Katie Cassidy has some big shoes to fill on The CW’s new superhero drama, Arrow. As Dinah “Laurel” Lance, she is not only the long-lost true love to Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), but she is also a pretty iconic superhero in her own right, alias the Black Canary. The pilot episode of Arrow does not explore Laurel’s own vigilante side (though we imagine the season will get to that sooner rather than later), it does set up the Oliver/Laurel relationship as the heart of the show.
“It’s Oliver’s journey, but Laurel is very much a part of Oliver’s journey, and vice versa…They sort of are doing the same thing in a different way. Their hearts are in the same place,” Cassidy, who was specifically looking for a new project that was rooted in “ a lot of heart in a world that was very real, very grounded, but [also with] a lot of action,” noted when LA TV Insider Examiner caught up with her in Los Angeles.
“You’ll get bits and pieces—a little taste of Laurel [in the first few episodes],” she continued, previewing.
Click here for the Arrow EPs’ take on the superhero nature of the show.
“The two worlds sort of come together: the action world and the corporate world. You get to see a lot of them sort of interacting with one another. You see they’re trying to move forward. They’re not necessarily forgetting; you see the struggle that Laurel’s having. She wants him in her life, but she doesn’t know how to fit him in without lashing out [to deal] with these things that she’s feeling.”
In order to more fully flesh out the relationship, Cassidy and Amell sat down together in Vancouver to flesh out their characters and the history which is bound to be explored on-screen soon enough.
According to Cassidy, she and Amell worked out that their versions of Oliver and Laurel “grew up together; they were best friends into lovers. He was her first everything.”
How deeply they felt about each other was altered by events and time, but now that they’re back in front of each other again, Laurel is going to have to “deal with” the fact that some of these feelings never went away, despite her anger at his cheating on her and his involvement in her sister’s death.
“Katie as Laurel was really going after me in our first scene where we chat where she goes ‘I couldn’t grieve’ and ‘I couldn’t do this because my sister was dead and that was your fault’,” Amell revealed some behind-the-scenes pilot secrets about working with Cassidy.
“David [Nutter, the director] said, ‘Katie, I want you to pull it back a little bit, and she said ‘Why?’ and he said ‘Because the opposite of love is not hate; it’s apathy’.”
Click here for more from our chat with Stephen Amell.
But Laurel is not apathetic towards Oliver when he first returns; she is vicious with him. And that speaks volumes about the course of the relationship to still unfold on-screen.
“I think she sees how much potential he has and how good he can be. They move each other. I think she moves him, and she’s real with him and honest with him, and I’m not sure a lot of people are. And so I feel like the two of them are meant to be together, it’s just a matter of—there’s a lot that’s in their way,” Cassidy considered.
For now, though, Laurel and Oliver are keeping a safe distance from each other—in part because he is afraid of hurting her again, and potentially worse, so he flat-out tells her to avoid him. Her dating Oliver’s best friend certainly doesn’t help matters. But Cassidy also teased that there could be more skeletons to come out of her closet that will cause Oliver to look at her just as differently as she was jolted into looking at him all those years ago when she thought he died on his father’s boat.
“You will certainly see surprises in the second episode that bring it all together and make it make sense,” she teased cryptically.
For more insight from Cassidy, be sure to check out our video interview to the left.
Arrow airs on The CW on Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. starting October 10th 2012. Come back here for our advance review as the episode gets closer to air.
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