EXCLUSIVE: 'Arrow' Star Echo Kellum on Why Season 5 Is the Best Yet: 'We're Doing Some Awesome Things'
By Meredith B. Kile
Season four of Arrow ended with Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) winning the battle against big bad Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) and being sworn in as mayor of Star City, but those were some of the only bright spots for Team Arrow.
The final episodes of the season also saw the death of Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy), aka the Black Canary; the dissolution of the core team, as Thea Queen (Willa Holland) and John Diggle (David Ramsey) began to second-guess their heroic personas; and the official end of Oliver’s relationship with Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards).
Now, as The CW’s stalwart superhero show returns for its fifth season, star Echo Kellum, who plays tech genius Curtis Holt, thinks the heartbreak of last season has set up some truly terrific adventures to come.
“I want fans to know that I think the fifth season of Arrow is going to be, possibly, the best season of Arrow,” Kellum recently revealed to ET’s Leanne Aguilera. “I really believe that with my heart, and all of the things we're doing: the stunts, the fights, really delving into Oliver's legacy, I think it's going to be the best season we've ever had.”
“I think if you sleep on it you're going to be woke by mid-season, because everybody's going to be like, 'Yo, if you haven’t been watching it, you've been tripping!'” he added with a laugh. “We're doing some really awesome and amazing things.”
One of those amazing things includes the CW’s ambitious, four-show DC Comics crossover event, which teams the Green Arrow crew with the super squads from The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl, after the latter’s move to The CW for its sophomore season, which premieres next week.
“It's going great,” Kellum said of shooting the “super epic” crossover, teasing that he gets to share a scene with another beloved CW/DC techie, The Flash’s Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes). “We're having so much fun and we're crushing it. It's so exciting.”
While The Flash, Arrow and Legends have explored exciting crossovers in past seasons, it’s unclear how the arrival of Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist) and her teammates into the fold will affect The CW’s iteration of the DC ‘verse, particularly when the Girl of Steel supposedly exists on a separate Earth from the other shows, as evidenced when Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) accidentally zoomed his way into her world for a crossover during Supergirl’s first season.
“I just can’t wait for fans to get to witness that,” Kellum marveled. “It is going to be so much fun and the filming is great.”
During the show’s hiatus over the summer, fans also learned that another one of the characters in The CW’s DC universe is going to come out as LGBT. For Kellum, whose Arrow character is openly gay, the more the merrier.
“I think it's great,” he said. “I think we need equal representation on TV and film and I think that's something that the Berlanti universe is really incorporating and really just making great strides on. I think it's important to see ourselves in media because the media a lot of time forwards us as a society.”
In an era when black superheroes like Black Panther and Luke Cage are toplining their own Marvel projects, and Wonder Woman writer Greg Rucka can concede that the character of Diana Prince is “obviously” queer, Kellum said he’s proud to be a part of more diversity making its way into comic canon.
“[Vice President] Joe Biden said that Will & Grace had a big part in changing people’s perspective on the LGBT community,” he noted. “I think having that out there -- whether it's people of color or the LGBT community -- it’s just important to be out there amongst all of our Caucasian peers and straight peers, because that's the world we live in.”
“The world isn’t just one segment,” Kellum added. “It's just nice to have that represented out there and to see yourself on the screen and be like, 'I can do that!' That's important.”