This week, Talk Nerdy With Us had the incredible privilege of talking with Katie Cassidy who plays Laurel Lance on The CW’s Arrow. Cassidy was no stranger to television before, with roles on hits like Gossip Girl, Melrose Place, and Supernatural, but has become most known for her portrayal of Laurel Lance. Throughout the years she has grown quite the fan base, making this interview both an honor and a joy. Despite the busy schedule a show like Arrow requires, Cassidy took a few minutes to talk with us, which made it no surprise to find her attentive, kind, and thoughtful. It was obvious from our interview that Cassidy loves what she does and who she works with, and that she is supremely proud of Arrow and the work she gets to do on it. As a fan, it is always fun to hear that the actors are just as excited about their show as you are, and that is what we get with Cassidy. Read on to find out how dedicated Katie is to her work, what she loves about the show, and how the on-screen chemistry between the female characters actually begins off-screen.
What has been your favorite Black Canary moment so far?
The canary cry was pretty cool. For me, the way I approached the material was by doing some research, but I did not want to be mimicking anything. I did want to have a take of what the canary cry looked like, so I did research the comics some. I wanted to incorporate what it was like in the comic books but also wanted to make it mine. I hoped it would be a ‘hats off’ to the comic book and the fans. I saw the cry as not reinventing the wheel, but just my take on the character.
For the character in general, I took into consideration the way the original canary held herself and tried to incorporate that. It has been so much fun! Also, I really do enjoy the fight scenes and training with Oliver. For the first few seasons, I was not the canary, so it has been so much fun being a part of the Arrow story.
What has been the most difficult stunt this season? Any injuries?
No injuries really, at least, no injuries worth writing home about. (laughs). I did a lot of training in martial arts during the hiatus to prepare. It’s funny, though, adrenaline seems to kick in during the fight scenes. Like with the tonfa. I practiced using that every day during the hiatus and during filming. I can do a flip with the tonfa no problem on a daily basis, but literally when we go to film the adrenaline kicks in and every time I would flip it it would fly across the room. The crew all knew that I could do it, but I would always have problems while actually filming. (laughs). It wasn’t really challenging, more embarrassing.
That is hilarious. It seems like Laurel has grown a lot this season. What do you think the catalyst was for this growth and how do you think season 4 Laurel is different from Laurel in the past few seasons?
A huge part of Laurel’s journey has been Sara. As we saw in the pilot, her sister had been lost and we thought Oliver was too, but then he shows up. Season 2 we see Laurel hit rock bottom, turning to drugs and alcohol. Then her sister shows back up and Laurel discovers she is the canary and then her sister leaves. Then in season 3 her sister comes back again but died. This season she resurrected her sister (laughs), bringing her back and her leaving again. Just this back and forth, but now it feels like Laurel has finally found peace with all of it.
Her sister is her reason for everything. Sara motivates Laurel. Sara is the reason she was able to take on being the Black Canary. She’s empowered by Sara. It wouldn’t surprise me (and this is not a spoiler! This is just what I think) if we found out they were twins. They have this connection that isn’t just what sisters have, but more like what twins have. They are very close and can feel each others presence, even when they are not around each other.
That’s really interesting! One of the things fans seem to love the most in Arrow are the relationships between the female characters. Can you tease anything about upcoming episodes between Laurel and Thea, Felicity, Nyssa or Sara?
I’m going to go off track a little bit. The thing that’s so awesome about our show and that is so great about this universe and The CW and Greg Berlanti is that they’ve been very smart when it comes to hiring people. It started with Arrow. Emily came on and was just a guest star and became a series regular because she had so much light and charisma. You couldn’t take your eyes off her and our show needed that. Then there’s also Willa. Willa and Emily are such strong women, and I like to think of myself as one too. We are independent and have the same mentality and mindset.
It’s been really amazing growing and seeing these girls… I think I was 24 and Willa was 19 when the show started, and I’ve seen these girls grow up and start to become women. It’s been really fulfilling personally. And there’s the shows they have built around Arrow, like The Flash. Danielle Panabaker- I’ve known her for a while but we weren’t very close, but now she’s my roommate. She is also confident, strong, and driven and I respect that in women. We’re not catty or jealous on our shows. I’m a big believer in positivity brings on positivity, and we see that among us women. All the female women on these shows are very good friends.
I’m a big believer in positivity brings on positivity, and we see that among us women. All the female women on these shows are very good friends and our relationships- well, when they don’t write for us, we’ll make shit up. (laughs). Emily is one of my best friends and I can always look at her on set and get something from her and she doesn’t have to say anything.
I love that! This will be my last question and, believe it or not, it was probably the question I got asked the most for this interview. Many of your fans have asked about seeing more of Laurel’s training, particularly they want to know if we will get to see her on the salmon ladder.
They’ll have to keep watching. I can’t give it away, but I certainly hope so!
If you didn’t already love Katie Cassidy, I am sure you do now, so be sure to check her out on The CW on Arrow, Wednesday nights at 8:00 pm!