‘Arrow’s’ Juliana Harkavy on Season 6: There’s a Lot of ‘Bad Blood’ Between Black Canary and Black Siren

When Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) was killed during the fourth season of “Arrow,” it seemed that the show was moving past the prospect of having a Black Canary among the cast. But that turned out to be far from the plan. Halfway through Season 5, the show introduced Juliana Harkavy as Dinah Drake, a meta whose abilities matched those of Black Canary. Oliver (Stephen Amell) brought her onto the team, but she didn’t have a lot of time to get used to her new role before the threat of Prometheus {Josh Segarra) became the focus of Team Arrow.

“The time they had together on Lian Yu definitely brought them together as a team,” Harkavy tells Variety of how Dinah has settled in to the team in the six months between Season 5 and Season 6. “She’s also been fighting, training and had time to develop her craft. It’s been six months together and six months getting stronger for her.”

Here, Harkavy tells Variety how Dinah feels in taking on the Black Canary mantle fully, her a new rivalry with Black Siren (Cassidy) and where she’ll fit in during the four-part crossover between all CW DC shows.

Was Dinah ready to officially take over the mantle of Black Canary or was their some hesitation?

I think that’s one of the biggest things that has changed for Dinah this season: she’s let go of her reluctance to fill that position and has become a solid part of the team. She realizes that the team wants her there, and she wants to be there. Her duty is to justice – her duty is to protecting the city and making a solid team. She’s embraced it and become proud to be the Black Canary.

Diggle (David Ramsey) was the first person to really welcome Dinah into the fold. In the sixth season premiere, we saw there is clearly something wrong with him. Does Dinah take it upon herself to figure out what that is and how she can help?

She does. Dinah really honors the fact that he was one of the first people to take her in. They have a close friendship, and they’re a team, so when one person is affected, everyone is affected. She takes it upon herself to make sure he’s OK and and get to the bottom of what’s happening.

Since they work so closely together out in the field, is she concerned about him being next to her when he clearly isn’t at 100%?

She is. I think that’s partially why she wants to get to the bottom of what’s going on with him. She knows that she – or anyone on the team – could get hurt if something’s wrong with him. She’s concerned and maybe just a little bit annoyed.

She and Lance (Paul Blackthorne) also seemed to have grown a lot closer since Lian Yu. How does that relationship evolve this season?

Their closeness does come from their time on Lian Yu. They were together on the island, and together they kept the secret of Lance shooting Black Siren from everybody, and because of that they developed a closer friendship.

Is there any weirdness between the two of them about Dinah becoming the Black Canary?

Because Dinah did take up that mantle – and she is so connected to Lance’s daughter – I think there is a paternal relationship with him. I think he gets a sense of closeness from Dinah because there are similarities to Laurel.

There were some great scenes between Black Canary and Black Siren in the premiere. How does that rivalry play out in the episodes to come?

It definitely doesn’t die down. There is a lot of bad blood between Siren and Canary. It’s fun to watch those fights – they’re very charged because of the history of where they came from and what they’ve been through. People who like those fights can definitely come to expect more of them, and they’ll get bigger and better.

Dinah hasn’t spent much time with the heroes from the other Arrowverse shows. With her being a part of this year’s crossover, how does she react to meeting characters like The Flash (Grant Gustin) or Sara Lance (Caity Lotz)?

Last season Diggle mentioned aliens, and Dinah couldn’t believe it. Now she’s come to realize anything is possible. Her meeting the other heroes is just more of her stepping into this world and accepting her new reality.

Before you read any of the crossover scripts, was there any character you were hoping Dinah could interact with?

I definitely wanted to interact with The Flash. There is something about The Flash personally that I’m really drawn to as a character. I also think that his energy is so different from Dinah’s so I thought that would be a cool and funny combination. He’s so low-key and she’s so intense.

“Arrow” airs on Thursdays at 9 p.m. on the CW.

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