ARROW PaleyFest Interview: Katie Cassidy, John Barrowman, and More

     March 15, 2015

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For over three decades, PaleyFest has held panel sessions that connect the worldwide community of television fans with the casts and creators of their favorite TV shows. One of the dramas celebrated at this year’s festival was the hit CW series Arrow, and Collider was there to get the scoop on what’s to come for the rest of this season.

We’ve compiled a list of 11 things to know about how the rest of the season of Arrow will play out, and have also included our exclusive interviews from the red carpet. Be aware that there are some spoilers.

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    Image via CW

    The flashbacks have to eventually take Oliver to the place where we found him in the pilot. And according to Stephen Amell, “It’s going to get worse before it gets better.”

  • The big thrust of the final 1/3 of the season is that the big bad of the year is now very invested in Oliver staying alive. The title of Ra’s al Ghul being offered is really a demand, not a choice. If Oliver says no, then there will be incredibly dire consequences.
  • Felicity still cares deeply for Oliver and is concerned about him, but she needs to explore other options.
  • Even though Season 3 is darker for pretty much everyone else, Katie Cassidy feels that Season 2 was Laurel’s darkest period and that things are lighter for her now.
  • After being lied to for three seasons, and having found out that she killed Sara, Willa Holland said that Thea won’t be coming back form that lightly and that won’t be going over well for her relationship with Merlyn.
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    Image via CW

    Now that so many people know that Oliver is The Arrow, and more people will find out, it’s a relief for the writers. It creates a whole different dynamic because there are no more secrets, but there are different secrets.

  • As the one character that’s still left out of the secret, and because Lance clearly has no friends left in Starling City, he decides to go hang out with Detective West in Central City, for an upcoming episodes of The Flash.
  • Ra’s offer gives Oliver a reason to examine what he’s been able to accomplish since he’s been back in Starling City, and the idea of being the person that commands the League of Assassins, in any way he sees fit, is really appealing. The game Ra’s plays with Oliver, for the rest of the season, forces him to really look within himself, and Oliver will be more introspective, vulnerable and defeated.
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    Image via CW

    Oliver has had Slade and Diggle has HIVE, and now Felicity will get her own nemesis on The Flash, played by Emily Kinney from The Walking Dead. They will go computer to computer and have a tech-off.

  • If Oliver finally decides to let go and get into the land of the living, Stephen Amell thinks the object of his affection would be Felicity. But, she is currently spoken for by Ray Palmer.
  • In regard to what fans can expect from Season 4, Andrew Kreisberg says that, “After the end of Season 3, the show will never be the same again.”

Collider: John, things clearly didn’t work out the way that Malcolm Merlyn was hoping, with all of his manipulations involving Oliver Queen and Ra’s al Ghul.

JOHN BARROWMAN: You don’t know that yet. This might all be one big manipulation.

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Image via Paley Center for Media

Is he feeling worried for his life, at all, or does he still hold out hope that he’ll figure something else out?

BARROWMAN: I don’t think Malcolm is worried, at all. I think Malcolm is riding the wave to find out what happens. I had a conversation with the producers the other day, and we’re not really sure what Malcolm has instigated or not.

And even if he didn’t actually instigate something, he could always take credit for it anyway.

BARROWMAN: You know him so well! Of course, he takes credit for it, or he tries to make it work in his favor. That’s a sign of a good villain. He’s someone who can take the situation and make it work for themselves. You’re going to be very excited about what’s going to come. 

Is Malcolm concerned about how Thea feels about him now?

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Image via Paley Center for Media

BARROWMAN: He’s devastated that she’s turned her back on him, but he’s also allowing her the space to figure it out. With what is to come, she needs to understand the gravity of who she is now. That’s all I can tell you.

Colton, Roy Harper has gone through such a journey and has come so far from who he was when he started on this show. What’s been the most fun part of that journey for you?

COLTON HAYNES: It’s really fun to see the action aspect of it. I don’t really do a lot of the action stuff. I love how they can make me look so cool. My nephews actually want to talk to me now, which is cool. I get texts from my 9-year-old nephews, who are like, “You’re such a bad-ass!” And I’m like, “I’ll take it.” I’m like, “Every back flip you saw, I totally did all of that!” It’s just been fun to really see how the characters have grown and how Roy has really become part of a team.

Emily, how much fun has it been to explore the relationship between Felicity and Ray Palmer?

EMILY BETT RICKARDS: That’s really fun ‘cause the scenes are great. The writing is fantastic. They’re more similar. I think they’re both really quick and smart. They get into trouble that way. And they have a really good time together. Whether or not they’re destined to be together is the ultimate chapter.

Are you personally rooting for Felicity and Oliver to get on the same page, romantically?

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Image via Paley Center for Media

RICKARDS: I want her to make a decision for herself, not somebody else. I’m very pro staying strong while keeping your heart open, and I feel like Felicity is, as well. I don’t want her to get hurt, but she should follow her heart.

And she does seem to be drawing a line and calling him on what he does now, more than she ever has.

RICKARDS: Yeah, I agree. I think that was a big turn in the writing, and I was really happy to see that happen.

Katie, taking on the Black Canary persona has really helped Laurel find herself and her strength. Is she comfortable in her skin now, or will there still be a bit of learning curve for her?

KATIE CASSIDY: I think she’s continuously learning. We see her get beat down and knocked down, but she comes back out on top. I don’t know. I feel like she is just continuing down this journey and growing. I think we’ll see her become a better fighter and a bit more polished. At least, I hope. At this point, she’s brave. I don’t think she cares whether she’s good or not. She just knows what she believes in and she doesn’t care what anybody thinks. She’s a fighter, and she has that mentality. I think they’ll expand and explore that a bit more.

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Image via Paley Center for Media

Laurel seems like the only person willing to put Oliver in his place and refuse to do everything that he tells her to. How fun is that to play?

CASSIDY: I love that about her. She stands up to him. I’m like, “Sorry!” I’m glad that I get to be the one that does that. It’s good. It’s awesome!

Emily, will we not only get to see more of Felicity and her mother, but also learn about her father?

RICKARDS: We get to see her mom again. We don’t get too many details about her father, although he is mentioned. There’s conversation about him. There’s not a lot, but it’s still fun.

Are those things you’re still hoping to learn about Felicity?

RICKARDS: I would love to. But as soon as I learn about it, it will change, and I’ll already have been attached to it. I really don’t ask a lot of questions. 

Katie, what do you enjoy about exploring the dynamic with Laurel and Nyssa?

CASSIDY: Katrina [Law] is a wonderful actress, and it’s been so much fun. What’s really great is that they have Sara in common, which they bond over, and they can learn from each other and teach each other different things. I think that dynamic and that relationship will continue to grow. 

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Image via Paley Center for Media

Colton, with so many fun team-ups in the cross-overs, is there anyone that you’d love to see Arsenal team up with?

HAYNES: I think an Arsenal and Flash team-up would be good. They match already, so they’d look good next to each other.

What’s it been like to form the group dynamic and have him really become a part of Team Arrow?

HAYNES: The time it’s taken to get to this point needed to happen, so he could take his time and train. But I don’t think you’re done seeing the emotional side of Roy. Roy can be very volatile, this season. Towards the end of the season, especially, he really starts to question where he fits in and if he has what it takes to be on his own. You’ll see more of that, going forward.

Will we ever get to learn more about Roy’s backstory, his family or anyone from his past?

HAYNES: You will, toward the very end. Not too much yet, but maybe in the next coming season. There’s still so much in the comic books.

Arrow airs on Wednesday nights on The CW.

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