Nick Zano reveals the funny advice he gave Arrow's David Ramsey when he directed season 6's Western episode

By Chancellor Agard
May 21, 2021 at 08:00 AM EDT
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Get ready for (now) classic Nate (Nick Zano) and Zari 2.0 (Tala Ashe) mess-around in this Sunday's DC's Legends of Tomorrow.

After Mick Rory (Dominic Purcell) takes command on a mission in 1962, the team finds themselves caught in the middle of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and their presence only aggravates an already tense global situation. To stop the outbreak of World War III, they split up: Ava (Jes Macallan), Mick, Spooner (Lisseth Chavez), and Behrad (Shayan Sobhian) handle things in Cuba, while Nate and Zari go undercover in President John F. Kennedy's White House. Of course, teaming up with Zari brings up some of Nate's unresolved feelings for Zari 1.0.

Below, EW chats with Zano about this fun Nate and Zari team-up, what he calls the season's "biggest episode," and more.

Legends of Tomorrow
'Legends of Tomorrow'
| Credit: The CW

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Before diving into this episode, let's talk about Nate in general. After suffering so much loss, how is he holding up this season emotionally?

NICK ZANO: We started off in a dark place with David Bowie, and then we transitioned out. It's weird because in talking about it, I realized that through Nate's love, loss, love, loss journey of these past six seasons, out of those experiences comes an emotional caretaker this season. Someone who's aware of what people are feeling because he's felt them. [It's] great for someone who's been through so much to share that support to somebody going through a lot of emotional stuff. And that's where Nate is as of season 6.

Part of that transition must also be the result of Caity Lotz's Sara being abducted, right?

Certainly. When he sees what Ava is going through with a loss of love, it's something he's very aware of. And it's one of those things [where he says], "Hey, we're going to get through this. We're going to get through this together. We're going to make it right." And that's his approach.

What can you preview about Nate and Zari 2.0's team-up in this week's episode?

Well, it's always fun to work with Tala. She's a pro, and it's a ton of fun. I did not know Tala was doing a Southern accent until we started rolling. And I think during the first take, you can actually see me react to her choosing to do a southern accent during the episode. So I think they used the one where I hear her do it for the first time. And that's a real reaction.

What leads to their team up?

One, Nate's a huge, obviously JFK buff, and two, Zari 2.0 was obsessed with Jackie O and her style. So it was the most organic pair-up. I was like, "I'm going with you because I'm not missing it." And then a new team arises from the passions of the Legends.

How does Nate handle working so closely with Zari 2.0 given that he just lost Zari 1.0?

Well, we address that early in this episode and deal with it, which was nice because that's the elephant in the room. And through the season, we see a relationship dynamic that's new, and that's fresh for both myself and Tala. And it's actually a lot of fun. As much as I love 1.0, I find 2.0 hilarious. So there's 2.0 choices that get made that crack me up.

Legends of Tomorrow
Credit: The CW

Beyond her Southern accent, were there any other moments when she made you break?

I crack up easily. At this point, everybody knows how to crack me up. And they use that power whenever they decide. It's up to them. I'm very curious about our gag reel this year. I don't know if it was because of COVID and we just all needed a laugh, but people were gunning for me and trying to crack me up. And she knows what to do. So does Matt [Ryan], so does Adam [Tsekhman]. Oh Lord, Adam has every hack into cracking me up. [Laughs]

Is there a moment that stands out from this season?

Oh, dude, we have an episode, a murder mystery episode, essentially a Clue episode. And that man made a choice at the beginning of the episode where I wasn't even in the scene anymore. I was watching him. I was like, "What is happening right now?" He cracks me up. He's got the cheat code to my belly laugh.

On top of that Clue episode, we also have the Caity Lotz's animation episode coming up. Which episode are you most looking forward to people checking out?

Well, we had a Western episode this season, which David Ramsey directed. And when you read certain scripts in certain episodes of the season, and you're like, "Oh, this is going to be a big episode." This Western was, I think, by far our biggest episode of the season. And it took a lot of work, a lot of manpower, a lot of plowing through when the elements weren't on our side. And I got to see a rough cut of it. And I was like, "Well, hot damn, this is a fantastic episode. I can't wait for people to see it." Because while we're making it, it was so difficult. And when I saw it cut, I was like, "This may be one of our best episodes of the season."

It feels like you haven't gotten too many opportunities to work with David Ramsey before. What was it like collaborating with him as both an actor and director?

First thing I said to Ramsey on the first day was, "Ramsey, this is SNL by comparison to Arrow." I was like, "Enjoy the ride and have fun." And Ramsey was great. He put out a really fantastic episode. I know for him, this thing represented a ton of challenges that he persevered through and out of it came a really phenomenal episode of our show.

DC's Legends of Tomorrow airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on the CW.

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DC's Legends of Tomorrow

Led by White Canary, a band of superhero misfits defend the time stream with an assortment of wacky threats in the fourth Arrowverse series.

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