Tala Ashe will be an important part of the mix when The CW’s DC’s Legends of Tomorrow returns for its third season on October 10, 2017. Ashe joins the cast as Zari and during roundtable interviews at the 2017 San Diego Comic Con, she talked about how her character will interact with the Legends and how she’s approaching the role.
How is Zari introduced into Legends of Tomorrow?
Tala Ashe: “She’s from the future; she’s from 2030. She’s going to meet the Legends in 2030. She’s a woman who speaks her mind. She’s powerful. She’s a hacker activist. She’s sort of seen the fallout from events that started in 2017, the rise of populism, the refugee crisis. She’s encountered and experienced this very bleak future. So, she feels that the Legends should not just fix history, they should improve history. They don’t exactly see eye-to-eye at the beginning. The journey of the season is going to be how she becomes a part of the team.”
How is she going to interact with Nate, since he’s a historian and is all about preserving history?
Tala Ashe: “That’s a good question. I don’t know exactly about Nate, but that would make sense. I think she’s going to butt heads with a lot of the Legends. I know that she and Ray are going to have… Again, I think they’re philosophically different. Zari is not a glass half empty (person), but definitely Ray is a glass half full type. So, I think she’s really going to challenge the Legends. At the end of last season there was a little bit of like, ‘We did it!’ for like a second. And then usually someone, in this case me, is like, ‘Actually, the future is terrible. You guys did not fix everything.’ So, yeah, she’s going to be challenging to them and then ultimately part of the team, which will be interesting to watch happen.”
With all the characters they could have brought into the show, do you feel the choice of bringing Zari is because of the times that we live in?
Tala Ashe: “I can’t speak for Phil (Klemmer) or Marc (Guggenheim), and I will say that we have decided to leave the name of Isis behind because it seemed like the sensible thing to do in our current climate. And, of course, the character will be informed by that. I think it’s a really amazing opportunity. I really commend Phil and Marc for choosing to bring in a character like this who is just like us. I think normalizing a Muslim American character, a character who is just as American as she is Muslim, I think that’s really a powerful thing to do right now on television and in the media.”
Will Zari be warning the Legends about not going back in time to periods that were bad for her?
Tala Ashe: “I wonder. I think her being Muslim American is a part of the many things that she is, the tapestry of who she is. I’ll be interested to see (what happens). I don’t know how it’s going to play into it. It’s going to be interesting to see what time periods are challenging for her.”
Did you delve into the comic book history of Zari/Isis or because you’ve left the name Isis behind, do you feel freer in leaving a lot of the stuff that exists behind?
Tala Ashe: “What I think is so cool about what the whole Arrowverse has done is because they have time to develop these characters, the characters can become a real thing. And so I’m sort of planning to take what is helpful to me in creating my version of Zari, and I think Marc and Phil are doing a similar thing. I’m excited to see what we come up with for the Legends version of Zari. But, yeah, I’m doing as much research as feels sort of helpful and not hurtful.”
Since the character is from the future, have you thought about what it will be like in that time for Zari?
Tala Ashe: “Gosh, it’s a little scary to think about, and from what I know it’s not a great future. Yeah, I have been thinking about it. Without getting too dark, I’ve sort of been exploring in my imagination what’s sort of the worst version of where we’re headed, you know? As hard as that is to imagine and scary to imagine, I think it’s going to be helpful for my work. I should think more about that, even.”
Watch the full Tala Ashe Legends of Tomorrow interview: