‘Legends of Tomorrow’: The Fascinating Story Behind Caity Lotz
CW’s Legends of Tomorrow has now powered through its first two episodes, and it’s safe to say that the superhero team-up show is running at full steam ahead. Its diverse cast of personalities has driven it to a place where every fan has someone to relate to. Whether it’s Ray Palmer’s quest to be remembered in the annuls of history or Leonard Snart smirking his way through the whole ordeal, it’s a show that pretty much defines the “something for everybody” motif. Of all the characters on the Legends team, though, few are quite as interesting as White Canary, played to perfection by the returning Caity Lotz.
Lotz first appeared as Sara Lance in the CW’s superhero universe on Arrow and, outside of Stephen Amell’s Oliver Queen, has provided us with the most dramatic character journey of any other hero. She began the series playing your classic party-girl and, for a good portion of Arrow‘s early days, was thought to be dead. When she resurfaced, she was almost an entirely different person. Sara returned to the land of a living a hardened, self-assured assassin, left to fend for herself for years.
Fans were overwrought when Arrow killed off Lotz’s character soon after that, with her superhero alias, Black Canary, having been fleshed out and evolved so thoroughly up until her death. But then along came Legends of Tomorrow, and suddenly Sara Lance was back, raised from the grave a second time by the CW. Interestingly enough, this wasn’t just a surprise to fans. As Lotz intimated in an interview with IGN: “I asked the producers, ‘Hey, did you know that you were going to have this spinoff when you killed me?’ They were like, ‘Yeah.’ I was like, ‘What!? What the f**k? Why didn’t you guys tell me?'”
It’s not simply the character arc of Sara Lance that makes Caity Lotz as interesting as she is. While most of the fight choreography you see in the CW’s comic book universe is either decidedly stilted or handled by stunt doubles, Lotz’s has always been fluid and believable. The reason: Before her acting days, she was an accomplished parkourist and martial arts student. You won’t catch her tagging out for a double in most of her fight scenes, and that’s entirely tied in to the fact that she simply doesn’t need one.
All fighting aside, White Canary is an all-around rare bird in modern superhero TV. Early on in her story, Arrow made no secret of her bisexuality, something we’ve also seen emphasized on the CW’s The 100. It’s a bold creative choice that’s not so much about casting a bisexual character as something out of the ordinary, and, as Lotz told The New York Times, more so “it normalizes it for everyone. It’s not a huge deal or anything, and that’s how it should be in life.” The 100‘s take falls in lockstep with this philosophy, with AV Club describing the strategy for exactly what it is: “Beautiful in its simplicity, and progressive in its refusal to qualify (bisexuality) as anything weird or different.”
Legends of Tomorrow gives Lotz a chance to finally take centerstage as a main character. While playing a role on Arrow gave her a lot, that run was always going to be more focused on its titular hero. Legends puts the talented actor in the spotlight on a weekly basis, and as fans, we’re all better off for it in the end. The sky’s the limit in terms of where White Canary’s character will go from her, but it seems safe to say that at least for now, she’s done getting killed off. This time around, it’s her show to carry.
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