Sara Lance knows better than anybody that you can’t change the past. Not even with a timeship. It’s something that’ll be very much on her mind as DC’s Legends of Tomorrow returns for its fifth season…with the leader of the Waverider still dealing with the effects of “Crisis on Infinite Earths” and grieving the loss of her friend Oliver Queen.
Unfortunately, time—and time distortions—wait for no one, so White Canary will have to deal with her grief while taking care of the latest set of threats to the timeline. In this week’s season premiere, “Meet the Legends,” the team heads back in time to Romanov-era Russia where the legendary Russian advisor and occultist Rasputin has returned from the dead hellbent on revenge for his assassination. Or is he looking for love? Or maybe, just maybe, what he really wants is to be on television.
Look, Sara’s feelings for Ollie may be surprisingly poignant and honest, but this is still Legends of Tomorrow, the most proudly bonkers of the Arrowverse’s shows. Perhaps because of the way “Crisis” has loomed over The CW’s DC shows this season, Legends has felt more missed than ever. So, to celebrate its long-awaited return, we spoke with Caity Lotz about how it feels to be piloting the Waverider another season, what sort of challenges they’ll be facing and what she’s learned from Sara Lance after playing her for seven years.
What sort of challenges will be facing Sara and the crew of the Waverider this season?
We’re dealing with—we call them “Encores”—they’re basically the biggest bads from hell that are coming back for an encore and messing up history. We’ve got all these antiheroes or villains, I guess you could call them, in different time periods and places. It’s pretty fun facing off with them, but they’re not easy to kill, so that’s kind of the hard thing for us.
Oliver Queen’s death in the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover really hits Sara hard. Were you surprised at how hard of a time she’s had accepting it?
No, actually. I think he was that person that Sara thought would always be there. He was that last tether. Everyone else in her life has been taken away from her—her sister and her dad. She always felt like she would have Ollie, so losing him was a big surprise to her. It was a shock. It almost feels like by losing him, it’s erasing her whole past. Not that she isn’t happy there with the Legends, but you can be different with the people who know you from before all that—before you were a superhero.
She had a really great line in “Crisis” that said something about how she’s lost everyone who knew her when she was still just a girl getting on Oliver’s boat.
Yeah, before I got on that damn boat! (laughs)
Will Ollie’s death and Sara’s past relationship with him affect her current relationship with Ava?
Specifically with Ava? No, I don’t think so. Legends’ tone is very different from Arrow. We don’t usually go as dark. In the first episode we see it play out a little bit, and we see the effect is has on her. Will it continue to have an effect? I don’t know. I hope so. It’s always hard to track the stuff in between the different shows.
On a similar note, how does having Ava on the Waverider change things for Sara and the rest of the crew?
I don’t know if it does. It feels like she’s just kind of always been there. I think Sara likes the fact that Ava’s also a boss lady. For her to have somebody else she can delegate some of the responsibilities to is nice.
You have a new team member this season. What sort of dynamic does Behrad bring to the team?
Behrad and Sara actually have a nice relationship. Jax was kind of Sara’s little brother, and I think Behrad takes up that mantle a little bit for Sara. He’s younger and he’s sweet. I think he cares about Sara and her mental health and mental well-being. He’s a very sweet, sensitive soul. It’s a fun dynamic to have on the ship.
As an actor, do you enjoy the fact that the Waverider crew is somewhat fluid? Or does that make things more challenging?
Yeah, the longer that it goes, the harder it becomes. In the beginning, everything was kind of switching around and so it made more sense to have people coming in and out and bit more. But now that we’ve all been together for a little bit, it’s really hard when we lose anybody. We just love our dynamic so much. Everyone in the cast gets along so well. We have so much fun together. Everyone is so totally different, but just brings something totally unique. Any time we lose somebody, it’s always hard.
So, what are some of the time periods the Waverider will be traveling to this season? I know in the premiere you visit imperial Russia…
Well, we have 1990s Hong Kong in there. There’s a prom—a 1980s prom. Marie Antoinette and Versaille. We go to Burbank in 1947, New York City in 2044, British Columbia in 2020, Egypt, Greece… There are so many. As a thank you gift for the crew this year we made these shirts, and on the back of it, it lists all the places that we went to. It’s pretty cool.
You’ve been playing Sara Lance for about seven years now. What has she taught you?
Leadership would be a big part of it. I think that would be the biggest one. Sara on the ship leads in her own way. I think that’s something that applies to being on set as well—trying to be a good leader and trying to be there for everybody. Keep whatever’s going on in your own personal life inside and try not to let it affect everyone else. Realize how much your energy and the way you’re thinking and feeling really affects everyone else, and to just really be conscious of that.
DC's Legends of Tomorrow returns Tuesday at 9 p.m. (8 p.m. CST) on The CW. Be sure to visit our official DC's Legends of Tomorrow page for more news, features and articles on the Waverider's journeys.