Last week, we visited Vancouver on a press tour that included several TV show sets, including the set of the highly anticipated new CW series Arrow based on the Green Arrow comic books.
While Katie Cassidy wasn’t on set the day that we were, she still made the time to meet with us and talk a bit about her character, “Laurel Lance.”
Laurel has an interesting back story with Oliver in that the two of them, as well as their friend Tommy Merlyn, grew up together. Laurel and Oliver were also romantically involved, and then Oliver cheated on her… with her sister. And if you think that’s the only drama involved in that situation, just wait until you see the series premiere.
Fans of the comics would know Laurel as “Dinah Laurel Lance,” who, at least in printed form, became the Black Canary, crimefighting partner and eventual better half of Oliver Queen. This was not something Katie looked at when auditioning for the role.
“When I originally had auditioned for this part, I basically came up with a back story that was legitimate to the material that I was given—the pilot,” Katie recalls. “Creating back story to make this person as authentic as possible, I did a little bit of research, but I also, at that point, didn’t consider the Black Canary because I didn’t know. When – if [she becomes Black Canary] is always still a question. You never know with these writers; they could do anything. I try not to think about that at this point because I think sometimes I can get in my own way if I over-think it. I think as far as the Black Canary goes, it will probably happen very organically. I know that Laurel is very strong, very tough. She comes from a middle class family; her father’s a cop; she knows how to fight. It will be something that happens organically, and it’s probably going to be pretty cool,” she says.
Laurel’s father is Detective Quentin Lance, played by the fantastic Paul Blackthorne. “The two of them have become very close because obviously of her sister passing and her mother and his wife not really being in the picture,” Katie explains. “It’s sort of only really been Laurel and her father, so the two of them have a really strong bond and are very close, and you’ll get to see Oliver having a huge impact on that. You’ll see Laurel sort of having an internal struggle as well because she’s caught between the two of them, and her father doesn’t necessarily agree with all of her choices. It becomes pretty difficult at times for the two of them, and they take some shots at each other. They’re pretty tough on each other, but she stands up to him, and Paul Blackthorne is not easy to stand up to! So that has been a little nerve-wracking at times, but it’s fun; it’s certainly fun,” she says.
Speaking of Oliver, what kind of a relationship will Laurel have with Oliver compared to the type of dynamic she will have with the Arrow? “It’s a fun, really interesting dynamic between Laurel and Oliver, and Laurel and the Arrow. She’s curious, you know? Everything she believes in, the Arrow contradicts. But at the same time, he’s trying to do the same thing she is, just in a different way. So I think she sees the parallel. I think she is smart; I think she’s very curious as to who it is, why, what. I think she starts questioning herself and her own morals and values. She’s become an attorney — she stands for the law — and yet, this person is breaking the law and yet making sure justice is served in a different way. She’s sort of reevaluating,” she says.
“At times they are targeting the same people, but you’ll definitely get to see them sort of get an opportunity to maybe work together on something. And at some point Laurel ends up actually—her being an attorney is helpful for Oliver. He gets to use it towards his benefit,” she tells us.
If the Black Canary isn’t coming too soon, that means that Oliver will have a costumed female to interact with well before him in the Huntress, a.k.a. Helena Bertinelli, who first shows up in the series’ seventh episode. What is the dynamic like between Helena and Laurel? “At this point they have not met, but that’s not to say that they won’t meet soon,” Cassidy says. “It’s going to be one of those situations, I have to say, that I don’t exactly know until I show up in that particular scene. I have a feeling there will probably be a lot that goes on internally with Laurel; but as far as how much she’s going to show, she doesn’t like to show all her cards,” she speculates.
Don’t miss the series premiere of Arrow Wednesday, October 10 on The CW! Follow our Arrow-centric Twitter feed @GreenArrowTV for more updates!