Young Adult Hollywood was at London Comic Con 2015 and we covered a number of press round tables including the Arrow panel featuring Willa Holland, Karl Yune and Rila Fukushima.
The questions below were from a variety of media outlets that were present at the press panels.
QUESTION: What is it like being in London for Comic Con?
WH: I’ve actually lived here from since I was six months old on and off till I was six or seven so I’ve been here quite a bit
QUESTION: What is it like working on one of the best looking shows on TV, the show has one of the best looking casts?
WH: Ah you know it feels pretty darn good actually with all the beautiful people on our set and our crew is pretty good looking too so, yeah it is a blessing really
KY: Ah yeah it is accidental (laughs) let’s put it that way.
QUESTION: What’s it been like obviously with John Barrowman coming on as a series regular and he’s been on before and how’s it been like for you working with him and for all you guys as well because his role has expanded a lot and you’ve had a lot of work with him this season.
WH: Working with John is probably my favourite but it is probably the crew’s least favourite it is where we get the least amount of work done but yeah it is the best
KY: For me he just changes up the energy of the air it just becomes like we’re in grade school just having fun again.
QUESTION: What did you think of that big reveal of him in the end taking the place of Ra’s Al Ghul?
WH: Well it is pretty cool getting to play his daughter, yeah it was pretty awesome.
QUESTION: Does that make you heir to the demon so you could become the next Ra’s Al Ghul as well?
WH: I’ve not actually really thought of that, woah bomb dropped. Who knows? All I can think of right now is Thea is just trying to figure out what’s happening to her or not happening to her since she’s been resurrected by the Lazarus pit.
QUESTION: Your character has really expanded this season and obviously you killed Sara (Caity’s character) and now that she has come back in Legends Of Tomorrow could we see your character maybe go across to that show and see that she is alive and take some of the guilt away from you?
WH: I mean with all the series that have come out of Arrow from The Flash to now Legends Of Tomorrow and there is probably going to be an infinite number of more eventually. There is all that possibility just wrapped into it. It is the reason why we have been able to do that and it makes it so there are so many options that could happen along those lines I can’t say anything for sure because I honestly don’t even know but there is always hopes and options
QUESTION: How long do you think Arrow can run for and do you think you’ll stay for the long haul if Thea survives?
WH: Um, well I mean I hope she survives, well I think I’ve come back to life once already and once she got her suit I think that may have solidified her a bit which is really nice, I would happily stay a part of this show and I think everyone would we are all a pretty happy family.
QUESTION: Arrow is a very action driven show, very physically demanding how is like to cope with that the hardcore action stuff.
We have amazing stunt doubles, incredible incredible stunt doubles and insurance clauses written into our contracts so we can’t do a huge chunk of the stuff that even some of us want to but um it is definitely a physical challenge at all times to keep up and to make it look like us, to move fluidly in the little cuts that we do get to do as well as looking like we are in enough physical shape to pull the stuff off. If you got flab sticking out of your belly you wouldn’t think that someone’s going to punch it and it be like rock hard.
KY: I think that the action actually, the physical stuff is the easiest part compared to the emotional stuff. Having to go there is like, after doing a physical scene I’m good I could do that all day but after doing an emotionally, psychologically, meaty scenes I’m drained.
QUESTION: Well you’ve had a very emotional season obviously your character lost a son, the audience has had only one season to get to know and like your character was that tough or scary that you only had one season to do this?
KY: I didn’t even think about that, I was just taking it episode by episode but every single episode I just try to give as truthful a performance as possible they gave us all a lot of very challenging psychologically and mentally emotionally material
QUESTION: (audio issues)
KY: For me when I heard that Maseo was going to go at the hands of Kitana I thought that was brilliant I thought that um I’m a huge fan of Shakespeare and the reason that I love this show is that it is a parallel to that and that is something that happens so for me it was pretty cool
KIT: When I heard about it I knew it would happen someday I had a feeling it was going to come but I was like sad and I think on the set I was a bit upset.
QUESTION: Is there any possibility of you two appearing next year obviously (Karl Yune’s character) is dead but there is the possibility of flashbacks and KIT is still alive has there been any talk of next season appearing?
