Venice

Winter 2016

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Stepping out of her famous father's shadow, actress Katie Cassidy is defining her role as a superhero on the rise. BY ELYSSA GOODMAN PHOTOGRAPHY BY MASHA MALTSAVA STYLED BY SEPPE TIRABASSI IN BLOOM 118 venicemagftl.com feel like every kid's dream is to be a superhero," Katie Cassidy says, a chuckle in her voice. On The CW's "Arrow," a reimagining of DC's classic comic book Green Arrow, Cassidy plays Laurel Lance, who is by day an assistant district attorney in a suit and by night Black Canary, a crime-fighting vigilante clad in black leather. Though Cassidy's character passed away at the end of the show's most recent season, she is slated to return not just to "Arrow," but also to many of the other DC Comics-inspired shows in The CW's repertoire, such as "Legends of Tomorrow" and "The Flash." Like every good superhero, she may just have resurrection on her side. In the changing media landscape where women are more often taking on roles of strong, powerful characters, Cassidy's Black Canary is inspiring to many, even the actress herself. "Especially today, modern-day kick-ass women are awesome," Cassidy says. "I just loved how strong of a character she was. She's always been very, very close to me, and when I read it I could see myself doing it. So I knew I needed to sit down and convince ["Arrow" producer] Greg Berlanti that I'm the one he should be hiring for this. And I'm fortunate enough to have gotten the opportunity to portray her." While Cassidy has been working in television and film for years, with "Arrow" she seems to have bloomed. "I never really dreamed I would be in this position, and I would be going to these conventions and Comic-Cons and people would be dressed up as my character," Cassidy says. "The show has really touched people and moved them." In a video from the Salt Lake Comic Con earlier this year, where comic book heroes like Cassidy's Black Canary are celebrated, audiences applauded, whistled and clapped. "We love you!" one fan shouted. A big smile peeled across Cassidy's face, stretching all the way back to her sandy-brown hair. "Oh, I love you, too!" she said into the microphone. On stage, she almost sparkles under the spotlights, as if she knows she belongs there. "Honestly, I've always loved entertaining. I'm a third-generation actor, and I think it's just in the gene pool. I think I was born this way," she laughs. Her father is 1970s pop idol (and former Fort Lauderdale resident) David Cassidy, and her grandfather was stage and screen star Jack Cassidy. But make no mistake: Cassidy forged her way and paid her dues in the industry just as they did. Cassidy, now 30, made her first television appearance in 2003 as a teenager, and has been working consistently since then in both film and television. You may recognize her from movies such as "When a Stranger Calls," "Click" and "Taken," or from character arcs on now-iconic shows such as "7th Heaven" and "Supernatural," from headlining the 2009 revival of "Melrose Place" or in her role as Juliet Sharp on "Gossip Girl." Interestingly, Cassidy had the opportunity to audition for NYU's Tisch School of the Arts after high school, but couldn't make the time slot because she had already booked another acting gig—she went to the audition on her lunch break I

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