New Legends of Tomorrow recruit Lisseth Chavez previews Spooner's 'friction' with the team
Can you believe it's been almost a year since we last journeyed through the timeline with the lovable screw-ups of DC's Legends of Tomorrow? To celebrate the CW superhero dramedy's long-awaited return, EW is launching Six Days of Legends. For the rest of the week leading up to the season 6 premiere on May 2, we're debuting new content tied to the show — from an exclusive new trailer, to interviews with the cast and creators, and more. Now you may be asking yourself, "Why now? Is there some major milestone coming up this season?" Well, to that we say, "Why not?"
DC's Legends of Tomorrow is getting some new blood for their new foe.
In the CW super-dramedy's sixth season premiere, titled "Ground Control to Sara Lance," the titular time-travelers recruit Esperanza "Spooner" Cruz (Chicago P.D.'s Lisseth Chavez) to help them with their latest problem: finding Captain Sara Lance (Caity Lotz), who was abducted by aliens at the end of season 5 (and proceeds to scatter aliens throughout the timeline while trying to escape her captors in the season 6 opener). Guarded and self-sufficient, Spooner spends her time crafting technology that can detect and defend against space aliens because she had an encounter with them when she was younger. Given her loner lifestyle, she's initially not thrilled about joining the Waverider band of goofy misfits, but she eventually finds her place and brings a lot to the table.
"She's just a tough, fearless, intuitive individual," Lisseth Chavez tells EW. "Her fearless personality, I think, just fits in with all the missions that they go into. She's a survivor and I feel like she meets them at a really good time."
Below, EW chats with Chavez about Spooner's dynamic with the team, the challenges of joining a long-running show during a pandemic, and more.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How familiar were you with Legends of Tomorrow when you auditioned? Did you have any idea what you were getting into?
LISSETH CHAVEZ: I had no idea what the show was about, to be honest. And, when I got the audition, I sent a self-tape and I did see the first episode of the first season, but it's a completely different show now. But I had no idea. And, even after I got the part, I just thought it was a drama series. And it wasn't until I met with the writers and they were like "Yeah, it's a very funny show. It has a little bit of everything." I'm like, "I did not see funny at all within my material." And then I binge watched the show during the quarantine, when I was out here [in Vancouver], and I was surprised, I was like, "Wait. How is my character going to fit in?" I was so confused, but it all worked out. It's so wild, but I love it.
How did bingeing the show after-the-fact affect your performance?
Yeah, that's the thing because when I did my [audition], I [performed] it very serious. I did not play her funny at all. And I feel like if I saw the series before auditioning, I would have portrayed her differently. But, fortunately for me, that's what they wanted. They wanted something different to bring into the team, so it worked out. So I'm actually thankful that I didn't watch it, because I feel like I would have done it completely different.
So, she's definitely not a lovable goof like the other Legends?
She's very raw, very passionate, and very much on the serious side.
Given those differences, how does she gel with the team when she first comes onboard?
There is going to be some friction, some conflict just because she's sort of there — I don't know how much I can or can't not say — she's not too fond of the idea of even joining the team. She's there against her will, in the beginning. So there is going to be some conflict between the Legends and her.
That makes sense, especially since she's living off-the-grid and in isolation when we first meet her, right?
She does live off the grid away from everyone. When she meets the Legends and is placed in the position to help out, she's not used to the environment. So, at first, it is going to be hard for her to measure, even understand what's going on. But there is going to be some... I guess you'll see, we'll learn how she gets along and Spooner will also learn a lot about herself and it's going to be fun and interesting.
Does Spooner end up gravitating toward and getting closer to one of the Legends?
We will see that quite soon, too. It's crazy, because we're all so different, but I feel we all have something in common. But you will see her get closer to some people faster than others just because we have a similar story. So, that'll be interesting to see unfold.
Who is it?
You'll see it soon. Within the first three episodes you'll know.
Given that you're joining a show that in its sixth season and has a famously tight knit cast, did you relate to Spooner's journey in the beginning?
Coming into an established family, it's always like, "Oh my God. What's going to happen? Are we going to get along?" I feel like even Spooner and I, we had that in common. But luckily the whole cast and crew is super down to earth and just really fun to be around. And also the show and the episodes and everything is just as fun to shoot as it is to watch. So, that was a plus.
We were all trying to figure out this whole pandemic and we were just looking out for each other and it made it really easy for us to like, "All right, we're in this together." And we couldn't really explore outside of the work family. So it brought us closer, actually. So it made the experience seamless and it just worked. We just fit. I'm thankful and I'm really happy that they're all really nice. You have no idea. This is so fun to be around. And, when we do hang out, it's just within the work family.
Looking back on the season, what's been your favorite aspect of joining on the show?
Even though I don't get to do any of my stunts, I do get to see it. It's just something that I've never really been on a show where you get to do stunts or actually see it. So just seeing it up close and seeing all the action that's happening around me. It's fun. And also shooting outdoors. Shooting in Vancouver is truly a dream. You have it all. And I'm a huge tree lover. So just being able to shoot in that environment has been like a dream, to be honest.
DC's Legends of Tomorrow returns Sunday, May 2 at 8 p.m. on The CW.