The CW’s highly anticipated new drama series Arrow tells the story of billionaire playboy Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), who has returned home to Starling City after being missing and presumed dead for five years, following a violent shipwreck. His devoted mother Moira (Susanna Thompson), much-beloved sister Thea (Willa Holland) and best friend Tommy (Colin Donnell) welcome him home, while his former girlfriend, Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy), is not so happy. Now, along with reconnecting to those closest to him, Oliver has secretly created the persona of the vigilante Arrow, to right wrongs and restore the city to its former glory.
During this recent exclusive interview with Collider, actress Katie Cassidy talked about what she’s most excited about with the show, how she had pictured Stephen Amell as Arrow before he was cast (even though she had never seen him), her hopes that her character will take the Black Canary path, how she sees the relationship between Laurel Lance and Oliver Queen, and whether or not she thinks her character can ever forgive him. Check out what she had to say after the jump.
KATIE CASSIDY: I’m excited about everything! It’s fun to be a part of a show like this where anything can happen. It’s very action-packed, but yet, it’s set in a real world with real people. It’s very grounded. It’s dark and edgy. It’s cool. It looks like a movie. When I watch it, I’m shocked. I’m so fortunate to be a part of something like this. As far as the action goes, I’m just excited to get involved in that, at some point. I have no clue when, but hopefully soon.
Is it intimidating to take on a role like this, or was that challenge part of the attraction for you?
CASSIDY: It certainly is intimidating, but I try not to focus on that. I try to keep myself in what I’m doing and focused on character stuff, as opposed to getting wrapped up in worrying or being nervous. It won’t benefit me, in any way, to focus on that. But, sure it is intimidating. I hope we do please the fans, as much as we possibly can.
How did you come to this show? Was it through your relationship with The CW?
CASSIDY: It happened because I got the script and I saw who was involved before I read it. Greg Berlanti, David Nutter, Andrew Kreisberg and Marc Guggenheim are the people I wanted to work with. They’re smart, they’re funny, they’re cool, they’re edgy. I felt like we would speak the same language. And then, I read the script and loved it. I thought it was fantastic, and I loved the character. Everything was right. It was just a matter of it all coming together, and luckily, it did.
CASSIDY: No, there wasn’t. There was nobody attached. We had to wait to see who they were going to get for Arrow. I told Stephen [Amell] that I pictured him, before he got the part, even though I had never seen him. When I read things, I get a lot of visuals, and I guess he was the visual. And then, he was attached and that was it. I was like, “This is exactly what I thought.”
Did you know anything about your character, prior to signing on? At what point did you become aware of the Black Canary possibility?
CASSIDY: After I read it, I had a meeting with Greg and Andrew and David, and they pitched to me what the season would be, what the show would be, the tone and the possibilities. It was everything that I wanted to get involved with, so I was beyond thrilled. I love women. Now, especially, more than ever, we’re seen as equals to men and can do the same things. By the way, we do also bring life to this planet, which is enough, in itself. But, to be taken seriously, as a professional, I’m so about that, especially with a character like this. Laurel, in the corporate world and as a lawyer, is so good at what she does. She makes stuff happen, in the business world. At some point, if and when the Black Canary happens, it’s just awesome for a woman to get to kick some ass and fight, and just be as tough and bad-ass as Green Arrow, or whoever. I think it’s cool, and I think it’s fun. I cannot wait to do some fight training. It’s going to be awesome!
CASSIDY: I think she’s very much a caretaker. It makes her feel good, and I think it’s just how she was raised. Her mother not being in her life, at some point, made her step up into that role of the wife to her father, taking care of him. It’s a selfless act, to me, but at the same time, it’s the only way she knows how to function. It makes her feel safe. In the same breath, maybe it’s a selfish thing. It’s the only way she knows how to operate. Her father instilled so much integrity in her and a lot of morals and values, and she expects people who live up to that. The people who do, she wants to help. The people who don’t, she wants to take them down. I think you’re going to see a lot of that.
How do you see the relationship between Laurel Lance and Oliver Queen?
CASSIDY: There’s a lot of emotions going on. There’s a lot of confusion and a lot of anger. She’s not sure. She’s trying to function and not let it affect her work, at this point, but she also loves this person and there’s a super strong connection between them. She’s trying to close him off, although she also tries to see the good in everyone. She sees his potential. They have all this history. She wants him to be a certain way, and he’s disappointing her and hurting her. I have no idea what’s going to happen between the two of them, but I think we’re going to see a lot of the history in that relationship.
CASSIDY: I have no idea. But, that would be cool.
How will the relationship between Laurel and Oliver’s best friend, Tommy (Colin Donnell), affect things?
CASSIDY: She’s not sorry for what happened between her and Tommy, if Oliver finds out. She’s not hiding it. He betrayed her, having an affair with her sister, and her sister died in the act of that. So, because of the amount that she’s gone through, due to his actions, she is not going to apologize for what’s happened with Tommy. It’s just what’s happened. It’s how she’s coped and dealt with it, and she’s not sorry. That’s it. She’s just like, “You were gone, and it happened.”
Do you think Laurel will forgive Oliver?
CASSIDY: He hurts her again, when she offers herself to him, as a friend. She says, “If you need someone to talk to, I’m here,” and he immediately puts on this front of being the asshole. She’s continuously hurt and disappointed. I think, at some point, she will be willing to forgive, but hopefully not forget. But, it is possible.
Arrow airs on Wednesday nights on The CW.