“Arrow” viewers will be seeing more of Curtis Holt, played by actor Echo Kellum, in Season Five. After debuting as Felicity’s Palmer Industries’ tech pal, Curtis pitched in during various crises and got caught in the crossfire once or twice. This year, having been upgraded to a member of the main cast, Curtis will become more entrenched in Team Arrow as he takes major steps towards adopting the alter-ego, Mister Terrific.
CBR News recently spoke with Kellum about Curtis’ evolution, the Mister Terrific costume, Team Arrow’s newest recruits, and his upcoming bromance with “The Flash’s” Cisco.
CBR: Congrats on being promoted to series regular. What does that mean for you and Curtis Holt?
Echo Kellum: It definitely means you are going to see a lot more of Curtis. You see them delving into his back story and see him morph into who he is destined to become, Mister Terrific. For me, it’s a dream come true to be part of an amazing show, with an amazing cast, that brings some great material to the screen. To come in as a returning character and be gifted with the privilege of coming on as a series regular, I still pinch myself. It’s such a cool experience and feels surreal at times. I’m over the moon and so excited to be part of this.
Oliver is mentoring this new generation of heroes this season. What makes Curtis such an asset to the team?
Firstly, his brain. He’s an extremely intelligent person. I think he would be able to help figure out a lot of situations. I also think it’s his determination. That is one thing that is unparalleled. When he puts his mind to something, he’s determined to accomplish it. Team Arrow benefits from his abilities out in the field, and his brain out in the field.
How does Curtis stack up to some of the other recruits?
He definitely doesn’t have all the experience of being out on the street. He’s not as jaded. Artemis’ parents were murdered. There’s a lot that goes on to living the life out in the streets. He’s not coming from that place, so he has a little more optimism and faith in people, and is willing to try things that others might be hesitant to. He has a very positive outlook. That’s one of the biggest differences, but the thing that they all have in common is they want to clean up the streets of Star City and aid the Green Arrow in any way they can.
How far along is Curtis to becoming Mister Terrific?
With these shows, they like to play it pretty real, especially with “Arrow.” That’s definitely what I gravitated towards when I started watching it. I was like, “Oh, man, this is pretty gritty.” Oliver gets into all these situations, and sometimes you have to make the choice to kill somebody, or, sometimes not. I’ve always loved characters where that morality was at the forefront of what to do.
One of the cool things is that Curtis builds up to become Mister Terrific. It’s played out very real. He’s not going to put on a suit and all of a sudden be like, “I’m kicking ass.” It’s going to be a journey to get that character to that place. That’s one of the things the Green Arrow is facilitating. He definitely puts Curtis through the training process and makes sure he is apt to being out in the field in this dangerous world. You’ll see that progress really pay off when Curtis gets to the point where he’s kicking ass and taking names because of all the hardships and hurdles he has to pass through.
How excited are you to get your own costume? Have you seen any conceptual drawings or done any fittings?
I’ve done all of the above and it’s pretty great. I will say there’s still plenty more surprises to lay out throughout the rest of the season. It’s going to be something that people really dig and gel with.
Curtis is the resident tech wizard. Where does that skill-set come into play?
It comes into play in any variety of ways, whether they are hacking bad guys trying to rob a bank, to they have to build some tech up inside of their own bunker to help them amplify a signal, or go out in the field and disarm bombs. It’s going to be extremely helpful to have someone with that computer-engineering background.
Oliver is in a pretty dark place after last year’s tragic events. In what ways does Curtis help him out?
As I was saying earlier, Curtis just has an optimistic outlook on life, even when things are tough. That can sometimes be infectious in a way, where you can start looking positively on things. He does rub off a little bit on the home team.
How important is it to you that they delve into the relationship between Curtis and his husband?
It’s very important. I want to see this character’s whole trajectory. To be a complete person, his husband is a pretty important part of him. You have to deal with that and delve into what it means for him to be out in the field. Does that cause strain on their relationship? Are they strong enough to deal? Those are things that will definitely be dealt with over the season.
What can you tease about the Curtis and Cisco dynamic during the “Arrow/Flash” crossover?
That’s something you will have to wait to see, but I will say it’s a lot of fun working with Carlos Valdes. We hang out anyway outside of work. Curtis, Felicity and Cisco – as a fan, they all seem familiar and would have a great sensibility, or a great rapport, with each other. That’s something you’ll get to see some glimpses of in this crossover.
What else are you excited for viewers to see?
To just really see Curtis get to that place of Mister Terrific and to see him tackle the streets. To see him go full-on is something I feel very thankful for. I’m so excited for people to get to check that out.
Starring Stephen Amell as the Emerald Archer, “Arrow” airs Wednesdays at 8 pm ET/PT on The CW. The series also stars Emily Bett Rickards, David Ramsey, John Barrowman, Willa Holland, Echo Kellum and more.
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