Though she's not officially the new Black Canary (yet), it's clear from her name, her canary cry, and new superhero suit, Dinah Drake is ready to take on the role of the Black Canary. Speaking with the press at Comic-Con International in San Diego, actor Juliana Harkavy discussed her creative input in crafting her character's new super-suit, what it's like to play superhero for the first time, and her excitement at the prospect of developing a love interest for Dinah.
"It’s awesome," Harkavay enthused about her new costume, which debuted just before Comic-Con kicked off. "Maya [Mari] did an awesome job. It looks amazing. It almost looks like -- even the bow staff that goes with it -- it looks amazing and moving and fluid. It’s comfortable, which is also great. It makes you feel like a total badass. Maya had the whole costume designed but there were bits and pieces that asked, ‘How does this make you feel, how does this make you stand,’ so there was a bit of playing around. When we finally landed on it, it just it felt right. It is her."
"I did a lot of research," the actor said of her character and how she developed Dinah for the screen. "I really wanted to make it my own. I’ve been slowly reading to see -- I didn’t want to be too influenced." Asked if she will continue to clash with Black Siren, Harkavy replied, "Yes. I love our fighting! Our fight scenes last year were so fun to shoot. I imagine so, yeah."
Asked about her take on the fan reaction to her character essentially replacing Dinah Laurel Lance, Harkavy had nice things to say. "It’s been really welcoming. It’s been very warm and positive and supportive. Any negativity that I’ve experienced -- I can’t even really say that is has been negative, because I get where it was coming from. A lot of it was loyalty to a character fans now believe is gone. You can’t be upset for someone’s loyalty to a character, as an actor that's a gift to see fans care that much."
In Season 5, Dinah Drake was a rough-around-the-edges kind of character who, before she met Team Arrow, had spent years tracking down her partner and lover's killer. Harkavy said those edges will start to wear down a bit, as she becomes more comfortable with her new Arrow family. "Being part of a team, having a family for the first time and not just being out for revenge but actually, having a purpose. For her city, and her family -- it’s going to change her, soften her in some ways, which is cool because I like playing that. She’s such a badass, she’s so hard, she has something now inside that’s like a soft spot."
One of the people with whom Dinah got close to last season was Diggle. Asked if their friendship will continue to grow in Season 6, Harkavy said, "I loved it. I really hope it continues. They have a closeness. They get along well. They're real with each other. I would love to see that relationship evolve." Their relationship will not be evolving past friendship, however, as some fans may have wondered. Dinah will have a love interest though, which Harkavy said she was excited to explore. "I love the idea of her having a love interest. I think it’s a side of her we haven’t really seen before. All we know of her love life is that she had a terrible experience and lost someone she really cared about. I think it will be good for her." Who is the mystery man? Not even Harkavy knows... yet.
Starring Stephen Amell as the Emerald Archer, Arrow returns Thursday, October 12 at 9pm ET/PT on The CW. The series also stars Emily Bett Rickards, David Ramsey, Willa Holland and more.