Caity Lotz joined the cast of “Arrow” this season as Sara Lance, the long-lost sister of Laurel Lance and the newly minted costumed crusader Black Canary. In its second season, “Arrow” has upped its connections to the wider DC Universe, and in this week’s episode, “Heir to the Demon,” fans will get a look at Nyssa al Ghul (Katrina Law) from the League of Assassins.
They will also get a look at a more blissful time in the history of the main characters, back in the days before Oliver Queen’s fateful boat trip that resulted in Sara’s disappearance.
Lotz answered a few questions about her character and offered hints of what is to come in future episodes.
It looks like we’ll get to see the Lance family achieve some domestic bliss in this week’s flashbacks.
You could say that, yeah. We all had a lot of fun. I remember Paul Blackthorne [Det. Quentin Lance] kept saying when we were shooting, “OK, nobody is dead. Everybody is alive. No tragedy. Everybody is happy.” It was like we were shooting a different show.
You play Sara normally at two different points in her life -- in the present and on the island. With this episode you’ll be playing her at three points in her life. Do you feel like you’re just playing different characters?
Oh, completely. I change the voice a little bit, the clothes are completely different and her reactions to everything change. It’s definitely way different.
Is it a challenge to juggle those different realities of the same character?
I find it hardest to play island Sara because she’s in a transitional period. Present day Sara is also changing, but Island Sara is changing throughout the episode and tracking her progress is fascinating. It’s not anywhere near where she will be as Sara at the end.
There’s an upcoming episode called “Birds of Prey,” like the DC Comic featuring Black Canary and Huntress. So we’re going to see Black Canary and Huntress team up?
Um ... you’re definitely going to see the two. You’ll see them together, that’s for sure. And they’ll have some interaction. But you’ll have to see what that is. We actually haven’t shot it yet. But we will, very soon. I haven’t met Jessica [De Gouw, who plays Huntress], but everyone says she’s an awesome girl.
What are the physical demands for the role?
I try to work out every day. I do yoga because I like it and it feels good. I don’t have a set routine. But on set it’s pretty physically demanding. Last night we were shooting in the freezing cold -- it gets so cold here [in Canada]. We were shooting a fight scene and wearing jackets. I’m really sore today from the fight. Just from hitting other people.
Do you train with the bo staff daily to feel comfortable with it?
I wish I had more time to really train with the bo staff. Most of the time I train on the set because that’s the only time we have. I would want to start doing it more.
When you got the role, did you do a deep-dive into comics history?
Oh yeah, DC sent me a bunch of “Green Arrow” and “Black Canary” comics, and also “Birds of Prey” comics. I checked those out and gleaned what she was all about. I didn’t put pressure on myself to know the whole history of the character, but I did want to understand her emotional history. I did want to make sure I represented her strength. I didn’t want to be a fake superhero, a girl who’s not tough but she’s still running around with her staff. I really wanted her to be strong. That was the thing I wanted to capture: strong and capable.
We’re seeing a lot of Sara on the island this season. Will we know her full story by season end or will her back story continue to unfold concurrently to Oliver’s as the series goes on?
I’m not sure. I would imagine not. I don’t think we’ll get all of her back story. There’s still a lot of story to be told on the island. We don’t have too many episodes left this season, so I’m thinking there’s so much there, I don’t think we’ll get all of it this season.
Both Sara and Oliver have a habit of revealing their secret identities to people. Do you think that’ll hurt them in the end?
I don’t know if I’d say it’s a habit of revealing. It’s just the few key people they need to physically survive. I think it’s a smart thing they did. Can you imagine Oliver trying to save the city alone?