KY: Mark has told me don’t make any plans like I was like oh great. Back when he called me to tell me Maseo was going to die before the end of the season he seemed very nervous and apprehensive as he was talking to me and I was like hey man I get the sense you’re a little nervous sharing this information with me you know I’m just a huge fan of this show itself and the fact that my character has gone on this long is a surprise and I knew that at some point this would happen and I said well I could use a vacation so this is good news for the story and my vacation and he says don’t make any plans.
QUESTION: Obviously all of you now have immersed yourself in the world of Arrow but were any of you aware of the characters beforehand or had you read any comic books or stuff like that?
WH: I grew up as a bit of a DC nerd so I really had a profound appreciation for coming onto this show and I had heard drops of anything along the lines of potential of Speedy, Arsenal, Red Arrow from the get go and in the pilot it was written that he said Speedy so it was a huge, massive Easter egg for myself as well as the public but three years was a long time waiting for it to happen but I understand why it all happened that way because of the trajectory the building up of the origins she had to go from this point to rock bottom to build back up again which is what they’ve done with almost everybody’s character really they’ve just broken them down to the point where they have no choice but to go up or to give up to bring these characters to life.
QUESTION: (Audio problems)
WH: I mean there was that period of time where there was a lot of Batman and Superman films coming out it wasn’t as many as this right now if anything people were like where did it all go.
KY: If anything the world needs a morality tale of our superhero story, we need that especially with the things going on today I mean we need that sense of hope and of doing the right thing wherever you can and protect people who need protecting you know it is very inspirational.
WH: It is a really good message to be putting out there aside from the villains and stuff and what they are doing I’m not telling anyone to be a Malcolm Merlyn and kill 503 people but I would say if you wanted to protect people I’m not saying to suit up but people can do that in their own way we can all stick together and be protective and work as a connected unit.
QUESTION: Talking about dressing up obviously at Comic Con what’s it like seeing people dressed up similar to your characters or from the TV show like that?
WH: I went to Comic Con in Atlantic City last weekend and for the first time I saw a cosplay version of Speedy with my hair cut and everything perfect the day the finale aired and I could see her in the back of the crowd for the panel and I could see it from the corner of my eye and I just told her to stand up and I saw her outfit and I just started crying in the middle of the whole crowd because it was the coolest thing that had ever happened to me.
QUESTION: They do get quite obsessed with the outfits?
WH: I mean it is pretty cool. I get obsessed with the outfit, I’m sure all of us do I mean your outfit (points to RY) hers is insane that mask is amazing
RY: I loved the costume designer, they asked me if they thought the costume was authentic
WH: I had just finished my fitting for the costume when I saw hers and I was like “Oh what. No. That’s going to be way cooler than mine!”
QUESTION: Is there any specific character from the DC universe you’d be excited to see in Arrow?
WH: I’ve had this question put to me quite a few times in the last couple of days and obviously as a result of the DC movies alongside the Television series it meant that although we had a glimpse of Harley Quinn in one of the episodes it came down from on high that we couldn’t use the Suicide Squad anymore as the movie was coming out
QUESTION: What would you like to see going ahead for Speedy now and would you like to see Stephen return as the Green Arrow?
WH: Thea would be happy to have her brother in her life but she is also happy to see him running off with the woman of his dreams. Thea needs him too.
QUESTION: Any chance of Thea crossing over to the Flash
WH: The writers love to keep us in the dark about these things I didn’t even know what the Speedy costume looked like until I was wearing it. There might be more of a chance now that we have Legends of Tomorrow.
QUESTION: How far in advance do you get the scripts?
WH: We get them episode by episode and we probably get scripts about a week in advance.
QUESTION: Where is Nanda Parbat as it seems to be 5 minutes outside of Starling City?
WH: It is just a really fast jet.
QUESTION: On the subject of Harley Quinn obviously there has been a lot of debate lately about the alleged under representation of female heroes in the Marvel universe and some of the DC franchises I’m curious how do you guys feel about that and how shows like Arrow are going about redressing that balance?
