She came, she cried and she kicked ass.
After months of anticipation, Arrow finally introduced viewers to the Black Canary a few weeks back and managed to pull a double reveal: Black Canary just so happens to be Laurel's (Katie Cassidy) little sister Sara (Caity Lotz), who was believed to be dead. Oh, and Oliver (Stephen Amell) knew she wasn't dead, but she is the one who tortured him when he was kidnapped on the island. Well played, Arrow. Well played.
We chatted with Lotz about landing the highly coveted (and somewhat controversial) role as one of DC Comics' most beloved heroes, Sara and Oliver's complicated relationship both in flashbacks and present-day and what fans can expect from the eagerly anticipated introduction of the League of Assassins...
Can you talk about the audition process? Did you know coming in that you would be playing the Black Canary, and that she would also be Laurel's sister?
I had no idea. I had originally auditioned for a character named Lisa, and the sides had nothing to do with the actual script, so fake sides, a fake character name. I would imagine they just put kind of the elements of the character that they want in for the scene to see, and after I got the part, I still didn't know, and then finally like I came in a meeting with the producers and they were like, "You are not playing Lisa." They explained to me what it was, so of course I was really excited.
How did you feel about the Black Canary's suit after you learned who you were playing?
Oh, I loved it. Yeah, it's so fun. You really kind of feel like it's like Halloween!
After it was announced, some fans were concerned because in the comics Laurel is the Black Canary. Were you nervous when you saw they were changing the mythology that much?
No because you know, we still don't know where the story's going to go and what's going to happen, and that's one of the cool things about Arrow ; while they still respect the comics and the mythology, they take enough liberties to keep everybody surprised, and you know, have some exciting new things not where everybody just knows the whole story.
Sarah has a connection to the League of Assassins, so can you tease that storyline in tonight's episode?
You get a little nice tease of the League of Assassins, and they're definitely dangerous, and I think Sara's really afraid of them and one of the biggest reasons I how it could affect her family and the danger it could put them in. The episode is a really big one for Canary. It was such a challenge shooting it. We had like 18 hour days with so many stunts and a lot of different variations of Sara and getting to go into her backstory, so I'm really excited for this one to come out and to see how the fans react to it.
Are you doing a lot of your own stunts? Are you even allowed to?
Before I even started acting, I almost was gonna be a stuntwoman. So I've done a lot of martial arts training and a lot of fight choreography training, because you know there's kind of a little bit of a difference. On the show, I have an amazing stunt double and she does a lot of stuff for me because, two reasons – one, we don't really have time. I'm shooting a scene and they're shooting her, you know, jumping off of a roof top or whatever, and also insurance purposes. But luckily a lot of my fighting I do get to do, and I've had a little bit of training out here with our stunt coordinator, which was a lot of fun.
Can you tease more of what we'll see of the dynamic between Oliver and Sara in the present day and flashbacks in upcoming episodes?
I think that you see a lot of the battling of trust in the flashbacks because there's still a lot that they don't know about each other and a lot that's changed about each other, so that's a big issue in their past. And I think in their future the biggest issue is Sara's become somebody completely different than she used to be, and I think she's really at odds with that. I kind of see that Oliver's character, he's almost developed to be almost like a better man than he was before, and I think with Sara, her journey is to go back to who she used to be, because a lot of the light gets taken out of her, and a lot of the hope, and so that definitely makes a relationship of any kind confusing between the two of them or difficult.
You hinted how dark the backstory is, and she's very damaged from it. Is it really super dark, compared to Oliver's back story?
I mean, it's definitely pretty dark. We're not even gonna always show everything that happened to her, and I think a lot of it is just things that people can, if they choose to look that deeply, infer what happened to her. But I think you can just kind of see it in her.
Arrow airs tonight at 8 p.m. on the CW.