It is my opinion that Katie Cassidy is the best actress currently on television and she has long been one of my dream interviews. I have believed that for many years and it’s easy to see that her versatile repertoire make her perfect for any and every role. I adored her as Ella Sims on Melrose Place, (still my pick as television’s best show to not receive a second season). She was flawless as Juliet Sharp on Gossip Girl. Currently, Katie plays Dinah ‘Laurel’ Lance on arguably television’s hottest new show, Arrow, and I recently had the chance to talk to her about working with such a strong ensemble cast, what is coming up on the show and to clarify once and for all if its ‘Dinah,’ ‘Laurel’ or ‘Dinah Laurel.’ I also spoke to Cassidy at Fan Expo Canada over the summer and was excited to talk to her again now that I have gotten a real feel for the show.
Murtz Jaffer: Do you remember me? I was the one freaking out when you were in Toronto for Fan Expo Canada.
Katie Cassidy: Oh my gosh, you’re so sweet! I do remember you… hi! That was so nice of you… thank you.
MJ: I know you’re in a rush, so let’s just get right to it. Now that audiences have had a chance to settle in and catch more episodes of Arrow, what has the reaction been like?
Murtz & Katie Cassidy
KC: Amazing. Everyone has been responding to it really well and the readings have been really good. It’s just so nice to be part of a show that everyone is working so hard on and I don’t know. It’s incredible. It feels great.
MJ: Can you settle the debate? Is it Dinah or Laurel? I can never figure out what to call your character! .
KC: Well.. it’s Dinah ‘Laurel’ Lance and that’s like a hats off to the comic book so obviously people refer to her on the show as Laurel. You saw in Episode 5 when she walks in court and says, ‘It’s Dinah ‘Laurel’ Lance your honor.’ It’s like my real name is Katherine Cassidy but people call me Katie. You know what I mean?
MJ: This role is so different from your other ones, specifically in terms of how Laurel is good while Ella on Melrose Place and Juliet on Gossip Girl were bad. Is it easier to play a good character versus a bad one?
Katie Cassidy as Dinah ‘Laurel’ Lance
KC: It’s definitely different. I feel like with this character, it’s unlike anything I have done before. It’s more internal. I feel like a lot of my characters have been very external, but with Laurel, I wanted to keep her grounded and real. And very heartfelt. Keeping it all internal to me, is really important.
MJ: One of the things that I find the most interesting about the show is the way the writers manage to keep all the characters involved and how it isn’t just about Oliver Queen. While the show is about his journey, we know a lot about his sister, his love interest, his best friend, his sidekick. Can you talk a little about how tough it is keeping everyone involved on an ensemble show?
KC: I am sure for the writers, it can get complicated but I also have to say that we are fortunate that it doesn’t kill Stephen (Amell)! Being a part of a show that is an ensemble, you get a little bit more time off and as much as Stephen is already working, I think the rest of us can kind of cover him and take over and play out our storylines as well. I think it is good. I love it!
MJ: You know the series has focused so much on Oliver’s flashbacks and what happened when he was on the island. Do you know if there are plans to go back and revisit what the other characters like Laurel were doing during that time?
KC: I have certainly heard them flirt with the idea but I don’t actually know specifically what their plan is as far as going back to that. I have heard rumors but I am not sure…
MJ: Your Twitter is especially hysterical. I am a big fan of your constant ‘yawning’ on there in particular….
MJ: Recently you retweeted somebody’s Black Canary costume, I was like ‘she is definitely trying to tell us something here.’ Is Black Canary coming up?
KC: I think you saw Laurel kind of kick some ass in episode 3 and I think you’ll get to see a little bit more of that. There is obviously an evolution that she has to go through to get to that point. I don’t think it is a plan of if. I think it is a plan of when.
MJ: I think what I like most about the show is that there always seems to be a bigger picture. Despite the fact that every episode can standalone just as easily. Do you think that is the reason for its success? It has something for the loyal day one audience but at the same time, a new viewer can jump in and not be completely lost.
KC: I think they did a nice job with the hybrid of a procedural and a soap opera. I think that it also appeals to both men and women because you have this kickass action story and then you have this great character-driven side to the show. They are complicated characters, there is a love triangle going on and drama that is going on. I think they have done a fantastic job between the two parallels.
MJ: And finally what can we expect from the rest of the season and your character specifically?
KC: I definitely think you’ll see Laurel flirt more with the idea that the law isn’t necessarily the way to go all the time. I think Arrow is definitely opening her eyes to while justice is still being served, you don’t always have to go through the law. I think you will see her let her guard down a little bit and open up a little bit. Allow herself to be vulnerable. You’ll see her relationship develop with Tommy, you’ll see the complications between the three of them and the love triangle that continues. Laurel is always caught between her head and her heart and I just think that you’ll just get a chance to get a better sense of her history and her vulnerability and her strength at the same time. She certainly is evolving and her journey is crazy and amazing and I am so excited!!! It’s going to be great!
MJ: I am hoping we get to see the Black Canary… uncaged! I was waiting to drop that line on you the entire interview.
KC: I do too!
MJ: Amazing Katie, thank you so much.
KC: Thank you. It was great talking to you. Take care.
Watch my video interview with Katie Cassidy, Willa Holland & Colin Donnell.
Arrow airs Wednesdays @ 7 PM on CTV & @ 8 PM on The CW and returns next week
Tags: Arrow, katie cassidy, murtz