The CW’s Legends of Tomorrow proved again last night that they are truly a show “a head” of their time when they paid a visit to the French revolution, and Zari 2.0 proved there’s a place on the Waverider for an influencer … but also that too much influence and adoration can be a bad thing. It was another great episode of this weird, wonderful show, and we recently got to talk to some of the writers and cast all about it.
First off, how did we end up with Courtney Ford—who has spent the last few seasons as the very serious Nora Dahrk—as a decidedly chipper Marie Antoinette? “We wanted to give her a challenge,” said executive producer Keto Shimizu. “We wanted to give her just a whole other character to play.” It was a challenge Ford rose to completely, and it was also a great story choice that allowed us to really get into the other characters at play.
Ford is far from the first Legends actor to play a different role. Last season, Maisie Richardson-Sellers stepped into the role of Shapeshifter Charlie after two years as Amaya (a.k.a. Vixen). In that case, the producers, according to Shimizu, just didn’t want to let Richardson-Sellers go even though Amaya’s story was over, and thus, Charlie was born.
This season, it’s been Tala Ashe who’s been given a new role as a version of Zari that didn’t grow up on the run and whose brother never died … and that brother took her place on the Waverider and lived all her adventures. She’s a future influencer now and not the hero we know, but that’s given the writers and actors so much to play with—like in this episode, where we saw Zari and Ava team up and help each other.
“The writers come to set and they see real-life relationships,” Jes Macallan, who plays Ava, told us of the team-up in this episode, explaining how she and Tala Ashe are such good friends in real life and who the writers, “write around that because the chemistry is right there for you to step into.”
But it wasn’t all easy: “Tala, I love her with my whole heart, she was having, you know, a hard time stepping into this new character and wondering if it was going to be accepted.”
Macallan, whose own character wasn’t super likable at first either, had some great advice: “Give her somewhere to go.”
And in episode four, she certainly takes those steps, proving her usefulness, making big mistakes, and growing. “She’s so humanized in that episode,” Macallan added, but she also ended last night, maybe, getting a few memories back thanks to a delicious donut.
Caity Lotz—who was mostly absent for this episode because she was busy prepping to direct next week’s installment—said that having Behrad on the ship and a new Zari has been hard to get used to. “It’s weird because you forget,” Lotz explained when it came to interacting with Zari in this new way. “It’s been funny watching her because I’ve been like, ‘Tala, I think you’re going a little bit method.’ Her character rubs off on her a bit.”
But how has it been on set, relating to Shayan Sobhian as Behrad as if he’s been part of the team for years? “It’s a bit hard, yeah,” Lotz agreed, “cause like when you have been working together, all that stuff comes naturally. Like all that comfort and ease, it’s real … but this is more acting, where you have to create history and past and things. You just have to kind of decide on everything a bit more.” And it helps to have directors reminding the cast that Behrad has been there this whole time.
But the addition of Behrad has been a fun gift, as well. Now, Legends doesn’t boast just one Muslim superhero but two, as well as showing Zari and Behrad as part of a loving, normal Muslim Iranian family that all spoke Farsi together. That’s awesome. “It’s important to all of us to always be expanding representation,” writer Grainne Godfree explained, noting that it was a conscious choice to include Muslim characters in the show due to the dearth of such representation.
“I do think, also, in our culture, religion isn’t talked about,” Godfree added. But in the episode, the actors and writers all found ways to acknowledge that Behrad and Zari were Muslim, from Zari not drinking to her commenting on it when Behrad did. It all worked so well and was great to see.
We’re also excited to see where Zari 2.0 will go from here and, oh yeah, if Constantine will live through this all after Astra accelerated his death. And we aren’t forgetting about the big reveal from the end of the episode: that Charlie broke the loom of fate! Does this mean Charlie is one of the fates or is related to them? We’re not sure, but Maisie Richardson-Sellers teased of the loom: “It’s kind of ultimate power. You can rewrite history. You can control history.” Sounds like something that all the Legends might be interested in … as well as the bad guys and Astra.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow airs Tuesdays at 9:00PM on The CW and is available the following day on the CW app.
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