Arrow's Katie Cassidy Previews Laurel's Rage, Sara's 'Huge' Role in Season 3

Arrow Sara Dies

The CW’s Arrow with its Season 3 premiere sent many a viewer’s jaw dropping off that very same roof, as Laurel Lance’s sister Sara was ambushed by an unseen archer, and sent plummeting to a grisly fate. The aftershock of that event will propel Laurel herself on a journey, one fueled by vengeful rage and leading her to a man who is poised to play a significant role in reshaping her for a dynamic destiny.

Katie Cassidy spoke with TVLine about the “huge” role Sara will continue to play in Laurel’s life, as Team Arrow finds itself down one Black Canary… and very likely fated to one day recruit another.

TVLINE | At the time you and Caity Lotz filmed the Season 2 finale, did you know that there was an even bigger goodbye scene coming up in the premiere?
What makes you think it’s a final goodbye…?

TVLINE | Well, Sara got shot up with a bunch of arrows and fell from a roof….
It’s television, maybe she’s still alive! [Laughs] But having said that, no, we definitely did not know that that was going to be in the season opener. The one thing I will say about our show, which is great, is that Sara is very much a huge part of Season 3. She drives Laurel, she is inspirational for her. She motivates her. There are plenty of reasons why Laurel does some of the things she does in Season 3 are encouraged by her sister.

TVLINE | What gamut of emotions will we see Laurel go through starting this week?
As though we didn’t see enough of this in Season 2, it’s a hard season for her. She gets angry, she wants to get revenge somehow…. You’ll see her kind of dig deep and come out on top. Birds of PreyWe’ve always seen her be very driven, and you’ll continue to see that quality in her. She’s very, very strong, and she’s a fighter, so we’ll continue to explore that.

TVLINE | Is there anyone she goes through this process with, or does she peel off to grieve on her own?
Laurel and Ted Grant (an ex-boxer/gym owner played by Emily Owens’ J.R. Ramirez) have interactions. He is definitely a part of her journey. He can see the potential that she has, and wants to help her evolve and grow and emerge. I’ve actually personally been training, and it is so much fun.

TVLINE | I know, I’ve seen the progress reports you’ve shared on Instagram. One photo even tweeted could be a “spoiler.”
Yeah! My boxing trainer, he doesn’t go easy on me. Our stunt coordinator, James Bamford, was like, “Treat her like a fighter, but don’t hit her in the face.” So when I go, he’s very hard on me, but that’s good because that’s how I am. I give 110 percent, and Laurel is the same way. She has this rage and this anger, and starting to train with Ted Grant is therapeutic for her.

TVLINE | Do you feel like your strength training helps you, or will help you, pull off the more physical, action-oriented sequences?
One-hundred percent. I actually had this conversation with our producers this week, Marc [Guggenheim] and Andrew [Kreisberg]. I am proud to say that in a scene — I can’t tell you which one — you’ll see Laurel training, and they didn’t have to use my stunt double, because I worked really hard at what I was doing. I wanted it to be legitimate, I wanted it to be me. So they let me do it. And aside from that, I literally just texted my producer to tell him that I was able to do something — I can’t tell you what, exactly — and he was like, “No way!” My response was, “The Arrow’s got nothin’ on me!” [Laughs] It’s crazy.

TVLINE | We’ve talked in the past about how losing Tommy rocked Laurel’s world and began nudging her in a certain direction. Will what happened to Sara be what finally propels her on this journey, to becoming Black Canary?
Absolutely. What happens to Sara, whether she lives or not, is a tragedy. In Season 2, we saw Laurel hit rock bottom; let’s hope that she doesn’t have to do it a second time. She will seek revenge, and that will motivate her to adopt more of that fighter/warrior mentality, and give her what it takes. Oliver is skeptical at first, but I think that he, hopefully, will come to respect her for it, and recognize that she has it.

TVLINE | You’ve played assorted young women of substance over the years, but Laurel is fated to be such a dynamically active character. Is that exciting to dive into as an actress?
I tend to gravitate towards these characters that are very strong — the very driven, modern-day woman — and I love that. It’s also a part of who I am in my nature, and I think I give that off. When I was 18 years old, my parents were like, “If you’re not going to go to college and you want to go to acting school and you want to move out, see ya! You’re on your own.” And as pissed as I was at the time, I really appreciate them for it now, because it taught me a lot about life. My grandmother is very stubborn, and she sort of taught me to be the same way! So, my family doing that lit a fire under me and made me work 10 times as hard.

Want more scoop on Arrow, or for any other show? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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45 Comments
  1. Romi says:

    I enjoyed this interview (except for the typos).

