The Huntress is on her way to CW’s Arrow, and EW has your exclusive First Look at the costumed antihero, played by Jessica De Gouw.
Additionally, scroll down for our chat with executive producer Andrew Kreisberg about the character’s much-anticipated debut. De Gouw’s first episode airs Nov. 28.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Tell me what made you want to introduce the Huntress — and so early in the show’s run, for that matter.
ANDREW KREISBERG: Geoff Johns [from DC Entertainment] was up on the set when we were shooting the pilot and while we were sitting in Vancouver outside freezing our butts off [while] shooting the island sequences, we sat around going, ‘Well, we don’t want to jinx ourselves, but let’s say we do get picked up: What kind of DC characters do you think we can bring to the show?’ And we started spit-balling, I’m not sure which one of us it was but somehow we got this idea for the Huntress. She is the dark mirror version of Oliver, and it was a nice contrast to him because he’s pretty extreme. He goes a lot further than not only his comic book version but lots of comic book characters — most have a code of draws the line against killing. Our [Oliver] is obviously past that. [So we wondered] what could we do if we brought the Huntress in. Since we already have a character who goes to extremes, how much more extreme can we make her?
What we really liked was that on an emotional level, she and Oliver are both damaged by their pasts. As we say on the show, they’ve both gone through a crucible and come out the other side. This is the way they’re coping, but somehow, Oliver has taken the darkness inside with him and is doing something positive with it. She’s taken the darkness inside her and is seeking revenge and doesn’t care who gets hurt in the process. All of these interesting philosophical discussions: What is vengeance? What is justice? Where do you draw the line and how far is too far? And then the fact that she’s hot and Oliver is into her makes it all the more complicated. [Laughs]
What ended up being the answer to your first question — how did you make her more extreme than Oliver?
When you watch the episode, someone close to Oliver is almost killed by the Huntress’ actions and that sets him on his quest. So it’s kind of interesting because in some ways he’s seeking revenge and then he collides with somebody else who’s entire reason for being is revenge. And what’s interesting is that Oliver is on autopilot in some respects as far as his mission. Everything is about the mission and righting his father’s wrongs. And it’s only until he bumps into this sad, damaged, angry but beautiful woman that he realizes how lonely he is and the toll that lying to everybody in his life is taking. So he’s going after a bad guy and he suddenly realizes that he has a lot more in common with her than just about anyone else in his family. That creates this amazing fun relationship for them.
Will we see more of her after her initial appearances?
We hope so. It’s two episodes for now but we definitely hope we see more of her. We certainly set her up as an interesting foil for Oliver and we’re excited to see where else we can take her.
Let’s talk about her costume.
For the Huntress — she’s basically wearing a cape and a purple bikini in the comic. That wouldn’t play so well. So her costume is much more functional while also being sexy and you see there are also hints of purple, which ties into her comic book costume. We also think that on our show, no one is wearing a costume — they are uniforms or outfits. Also, in the comic, Helena is devoutly Catholic. You can see in the Kevlar she’s wearing on her chest, it’s actually in the shape of a cross, which we thought was really cool.
Will her Catholicism play a big part of your TV version of the character?
Her religion has really become revenge. She wears a cross around her neck and that plays a key role in the episode. We don’t touch too much upon the religion, but the iconography is certainly there from the comic books. You can see the DNA of the comic book version in the outfit that our Helena wears. It was just really fun to see because since the pilot, it’s really our first out-and-out hero outfit that we’ve designed, and we really think we’ve succeeded.