Willa Holland Interview: ‘Arrow’ Season 5 and Thea’s Relationship with Malcolm

Arrow star Willa Holland
Willa Holland from ‘Arrow’ at Comic Con 2016 (Photo © Richard Chavez / Showbiz Junkies)

When Arrow star Willa Holland sat down for our roundtable interview at the 2016 San Diego Comic Con, she kicked off the interview by asking what questions she could answer about The CW show’s upcoming fifth season. Cast members who’d taken the hot seat before her had given very cryptic answers so as not to reveal any spoilers, and Holland laughed and said, “I can basically give you the vaguest answers…”

Season five of the popular comic book inspired series will premiere on October 5, 2016, and Holland says this new season will find Thea helping out Oliver as he takes on the role of Mayor.

Willa Holland Interview:

Can we talk about Thea’s relationship with Malcolm and what it may move toward in season 5?

Willa Holland: “We actually have not touched upon it necessarily yet in the scripts. We haven’t seen any word about it or seen any scripts released necessarily about it, but John (Barrowman) and I have had very extensive conversations with the producers regarding that toward the end of the season four or in the beginning of this one. Basically because in the last two years obviously we now know he’s my dad, obviously we now know he’s not a good guy even though he tries to be and he goes through all of these levels. But to Thea he has drugged her, he has made her do some pretty screwed up things. He has lied to her, he continues to drug her even two years later. […]He says, ‘You’ll never kill me,’ with a knife up to her throat. There’s all these levels to it that we keep going through and at some point John and I were just like, ‘At what point is the audience going to be like this is enough?’ They’ve had enough.

So, obviously they’re going to be in each other’s lives. Obviously their dynamic is never going to be peachy keen. But at this point I think they just expect the worst case scenario with each other so now every time they walk into a room with each other being in there, instead of a (surprised or violent reaction), it’s going to be like an (exasperated one). You know? They expect it, it’s there, and there’s nothing we can do about it anyway. Let’s not keep pointing the whole, ‘I hate you, daddy. I hate you. You’re so unrespectable, so evil,’ dynamic. We’ve done it for enough time.”

What’s Thea’s relationship going to be like with the others after she left them at the end of season four?

Willa Holland: “She did leave. She put a pause, as everyone does in this show. No one actually leaves for good. No one is really dead. None of that stuff is really a possibility in our show. Towards the end of the season, Oliver (Stephen Amell) was running for mayor and she was actually helping to spearhead his campaign. So, I think one of the natural things for her to do in this situation where she’s trying to remove herself from the team but also still wants to be helpful and useful, I think she’s very naturally being put into his right-hand woman role – or however you want to say it – inside the mayoral office now. Because as much as we all would love to think Oliver is a mayor now moonlighting as a vigilante, it’s the exact opposite. He’s only ever showing up as the mayor a smidgen of his time that he’s supposed to, so somebody’s got to be there cleaning up the fact. And that’s now going to be Thea’s job now for a little while. But, in a very good way. I think she’s really growing into it.”

Watch the full Willa Holland interview:

(Interview by Fred Topel. Article by Rebecca Murray.)