EDITOR'S NOTE: These interviews were conducted before the panel presentation announcing the Legion of Doom's role in Season 2.
After a freshman season spent flying by the seat of their pants -- both in-story and creatively -- concluding with a total upheaval of the status quo, the actors of "DC's Legends of Tomorrow" spoke candidly with CBR about their experiences and hopes for the sophomore outing at Comic-Con International in San Diego.
The actors we spoke with, Victor Garber, Caity Lotz and Dominic Purcell, all appreciate the major changes coming to "Legends of Tomorrow" in Season 2. "I think that this show is going to be better this season," said Garber, who plays the Martin Stein-half of Firestorm. "I mean, it was good, but it was weird not doing a pilot. Nobody knew what we were doing. We were just signing on to something, like catching a fast-moving train, and then when you thought, 'This is not working,' it was too late. So I think they've figured it out."
Garber noted a character moment he felt stood out from the first season, in which Stein's wife bid him leave with the Legends. "It was very important to me that they wrote that, because there were too many episodes where Clarissa wasn't mentioned. I would joke at the end of every scene, saying, 'Where's my wife?' Just to get them to say, 'Oh...'" he recalled. "[Stein] was talking about relationships, but there was that thing with Clarissa in the second episode and then nothing for many, many episodes. I felt like all of that stuff was very important."
Another character moment Garber enjoyed was Stein meeting his young self. "I'm an actor, I've done a lot of different things, I'm always looking for something that has pathos, comedy or drama -- and that had all of those things," he said. "[Graeme McComb] was great, that kid. He had a similar profile, but when I was that age, I had 'Godspell' hair. It was like nothing in this room. But he obviously had watched or studied me -- he was a really smart kid -- and he just kind of fell into it. My responses to him were very real, because it was like, 'Oh? Oh, what a prick you are.' That was fun to play."
Garber also said having a more deliberate structure, in which heroes are broken into smaller groups rather than appearing en masse in each scene, would also benefit character development. "I come from the old school where people have conversations, and something happens. Where someone is motivated to act because of something else," he said. "So I'm always looking for that in the script, and when it's not there, I say I think we need something more substantial. I see that changing."
Dominic Purcell, whose Mick Rory transformed from Heat Wave into Chronos late in the season, was more blunt in his assessment of Season 1's shortcomings as he looks ahead to the next arc. "I felt like last year, there was a bit of predictability to things, which I think tends to happen on a big show. We're all in the same position, we don't know what the fuck's going to work and what's not going to work. We're experimenting as we go along," he said. "Now that we've got that first year behind us, we know what's going to work. In the second year, the team and the actors, we've all been collaborating, this year, you're going to see more individualized journeys. We're going to be pairing off, singles or pairs, instead of the entire group doing the same thing every week around that fucking table. I'm guessing it's going to be an entirely different kind of show. We've shot four or five days -- already, I feel a difference."
Despite Mick Rory's evolution, Purcell said he doesn't know if all that much has changed for his character, who he describes as "a funny, pissed off Dirty Harry." "I'm not sure if he's evolving, to tell you the truth. He's still pissed, and he's not sure how not to keep being pissed," the actor said. "Again, he's just this firebrand, he's impulsive, instinctual, a simmering volcano -- you don't know what the fuck's going to happen with the guy. That's what makes him interesting."
Caity Lotz, aka White Canary, agreed that the changes in Season 2 should breathe new life into "Legends." "It's less of a, 'We have to save the world!' every episode. It's more contained," she said. "It's starting to get more of a sense of its own tone and character voices. Now, when I read the scripts, it's so specific. Each character is so distinct, and I like that, when you have these characters that are so rich and interesting. I think they're shining through this season."
Of course, her character will be dealing with both the loss of her sister over in "Arrow," as well as the death of fellow Legend Leonard Snart, aka Captain Cold. "Somehow, Sara's always ok. She's like a cockroach, you just can't kill her," Lotz said. "But she's not over it, with her sister. That's the deepest burn that she's ever felt, so it's being carried over into the next season. I hope for a long time, to keep doing it justice."
Lotz also said she's looking forward to more period costumes, which she said are supplied by the same company that creates wardrobes for "Game of Thrones." "Sara always gets some really great looks," Lotz said of her character. "The '70s look, my 'Fievel Goes West' look was pretty cool."
Purcell, however, was less thrilled about fancy dress. "Ah, fuck. I had to get in a Three Musketeers thing," he said. "Didn't like it. Next question."
"Legends of Tomorrow" Season 2 debuts October 13.