Mr. Terrific talks: Echo Kellum on last night's ep. of Arrow, and Curtis' future

Do not pity Mr. T. Sure, Curtis Holt -- a crimefighter who paints a giant “T” on his face as a disguise – did suffer a knife wound on Arrow a couple episodes back, but as of last night, he was back to being Mr. Terrific.

However, the same cannot exactly be said for the rest of the new recruits on Team Arrow. After learning about Oliver’s early days as a homicidal vigilante, back in the glory days of Starling City, the new Team Arrow clashed with Original Team Arrow. They questioned their faith in Ollie, which sort of puts Curtis in the middle since he’s not precisely OTA, but he ain’t a new guy, either.

On a visit to the Vancouver Arrow set last week, I joined a small group of journalists to talk with the man behind Mr. Terrific, Echo Kellum. In the following interview, he discusses the character's recent injury, the events of last night’s ep, and teases where Mr. T might be headed.

 

Curtis is in this unique position where he already knew Team Arrow, but is a new recruit...

Yeah, Curtis likes to think he’s the connective tissue between Team Arrow. He’s letting people, like last year, this thing happened. And he fills the new recruits in on things they might not know whenever they’re at a crossroad for what they want to do moving forward. Curtis can be that knowledgeable source of the history of the team. It is kind of tough. Conflicts do arise between old Team Arrow and new Team Arrow, but he plays that middle pretty well.

Has the new Team Arrow changed now that Diggle is back?

Yeah, you’ll see some friction there. I think they’ll realize there’s a bigger task at hand, namely Prometheus. They need to focus up, and be a more cohesive unit, and not have the bickering.

Will the new recruits continue to bicker or start to work together better?

It is kind of fun to watch them eff up things, and go rogue. But as we get more serious about dealing with Prometheus, as he rear his head more, they’ll have to be a better team. Or else people will die, will get hurt, and they won’t be successful in their mission.

A couple weeks ago Curtis was literally stabbed in the back. How will that impact his view on being a vigilante?

Realizing how tough it is out in the field will have repercussion on him, having thoughts about his future. But he has a determination. He sticks with a task, and gets through it. He’ll improve, but will have some low points in being a vigilante … it’s not easy being the guy on the team that feels like you have the longest way to go, so that’s something he’ll struggle him. But I keep coming back to his determination, his spirit.

So when Curtis is in his Mr. Terrific costume, where does all his hair go?

You know, I think him and Felicity are looking at some new, life-changing tech that will make the braiding process split-second. That, and the power cell are right on the top of the list. [laughs]

In the comics, Mr. Terrific’s technology plays into his vigilantism. Will we see that?

I definitely think you’ll see that throughout the season. You’re going to see Curtis really come into that fold of being Mr. Terrific in the way you see him in the comics, but it will take some time to get there. But it’s definitely something we’re going to explore this season.

He’s also not a likable guy in the comics. Would you want to pursue that as an arc?

He’s kind of a jerk. It would be an interesting character trajectory to see him come from this kind of silly, nerdy guy to this more serious, jerky type of person. But life throws a lot of things at us. We’re always changing, evolving. I could see Curtis getting to that point where he’s a little more serious. I think it’s a place we can go, but I’m excited to see what his journey is. I think if he does get there, it has to be earned. He has to go through stuff to really sharpen those edges. If the writers see fit to take him that way, I’m ready to go there.

How does his husband feel about Curtis rushing off into danger?

Definitely not happy to see your husband come home with bruises and scrapes every week. I think he’ll have trepidation to what Curtis is getting into, if he does find it out. I think it’s a thing that every relationship has to worry. Even if you’re going away, working in tech, or on power lines, if you’re away from the person that loves you, it’s going to cause stress in the relationship. I think that Curtis being a vigilante will definitely cause stress, but they have a strong enough relationship to get through it. 

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