WH: That’s actually a really good question because one of the things that make me so honoured to be on this show is being able to do a representation of this character’s arc as a female and as an empowered woman I mean she gets beaten down by everybody in her life whether it be the males or the females everybody in her life has been lying to her, untrustworthy all that and she honed in to something inside of herself and is becoming what she is becoming. It is very amazing to be able to represent that and I think a lot of the girls on that show have been pulling that stuff out like Katie Cassidy’s character has been going through so much and now she has come out the other end a very strong woman and I have very high hopes for the future for women being empowered on TV and in movies I think that Harley Quinn could be a great one as a crazy, sexy, supervillain but the way isn’t just her being sexy but her being strong and powerful and that is what should be pushed out there far more than pumping up her breasts and showing off her ass let’s actually show off her mind and what she is capable of
QUESTION: Following on from that question you’ve seen the backlash for Mad Max Fury Road over claims that is was too feminist. We’ve still got a long way to go haven’t we?
WH: I’ve haven’t seen it yet but that made me so mad to hear that I guess that I have no opinion on it yet not having seen it other than the what is wrong with some guys out there saying that, I just don’t understand that. How did the conversation all of a sudden get reversed. Like what now there’s this male activist all of a sudden that’s fine that’s great congratulations.
QUESTION: I recently went back and watched the pilot episode of Arrow and it is amazing just how far each character has come and I know that this season there was a flashback to when Olly was supposedly on the island and he came and saw you (Thea) and killed your drug dealer. How was it playing a younger Thea again?
WH: It’s been a huge arc for Thea in season 3 going back was a bit painful for me. I don’t blame people for typecasting I understand it I just felt like through my career I was always typecast as a little sister of someone and also a bitch and for awhile some type of bitch girl wearing a school uniform and that was the except same school uniform I wore on the OC it was really weird and I felt really awkward about it but it is fine umm so going back into that thing was just haven’t I proven that this is not who I am that I should be not be represented as that but it was nice to be able to show the contrast and to show everyone that I look way better with short hair than long hair in my opinion.
QUESTION: Your former colleague Ben Mackenzie is in Gotham do you watch the show?
WH: I do watch the show all the time it is actually pretty crazy how many of my people I have worked with that are attached to Gotham, Legends of Tomorrow and The Flash like I worked with Drew and Al a bunch of times, Dominic Purcell which is crazy awesome kind of small world we have I ran into him at the upfronts.
QUESTION: This is your third show on the CW
WH: They just like to use us I’m not complaining about it I’m happy to be gainfully employed whenever they ask for it. This is definitely my favourite thing that they have ever asked me to do and I’m absolutely honoured to be a part of the CW
QUESTION: In terms of your characters they have been very serious this season there has been talk of making next season lighter in a similar style to The Flash can you guys talk about what will be happening then to the darker characters on the show like Thea.
WH: I’m not sure
QUESTION: (Follow Up)If you do get a lighter tone what direction do you want your character to go in?
I seriously have no idea but I would like to see the effect of the Lazarus pit on Thea. I feel like the story is coming to this point where everyone’s drama is gradually being resolved so they can finally be happy for a bit before it all starts over again.
QUESTION: You have talked about the important of your character as a role model, Speedy appeared in one of the most iconic DC covers where he was caught doing drugs by Green Arrow and Green Lantern how does that affect you?
WH: A lot of people come up to me and say Roy Harper was supposed to be Speedy and I say yes that is what happened in one of the comics and in another Speedy was Mia Dearden. I’d say I have done my research and I do know what I am talking about when it comes to this stuff and I get people not thinking that but it is interesting coming from this show because our writers wrote for the comics and they have a huge profound love for the story and they don’t want us to steer away from it but it also difficult with television being on a network trying to mix the two together there are definitely certain things that are going to get lost
KY: I think what makes a hero very interesting is their vulnerability, that’s what makes them interesting to watch I mean how interesting would it be if this hero was just a hero all the time we’d lose interest so like you said there will be some bad things and that is great for the morality tale story as a precautionary aspect of what not to do and to learn from.
QUESTION: On Thea’s drug use in the flashback this season and the way the drug use of Speedy is treated in the comics. Do you feel that the show gave it enough time?
WH: Yes and no. I think that the fact that they showed it was admirable enough. I respect it as a comic book lover I can understand people not thinking it was enough but the reasons why is again we are on the CW we can’t just be shoving needles into people’s veins it is just not going to happen on this network. It was nice though how they brought it back around this season it was a refresher in case people forgot how silly Thea was back in the day there’s a reminder it shows her trajectory. It was hard to go through though.