Ciara Renée is an American actress and singer with a Broadway background. She will be starring as Kendra Saunders/Hawkgirl, one of the leads in DC’s newest CW show, Legends of Tomorrow. Ciara’s most notable Broadway performances include playing The Witch in Big Fish and Leading Player in Pippin’.
Had you seen Arrow or The Flash before you were cast as Kendra?
Yeah, I had seen a little bit of it but I definitely, once I was cast, made sure to binge-watch all of it. So I did watch it.
Was it intimidating to be cast as one of the leads on Legends seeing how much success The Flash and Arrow have enjoyed?
Umm, no, I don’t think I really thought about it [laughs]. I thought it was pretty cool.
What have Carter and Kendra been up to since we last saw them in the Flash/Arrow crossover?
I think basically training. She has a lot to learn. She has never been a fighter in her life, so now she is trying to a) remember her past lives, and b) you know, work out this relationship with Hawkman, and c) train, so that she actually can be a superhero and do some good.
When we last saw Kendra, she was still struggling with her newfound memories and powers, how has she adjusted to them? How has her relationship with Carter developed?
I think that it’s still kind of assaulting her in a negative way. I think it’s just very overwhelming, and it’s kind of uncomfortable, especially when in this version/incarnation of Hawkgirl, she doesn’t really feel the same connection to Hawkman as before. She doesn’t really remember anything. And maybe that’s how it’s always been but she’s really struggling with the idea that this is destiny and there is nothing she can do to change it. So, I think she’s still struggling a bit, and as we go on, she starts to accept it a little bit more, butstill has the idea that she wants be in charge of her destiny and she wants to stop this cycle. So, everything that she’s doing now is with that thought in mind.
Yeah, that makes sense. It’s a little daunting to suddenly be handed this destiny that ‘oh you’re supposed to fall in love with this guy’ and everything.
So, I don’t know if you can tell us about this, but I wanted to ask: are we going to get to see Kendra and Carter fall in love again? Because I was kind of looking forward to that.
[laughs] Are you shipping the Hawks?
Totally! I’m totally shipping the Hawks.
[laughs] Alright, well I won’t tell any of the HawkVibe people that you’re shipping. But, you know, I guess we’ll just have to see. It is a pretty thin line between love and hate. So, who knows? [laughs]
Will we be seeing more flashbacks to their original incarnations in Ancient Egypt?
I think there’s a possibility of that. I think there’s really a lot of open-ended possibilities to see. A lot of different versions and a lot of different flashbacks, because that is definitely what she’s been going through in having these memories of not just the first life but the 200 other ones.
Sara and Kendra are the only women in a team full of guys, how does that affect their relationship? Will we see them team up and become closer?
Well, you know, it’s really interesting. I think Kendra and Sara are on the complete opposite ends of the spectrum with the whole superhero thing. I think both of them are a little bit hesitant about fully accepting their superheroic abilities. But, Sara is a trained assassin, has died and come back to life in very different way than Kendra does, and remembers all of that. Kendra was just a normal human being for a really long time [laughs] before she found out that she has wings and a soul mate, and all this other stuff. So, they’re both hesitant about being superheroes, but they’re just really very different. But, you know, opposites attract so they may end up being BFFs. We’ll have to see.
Yeah, I hope so! That’d be really cool.
What kind of relationships/interactions can we expect Kendra to have with the rest of the team?
It’s actually been really interesting. We’ve all been paired off or sent off in trios or different groups. She’s really been meshed around with everyone depending on what the mission calls for. It’s always–I think it’s surprising to Kendra sometimes the people she will connect with. Given her set of circumstances and also the life leading up to now, she’s always been a little bit of an outsider and feeling like an outlier. And in this situation, I think she is also an outlier, just because this storyline that they’re playing out is focused on her and Vandal and Hawkman. So, it’s different. The stakes are different. And there’s also, you know, she’s someone that really has no idea about her powers until a couple of months ago. So, she definitely feels a bit like an outsider. But seeing her have to interact with villains and interact with people who are so gung-ho about this and someone from the future, I think it’s very surprising to her.
Will we get to see more of Kendra’s backstory from before she came to Central City?
You know, I don’t–no, I don’t know if we’re gonna touch on that too much. To be really honest, I don’t know that it’s super important to her. Not to say that her family doesn’t matter or whatever, but like I said, she seems to have been really a loner for a lot of her life, and unsure of where she’s supposed to be and what she was supposed to be doing. I mean, she moved to Central City and broke off all ties with everything just on a whim. She’s like ‘well, I just feel like this should be a good place so I guess I’ll go’. I don’t know if there was too much really anchoring her to her past before Central City. So, I think she was pretty ready to move forward.
Should we expect to find our legends in different time periods/places every episode, or will they be spending a few episodes in each time/place?
I think it depends on the mission and how horribly they mess it up or how successful we are [laughs]. I think the more we mess up, the longer we have to stay somewhere so we can maybe undo what we’ve done. Or if Savage gets away and we do have to keep moving forward to try to find him. So, you know, it depends. It’s very mission-specific if we end up staying somewhere.
If you could steal Rip’s time-ship for a day and travel to any time/place, where/when would you go?
I would love to go to like Jazz-era France [laughs]. I’m a huge Josephine Baker fan and a huge jazz fan, and I just think the France that she always talks about is so enthralling to me. I would just love to see her perform and love to be in France at that time. It seems really beautiful and inclusive in a way that a lot of other countries weren’t.
Will we get to see Kendra and Cisco meet again?
You know the possibility is definitely open, and that’s kind of the lovely part about having this extended DC universe. Who knows, maybe we will have some crossovers the other way. Instead of having everyone from Legends on Flash and Arrow, maybe we’ll have some Flash and Arrow people on here. I do think that when Cisco and Kendra meet again, it will be very different because Kendra is very different. What she’s been through has definitely shaped who she is and made her very–just different. She’s not the same kind of cool, sweet girl that she was in Central City.
What aspect of the show are you most excited for the fans to see that you’re looking forward to everyone’s reaction to?
Oooh [laughs]. I mean we have some pretty, as you can tell from the promos, we have some pretty intense fight sequences that have taken up well into the wee hours of the morning and the rain. So, for me, seeing those things, was– it was very rewarding to see that it turned out as cool as you’d hoped it would be [laughs]. I think that it’s also a testament to how ambitious and also how cool the show is that we really went for a lot of these big fight sequences. I think that they’re done pretty impressively.
Our website is called Talk Nerdy With Us, so what is something you’re nerdy about?
What am I nerdy about? Umm…growing up I used to be a big anime fan and I’m a huge video game fan. I’m like obsessed with Final Fantasy. I’d say I’m pretty nerdy about that. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of time to play video games now but I love a good RPG.
Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow night to catch the premiere of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. It will be airing on Thursday nights at 8:00 p.m. on The CW, starting January 21st.