Echo Kellum joined the cast of Arrow three years ago as Curtis Holt, and this year, he’s hung up his Mister Terrific costume and is fighting crime on the up and up, working alongside John Diggle (David Ramsey) at ARGUS.
Tonight’s episode of Arrow titled “Crossing Lines” (8PM ET/PT on The CW) sees Curtis going to Switzerland on a mission with Diggle and Lyla. We spoke with Echo this morning for some idea of what to expect in tonight’s episode and beyond.
“We’re going to be hitting the Swiss Alps pretty hard… no, we’re going to Switzerland, and there are some shady individuals and ARGUS has to step up to the plate to shut it down,” Echo told us this morning. “Curtis goes with Diggle and Lyla and in the midst of the mission, Diggle finds out that some truth has been withheld from him, and it causes a little tension between him and Lyla, and Curtis is like ‘well, let me not poke into this too much and let them handle it’ while they still take care of business,” he continued.
Working in ARGUS on missions with Diggle and Lyla is a new thing for Curtis, and we asked Echo if doing the show is different with Oliver Queen off in prison, not getting to work with the usual members of the cast that we’ve grown accustomed to.
“You know, Stephen… he beats us up a lot on set,” he joked before giving a real answer. “It’s definitely been interesting. He’s such a great presence on the set, too. He really is the leader of our show, and I do miss working with him in a lot of capacities, but it’s nice to connect with other actors as well. I’ve been working a lot with David [Ramsey] lately, and you kind of draw closer, which makes sense when you’re working with people every day. But when it’s just you and that person, as opposed to you and multiple people and you’re all cracking jokes and stuff like that, you really start getting introspective into each other’s lives and these interesting things, so it’s been really cool to switch gears, and obviously, the prison storyline is so good. I’m just excited that people get to see what happens with Oliver. It’s really panning out and going to be a lot of fun for people to see.”
And does Echo miss wearing the costume? “I definitely miss wearing the costume,” Echo confirmed. “The Mister Terrific costume is so amazing, and there’s nothing quite as empowering as when you put that suit on. I definitely think Curtis is in a middle place right now. He definitely misses being out in the field, but he’s also trying to adhere to the plea deal that was made. But he’s doing whatever he can to still give back and help the people of Star City as best as he can.”
While Curtis is busy at ARGUS fighting crime through that venue, his boyfriend, Nick Anastas, is working at the SCPD. Does it cause any conflict between the two that now Nick is the one who’s out physically stopping crimes?
“I don’t think there’s as much conflict as there was in Curtis’ past marriage, but there’s always some push and pull there in a relationship. Anastas working heavily with Captain Dinah and whatnot… there’s always going to be work issues that arise from that, but I don’t think it’ll be at the level where they’re contemplating if they want to be together or not,” Echo told us. “I think Anastas is really accepting of Curtis and his career, whether he’s a vigilante or whatnot, and Curtis is accepting of him in that regard, too.”
All of Arrow’s new situations also come with the arrival of a new showrunner, Beth Schwartz. When asked about the show’s new creative energy, Echo was sure to also praise those who preceded her.
“First and foremost, I loved working with Marc and Wendy and everyone who’s run the show from Season 1,” Kellum explained. “I wouldn’t even be on the show if not for them, so I’m really thankful for the input from them and I love where they took the character, and the show, but having Beth there has really been a nice breath of fresh air. She has a great vision. She’s been a part of the show from the onset, and she’s uber-talented.”
“With shows, you have to switch it up every once in a while, to keep it fresh, keep a new perspective, and to keep some new eyes… seeing what other places you can take it… and I think she is knocking it out of the park,” he continued. “She and the writers’ room are giving us so much great material, and I think that’s why you do hear a lot of people say it feels really new, fresh, unique and fun. I think they’re just doing a great job, and I’m really thankful to get to be a part of it.”
And as for that flash-forward reveal? “My jaw definitely dropped,” he said. “You know, initially when we read those scripts, that stuff was redacted for us, so I was like ‘what’s happening?’ It was all blacked out! And then when I found out I was definitely like ‘shut up. Wait. What?’ So it was all very cool, and seeing Colton in that old age makeup, it was very dope to see that. You guys are in for some really amazing stuff that you definitely won’t see coming.”
Could one of those things be an aged-up Curtis… is that something he’d like to see? “I mean, yeah. Of course. Who doesn’t want to be aged up? That’s part of the fun! So, we’ll just have to wait and see if that happens.”
But for the present day, Curtis Holt is a busy man. “He’s definitely going to be knee-deep working at ARGUS, but you’ll see some internal conflicts with him and his past life and what he wants for the future and whatnot. There will be some internal conflicts at ARGUS in terms of what’s being told to the workers vs. the mission they have to carry out. And there will be a back and forth with other members of Team Arrow who want to go about doing things differently, whether it’s Felicity being gung-ho about getting Diaz, or Rene trying to accept the new Green Arrow into the streets or what not… Curtis definitely mixes it up with all of them,” Echo explained.
“Curtis is trying to stay true to the plea deal. He definitely wants to take down Diaz, but he wants to take him down through the venue of ARGUS, and the police, and the government, and things like that. He doesn’t want to go off the grid, per se, in that perspective. But he’s supportive of his friends and he wants just the right thing for the city,” he said.
Arrow “Crossing Lines” airs tonight (October 29) at 8PM ET/PT on The CW. See some photos from the episode here and come back soon for Echo’s thoughts on the crossover!