Katie Cassidy has a new role on television and with Lady Foot Locker.
The actress and CW staple will play the good-hearted lawyer Laurel Lance in the network’s upcoming drama “Arrow,” an adaptation of DC Comics’ Green Arrow premiering Oct. 10, and has signed on as a brand ambassador for Lady Foot Locker. The roles couldn’t be more different wardrobe-wise: As Lance, Cassidy is all business in careerwear, while the Lady Foot Locker gig has her in sneakers and track pants.
Cassidy started working out consistently five years ago and chose to partner with Lady Foot Locker because the retailer shares her commitment to maintaining a healthy lifestyle with exercise. “It’s something that gives women more confidence and self-esteem, and it makes us feel empowered. I feel like Lady Foot Locker is also trying to support that and get the message out,” she said.
Cassidy’s varied fitness routine includes running, yoga and hiking, and she tends to opt for comfort over looks in her workout gear no matter what activity she’s doing. “Sometimes I even wear sweatpants, something that makes me feel like I can move and be mobile,” said Cassidy. “I’m not necessarily the girl at the gym in shorts and a sports bra. I try to keep it serious and classy.”
Bringing on Cassidy, who will make monthly product selections on ladyfootlocker.com, as a brand ambassador is one of several moves New York-based Foot Locker Inc. is making to pump up Lady Foot Locker, which has seen sales slip as its store count has been cut to 326 units as of April 28 from 405 two years ago. Lady Foot Locker is expanding its apparel assortment and is expected to test a new store design concept later this year.
“We are excited to partner with Katie,” said Stacy Cunningham, executive vice president of marketing at Lady Foot Locker. “Lady Foot Locker is the destination for stylish, strong, active women, and we are thrilled to have her represent our brand.”
Lady Foot Locker photographed Cassidy last month in Los Angeles sporting its fitness apparel brand Actra. Cassidy, whose father is actor and singer David Cassidy and mother is model Sherry Williams, has had positive experiences modeling dating back to a 2004 campaign for Abercrombie & Fitch she did with Kellan Lutz and Hilary Rhoda. “In that little group of people, we all expanded our careers,” said Cassidy. “It was fun. I became more aware of the fashion world.”
If she could have the closet of any character she’s played, she’d pick Juliet Sharp, Serena van der Woodsen’s nemesis on “Gossip Girl.” “‘Gossip Girl’ had the resources being in New York to access all of the designers. [With] ‘Melrose Place,’ it’s harder when you are in L.A.,” said Cassidy. She singled out a gray, capped-sleeve dress by Alexander McQueen as her favorite piece of clothing she got to wear as Sharp on “Gossip Girl.”
Cassidy will get to show a nicer side on “Arrow.” Her character is “helping underprivileged people who are being taken advantage of, and she’s a go-getter. She will do whatever she can to get whatever she wants. She’s very loving, very real. I think everything in the show, which is great about it, is very grounded,” she said.
Cassidy is also racking up movie parts. She recently finished filming “The Scribbler” with Eliza Dushku and Michelle Trachtenberg in which she is Suki, a woman suffering from multiple personality disorder. “Having to transition on-screen from one person to another was really intimidating,” said Cassidy. “There were seven different personalities that Suki had, the scribbler being one of them, who was developed at a very young age when she was in her crib. The scribbler doesn’t speak.”
Outside of acting and promoting Lady Foot Locker, Cassidy, who described her current style as ‘homeless chic’ and named Phillip Lim, Proenza Schouler, Celine, Alexander Wang, Rag & Bone and Tucker by Gaby Basora as among the designer brands she covets, would like to design her own line someday. “Timing is everything and right now I sort of feel like a sponge. I just kind of want to soak up as much information as I can and when I’m ready or when I have the time, I’d love to focus on that,” said Cassidy, adding that Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are inspirations to her. “They’re great business girls and, if they ever wanted to give me some advice, I’d be open to it,” she said.
KATIE CASSIDY (Dinah “Laurel” Lance)
Laurel seems to be somebody who really wants to do good by people with the CNRI and things like that. Can you talk about that and why it’s so important to her?
CASSIDY: I feel like at a really young age she sort of had to take care of her sister and her father. She seems to have lost her mother at a young age and became a caretaker. After taking on that role she wanted to become a lawyer and she tries to see the best in everyone. I think she’s very, very driven, has a good heart and really really strong morals and values and wants everyone to live up to them as she does. Oliver and her obviously had a pretty huge history and as angry in her heart as she has been at him, she does have it in her heart to forgive him, but has to go through the process to get there.
What attracts her to Tommy Merlyn?
CASSIDY: I think Tommy was there for her when Oliver disappeared. It affected both of them and it was a huge loss and they sort of leaned on each other as a shoulder to lean on. I think when they grew up together it was the three of them. He was the best friend. Once Tommy disappeared, she looked to him and he was there, he took advantage, but he was there. He’ll never be Oliver to her, nobody will ever be Oliver but Oliver. I think there were a few nights, maybe they were romantically involved, but for Laurel I don’t think it was ever anything too serious.
