Wondercon took place in LA March25-27 and some of the cast of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow were able to attend. There was a panel where fans found out some cool facts about the show, how it became the show they love and got an inside look into where the crew is going next this season. Yet before all this happened there was a press round table that took place and our own Jay Snook was able to get in. He was able to ask Brandon Routh (The Atom), Caity Lotz (White Canary), Franz Drameh ( Jackson/ Firestorm), Ciara Renee (Hawkgirl) and Marc Guggenheim (Executive Producer) a couple of questions.
How did you come up with the idea for this show?
Marc Guggenheim: It was sort of a group of us and we all sort of approached it from different angles. It really started with the network’s desire to do a third show set in this universe. I think we all sort of independently ended up doing the same path which was ‘Wait a minute. We already have all these characters on Arrow and all these characters on The Flash. They are all played by amazing actors. There is enough here to actually field a whole other show, to cast a whole other show.’ What was really awesome about that for us, what was exciting for us was that no one has done a superhero ensemble show before, like ever. So the idea of doing something that was new was very enticing to us, particularly since Arrow is very different from The Flash and The Flash is very different from Arrow. The one thing we did know going in was we only wanted to do a third show if we could come up with something original, new and different. And certainly doing a team up show fit that bill.
How did you come up with the cast of characters?
Marc: I think it started with The Flash. We knew we wanted to do Firestorm, we love Victor Garber and we had worked with him in the past. The idea of Snart and Rory was just so enticing to us because we knew that having a superhero team up show where two members of the team are super villains is even more fun. Then on Arrow we had always sort of had this idea to bring Sara Lance back from the dead via the Lazarus pit. We also had spent a season establishing Ray Palmer as the Atom.It all sort of felt very organic and so from that foursome we started to build out. We knew we wanted to introduce some new characters,that is why you have Hawk man and Hawk girl, Rip Hunter and it all sort of came together very organically.
What is the episode you are most proud of from season 1?
Marc: I would probably say episode 11, which is our old west episode. That was an episode where everything sort of came together. When you are doing a first season of a show, any first season is a process of discovery. It is a process of discovery for the audience, the writers, the producers and what works and what doesn’t. I just think episode 11 was where it all sort of clicked. Like episode 18 of Arrow from season 1 ‘Salvation’. That was that kind of episode, where everything just fell into place and you go ‘oh that is the template for the show going forward.
What was your reaction when you found out your character was going to be on this show?
Caity Lotz: It was exciting. I like the idea of just that the tone of the show was going to be different from Arrow. a little bit lighter which is kind of fun to play with. I also like ‘oh it is a band of misfits.’ These aren’t a band of superheroes that are like super perfect and capable. They kind of mess everything up, like all the time. They don’t know what they are doing and I like that. But they are trying to be good and trying to do the right thing. So that is fun to play.
What is it like being on a show with such a power villain?
Caity: I don’t think Sara is particularly scared of Vandal Savage. For her it is not very personal. I think it would be different if he had crossed her personally. And I feel like he should of, or maybe not because then she would have murdered him. He is a rascal though, it has been hard to get him.
What was your thoughts when you heard the show was going back to Star City?
Caity: I was excited. I was excited to do scenes with Stephen again, I love working with him. I was great seeing old man Arrow, that is going to be really funny. It was also cool to see the kind of turmoil that it would create in Sara’s life because this is kind of your fault. You left and this is what happened. That was hard to deal with.
What was it like to breath new life into this character on a new show?
Franz Drameh: It is a lot of fun exploring Jackson’s background, what makes him tick and that kind of stuff and his relationship with different characters on the show. He is one half of Firestorm so there is this great dynamic to Jackson and Stein that is so much fun to see. Especially working with Victor who I absolutely adore.
How did you originally get the role of Jackson?
Franz: I was in LA at the time and my manager told me of an audition for a role on The Flash. I am a big comic book nerd at heart so I said let’s do it. So I read for it and I didn’t hear anything for a while so I was like ‘aw man! I messed it up, didn’t get it.’ Then my agent called me and said could I get my passport details because you need to fly out tomorrow. I was like ‘fly out where? What are you talking about dude.My agent said ‘ We are going out to Vancouver to do this read with Victor’. We read it and we bonded straight away and the rest is history I suppose.