  2. Sparky says:

    i hope they don’t rush this. Kinda wish they would spin her storyline off to its own show to make her journey more believable. Arrow is getting kinda crowded with all the superheroes now

  3. Cas says:

    I’ve always liked Katie Cassidy since she was in the remake of Melrose Place (I was one of the few people who watched it) and was IMO the best character on that show. It’s unfortunate that it doesn’t matter how bada$$ Arrow makes her that everyone will still complain about her and not even give the storyline a chance.

    • Judicar says:

      You cant blame people for not liking the character, Laurels constantly dragged down the show over the past two seasons. A large part of it is the writers fault for not knowing what to do with her, but Katie Cassidy hasnt exactly knocked it out of the park either. I’m really hoping that her journey to becoming the Black Canary will make the character compelling and give Laurel something to actually do.

      • R says:

        I don’t hate the character, I hate the poor actress playing her.

        • CK says:

          Remember her characters struggles with Alcohol last year >.> the acting made it near comedic.

        • simin says:

          agree I don’t hate the character, I only do not like the actress playing this role. at first I thought I was the only one, then I realized my husband too shared the same feeling and then I looked online and wow,,, soo many people wished that role should have been played by someone else

    • kath says:

      She’s had two years of storylines, from anger to love with Tommy to addiction to reacting to Sara being back by throwing barware. This isn’t Katie Cassidy’s role, and Laurel drags the show down.

  4. James D says:

    Nice interview thanks Matt (does you? really Matt :)) I’m looking forward to seeing how they go about Laurel this season and in seasons to come, in the comics she is in the top 3 or 5 martial artists I hope they do her justice. I’m one of the few who likes Laurel so i’m excited to see her fulfill her destiny.

  5. So once again someone has to die for Laurel to get herself together and move her storyline along? I normally love Arrow but this is just lazy writing.

    • Paul says:

      Tommy dying served Oliver’s journey way more than Laurel’s. It was what ultimately motivated Oliver to change his tactics and become more of a hero.

      Sara’s death is hardly lazy writing either. Not much else, if anything, could motivate Laurel the crusading DA to hang up her briefcase and become a crime fighter quite the way the death of a loved one, especially her sister. Plus, if you didn’t think that Sara’s days were numbered the moment she resurfaced…well, I don’t know what to tell you.

      • kath says:

        I wish they had put Sara in a wheelchair instead. It would have made Sara flashbacks meaningful and given then a future Oracle.

    • Thomas says:

      Funny how you rarely hear anyone say the same when it’s done for Oliver… Sara, Robert, Tommy, Shado, Moira, Sara again. This has been happening since the pilot. It’s not something new the Arrow writers have started doing specifically for Laurel.

      • Cassie says:

        dont forget the 503 innocent people that died in Glades lol.

      • anne says:

        But the show is ‘Arrow’, not ‘Laurel’ :) And Tommy died because Laurel was stupid, not because of Oliver

        • Hmm says:

          I literally can’t stop laughing at how stupid this comment is. His death was written into the show to specifically steer Oliver down his new path, as evident by multiple EP interviews. But hey, you’ll take anything and make anything a reason to hate Laurel, right? So have at it.

          • Kai says:

            As evident in the S1 finale plot-wise, Tommy literally died to save Laurel from a burning building. A building which she was specifically told by Detective Lance to not go into. Tommy was my favorite character in Season 1. So you’re damn right Tommy’s death is a valid reason to start disliking Laurel (and it’s all thanks to the Arrow writers). Not all show viewers read EP interviews. Besides, they’re just tactics to calm down the Laurel hate post-S1.

  6. Paul says:

    It’s awesome that Laurel’s story is finally tied to the main story for the season. I am definitely looking forward to seeing Katie Cassidy kicking some ass.

  7. Skittles&Bits says:

    I’m excited for Laurel and KC. I’ve always liked Laurel’s character; true, she could do with better story lines, but I think KC’s done a good job with what she’s been given. I’m really looking forward to her assuming the mantle of BC.

  8. anne says:

    I really don’t like Laurel’s character. From episode one she was the weak link for me. The main problem was that she is so different from BC and then they introduce Sara in season 2 who has fighting skills, sonic device, last name, great back-story, Sin… I was happy because i thought they let go of that stupid idea (in terms of writing). But they killed Sara :( And now Laurel will become BC? How? She is 30 (not old old in general, but to become superhero yes) former alcoholic and drug abuser, i am surprised she can walk a straight line. She had self-defense classes. Well, I did too :) BC should be best fighter than Oliver Queen who had 5 years of training prior and 2 more in Starling city and it has nothing to do with self-defense classes. I am really upset that the writers are so unimaginative with super-hero origins in 21st century. It always has to be about death and revenge. I mean, guys really it’s 2014, not the 60′.

    • simin says:

      exactly what I had in my mind. u cannot just get trained in any age and fight like superhero. its just soo unrealistic

  9. Mary says:

    I thinki t’s great that Katie is finally out there doing interviews and talking about her character, and I’m really looking forward to her season three Black Canary storyline. Hopefully the writers will give Katie better material than last year and give her the screen time to really develop her character.

