On Season 2 of the hit CW series Arrow, Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) has rededicated himself to his mission of being more than just another vigilante, and is attempting to become a beacon of hope for the city’s most vulnerable, as The Arrow. In Episode 13, “Heir to the Demon,” Oliver and Lance (Paul Blackthorne) try to convince Sara (Caity Lotz) to stay in Starling City and finally reunite with Laurel (Katie Cassidy), who continues to unravel, and Dinah (Alex Kingston). When Sara’s fellow League of Assassins member Nyssa al Ghul (Katrina Law) shows up in Starling City to bring Sara back to the fold, Sara refuses, putting her family in danger.
During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, actress Caity Lotz talked about not knowing the extent of the role she’d be playing until she was cast on the show, hoping that she’s able to win over the fans, how exciting and unexpected her character’s journey has been, that Sara is going to be emotionally tested, how interesting the history between Sara and Nyssa is, how much she loves doing the fight scenes and stunts, how much fun it was to shoot the flashbacks with the Lance family, and what she thinks it might do to Sara to rejoin the League of Assassins. Check out what she had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.
CAITY LOTZ: No, I had no idea what I was signing up for. I auditioned for some random character. I knew the sides were fake, but what they were trying to capture was an emotional toughness and a woundedness. I knew I liked the character. I didn’t know who the character was, but I liked the spirit of the character. And then, after I got it is when I found out the whole extent of who I was going to be playing, and I was super excited about it, to say the least.
Anytime a character from the comics is added to the show, the fans get very vocal about what they do and don’t want to see.
LOTZ: Yeah, they do!
So, once you did find out, how nervous were you, going into the role, and when did you realize that fans were really embracing you, as much as they have?
LOTZ: I didn’t really think about it before. I just did my work and played her how I wanted to. No matter what, I’m always going to do the best that I can with it. It wasn’t until later that I started getting more involved on Twitter and Facebook, and everything, and saw everything that goes on. There’s a whole Arrow universe online where people interact. It’s really cool. I think it’s awesome. The fans are proud of the show, they’re defensive of the show, and they’re defensive of the credibility of all the characters. They know the show is made for them. They want what they want, and the producers and writers and everybody are really good about delivering that. So, it’s been cool. I wasn’t really nervous about it. It’s been a pretty positive embrace of Sara. Of course, not everybody likes her, but hopefully if they don’t, I’ll be able to win them over.
The show has been really strong with each episode, this season. As you get each script and you find out where your character is going next, what has most surprised you about her journey?
LOTZ: I get so excited when I get the next script. It’s like belated juicy gossip. When I read them, I’m like, “Oh, my god, I can’t believe Thea did that! Oh, my god, I can’t believe that!” It’s so fun. I’m always blown away by how much they can fit into an episode and still have more story to go. As far as what I’ve been most surprised by, Wednesday’s episode has a lot of fun stuff. There’s some stuff where I was like, “Oh, wow, I didn’t know that was going to happen!” So, Wednesday is a good one. Everybody needs to check it out.
LOTZ: Her past is coming back to haunt her again, but it’s not so black and white. There’s a big grey area with it. Emotionally, Sara is going to get tested. She ends up in a pretty dark place where she has no idea what to do. For her, there’s only one option.
A woman scorned is bad enough, but an assassin scorned seems really, really bad. When you found out that Black Canary and Nyssa al Ghul were more than just colleagues and that they were also exes, what was your reaction to that?
LOTZ: I thought it was cool. They have a pretty interesting relationship, and it was strong. I was excited about it. I don’t think it was cheaply done. They really had this connection. I think they’re both not your atypical woman.
It seems as though you also have some pretty intense fight scenes coming up. Do you enjoy that type of physical work?
LOTZ: Oh, it’s my favorite! I love it! I was a dancer before I was an actress, so I’ve always been someone who likes to communicate from my body and movement. I was a martial artist, too. So, for me to be able to do all of the fights is a blast. We were actually shooting a bunch last night, and it’s so fun. It’s like dancing, but more bad-ass. I really enjoy doing it.
Do you go through a constant training process for the show, since it is so physically demanding, or do you have to do it on the fly because of the tight schedule?
LOTZ: The schedule is ridiculous. Everybody works very hard on this show. I wish I got to do more stunt rehearsals, but most of the time, I have to learn the fights on set, whenever I have down time. If I get a break, I’ll learn a fight while they’re setting up the next shot. I think I’ve had one or two actual stunt rehearsals, ever. But I trained before, so I can pick up the fight scene stuff pretty quickly. And then, there’s outside training that we do on our own. Stephen [Amell] works out all the time. Trying to do it in the morning when you have to be on set at 6:30 and you don’t wrap until 10 at night is tough. But, it’s worth it, you know?
LOTZ: We had so much fun shooting those scenes. The producers and the director really wanted it to feel like it was almost a different show for those moments, with the lightness that these characters had in this other world that they lived in. It’s fun playing that version of Sara. It leaks into your life a little bit, if you’re having to be a character that’s super heavy and who has the weight of the world on their shoulders. You carry that around with you a little bit. So, it was nice to take that off for a bit and be able to smile more.
What do you think rejoining the League of Assassins would do to Sara? Would it take whatever shred of sanity she has left?
LOTZ: Yeah, after coming back I think it would. Maybe if she had stayed there and never gone back to Starling, she could live without remember what life was like. But after coming home and seeing her family, and what life could be and how life should be, if she went back, I think she knows that her soul couldn’t take it any longer. She couldn’t keep up with what she’d have to do there.
Arrow airs on Wednesday nights on The CW.