Though no one can ever replace Ray Palmer, Curtis Holt's introduction in last week's Arrowhas definitely helped ease our pain. Played by comedian Echo Kellum, the Palmer Tech employee's easy banter with Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) had us smiling through every scene they shared.
But according to Kellum, there's tragedy in Curtis' future. The star revealed that it will take an unfortunate turn of events to inspire the computer genius to suit up and eventually become the superhero Mr. Terrific.
Find out more of what Kellum said about Curtis' evolution, as well as whether or not he'll be joining Team Arrow anytime soon:
What is Curtis' journey like this year?
Echo Kellum: I would definitely describe it as an adventure. He was this guy who was working at Palmer Tech in the innovation design department, and him getting to work closely with Felicity definitely helps him get a sneak peek into what's been going on in the city as far as Green Arrow's concerned. He finds out in this episode that Felicity's working with the Green Arrow and that definitely piques his interest. He goes on this trajectory where he starts experiencing things he's never experienced before in the city, helping her figure out certain situations and meta-humans like Double Down, figuring out some secrets that are happening at Palmer Tech and actually going out in the field and helping along with a couple of things like that. So he definitely goes on a pretty big adventure that's kind of new and fresh to him in Star City.
How would you describe Curtis' relationship with Felicity?
Kellum: I'll say they're very, very good friends. They hit it off very quickly. They have a intellectual respect for each other and deeply care for each other as friends.
She really took a big bet on Curtis last week. So what's next for their plan to save Palmer Tech?
Kellum: Curtis is an extremely smart guy. He loves learning and computers and definitely knows how to work well with them, building different things and whatnot. So he's back at work trying to pump up ways to have some type of groundbreaking technology. He definitely gets right into that forefront with different experiments, trying to figure out exactly what they can do. But then the world starts affecting him, so they have to put some of their time to actually coming up with this world-changing technology, but then also dealing with all the dangers in the city.
Curtis has his first major run-in with a villain this week. What can you reveal about Curtis and Felicity's encounter with Double Down?
Kellum: This meta-human tracks down Felicity, and Curtis is with her, and they kind of go through a sequence where Felicity's badass-ness has to come into the forefront. She has to shut down that situation and save the day. So I think it's a really cool moment because you get to see Felicity really be the hero that she is.
How does that experience change Curtis?
Kellum: I think it makes him realize that the person that he's working for is doing the exact same thing he wants to do in his life. He wants to help people in the city and people in general. He loves to live by the model of fair play and one of his goals in life is to do something for mankind, to help humanity for the better and protect people and do the right thing. So I think once he finds out Felicity is involved in that life, it definitely motivates him to help out more.
Are we going to see him get more involved with Team Arrow soon?
Kellum: He definitely has involvement with them, through just helping Felicity out. But you will see Curtis out in the field.
Are you excited to eventually become a member of Team Arrow?
Kellum: For me, being a fan of the show and falling in love with those characters, that would definitely be a dream come true. Also, very surreal. But absolutely, I would love that to become a part of Team Arrow. This character is so much fun to play and I feel like he brings a cool aspect to the team through helping Felicity.
How might we see him start evolving into actually becoming Mr. Terrific this season?
Kellum: I can talk in the comic book aspect of it, because I can't tease too much about this season. Tragedy helps motivate him to want to do more. And I think sometimes when you're dealt with overwhelming odds it can push you to either shrink in or really break out of yourself and become something greater. And I think that's something that will really influence Curtis as well.
Will we see a lot of aspects from the comic books incorporated into your character?
Kellum: Definitely. Not every aspect. Obviously, the show wants to take a different spin on him, but they're definitely parts of the comic book character that we pull from. We wanted to still do justice to that character. He'll be his own unique Mr. Terrific, but we'll definitely be using some of the comics.
It was great to see how much of a non-issue Curtis' sexual orientation was last week. How do you feel about playing the first open gay male character on the show?
Kellum: For me, it's truly an honor. I think there needs to be representation of everyone on TV. Personally, I have very close people in my life who are in the LGBT community, I was partially raised by someone in the LGBT community, so it means a lot to me. And a lot of my friends come up to me and they are so thankful that they can be represented on TV. So I'm completely honored and enamored by the support that everyone has given to me. I feel like it's a privilege to play this character and to help some young kid who sees him and says,"I want to be like that," or they can see themselves in him and think, "I could do that." So that's super important to me and I love it.
Will we get to meet Curtis' husband any time soon?
Kellum: Absolutely, yeah. You get to meet him in the first half of the season. So look out for that!
Once Curtis and Oliver (Stephen Amell) meet, what's their dynamic going to be like?
Kellum: I think they definitely have a mutual respect for each other, an admiration for each other. Curtis definitely likes Oliver in the aspect of being Felicity's boyfriend. And he thinks there's something special about Oliver.
You have a strong comedy background and we saw some of that in your scenes last week. Are we going to see a lot of your comedic side in Curtis as the show goes on?
Kellum: Yeah, I think so. They're having a lot of fun with him, and I'm just a silly dude, as well. So that definitely comes out through the character. Also, the writing is just smart and funny too. I definitely have to give them a lot of credit that they write a lot of that for him. And definitely this season has a lighter tone. It's silly, but still gets into the nitty-gritty of family dynamics and loss and stopping bad guys.
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.
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