Katie Cassidy: Gone with the Arrow

Katie Cassidy has taken quite the stroll on the CW Network, but it wasn’t until ‘Arrow’ that the dark haired beauty made a full stop, playing the role of Laurel Lance, a kind hearted attorney, with love ties to Stephen Amell’s Oliver Queen character. A seemingly good for nothing’s playboy, who happens to be a vigilante by night, and these days, even by day.

Cassidy, who is filming the series’ final two episodes of its freshman season in Vancouver spoke to me on the phone after a practically playing phone tag, due to her hectic filming schedule. I had met her before leaving backstage to commence the panel. But as luck would have it, we’d encounter each other again. ‘Arrow’, has become the CW’s winning hit this past season, introducing the super hero-esque genre to the network, pleasing comic-book fans worldwide.

“You never really know with projects. You go into it trying to be optimistic and as positive as possible. And you go in with the kind of people that we had, everything that was possibly needed. To kind of get to the level that I feel like we've achieved.” She says, “We have such great writers, we have a great cast, and we had a great script. So all the tools were there, but you never really know how the world is going to take it. Or whether the world is ready for a show like this.” The world is definitely ready. The Green archer hit the bull’s-eye, drawing in 4 million viewers during it’s premier, the highest the CW has seen since the premier of their 2009 Vampire Diaries pilot. In fact, the series picked up for a second, only a couple of episodes following its premier.  “Getting picked up early was definitely a surprise for us,” She tells me, “It all came together. I’m actually kind of sad to now see our crew and cast as we take out hiatus.”

One scene is all it takes to note the authenticity and truth that Cassidy has brought to the character of Laurel. Though I had already fell in love with her as Juliet Sharp, a conniving outsider, determined to get revenge on the Upper East Side’s, spoiled and beautiful on the teen soap “Gossip Girl”. Cassidy has done it again, as the do-gooder citizen of Starling City on “Arrow”. Her commitment to the role is not only apparent but also refreshing, and an absolute change from what she’s done in the past. “After I read the script, I knew that this was something I wanted to do,” she says. “The process just took longer than I had expected. I wanted the part so bad, I actually told my agent and manager that I wasn’t  going to read anything else. I had read other material, but hadn’t responded to it the way I responded to ‘Arrow’. I wanted to make it known that I wanted this part so bad that I stopped going out.” She continued, “I couldn’t get it out of my head. And it came together finally. It was nerve-wracking, but I was very happy to be back on the CW because they’ve been really good to me. And it feels like home, I think they’re great.”

The 26-year-old actress jumped into her character’s pool per se, with both feet. “I really felt like she (Laurel) spoke to me, and off the page I understood who she was. And the fact that she was an attorney, it meant that I had to learn a little bit about law.”

She tells me she studied up with no hesitation, in fact with enthusiasm, learning the in and outs of law, so the language of the field would become second nature to her, thus more organic as Laurel.
“It’s sort of like a muscle I’ve learned that you sort of have to practice. It’s been interesting and challenging, and it still is challenging. This was an area that I didn’t know much about I’ve had a lot of fun with.”

In return, due to her research, she’s learned quite a few tidbits that one can never be too sure on whether they’ll  come in handy some day. “We obviously all know what interrogation means, but there are all these little aspects to it, and the way you handle yourself during them. And learning about the polygraph, and when you can and can’t request for a polygraph.” She says with excitement. Almost giving me a personal one-on-one lesson on courtroom etiquette.

“You’re performing, and I have more of a respect in the sense that they’re putting on as show in front of all these people and being judged. The way that they speak is very fast, and there are certain words to annunciate and there’s a flow. You have to have an enormous amount of confidence or, at least, make it feel like you do.” She says while giggling. “It’s scary but it’s definitely cool.”

But the first lady of the CW’s more adult show is not all business, although her ethic and resume’ might tell otherwise.

We chat about the countless attractions in Vancouver to be enjoyed when and if she has the time or energy to do so when not filming. “It definitely is hard when you’re shooting a show, especially when you’re launching a show,” She says, “We haven’t stopped. On weekends you’re flying to promote your series, and then you’re coming back, and you’re back to work.” This was the case that made out first encounter at Paleyfest in Beverly Hills possible. “I like being outdoors here a lot,” she says. “When it’s sunny, it’s the most beautiful city in the world. They have some really cool spots. In Yaletown, you have Pierre’s. She goes on, thoughtfully running through her mind, “The food here is amazing, and it’s fun to try to new things.”

One of those things being an improve group, which she tells me she discovered, and it ended being one of those treasures you can’t search for but just happen to run into. “It was something I hadn’t done here, and it was so fun, and they were so good,” she says. “it was cool to sit in this sort of intimate charming room and watch them perform and have some appetizers.”

She explains, “When I’m in LA, I’m constantly in class, so it’s more like I’m a part of the performance as opposed to when I’m sitting and watching. It’s just so fun to watch creative people come to life.”
Our conversation had run longer than I expected. Cassidy who had literally just got off set to speak to me, seemed in no way tired, or dull. She was vibrant and full of life, and eager to talk and answer any of my questions, and then some. As I stood outside of my Beachwood canyon Home, I caught a glimpse of a tangerine tree. A tree very similar to that of tree that was used as background for the arrow star’s shoot just days before here in Los Angeles. The tree reminded me of the preview photo I had seen to Cassidy looking nothing short of stunning. “How’d you like the clothes at your shoot,” I ask. “What I wore on that shoot, everything I would’ve worn in my everyday life,” she says. “Except, I will say maybe not as risqué. I won’t be prancing around in a Valentino suit jacket,” she says then laughs a little at the though. “I got to accessorize it and they loved what I was doing. It was fun to just create beautiful extravagant pieces.” She went on to tell me about her personal style, when she’s not being dolled up to cover a magazine, and once I felt her enthusiasm, I thought to myself, why I hadn’t touched on the topic earlier. 

“I like to think of myself as, by day I like to keep it a little bit casual,” she says and then jumps back with “although by day I love heels, I love pumps, I love wedges, I love clothes, I’m obsessed with fashion.” It was clear to me that she could go on for days – and unlike other actresses I had spoken to, this one actually had a sense of style. “I try to mix and match a lot with something upscale and then something more casual, mixing the two I think is nice.”

Completely spacing, I wondered how late it was for her in Vancouver, completely forgetting we were in the same time zone – and so I was eager to wrap things up, imagining the hours she’s been on set prior to our conversation. “Any plans for hiatus?” In efforts to ease in a goodbye. She replied with a sigh, which give me the sense that she was very much looking forward to it. “try and rest up as much as possible. I’ll probably go to Hawaii.” She said on a whim, and then continued, “relax, wind down. I really enjoy writing and reading, and I’ll probably catch up on a lot of TV Shows,” A TV lover myself, I couldn’t imagine ending off on a better note.

Stylist - Sophie Lopez
Fashion Assistant - Joseph Saleh
Beauty Editor - Nathis Alan
Beauty Assistant - Jeremiah Paul
Production - Leslie Alejandro
Photography - Aleksandar Tomovic
Source: Bello Magazine

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