Interview de Summer Glau by IGN
Arrow: Season 2 has had a ton of exciting new elements for fans, including the addition of Summer Glau in the recurring role of Isabel Rochev. This week’s episode of Arrow is a big one for Glau, as Isabel’s last minute decision to tag along on a flight to Russia with Oliver, Felicity and Diggle greatly impairs the mission they’re on.
I talked to Glau about joining Arrow this season, Isabel’s thoughts on Oliver Queen and more, including the fan speculation that Isabel – a character from the comics herself – could also be Talia al Ghul, now that both Ra's al Ghul and his "child" have been mentioned on the series.
IGN: This week sounds like a pretty interesting one for Isabel, with her traveling with "Team Arrow", as it were. This obviously doesn't sound like something Oliver Queen would want to happen.
Glau: No, he doesn't! But Isabel keeps trying to rein him in. He is not accepting her new place in the company and it’s been a power struggle. She shows up at the 11th hour, before they're leaving for Russia and basically just invites herself on the trip - and all the fabulous clothes that go along with it!
IGN: There are quite a few secrets Oliver is keeping from her, to say the least. How will that work, given she's in such close proximity to them?
Glau: It's not working out well for him. She's on to him and I think even though she gives him a hard time about not taking his responsibilities seriously, I think she's starting to get the picture that he's more than meets the eye. I think that it's just a matter of time before she catches him in this alternate life that he has. And she's also really honing in on Felicity. She sees that those two are always together and Felicity is always covering for Oliver and they seem to have a very close relationship and I think she's trying to wedge between them a little bit.
IGN: Isabel and Felicity had a fun little bit of interaction recently. It sounds like this episode gives you the opportunity to work together more?
Glau: Yes, they do. They interact more and I find those interactions so fun as an actress. it's a great chance for comedy and I enjoy my time with Emily [Bett Rickards]. It's an interesting part of their dynamic, because they're women who are both in Oliver's life, but they're complete opposites. So getting to see how they work that out is sometimes very funny.
IGN: You mentioned that Isabel is on to Oliver and senses something else is going on. Do you think she has specific ideas about that or it's just that idea that "This guy is hiding something from me."
Glau: Well, another guy that's hiding things from me is Andrew [Kreisberg, Arrow executive producer], because he won't tell me anything else after this last episode that I just did. So I don't know! I don't know that she knows anything about what specifically Oliver is hiding, but she definitely is getting the picture that he's not just a party boy. There's something else going on and she wants to know what it is, because it's threatening her control over the company. The audience is definitely going to get more clues about why she's so passionate about Queen Consolidated in the first place - why it means so much to her.
IGN: I won't be specific here for people who haven't read the comics, but there is some stuff from the comics they could pull from as far as what her history might be. Is that possible?
Glau: I think so. That's what I'm hoping. I don't know if Andrew's going to let me put on the veil and the goggles, but I'm hoping that at least we can dive a little bit deeper into that storyline, because I find it fascinating. Not in this next episode that's going to air, but in the episode I'm in after that, there's another big clue about where they're going to take Isabel next. It has to do with her past.
IGN: Isabel is not the type of character we're used to seeing you play. She's this corporate figure and someone very powerful in that world. Is it fun for you play such a different type of role?
Glau: It is fun. It was challenging. Especially in the beginning, it was challenging just because it's not something that I was used to. Isabel comes in and she's a powerful businesswoman and she has to convey that power and that control, without getting physical. Without doing any of the things that I would be used to doing. She does it with her subtle demeanor and her communication. That was an adjustment for me, but I'm really getting into it and I enjoy it. It's great fun.
IGN: You've done a lot of genre shows and played characters that are very physically skilled. This is a superhero show, with people running around in costumes, but your character -- at least right now -- is not a part of that world. Are you just enjoying the change, or is there a part of you itching to run around those rooftops and get into some of the fight scenes?
Glau: Yeah, it's hard. I mean, I do miss it. I'm hoping that eventually Isabel will get involved somehow. Not in the way maybe that I have in the past, but I'm itching for her to find out more about what Oliver is up to when he's not in the office and see how she reacts to that and what would happen. How that would change their dynamic and why... She obviously has some kind of connection to his past. I don't know how Andrew is going to handle that in the storytelling on the show.
IGN: Many Firefly fans, myself included, were happy to hear Sean Maher will be appearing on an Arrow episode as well.
Glau: Yes! I know, I wasn't in that one!
IGN: Is it still cool for you though that you both have ended up on this show?
Glau: Absolutely. I am really excited to hear him work on the show too. He is one of the best actors I've ever worked with, so they're lucky to have him. And I hope that maybe, sometime in the future, we might be in an episode together. I think he's recurring!
IGN: Before we go, there's a question a lot of fans are curious about. I don't think the answer is yes, but I have to ask it... Now that they've mentioned Ra's al Ghul and his child, people are speculating that Isabel is also Talia al Ghul. Anything you can say about that theory?
Glau: I have heard that theory, but I don't know... I really don't know any of the secrets about what's going to happen after this last episode that I was in. I wish I could help unveil some more secrets, but they keep them from me too!
IGN: Suffice to say, you're as curious as everyone else?
Glau: I am! That's part of the fun though. [Laughs]