What is your favorite aspect of Jackson?
Franz: I like how hes always got a pretty snarky comment to come out, like he will always find something to rip on Stein about. I feel like a lot of the time he is sort of the voice of the audience. He will be the one saying this is crazy, why are we doing this, we are all going to die or this is a bad idea. It is also really fun to play him.
Did you borrow anything from playing a superhero in the past for the Atom or was it a clean slate?
Brandon Routh: Whether I consciously borrowed or not, it is a good question that I can’t always answer. But subconsciously there is no way to forget the whole experience of playing Superman and all that. It definitely only benefited me in positive ways not only in the work onscreen and the character but also in my work environment. Understanding the rigors of playing a superhero; the hours and being in a suit for long hours, the physical demand. It definitely helped me have a better appreciation and gratitude for the opportunity.
What do you enjoy most about playing Ray Palmer,and what is the hardest part about the role?
Brandon: I enjoy just the fact that it is a clean slate. I have had the opportunity to make Ray kind of what I wanted to with the help and obviously accommodating of the writers and producers and that is a cool unique feeling you know because I have had both. Stepping into some pretty big shoes and then also kind of creating the character on my own so that has been a real joy. The tough part is being in the suit for long hours and that is just a physical thing. It is also good practice though on getting meditative and being okay with that is well because really it’s pretty awesome. You can to a place where you are like ‘oh my backs hurts’ or ‘it is hot in here’ but it’s still pretty cool.
So I take it is a heavy suit and not just made of cheap plastic?
Brandon: Well it’s not cheap plastic, even if it is plastic. It is a very expensive plastic item (laughs). I think the suit weighs between 20 and 25 pounds. You don’t necessarily feel the weight of it but it is compressing. Although I can move very well for the most part it does become a bit restrictive in the upper body so my back gets a little bit tight and sore after a couple of hours.
What kind of things do you want people to learn from your character?
Brandon: I think superheroes offer many metaphors and stories about how we can do things differently in our lives. For me the one that rings most true, especially with Superman, but I think with all characters is there is the ability to find greatest within each of us. We are all human being, we all have the same abilities even though we come from different backgrounds, families and places in the world but we all have the same ability to be great in different ways. So superheroes kind of show us no matter what powers as a superhero you can make a difference in someone else’s life.
What was it liking knowing you were going to be the first live action interpretation of Hawkgirl?
Ciara Renee: It was cool, I was game for it. People always ask me if there was a bunch of pressure to get it right and I don’t really feel that pressure. I mean sometimes I do and think it my head ‘don’t mess it up, don’t mess it up’ and I definitely want to do it justice. I also think that the version I am doing is conglomeration of a lot of different story lines and versions. She is technically the new 52 version but we are using the ancient Egyptian back story so I think this is a new version that we get to play with. Kendra was also a little bit blind sided by it, like Chay-Ara’s soul got jumped into her I don’t even know. So it is confusing and there is a lot of different things going on. But since we are melding a lot of different story lines I think that I felt pretty pretty free to go ‘okay, this is my version, this is our version’
What do you think is Chay-Ara’s most important role on the show?
Ciara: Well it would seem that the reason she is there because she is the only one who can kill Vandal Savage. They kind of need her for that (laughs). But I think as she starts to step up into her own and really understand what it means to be a superhero to protect people and help people. She sort of has the ability to change time and the world and that’s kind of what they are trying to do and change her destiny. I think then that she will start to fall into what her purpose is for this team.
What do you think about the different aspects of Chay-Ara?
Ciara: Well I think that is important because she has lived for four thousand years. I am assuming in some of the lifetimes she was a mother, others a career woman and in yet others was this or that. She has met so many people and had so many different relationships that when she really starts to remember that stuff, that wisdom and knowledge about how to interact with human beings it is going to be helpful in all of these different kinds of relationships.
Legends of Tomorrow airs Thursdays at 8pm on the CW.
Check out the what is coming up for this season below: