When former League of Assassins badass-turned-Team Arrow ally Sara Lance took three arrows to the chest, actress Caity Lotz thought her days on Arrow were at an end. But thanks to the regenerative Lazarus Pits, Sara will be back in a new incarnation as the White Canary for the Arrow-Flash spin-off DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, which teams heroes and villains on a time-traveling mission to defeat an immortal threat. As part of a special issue of Entertainment Weekly that will only be distributed during Comic-Con (and also available on the tablet version of EW), Lotz talks what to expect from the new series:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did you feel once you heard Sara was being brought back to life?
CAITY LOTZ: I was really surprised, because I thought we made it pretty clear that Sara was dead this time — three arrows to the heart, falling off a building and cracking onto the cement. I was definitely surprised and excited, especially when you play a character for so long, you become really attached to them. I was so sad when she died. It’s nice to know that she gets to come back to life. You only get to do that in the comic book world.
Had you let go of this character yet, or were you ready to jump right back in?
I had let go of it because I thought it was done, but it’s not one that I have to do something to dive back into it. Sara is just a different part of me that’s easy to access.
What kind of training are you doing to prepare?
I go about eight hours a week and I do Filipino martial arts, which is a lot of sticks, knife fighting and staff, which is perfect because Sara has the bo staff that breaks into double sticks. That’s exactly what they train. I’m training with this 79-year-old guru master legend guy, who is amazing. I’m really lucky to end up at this great school and lucky that they let me stand in the back and pretend that I’m good enough to be there.
Because the Lazarus Pits tend to change people, how do you think this character is going to be different from what we saw on Arrow?
We haven’t gotten the scripts yet, so I don’t know how she’s going to change, but we’ve seen with Thea Queen (Willa Holland) that the Lazarus Pit can impact memories and the persona, so the person that goes in is not necessarily the same person who comes out. It’s going to be interesting to see how Sara changes. She’s going to have to relearn a lot of things, [like] how she’s going to interact with people again. She was never much of a people person to begin with. It might be hard for her.
When Sara died, fans felt her story wasn’t quite finished. Are there parts of her life you’re excited to explore, like her time on Nanda Parbat?
Yeah, that’s actually something we had always talked about doing. I was always wanting it to happen. Seeing what happens after Sara gets pulled off the freighter, it’s like where did she go, how did she get there and how did Nyssa find her? It would be interesting to see the origins of the Sara relationship and also the training to see how Sara becomes such a warrior. That’s definitely what I’d like to see.
Do you think there will be any hard feelings toward Thea for killing her in the first place?
I would imagine it would be a hard image to shake, Thea’s face as she shoots three arrows into Sara’s chest. Though when/if Sara learns that it was actually Malcom Merlyn’s (John Barrowman) doing, I think she’d definitely have some feelings of revenge brewing in her stone cold assassin blood.
While Sara is not really a people person, she did previously work with Team Arrow. However, the Legends team is a disparate group of heroes and villains. How do you think they’ll work together?
Even on Team Arrow, Sara always did what Sara wanted to do. Her and Oliver (Stephen Amell) butted heads quite a lot because of that. I can’t imagine that this will be any different from her. She’s not so much of a team player. Sara’s more of a lone wolf. It’s going to be a challenge to have to work with all these different personalities. It’ll be good for her. Even on Arrow, I don’t think Sara ever quite found her place or really fit in anywhere. I’d like to see her be able to find that. Hopefully by working with all these personalities and being forced to be around this team and work with them, she’ll be able to find that.
Does she consider herself a hero or villain?
Sara is the kind of person that would never call herself a hero. At her heart, she is a hero. At her heart, she has good intentions and wants to do good things. But she thinks there’s this darkness in her. She thinks the people around her will get hurt. She doesn’t trust herself. The things that she had to do before really just weigh on her shoulders. She doesn’t believe that she’s a hero. I know that her intentions are pretty pure and that she wants to do good.
When you first signed onto the show, what were some of the questions you had for the executive producers?
I was really curious who else was going to be in it, what other actors they were going to be using. They knew some of them. I’m excited that we got Hawkgirl, which to get another girl in there is pretty fun. I was just excited. At that point, nobody really knew that much about what the show’s going to be other than they wanted each episode to be like an event like the crossover episodes between The Flash and Arrow. Even the time travel, I have no idea how this is going to work, but when we were shooting, I got to ask them a little bit more. The time travel stuff is, I think, the most exciting part of it. It seems like we’re going to be doing some cool things.
What do you think will surprise people about the time travel aspects of the show?
It’s going to take us into a different world, not in the sense of another dimension. It’s going to be a completely different vibe. That will be cool to think that if we’re in a different time period, it’s going to really shake up the show, really keep it exciting and different.
What would you say is your favorite part of getting to play in this superhero world?
The fighting. I love doing the fighting stuff. I came from a dance background and I did martial arts before I started acting, so being able to bring that physicality into the role is a lot of fun.
What would you say is the toughest part?
Sometimes the costumes can be difficult to fight in and to be in. I like wearing them. I feel cool. You feel like you could kick some butt, but then it can be a little difficult.
What’s the better costume: Black Canary or White Canary?
We saw in the trailer that I didn’t have a mask or a wig, and I’m really into that idea. If that’s the case, then definitely the White Canary costume is a lot more comfortable. I was working with the costume designer and had them design it to be more comfortable. She’s definitely trying to do that. The wig and the mask that’s glued onto your face when you’re trying to give expression, your eyes are painted black—it would be fun to not have that stuff on there, but it does look cool. Don’t get me wrong. I love the way my Canary costume looked.
People are hoping to see White Canary vs. Black Canary (Katie Cassidy). Is that something you would be excited for?
Definitely. I think the crossover potential is something that really excites me about the show and what I feel like sets it apart from all the other superhero shows. Sara and Laurel’s relationship has always been a pretty complicated one. I don’t imagine that these recent events are going to make it any less complicated. I’m curious to see. I don’t even know. Would they be fighting against each other? Or would they be fighting on the same side? I don’t think Sara would be into Laurel donning the mask and becoming Black Canary, just because she wouldn’t have wanted her to have the same life that she had, that she wasn’t so into all that darkness. I definitely hope that something happens, whether they fight together or against each other. It could be cool side by side. I’m into that.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow will debut midseason on The CW.
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