In Episode 307 of The CW drama series Arrow, entitled “Draw Back Your Bow,” we get a deeper exploration of the Arrow-obsessed serial killer that we have only just gotten a glimpse of. Carrie Cutter (Amy Gumenick), aka Cupid, is convinced that The Arrow (Stephen Amell) is her one true love and will stop at nothing, no matter how deadly, to get his attention.
During this exclusive phone interview with Collider, actress Amy Gumenick talked about having no idea which character she was actually up for when she auditioned, what an honor it is to bring to life a character that was created for the comics by executive producer Andrew Kreisberg (the writer of the Green Arrow/Black Canary comic book series, at the time), who Cupid is and what her motives are, what it is about The Arrow that attracted her attention, why The Arrow is caught off guard by Cupid, how bad-ass it feels to put on the costume and pick up the bow and arrows, and that her character will go to any and every extreme possible to prove her love and have her happy ending. Check out what she had to say after the jump.
AMY GUMENICK: Oh, it is so, so, so much fun! Fun doesn’t even begin to describe it.
How did you come to be playing Cupid on Arrow? Did it help that the network was already familiar with you from Supernatural, or did you go through an audition process?
GUMENICK: I do think it helped. However, I did go through an audition process. I auditioned for the producers and writers of Episode 307, and the creators of the show and of Cupid. And when I initially auditioned, they would not release any information about who the character was. All I was given was that she was a redhead, so it was a bit of a mystery for me. I went in and created this mysterious redhead, and I didn’t find out it was Cupid until after I was cast. So, it was as fun a surprise for me, as it was for the fans.
Were you more nervous or excited to play a character created for the comics by one of the producers of the show?
GUMENICK: Both! It’s a huge honor. In a way, I was glad that I didn’t know that, going into it, and that they saved that fact until after I had already been cast. But, I think that Cupid is such a brilliantly written character. She’s so fun and multi-dimensional. So, to step into those shoes was definitely scary. They are big shoes to fill. But Andrew Kreisberg, who created the character, did a really beautiful job in laying the groundwork for her, and then allowing us, as a team, to really collaborate and bring her to life. It was such a fun process.
Did Andrew Kreisberg give you any specific guidance or tell you anything about Cupid that helped you in how you wanted to play her?
GUMENICK: I definitely caught up on as many of the comics that included Cupid that I could get my hands on. There have been some hilarious cartoons created, and I wanted to base her as much as possible in the comic book world, as well as bringing an element of grounded humanness to her. I didn’t want to play a cartoon, but I wanted to have elements of that. Andrew really let me discover that. He his big thing, and the ongoing conversation, was that while she is mentally unstable and she does go to extreme measures to fight for her love, and is flat-out a murderer, to really keep in mind that she is driven by love and she is out to get the bad guys and she has fun doing it. The fun and the game was something that, throughout the whole process, we kept trying to discover. This is all a big game for her. So, when I could really live in that place, I forgot about the negative things that she was doing. It’s fun when it’s all part of this game of love, and that was something he really encouraged.
You’ve gotten a taste of what fandom can be like, with your work on Supernatural, as that show also has a really dedicated fan following. Does that help you have an appreciation for the fans of Arrow and the level of dedication that they have?
GUMENICK: Oh, absolutely! There’s actually a lot of cross-over, which I thought was really interesting, and didn’t know until working on Arrow. A lot of the amazingly loyal fans of Supernatural are also Arrow fans, so it’s been a fun opportunity to reconnect with all of them and, in a way, dedicate this character to them. It’s been great to have been invited back into that world.
What can you say about how Cupid fits into this episode, and what it is about The Arrow that attracted her attention, in the first place?
GUMENICK: Without giving too much away, she and Arrow have definitely crossed paths before, and I think she’s had her eye on him for quite awhile. Cupid is someone who’s been burned in the past, many times, and has lost many lovers. She sees a lot of herself in Arrow and looks up to him, on several levels. She wants to be the fighter than he is, and she wants to fight beside him. In a lot of ways, she seems him as a hero, and that’s something that she is immediately drawn to. Once Cupid has her mind on something, nothing will stop her from getting it. I would say that it’s love at first sight, except that this isn’t the first sight. It’s been a long time coming, and now is her opportunity to really jump on it, so she goes for it.
We obviously know that The Arrow knows how to deal with really bad guys and girls, but a romantic stalker is a whole different game for him.
GUMENICK: It’s dangerous on a different level.
So, what can you say about how he reacts to this situation, when he’s made aware of it?
GUMENICK: I think that he’s caught off guard. Cupid’s way in is not the typical way. She comes from an emotional place, and finds his weakness and the vulnerable spots in him. Love makes you do and see and act in ways that you would never even imagine yourself doing or feeling or acting, and she uses that to her advantage. And I think it is genuine for her. In the filming process, we talked about, why doesn’t he just shoot her and kill her? He is powerful enough that this could easily be a problem that is quickly solved, and yet he doesn’t react that way. There is more heart that she finds, and they can relate on the issue of the unattainable love. I think it’s interesting that he allows her to play this game and, in a way, plays along with her. She finds something in him that is rooted in emotion, and that’s not a territory that he’s familiar with.
How bad-ass does it feel to be able to put on the costume with the bow and the arrows, and be the one making The Arrow nervous?
GUMENICK: So bad-ass! The writers of this show do a really good job in creating bad-ass women. This genre, in general, does a really good job at that. The second I put on the costume, in my first fitting, I felt like there was a transformation. And then, they gave me the arrows and I was fortunate enough to get to work, one on one, with the archery expert and embody this new skill. I will say that archery is more powerful and empowering than I ever thought. So, it’s pretty remarkable to step into such a bad-ass character and just go for it.
Cupid is described as a murderous villainess with a tenuous grasp on reality, who seeks extreme ways to demonstrate her obsessive love for The Arrow. How do you think she would describe herself?
GUMENICK: I think that she would describe herself as a woman in love. Like anyone who’s ever been in love, nothing and nobody could ever get in the way of that. I think that she will go to any and every extreme possible to prove her love and to have her happy ending.
Arrow airs on Wednesday nights on The CW.