Katie Cassidy talks Laurel Lance becoming the long await new Black Canary on Arrow with CBR. Cassidy discusses about first learning about her character later becoming the Black Canary, her being disappointed when Sara was the first to become the character, but then becoming happy once learning what that meant for the overall story and how it made sense. She also talks about her character possibly being the first to do the Canary Cry. Katie Cassidy debuts as Black Canary on January 21st, when Arrow returns with its mid-season premiere.
Highlights of the interview below:
Your costume’s been a long time coming, From the beginning of the series, everybody wondered if, when, how? So what did it mean for you to finally get to this point?
Yeah, I mean, it’s truly an honor. When I originally sat down and met with Greg [Berlanti] and Mark [Guggenheim] and Andrew [Kreisberg], they pitched me the characters attached to the show. And they had said Black Canary, and I was, like, over the moon. I wanted to do something action-packed. I thought that was great. And then it’s television — anything can happen. But Season Two, obviously, they brought my sister back, and she was the Canary. It was disappointing at first, but they explained to me, and it really made sense.
I’m actually happy that it worked out this way because they were like, “You can’t just come become a hero overnight. You have to earn it.” Oliver was on an island for five years. Laurel can’t just all of a sudden wake up one day, put on the suit and turn into the Black Canary. She has to earn it. I feel as though Season Two, she really hit rock bottom, and the writers really wrote for me, which I totally appreciate. She’s earning it. She’s training. She’s fighting. She’s following her heart, and she’s going out there on the streets. She’s doing what she believes in.
Tell me about the suit itself, the good things and the things you need to work with?
Honestly, I have to say, there’s nothing about the suit that is that uncomfortable. It’s actually quite comfortable. And shooting in Vancouver, where it’s freezing — it’s warm! It’s always leather. Yesterday, we did a bunch of shots, and I was inside here in the costume, and I had some fighting sequences. I was drenched in sweat. Because in Vancouver, it’s cold, and it actually works out perfectly. If there’s anything, I’d say that it could be adjusted — I have this, like, garter that I wear, and leather stretches. It has a tendency — it’s starting to sort of get a little bit looser, so I’m constantly like pulling it up. But it’s pretty comfortable, and it looks amazing. I love it.
And the wig?
The wig is great. I’m really happy they went with a straighter version — it was my idea to go with a straighter version! I think the wig’s awesome.
The last time you and I talked, you were teasing that you were getting ready for the physicality of the role this season. How has that gone for you? Has it been fun?
Yeah, absolutely. I trained like crazy. I wanted it to be as authentic as possible, and it was my decision to really [push it] — like, when you see that boxing scene, I wanted it to be me. I didn’t want it to be my stunt double. I wanted it to be as real as it possibly could be. I love being healthy and living a healthy lifestyle. I love working out. I was like very excited about it. I have three trainers: a weight lifting trainer, a boxing trainer, and then Callanetics. I was working out like five to six times a week, almost three hours a day for a bit, so it was pretty intense. But it was almost like therapy. Like that release, you know, with boxing, I love it. It’s so good. It’s so fun. Now, obviously, I don’t have to go that crazy because once you build up that muscle, to sustain, it is easier. It’s just a matter of getting it. So it’s not as intense any more, but it was hard. Once we started shooting, it was hard, but I was game and ready to go and thrilled that I’ve been given this opportunity. This is honestly a dream of mine, so I couldn’t be happier.
Is there something about the comic book character that you would still like to play or bring into the show?
Obviously, the Canary Cry! We haven’t seen that yet. But I do feel like maybe at some point, Laurel will have her own version of it, and maybe it won’t be necessarily in the same form [as the comics].