"From a creative standpoint, the writers and I have always said that since season two up until now, Laurel has had a truly amazing journey," Cassidy explained to a small group of reporters ahead of Wednesday's emotional episode. "They’ve written so well for me and I’ve had such an incredible arc. It made sense to me, creatively."
Read on for an in-depth Q&A with the Arrow actress about her final scene on set, the Black Canary legacy she hope to leave behind, and why Laurel Lance might not be gone for good.
When did you first find out that Laurel was going to ultimately be the victim in the grave?
Katie Cassidy: I found out right before the court scenes [in 4x16] which was hard. I remember, I was like, "OK, I need to put this on the backburner," because I had a huge day of all legal jargon, but it actually worked out, because in the next episode, 19, I’m actually in the episode and it’s a lot of flashbacks.
Talk about filming your death scene and how emotional was it to say goodbye?
KC: Emotionally, it’s interesting because that scene that you see, when I’m in the hospital and I say goodbye, I say to the team, "You know, I was thinking about giving up the Black Canary and I couldn’t do it." Honestly, that scene was definitely so real shooting it because it was me saying goodbye to the team and all of us, and so it wasn’t difficult for me to get to that emotional point. For sure it was hard, but it was very real and I felt like it was good. It was genuine and it was real.
What was the very last scene that you shot as Laurel?
KC: The last scene I think I shot was, we had to do a reshoot actually, of when I actually die, when Darhk stabs the Black Canary, and that was like a week after [I wrapped]. That was the very last scene that we shot. I remember, we had broken for lunch and we came back, I was running to set and I was putting on my jacket and my gloves, and they were just calling me to set to show wrap me. I didn’t know that I was done and it was sort of a bit of a shock. But it was good, I feel like there’s no other way that I would want it to go.
Can you talk about letting Laurel and the Black Canary go and what it was like to wrap your head around the plan?
KC: Laurel’s story sort of has come to an end in the Arrow 'verse. It's television, I always say anything can happen and it made sense to me. I love everyone on set, I love our crew. Being there for four and half years, they’ve become family, and so it’s hard to not go into work every day and get to work with such amazing people. That part is certainly sad, but I was okay with it. We all sort of came to an understanding that this was what was going to happen, and it made sense to me. The shock value is good. It’s such a jolt, and such a turn in the story, that it gives them so much more to do and places to go with it. Otherwise, I feel shows can get stale.
What has been the most memorable part of playing Laurel?
KC: I think at the end of season two, when I put the jacket on for the first time, that moment was like... I still get a little choked up talking about it, because I was so excited. I remember trying in the jacket, and I’d been waiting for that moment. I think that for me was sort of the turning point… Also, being in training and fight training, getting to be a strong female character, who’s also out there kicking some ass too, was definitely something that was cool and I had a blast doing it.
What do you hope the legacy is for the character: Laurel and the Black Canary?
KC: I feel so close to this character. Obviously, for the last four and a half years, playing this character, it’s very close to me. Also, as we had said, I go onto The Flash, on Earth-2 as the Black Siren. In the future, you never know what’s going to happen. As they know, I love working with them, in the future, I’m always happy to come play with them if they time travel and what not. To me, Laurel was always such a good person and had such a good heart and was a fighter. Her being remembered that way is definitely important to me.