when you have absolutely no idea what that character is going to do next. Everything is top secret. I didn’t even know what Akira’s power would be until I got on set. People always ask me for hints about what’s to come, but we’re just as surprised as everyone else. But it also keeps us on our toes, not knowing what the next step will be.

Stephanie March as Akira and Cranston Johnson as Zumbado

Stephanie March as Akira and Cranston Johnson as Zumbado
(The CW — (C) 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.)

FoxNews: How empowering was it for you to play a character from the comic book world who is handsome, but whose talents go beyond the physical?
March: You know, I was so lucky that for most of my career, I wasn’t just the girlfriend. Instead, I had the opportunity to play very specific and complex women with professional identities who also possess really meaningful personal lives. Or, I try to create a meaningful personal life and play on that duality like a real person, like any woman. We are more than our jobs, we are more than our partners or our children. And that’s been such a gift because you don’t always get to play such a layered character like that.

FoxNews: Who was a superhero or heroine that you grew up looking up to?
March: Well, when I was growing up, the choices in terms of what was available in movies or on TV were limited. You didn’t have the same number of women as leaders that you have on screen now. But I loved Princess Leia and Miss Piggy. They were my daughters.

FoxNews: Two very different girls.
March: Were they? Think about it. They went after what they wanted shamelessly. They inspired leadership. They have devoted male partners. But they also thrived on their own. They really weren’t that different. *Laughs*.

Stephanie March (right) as ADA Alexandra Cabot, Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson and BD Wong as Doctor George Huang in "Law & Order."

Stephanie March (right) as ADA Alexandra Cabot, Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson, and BD Wong as Doctor George Huang in “Law & Order.”
(Will Hart/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

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FoxNews: Many fans still remember you as Alex Cabot from “Law & Order: SVU”. Do you miss her or are you happy to get out of the legal world?
March: I miss her a lot, actually. I spent so much time with her and enjoyed how she grew as a person and how I grew as a person playing her. It’s not often you play a character through so many phases of life. Honestly, the opportunity to see her again, whenever it comes up, is an absolute treat.

FoxNews: What is your favorite memory of your time on “SVU”?
March: I don’t know if it was the first or the second season, but there was a blast. I honestly couldn’t tell you if it was inside the courtroom or outside – I think it might have been inside because I was working with Mariska [Hargitay] and I haven’t done a lot of things outside.

But anyway, there was an explosion, and she was supposed to react and be knocked to the ground. And she kept inadvertently saying when it was coming, as she was falling back, that “swoosh” sound. It kept happening, and she couldn’t help it. Finally, the sound engineer said, “You can’t do that.” She started laughing and I started laughing. It was such a sweet and funny moment. And now that I’m in “Naomi” I started doing the same thing! I know it’s hard on the production because you can’t help it, I get it. *Laughs*.

Stephanie March revealed the one superpower she wished she had.

Stephanie March revealed the one superpower she wished she had.
(Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for FIT)

FoxNews: If you were granted a superpower today – any superpower – what would it be and why?
March: Oh, that would be to do my hair. I want to be able to do my own hair. It would save me an incredible amount of time and money. It’s so easy.

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FoxNews: So you would give up being invisible or traveling the galaxies as long as you could do your hair?
March: Yeah! *Laughs*. Listen, I already do a lot of traveling in my life and I love it. And I plan to keep my travel schedule aggressive if COVID permits. But my hair is a constant problem. My superpower would address a real problem I have!

FoxNews: You mentioned that you can’t say too much about “Naomi” because it’s a surprise for you and the viewers. But what do you think audiences can expect? Or what would you like to see happen if you had the choice?
March: This season’s tagline is don’t believe everything you think. I would like that to really be embodied. Because in life not everything is as always as it seems. But I think the show does a good job of bringing that to life. And it’s been such a gem to be a part of it. But you see, I don’t know either! *Laughs*.

Stephanie March and Dan Benton attend the after-party after the New York premiere of "The social" at Alphabet Bar at Moxy East Village on March 3, 2020 in New York City.

Stephanie March and Dan Benton attend the after-party after the New York premiere of ‘The Social Ones’ at Alphabet Bar at Moxy East Village on March 3, 2020 in New York City.
(Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

FoxNews: How do you find that balance between enjoying your travels with your husband, Dan Benton, while taking on such a demanding role?
March: I am very lucky. We save time for each other, but I have a partner who is really supportive. We elevate each other. Dan has been so supportive from the very beginning. He always said, “Your career is as important to you as mine is to me. And I want us to be the kind of spouses who are supportive and helpful.” He was just that. I’m so lucky to have someone like that in my corner, always.


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