When Laurel Lance was killed in Season 4, it came as quite a shock to Arrow fans. When the actress who portrayed Laurel, Katie Cassidy, then booked an appearance on The Flash as Earth-2 Laurel (aka Black Siren), all of a sudden the doors opened for Cassidy's eventual return to Star City. In the wake of the character making a few appearances on Arrow last season, The CW announced that Black Siren would be a series regular for Season 6 -- not just a recurring guest, but a full-fledged cast member.
Speaking with the press at Comic-Con International in San Diego, Cassidy shared her thoughts on returning to Arrow after her initial exit, her experience in playing the opposite of Earth-1 Laurel, and why she thinks Black Siren is such a broken, damaged character.
"First of all, it’s awesome playing evil. It’s so much fun," Cassidy said of her current, less goody-good role. "I think that we’re going to be able to learn more and more about Black Siren and Black Siren’s backstory. I think there are some chances of redemption for her. I do think she’s just very damaged, and in terms of backstory what I’ve sort of done -- and this may or may not line up to what the writers end up writing -- but her and her father were kidnapped when she was 14 and she was forced to watch him burn to death. So her whole life -- this is my backstory, sorry -- her whole life she set out to find her father’s killer."
Cassidy's backstory for Siren creates a unique relationship between her character and Earth-1 Laurel's father, Quentin Lance. "That’s why it’s an interesting dynamic with Paul Blackthorne and very confusing for he and I when we have scenes together because we’re so used to playing father and daughter. Now, when we go and do scenes, he’s all confused and it’s so weird having a completely different point of view. Then going through her problems with losing her father -- I think there’s a lot of layers there, like an onion -- we’ll be able to peel back and learn a lot more about who she is, why she is the way she is, and maybe have some empathy."
Empathy is exactly what Cassidy is hoping people can find for Black Siren, especially in terms of finding redemption. "Maybe there is a chance for her to not be so evil all the time. If they want to drag out her redemption that’s OK with me. I love playing the role. It’s so much fun. I feel free, if that makes sense, in the material. It’s fun, I really like it. I do think she’s always going to have that mystery to her. She’s a loose canon. You’ll never know what you’re going to get."
"It’s almost like a completely new character," she replied when asked how it feels to bring a twisted version of her original Arrow role to life. "Having the same sister, having the same father, having people in her life on Earth-2, creating backstory that’s exactly opposite to what we know of Laurel. Having similarities but making it a little bit darker and specific details in situations that she’s walked through but maybe Laurel didn’t walk through. Then you still have someone who looked like Oliver on Earth-2, I think it’s exactly parallel but opposite."
As for whether she'd like Black Siren to meet Legends of Tomorrow's White Canary, potentially in this year's crossover episodes, Cassidy was emphatic in her response. "Absolutely. I love working with Caity Lotz. I said to Marc [Guggenheim], 'is this possible even for Earth-2 Laurel to come face to face with [Earth-1] Laurel? What’s that like?' That’s something really interesting and cool. I hope they do it. There’s an opportunity in the crossovers for that to happen."
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.