‘Legends of Tomorrow’: Caity Lotz, Dominic Purcell on “Embracing the Crazy” & the Show’s Creative Renaissance

     December 4, 2018

legends-of-tomorrow-season-3-sliceThe CW hit show Legends of Tomorrow has always been the “little engine that could” among the Arrowverse shows, overcoming a jumbled (OK, crappy) Season 1 to become arguably the best DC TV property going. The decision to ditch the ultra-serious themes of Season 1 and lean into the wackier comedic parts of the show has proven to be a winning strategy. It’s become a self-aware, meta madhouse, sort of like a PG-13 TV version of Deadpool. On a recent visit to the show set in Vancouver, the cast dished what makes the show so much fun to watch. First up: the fearless leader of the Waverider, series lead Caity Lotz (Sara Lance):

QUESTION: The Waverider is in a state of flux with all the new crew members. How is Sara adjusting her leadership skills to the new dynamic?

CAITY LOTZ: It’s definitely hard. I think it’s becoming more and more like Sara has to be the mom with this bunch of kids, and it’s difficult for her because you’re constantly trying to manage all these different personalities and you have to be the one who has your sh*t together all the time so everyone else can freak out or have fun or do this and that. You have to keep it cool, so I think it’s hard for her and yeah, the new members of the team are constantly shaking things up and some of the newer people have their own agendas, so it is a difficult thing to try to manage.


Image via The CW

QUESTION: With Sara’s relationship with Ava, and also being captain of the Waverider, she has kind of found this really stable place in her life. So where do you think the character can grow from here now that she’s essentially achieved her happily ever after, despite all the craziness that’s going on?

LOTZ: Yeah well, I mean that’s definitely a boring character if they have nowhere to go and if they have achieved everything. So, I think there needs to be more for Sara than just like being in a relationship, and we’re trying to find it. I mean it’s interesting because Sara’s done so much and changed and grown and it’s like, okay, what else do you do? I mean, I want like magic powers or something. That’s what I’m pitching, so we’ll see.

QUESTION: What’s the experience been like portraying a bisexual woman as the lead of a network television show? It’s pretty rare.

LOTZ: I was just thinking about how nowadays it would be like “If you’re not really bi then you shouldn’t be playing that character.” So sometimes I think maybe my character could have been even better if I was bisexual. And who knows, maybe I still might be: I’m not married. But it’s been an amazing experience. It’s always been my favorite part of playing Sara. Not only because it makes her more complicated and layered, but also because I feel like I’m actually doing something good by being able to be that representation on TV, for all the young men and women who don’t understand their sexuality, or do and it’s not accepted. Or just that they haven’t been able to see themselves on TV, to be able to see a character that reflects who they are. I think that is so important and that they should have that. Everyone should have that. So, I felt very lucky to bring something that wasn’t present enough and to kind of be a part of the hopeful fix for that.


Image via The CW

Next up is Dominic Purcell (Mick Rory/Heat Wave) and his decidedly unfiltered take on the show, Beebo, and all things Rory.

QUESTION: About Rory as a writer, can we talk about the dream woman he created? Why three boobs?

DOMINIC PURCELL: Cuz it’s better than two: more to play with. That’s Rory. He’s a funny, strange animal, so nothing surprises me from an actor’s point of view. Nothing surprises me with him anymore.

QUESTION: Rory and Constantine have butted heads already a few times. What’s their dynamic going forward?

PURCELL: Pretty much early on, I mean, you know, Constantine’s very alpha male and Rory’s obviously very alpha male. And that clashing thing just made perfect sense. You know, Rory is always very suspicious of newcomers and the writers have always said we need the litmus test, the litmus test with Rory. So, they always have to get the seal of approval from Rory. At this point, Rory and Constantine are still at each other but some respect is starting to emerge. I really want to explore the relationship with Constantine because I think that the dynamic between Constantine and Mick is potentially really, really great. And we’re actually starting to put that in the process now where, you know, the dynamic between Rory and Constantine is very funny. Very funny.

Collider: Will he be more accepting of the magic? Because he clearly hates the magic now, or does he just hate the man who is practicing the magic?

PURCELL: That’s a good question. I think in time there will be a begrudging respect, but we certainly don’t want to be chummy because then you’ll just lose the drama between the two characters. You know, he turned me into a pig-no, that was the godmother. She turned me into a pig, but he can turn me into a frog, so I mean he’s got the upper hand.

QUESTION: Are there any time periods you’re looking forward to visiting?


Image via Ron Gilmer

PURCELL: I think any time period is awesome. You know, we all have a lot of fun just dressing up and being stupid as hell. I think that’s one of the great things about the show. It’s so absurdly facile that it’s verging on brilliance, you know, and I thank you guys, the critics, and journalists, I mean everyone’s responded so well to the show and I think that’s a testament to the writers and the actors, we really embraced the characters and we legitimately have a lot of fun doing the show as well. There’s a lot of goofy stuff going on behind the scenes and in front of the camera. I think that’s where you get the creativity and the authenticity actually coming out and you can tell that we’re all having a lot of fun.

QUESTION: What are Mick’s thoughts on Beebo?

PURCELL: He f*cking hates Beebo. I think he shot him or burned him, right? He f*cking hates him. He’s not interested in Beebo, or puppet Stein for that matter. It’s funny because, for all of Mick’s bravado and toughness, he’s actually terrified of so many things. He’s very neurotic. He can’t handle clowns, he’s scared of puppets and he’s scared of everything but killing people, I guess. When at first, I remember, “Really, we’re having a puppet on the show?” and I was in shock. I was just like, well, this is ridiculous, but hey, the show is ridiculous. And then once it happened, it’s just really, uh, I mean we jumped the shark on that one and we haven’t looked back. It kind of set us on course with this very, you know, highly entertaining, farcical show.

QUESTION: You as an actor really been very vocal in defending the series. Has that been something that has been a lot of fun for you: watching the show kind of evolve from where it was to where it is now, where all the actors seemed very, very invested?

PURCELL: Well, one of the things I made very clear in one of my Instagram posts is I thought the first season was not very good at all and I think everyone agrees with that. We didn’t know what the f*ck we were doing. Second season things started to change and within mid-second season, we started to have the writers, and everyone became much more in line with the humor aspects of it. And then from Season 3 it just really started to build. I mean personally, I think our show is, I mean, they are obviously different genres: I mean Arrow, it’s all a different thing, but I think Legends is the best of the Arrowverse and I’m not afraid to say that. I think the others are kind of like a worn-out boot at this point. But the great thing about Legends is that it has places to go. I mean, it’s a never-ending creative possibility.

Publicist: “Time for two more questions.” Yeah, he shot me down, I’m being too controversial. Ha!

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow airs Mondays on the CW.