After living through her harrowing death, rebirth and subsequent bloodlust on “Arrow,” it actually looked like the newly rechristened superheroine was actually having fun as one of Rip Hunter’s ragtag group of time-traveling, would-be world-savers. She smiles! She jokes! She flirts! But as Lotz reveals to CBR News, Sara still faces her share of rough road ahead.
CBR News: You were involved a very shadowy storyline for a long time on “Arrow.” What’s it been like to bring Sara into an entirely new context?
Caity Lotz: It was a little confusing at first, actually, because the first two episodes are kind of different for Sara than all the other episodes. They’re like less normal Sara, I felt like. When I first got the script, I was like, “Wait, where are we going with the character? This is just a totally different direction or what?” And they were like “No, no, no. It’s still the same.” It felt like it was almost written for a different character, and they’re like, “It’s still the same Sara. We want to keep it that way.”
So there was a little figuring out for me, I think, in the first two episodes — but those first two were all about setting everything up, too. I really get moving, more into the season, There’s some really cool Sara stuff. But yeah, it was weird at first. I was like, “Oh, my God!” I just let her have fun.
So there’s a method to the slightly different Sara?
I think you just get to see a little bit more of the old Sara — you get to see some more of that in further episodes.
It was fun to see her interactions with new characters. Tell me about that, who you had a spark with.
It’s fun — whenever we get scripts, we always get excited. We’re like, “Oh, we get to have scenes together this time” I mean, I loved all the stuff we did with Young Stein. When Sara goes out with Firestorm, all of that stuff was super fun. And Sara and Rip have very dynamic relationship — very feisty, and they fight a lot and they butt heads, and that’s a lot of fun too. We have a lot of fun doing that. And then — I think Sara and Snart have some similarities that are fun to explore.
Physicality has always been a part of your role. Are you having fun playing with that and taking it in a new direction?
This has been challenging, because I do more fighting and bigger fighting than on anything else I’ve ever worked on — even versus “Arrow.” “Arrow” is more contained and hyper-realistic, whereas “Legends” is more cinematic, like movie fighting — big giant kicks and flips and stuff like that. It’s more challenging, shooting a huge fight scene with swords, which I’m looking forward to, if I can be awake for it! But it’s cool. It’s definitely a challenge. It really pushes me to get better.
We’re in a great moment in pop culture where female action heroes are finally beginning to thrive. What does that mean to you, to be part of that?
I guess the problem before is they said they tried to do like female-driven action movies, and they didn’t sell tickets. And now, you look at “Star Wars [The Force Awakens],” where [Rey’s] female and it’s made, like, a trillion dollars. I think it’s very clear now that people want to see female action heroes.
I don’t know what’s changed — I guess a lot of things have changed, but I also think that it’s just writing them as a person. It doesn’t matter if they’re a guy or a girl, just make them a complicated, interesting character that is badass and believable. It’s fun to be a part of it. Yeah. I think it’s great, and I love doing all the action stuff. I’m so glad people want to see it.
How closely do you want to hold onto Sara’s darker qualities? Or do you want to see her move past them?
One of my favorite things about Sara is how complicated she is, and I think that comes from the darkness of the torn, tortured kind of soul part of her. One of the biggest things that comes from is just, she’s very hard on herself, and she doesn’t really accept herself or accept her past. She doesn’t look back on things and go like, “Well, that’s made me who I am today, so it’s all worth it.” She looks back at it and regrets it and would do anything to not have had to go through what she had to go through and become who she became. I think she doesn’t like who it turned her into. I do think that there is a future, hopefully, for her. She can look back and be like, “Okay…”
That’s why, on “Legends,” having a purpose, something to use her talent and skills and put that towards something, would make it all worthwhile — why she went through everything she had to go through. That acceptance would bring along a peace to her. So yeah, I would like to see her evolve, but I like the darkness, and the tortured soul of her is interesting.
Her romantic life is complicated and diverse. What can you predict for her on this show?
She has a love interest kind of fling for an episode — that’s fun — with a girl. But this season is not about Sara finding love. Sara needs to find Sara, to figure out who she is and kind of deal with her own demons. She’s not out there looking for the love of her life. She needs to kind of find herself first.
How much room do you have to return to “Arrow?”
I would imagine tons. I mean, Sara’s dad, Sara’s sister, ex boyfriends, friends — there’s so many [reasons to go back]. That is her past, that is her life outside of on the ship and “Legends.” I definitely think she could pop back in there.
What does the title of White Canary mean to you?
I think Laurel, her sister, says it best. “You’ve been in the shadows long enough. It’s time to be a hero in the light.” For her, being White Canary is in hopes of stepping out of the darkness of her heart and of dealing with the blood lust and becoming a presence of light. Bringing goodness and being a hero, and not hiding behind a mask and a wig. Just being able to be who she is and putting herself out there and consciously trying to make the right choices.
What’s it like, having a passionate fan base that follows The CW/DC shows?
It’s weird to get noticed more, recognized. At first, it was really, really fun, always. Then, sometimes people just look at you, stare at you and stuff, and it’s weird. You feel uncomfortable because you feel like they’re watching you.
But everybody’s super supportive and nice. I’ll go and do comic cons and travel around the world and meet people who are fans of the show and hear such inspirational stories from people and what the show has meant for them, what a bisexual character has meant for them. Army vets who were wounded and couldn’t get out of bed and watched “Arrow” and were driven to rehab and things that just bring you to tears. It’s really special, [having] people coming up and saying how happy they are for their daughters to have a tough super hero, a girl to look up to. It’s really inspiring and it’s touching.
And it can be weird. I’m on Instagram a lot at night, and I share a lot, and I like to share with people, but it’s weird. It’s changing now, because you start to be like, “Oh, maybe I need to watch the privacy a little more.” Some people feel like they know you, and then people feel like you’re not a person either. Whatever they say or do, you’re not an actual person to them, so there’s no accountability. But mostly, our fans are die hard and supportive, so that’s definitely nice. We’re lucky. We’re lucky to have them, and that’s why we can make these great shows.
Is there anything from the comics you’ve seen that you want to do — a scene or a storyline?
Well, White Canary’s a very little known comic [character]. There’s not much known about her. She’s a villain in “Birds of Prey.” I would like to see some more stuff with White Canary and Black Canary. But in the comics, they’re always fighting against each other, and I like it when we’re friends — when sisters can be friends!
You and Katie Cassidy work really well together.
I feel like we’re really sisters. We hang out a lot, so there’s definitely some real sister stuff that happens. Hopefully, we get to do more of it.