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Cassidy Discusses Assuming the Mantle of “Arrow’s” Black Canary

by  in Movie News, TV News Comment
Cassidy Discusses Assuming the Mantle of “Arrow’s” Black Canary

It was always just a matter of time before Katie Cassidy became a genuine superhero.

Ever since Dinah “Laurel” Lance was introduced, “Arrow” viewers have wondered when she would adopt her comic book counterpart’s Black Canary identity. However, “Arrow” put its own spin on the Canary legacy, and threw DC Comics fans a curve ball, when Laurel’s sister Sara turned out to be the classic hero. However, upon Sara’s unexpected death in the season-three premiere, “The Calm,” there’s been a void that needed to be filled. Now, Laurel will be stepping up and honoring her sister by becoming the new Black Canary.

RELATED: “Arrow’s” Barrowman Explains How Oliver’s ‘Death’ Changes Merlyn

Ahead of tonight’s episode, “Midnight City,” Cassidy spoke with CBR News about Laurel’s evolution, learning the superhero ropes, Black Canary and Arsenal teaming-up and paying homage to the character’s comic book history.

CBR News: So many people have anxiously been waiting for Laurel to become Black Canary. Why has this slow burn worked out better than if she picked up the mantle in Season One?

Katie Cassidy: I look at it like human nature: You want what you can’t have, which then makes you want it that much more. It’s teasing, and giving the viewers the base and dragging it out longer has only made people that much more excited about it. It definitely made me more excited and anxious for it to happen.

On top of that, it’s more realistic and makes more sense. We’ve said, “You can’t become a superhero overnight.” If I turned Black Canary in Season One, then what? That’s coming out of the gates too fast. It’s just too much. I agree with Marc [Guggenheim], Andrew [Kreisberg] and Greg [Berlanti] that every character has to be on a journey of hitting rock bottom. It took Oliver five years on the island. Laurel can’t all of sudden jump in and be like, “Okay, I’m going to be a superhero.” She has to go through things.

EXCLUSIVE: Arsenal Assists Black Canary in New “Arrow” Clip

There has been loss with many characters on our show, but with Laurel, she’s lost her sister and her boyfriend. It’s been tragedy after tragedy after tragedy. She couldn’t take it anymore, so Laurel turned to alcohol and pills. We saw Laurel hit rock bottom and it was whether or not she could rise above it and end up on top. She did.

Marc has stated that a mask does not make a hero. Can you talk about the hard lessons Laurel will be facing in upcoming episodes?

He’s absolutely right. Just because Laurel is wearing a mask and wearing a costume, it doesn’t necessarily mean she’s good. You have to get broken down. That obviously builds character. She gets broken down. She’s kicking ass, but she’s also getting her ass kicked. She’s seeing the repercussions and the other side of it, that you can’t just go out there. Having heart and drive and wanting to serve your sister’s death and have vengeance is part of it, but at the same time, you have to be trained. Laurel is learning that, but she’s also very stubborn. She’ll do whatever it takes.

What kind of team do Black Canary and Arsenal make in Oliver’s absence?

At first, you definitely see Team Arrow resistant to Laurel taking over the mantle. They aren’t necessarily supportive. Roy is actually the first one who sees that Laurel is passionate and driven and has it in her. She just doesn’t have the training. She’s choosing to do this, so he’s the first person who comes to her defense. Roy says, “She might not be good or trained, but she’s a fighter.” He recognizes that in her.

The tagline from “Midnight City” promises “Every hero will be tested.” How does that apply to Canary?

It’s basically what I mentioned before: A mask doesn’t make Laurel a good superhero. She will fight, and do her best, but she hasn’t had the training others have had. You might see her have that realization.

Quentin Lance should easily be able to put two and two together. What’s his reaction to Laurel following in Sara’s footsteps?

I don’t know. You’re going to have to watch to find out.

Lastly, comic book readers are well aware of certain cornerstones associated with Black Canary. She possesses the Canary Cry. She becomes a founding member of the Birds of Prey. She also gets brutally beaten in the “Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters” miniseries. Which arc would you like the writers to explore?

Personally, I feel we do a really good job at tipping our hats to the comics and making the fans happy. Our writers are so brilliant and amazing. They will figure out how to serve justice to all of those storylines, whether it be in the same form or not, such as the Canary Cry. Will we see it? I’m assuming yes, but in what form we see it, I have no idea. In some way, in some capacity, they will fulfill all of those storylines.

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