It’s so good being bad. Some of Arrow’s most famous villains, Katie Cassidy (Laurel Lance, Black Siren), Josh Zegarra (Adrian Chase, Prometheus), and Kirk Acevedo (Ricardo Diaz) took the stage at Heroes and Villains Fan Fest in London to discuss their vigilante lives, and their journeys to possible redemption.
The whole panel agreed that playing a bad guy can be a lot more fun than being a hero. “The bad guys get to do whatever they want, that’s why it’s so fun”, said Segarra. “We get to explore the lengths of how bad we can be. We don’t want to do that in our real lives, so when you get to do that on screen that’s pretty chill.”
“You get to do something and don’t get in trouble for it, you just get to have fun”, agrees Acevedo. “The hero is boring, there’s not many layers to him, there’s more layers to the villain. It’s great because it’s not all black and white. We are who we are for a reason. It’s more complicated than just being bad.”
“It’s definitely very freeing, I have found”, so Cassidy, who started her Arrow run as the heroic Laurel Lance and has since transitioned to a more villainous character. “It’s kind of like the actor’s playground. We can just mess around with more material.”
Still, for the sake of the children present the trio explained that it was only cool to be a bad guy on television and that in real life, one always needs to be the hero. “In real life, don’t be the villain, there’s punishments for those guys. You’ll get grounded a lot”, said Segarra.
Catch some more highlights of the panel below:
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Katie Cassidy spoke in detail about her transition from hero Black Canary to her new character as Black Siren. While she was eventually happy to get a new chance as a hero, it was very painful to say goodbye to Laurel.
“It sucked when I found out I was the one in the grave, because it didn’t really occur to me until about episode thirteen or fourteen [of season four]”, so Cassidy. “I thought nobody is going to be in the grave, this is television. And then I got the phone call that I was going to be in that grave, and I didn’t actually know that they were going to bring me back. It was really hard. As an actor, in general, I think it’s hard on your ego, and your confidence.”
However, the powers that be found a way to bring Cassidy back to the series as Black Siren. “Thank you to all of you guys, because we have the best, loyal fans in the world, and I think there were a lot of discussions going online, and I think it swayed the writers a bit”, she said about fan support. “Like ‘Okay, shoot, maybe we should bring her back and make the fans happy’”, so I was thankful for that.”
And it surely seems like playing a villain was a lot more fun to Cassidy. “The way they wrote for me in Laurel’s journey from season one to season three and four was incredible. I look back on it now, and I took it so seriously to the point where now that I am playing a villain I can have a lot more fun with the material. It’s more freeing, and it’s exciting. There’s more depth, there are more layers. Once I got to the hero, my journey stopped, and I was just there in every scene. I think there was just more material and more to do once I turned into a villain.”
However, she also stated that it was difficult for her to stay patient and wait for her villain’s journey to redemption. “It’s great when they write for you and you’re not just coming in at the end of the scene screaming”, she said. “For me personally it can be a little frustrating at the beginning of the season because I wanted to play, I wanted to play with other actors and get to the arc.”
And redemption is definitely in the cards for Black Siren. “I think a lot more will be revealed next season. I definitely think we will find more about her backstory and her journey will certainly continue to evolve”, she teased. “I feel like she’s almost her own island in a way. She’s a bit of a loose cannon, and you never know what you’re going to get with her. I think there will be a way for the team to utilize her in a way, but I don’t think she’s ever to be trusted fully.”
Arrow returns with new episodes this fall on The CW.