'Arrow' Co-Star Echo Kellum Teases 'Terrific' Transformation and Being Oliver's New Pal
By Philiana Ng
Photo: The CW
Arrow’s terrific new face is putting a stamp on Star City.
Curtis Holt, Felicity’s Palmer Tech employee and future Mr. Terrific, made quite a splash last week when he nearly fired himself and suggested to company VIPs that he was in the midst of inventing game-changing technology -- a fib Felicity told to save his job from unemployment.
In tonight’s all-new episode, “Restoration,” Curtis gets a front-row seat to the danger that regularly follows Team Arrow when he comes face-to-face with his first baddie, Double Down (played by Teen Wolf's J.R. Bourne) – a position the tech wiz is “definitely not used to,” Echo Kellum admits.
The actor, who starred in Ben and Kate and Sean Saves the World, jumped on the phone earlier this week with ETonline to chat all things Arrow!
Fans have only seen you in one episode so far, but even before your debut, it seems they’ve embraced your character.
Echo Kellum: It’s the best feeling in the world. These fans have been watching the show for three years and given their all to it. This fandom is one of the most passionate fandoms I’ve ever seen. So to come on as a new guy and for them to be showing how much they appreciate it and how welcoming they are to me, it really means everything to me.
We still miss Ben and Kate – we’ve got to give props to that show.
Kellum: Aww, Ben and Kate!
When it was first announced that your character was joining Arrow, his similarities to Felicity were really celebrated But, how is he different?
Kellum: Even though he and Felicity share similarities with their love of science and computers, he definitely stands out as his own person. He has his own stuff going on – he’s a big guy, he works out and goes to the gym, he’s very dedicated to his husband. But he does connect with Felicity in terms of wanting to do more for the city and try to help the people at Palmer Tech and everyone around him. He believes everyone should have a fair shot.
We really got the sense that Felicity and Curtis’ friendship is only going to blossom as time goes on. What can you tell us about where they go as friends and colleagues?
Kellum: At Palmer Tech, he works for Felicity so he’s definitely trying to help develop the new groundbreaking technology for the board in the next six months. What’s really cool is that through working together, and by proxy dealing with the Green Arrow through Felicity, he starts to get involved with some of the shenanigans that they go through. So you’ll see their camaraderie out on the field on a mission and at the lab. There is a fun scene when Curtis and Felicity are out in the field at night in one of the early episodes that’s pretty awesome. (Laughs.)
I would imagine Curtis isn’t used to being out in the field. What does that look like for him?
Kellum: (Laughs.) Definitely not used to that. He’s used to seeing all the news reports and what’s been going on the last three years in the Glades and not involved with the core group who is saving Star City. Initially, it’s very perplexing for him, but I think at a certain point, he starts to get comfortable with doing what’s right for the city and trying to help Felicity and by proxy, Team Arrow.
Curtis is really just scratching the surface when it comes to the chaos that goes into crime-fighting in Star City. How does he handle that without actually knowing what’s really going on just yet?
Kellum: It’s true, it’s true. But I think as a Star City denizen, you just kind of get it. (Laughs.) There is a lot happening in Star City and if you stay there, you gotta just know that it’s going to come with some form of danger after everything that’s gone on. He takes that into perspective being a citizen there, but Curtis is motivated to help – he really wants to help humanity move forward. Seeing that possibility of being with the people who actually are making the city better is something that excites him and [that] he gravitates toward.
There was one funny scene between you and Stephen Amell in a recent trailer where your character chooses not to believe that Oliver could be the Green Arrow. Is that indicative of Curtis and Oliver’s dynamic?
Kellum: (Laughs.) It’s definitely indicative of their relationship early on. Curtis is a very smart guy, so does he really believe that’s not the Green Arrow? Who knows? But he’s always thinking a couple steps ahead, that’s for sure. They do have a very interesting relationship. I can’t wait for you guys to see that scene, because it’ll also reveal some of Curtis’ other feelings [about the situation].
What can we expect from Curtis and Oliver's relationship as the season unfolds?
Kellum: It’s definitely one of mutual respect. From Curtis’ standpoint, he admires Felicity’s boyfriend. To him, he is just Felicity’s boyfriend, Oliver Queen. Curtis definitely likes him and I think Oliver likes him as well, and they have a good friendship.
At some point down the line, Curtis becomes his comic-book alter ego, Mr. Terrific. What can you reveal about Curtis’ transformation to that new identity?
Kellum: I can’t give too many specifics on how the show will deal [with it] but in the comic books, Curtis met with tragedy and that was formative on him wanting to do something about it and become Mr. Terrific. There will definitely be a point where he’s motivated to become that hero.
Arrow fans, do you think Curtis Holt will become an official member of Team Arrow? Tell us what you think by tweeting Philiana Ng at @insidethetube now!
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.
Here's one reason why the Arrow set is one of the best to visit! Press play on the video below to find out more.