As we know, the comic book universe is very wide. Is there any chance that Laurel might end up being Black Canary or if not a super hero at least join the fight?
CASSIDY: Please take notes! Katie wants to fight. I think that she does get involved in the action story part of it. As Oliver is out there plotting and fighting crime, she will become a part of it, but as far as becoming a super hero, I don’t know.
If there was something that you wanted them to write something into the script for you what would it be?
CASSIDY: I don’t know. Probably that! Maybe if Oliver sort of took her under his wing and teaches her. That would be awesome.
So how is your character feeling about her sister now? It’s been five years since her supposed death. Is she coming to terms with that?
CASSIDY: You know, as much as one can. Having been betrayed by someone and then losing them. I have two sisters and thinking about that, if one of them betrayed me that way and then died, I think I would quickly forgive her. Whatever she did to me wouldn’t even matter. If I saw that dude again and one of my sisters was gone, yeah, it would not be good!
Was there anything you were really excited about doing in the pilot as an actor?
CASSIDY: Just someone real, and grounded and centered. For me, Laurel is almost angelic, if that makes sense. She is just so pure and honest, and I’ve played so many bad girls in the past it’s nice to get to be able to play a character like this.
Romance is definitely not the focus of The CW’s Green Arrow series, “Arrow,” but that’s not to say that there isn’t a great, twisted love story beating in the heart of the show. Amidst the action and the adventure, there are two deeply damaged people who may just be destined for each other. Or, you know, destined to destroy each other.
“Arrow” begins as Oliver Queen returns from being stuck on a deserted island for years, training his mind and his body into a weapon. While trapped with his tortured memories on the island, one thing brought him solace — the thought of Dinah “Laurel” Lance, an old love left behind at home.
At San Diego Comic-Con, we sat down with Stephen Amell — Oliver himself — and Katie Cassidy, the woman who will (probably) one day be the Black Canary. While they couldn’t tell us much about what’s to come in this tortured love story, they did tell us that when we meet Oliver and Laurel, plenty has already transpired between them.
“Steven and I sat down together when we first met, and we developed a back story for the two of them, because you have to feel that,” Cassidy says. “You have to feel a connection between these two. It’s almost like the Joey and Dawson in Dawson’s Creek. You wanted them to be together so badly, but they never were.”
According to Amell, he and Cassidy had some fun speculating about what the characters’ lives were like before Oliver Queen was marooned on an island. “It was always our thought that we’d known each other for a really long time. Before I go to the island, I’m a jerk. I’m immature, and I’m selfish, and I’m petulant. I’m a jerk!” he laughs. “And we discovered that she was probably always the person that called me on my you-know-what, and said, ‘Hey, knock it off,’ or ‘Really? Oliver, you should do this?’ She was always the person that grounded me.”
Now that Oliver is back from the island, he’s got the moral compass and the principles that she’d always hoped to see in him — but he’s doing his best to keep those fundamental changes a secret. “I come back and I’m not the person theoretically that she always wanted me to be, but I can’t show her that yet,” he says.
“I do think the island changed him for the good, in my opinion,” Cassidy adds — noting that despite his PTSD and trauma, he’s lost his selfish edge and the bad boy bravado. “You will really see that these two people really love each other. Oliver actually is a good person and a good guy. He’s just protecting himself right now, coming back from the island and keeping people at arm’s length.”
“Arrow” begins October 10 at 8 p.m. on The CW.
“Extra’s” Renee Bargh talked with Stephen Amell and Katie Cassidy, stars of the The CW show “Arrow.”
After a violent shipwreck, billionaire playboy Oliver Queen was missing and presumed dead for five years before being discovered alive on a remote island in the Pacific. By day, Oliver plays the role of a wealthy, carefree and careless philanderer he used to be, while carefully concealing the secret identity he turns to under cover of darkness.
To hear series leads Stephen Amell and Katie Cassidy tell it, The CW’s Arrow (premiering Wednesday, Oct. 10) hit the bulls-eye not just with its well-received pilot but also beyond.
During their visit to TVLine’s Comic-Con interview suite, Cassidy — who plays Laurel Lance to Amell’s Oliver Queen aka Arrow — assured fans (and potential fans) that as rock-’em sock-’em as the pilot is, Episode 2, which they just got the script for, is just as “awesome” and even “bold” in the directions it goes. The Gossip Girl alum also teases that her costar has his “work cut out for him” in that second hour.
Speaking of which: Amell leads off our discussion by talking about Oliver’s intense workout montage from the pilot (glimpse it here), and whether that is really him doing those extreme pull-ups and such. Also not to miss: Exclusive scoop on [spoiler alert!] Laurel’s favorite ice cream flavor. Plus: Are they prepared to run 10 years like Smallville?