Katie Cassidy is proud – as she should be – of the amount of physical training she’s put into playing Laurel Lance/Black Canary on The CW’s Arrow. With season four set to premiere later this year, Cassidy has been dedicated to making sure she is in top shape so that she makes for a believable superhero on TV.
“The thing is I’ve always wanted to be in this genre. I love training; I love working out. I love action, and I kind of realize that I can determine my own destiny. I realized that I love working out and I love being healthy, and they’re basically saying, ‘You’ve got to look like you’re in superhero shape.’ And I also think it makes the character on the show a lot more realistic the more I can do,” explained Cassidy during roundtable interviews at the 2015 San Diego Comic Con. “As an actor I just feel like in my brain that’s what I would do is train and work out and work hard. It’s been really hard but it certainly has paid off. I don’t know if you guys follow me on Instagram but the training, I take it really seriously. But I love it and it makes you feel good too, being strong and having biceps.”
Speaking of her powerful biceps, Cassidy hopes the writers will include scenes of her using the salmon ladder in upcoming episodes. “[…]I’ve actually been working on it and I certainly hope so,” she said when asked about the possibility of that taking place in season four. Cassidy hasn’t actually been on the real salmon ladder yet because it’s on set and they’re on hiatus, but Stephen Amell clued her in on how to tackle it. “He was like, ‘As long as you can do a pull-up… ‘Can you do a pull-up? Can you do three pull-ups?’ I was like, ‘Yes! I can do 30 pull-ups.’ He’s like, ‘That’s all you really need to do. As long as you can do pull-ups, you’re going to be okay.’ I used to be a competitive gymnast and I feel like it’ll be pretty – I don’t want to say easy – but I feel like I got it.”
Cassidy obviously admires Laurel and says she’s a fighter with a lot of heart. “I definitely think that we’ll see her this season a lot more polished. She’s been training. She’s been working on her skills as much as possible. I think we’ll see her just develop and become even stronger. I also think that Andrew Kreisberg made a good point. He said, ‘Laurel always sees the light at the end of the tunnel as opposed to Oliver who can get to a dark place.’ Laurel always tries to see the positive in everything and I think that she’ll continue to do that. I think that she’s going to be a big part of the creation of Legends.”
Getting to gradually grow into the character of Black Canary and watch that storyline develop was also something Cassidy enjoys about being a part of Arrow. “As an actor it worked out perfectly and it was a dream come true because for me I like to do – to make any character I play as legitimate as possible I like to do backstory and creating as much detail as possible after script analysis to make the script and the story more legitimate,” explained Cassidy. “And so as an actor when they actually write that for me it’s genius because it makes that more realistic. I think the writers were really smart and we didn’t come out of the gates all of a sudden in season two I was Black Canary. Laurel had to go through hardship to be able to come out the other side, and for it to be believable. I think it was a slow, steady pace was definitely a good thing and I think now I can just go crazy and kick some ass! It’ll be awesome.”
Watch the full interview with Katie Cassidy on Arrow season four: