The CW, once a network of teen dramas with an audience average age below 20, has shifted more into superhero thrillers and comic-book action series that have pulled a wider range of fans in recent years. Standing out in the pack is “Legends of Tomorrow,” which returned for a second season Thursday night.
The series’ star Caity Lotz, who plays White Canary, came to the CW on “Arrow” after a stint touring with Avril Lavigne as a dancer. We chatted with Lotz about landing the “superhero shows kind of redefining the network,” her dance background, and how Lavigne helped prep her for stunts.
On her background of touring Europe in a girl band and dancing for Avril Lavigne:
Caity Lotz: I started coming to L.A. when I was like 17, doing dance jobs. Then I lived in Europe for two years, and then I was on tour for almost another year. I was in a singing group for this random period of my life — I was in a pop group, a girl group. It was definitely fun — I’d never been to Europe before and I went over with a couple of my best friends and we had a good time. We were based in Berlin but we traveled a lot. And then after that I went on a tour dancing with Avril Lavigne. [Dancing] is what brought me to L.A. I started with jazz and contemporary, and then I moved into freestyle and hip-hop and breaking. I’m a performer, but I was not the strong singer in the group — I mean, I’m not terrible. But I’m not going back to singing, that’s for sure.
On why she stopped dancing for Avril Lavigne:
C.L.: When I got back from Europe, and I went on tour with Avril, I was like “I don’t want to dance anymore, this isn’t exciting for me.” We were performing in front of arenas full of people and I just was not excited. It wasn’t making me scared or nervous, and I was like “I think it’s time to move on.” And I started taking acting classes — I’d been interested in it for a while but was like, I’m not an actor, and then I was like, well I’ll just take classes, and then I did a two-year program and fell in love with it. And after that I just got lucky.
On landing “Mad Men” as her first acting job:
C.L.: ‘Mad Men,’ for sure. That was my first acting job. I just auditioned — my scene partner from class got an audition for an agency, and he needed somebody to do a scene with him. So I went in with him and they were like “What about you?” At the time I didn’t realize what a big show “Mad Men” was.
On originally being written off as “not very CW:”
C.L.: My manager called me after [the “Arrow” audition] and was like “Yeah. you’re not going to get it because they said you’re not very CW” and I was like, “F–k them, I don’t want to be CW anyway.” But then a few weeks later I got a call to do a chemistry read and I was like “OK, maybe I am CW.”
On using her dance background for the action scenes:
C.L.: My dance background [is helpful], and I also did martial arts — before I got into acting, I was thinking about being a stunt girl. So for me the opportunity to combine my physicality with the acting is super exciting. They actually don’t require you to do that stuff, because we also have amazing doubles that they can use. But I love doing it — to me, fighting is similar to dancing, where you have your own specific style and you want it to look like you. I feel the same with fighting — I want it to look like me and be in the style that I want to fight with.