  10. ChicagoDan says:

    I hope this inspires KC to up her acting. There have been moments, but ITA some of it is the horribly inconsistent writing for Laurel. However, when CL is on screen (with Laurel and, basically everyone else), the difference is striking. I’ll wait to render a verdict after the end of first half of S3.

    • Matt says:

      Are you implying Lotz is a better actress than Cassidy? Never thought I’d read that somewhere. I see a lot more people complaining of Lotz acting than Cassidy’s.

      • mupp says:

        The difference being that Lotz was hired because she is good at parkour (she basically has no acting experience) and that Cassidy actually is an actress. I think the problem with Cassidys acting in arrow is that she doesn’t believe a word she’s saying, she doesn’t mean the word so they become meaningless and that is a problem. Also there is a huge issue with chemisty brought on by the fact that Cassidy actually never did a chemistry read/test before being cast.

        • Sparky says:

          Really she didn’t screen test with Stephen???? Interesting….explains a lot

        • Lexi says:

          They never tested Katie with Stephen!? I want to say that’s got to be one of the most moronic casting decisions in television history, but like Sparky said, it does explain a lot. You’re in preproduction for a show that will probably hinge on the relationship between the Black Canary and the Green Arrow, and you don’t see if the actors work well together? I believe the writers have hampered Laurel from the beginning, and apparently they started even before the show was picked up. Thank god David, Stephen and Emily are so amazing when they’re together, because they keep the show afloat.

      • I agree with this one hundred percent.

    • kath says:

      Same here. I’ll give the show till the Christmas break to see how this works out.

      For two seasons, Laurel has been the weakest character on the show (a combination of Cassidy’s acting and the writers trying everything with the character and it not working).

      I don’t have much hope because the last two times she had a plot front and center it failed, but I’ll give it a chance.

  11. ? says:

    Please let Nyssa take Sara’s body . . . she can revive her in a Lazarus pit while giving Laurel’s story the kick it needs to make her into a superhero, and then Sara can show up alive again at the end of the season. Everybody wins. It’s just too sad for Sara to die again after everything her family has been through.

  12. I love her, and Laurel. I’m all for her being Black Canary. I hope she and Olvier can reconnect.

  13. M3rc Nate says:

    Its odd but i really think Arrow is one of the few shows that actual hurt its lead (female) because of such amazing casting they did of a character (Caity Lotz as the Canary). If i could fan-cast the Arrow movie for DC i cant say id pick Amell as the Arrow (as fantastic as his look and physicality is, i just dont feel like he has a lot of range), however for the role of the Black Canary? Oh ya Caity Lotz would get the role, talk about the perfect actress for it, her skills, her acting, her look, her body (totally fit/cut), her hair color, everything is perfect. Where as Katie Cassidy? She wouldnt even be on my radar to play a Comicbook hero. Even all fit (which is awesome btw, good for!)…i just dont see it. I havent been impressed by her acting and she just doesnt (and basically cant without a stunt double) have the physicality (fight skills and gymnastic skills) that Caity has. Caity looks so freaking good with her bow-staff because it comes naturally to her (cause of her martial arts background), something doesnt come naturally to you just because you train with it for a few weeks/months. I imagine Katie will just look like an actress with some training, not like a true natural like Caity did.

  14. Briggs says:

    I hope they can make this work. Something this big has to work, so hopefully, they pull it off. The chemistry with Ted will need to be amazing. We’ve only seen two eps, but I’m willing to see where it goes.

  15. Eirhow says:

    Googled “Arrow Season 3” and this is the first thing that came up. Thanks for the spoiler in the headline guys…

  16. raineetoneme says:

    I am loving Laurel this season. She was a mess in season 2. I have no problem with Katie Cassidy portraying her. They could have cast the role better, but I like her a lot more this season.

  17. john beach says:

    Hey all you Katie Cassidy haters out there I have only one thing to say to you . Leave my girl alone and give her a chance. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and my opinion is I am tired of every one slamming my girl Katie Cassidy “Back Off”. Its not her fault that for the past two seasons of Arrow that she has gotten shabby storylines. If its anyone’s fault its the writers. Talk about them and not Katie Cassidy. If the writers treated her the way they should of in the beginning she would have been a lot more likeable by the fans. I still say that Oliver and Laurel belong together. That’s the way It should be hint, hint Arrow writers get it right for a change. In conclusion Thea better not be able to kick Oliver’s butt Oliver has been trained for five years and Thea has been trained for five months. She better not be able to kick Oliver’s butt. Yes I said it again.. I love Arrow, I am not to please with the writers at the moment get it right !
    Thank You

  18. ANNA says:

    no, just no.

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