‘Arrow’: Charlotte Ross Previews High Stakes For Donna & Lance

Just like her daughter Felicity, Donna Smoak has found love on The CW’s “Arrow.”

Charlotte Ross’ character came across a handsome, respectable man with a good job earlier in the season, and Detective Lance just so happens to be the dad of one of Felicity’s fellow Team Arrow members (Laurel Lance). But beyond solving crimes and chasing down criminals in Star City, Lance (Paul Blackthorne) is known by and has been blackmailed by villain of the season Damien Darhk.

With a new episode of “Arrow” arriving on Wednesday night, Access Hollywood spoke with Charlotte about the current status of Smoak ‘n’ Lance and how much danger Donna will be in as Darhk’s shadowy organization, HIVE, sets its sights on eradicating Team Arrow. And although Felicity and Oliver haven’t yet set a date for their nuptials, we still had to ask Charlotte about Donna’s involvement in early wedding planning.

Arrow-Charlotte-Ross-Previews-High-Stakes-For-Donna-Lance
‘Arrow’: Charlotte Ross Previews High Stakes For Donna & Lance (The CW)

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AccessHollywood.com: Let’s start with the fun stuff, which is how the wedding planning [for Felicity] is going. We know Mama Smoak’s heavily involved in that. She has to be.
Charlotte Ross: Well of course. My gosh, she’s probably been planning it since the day she found out she was pregnant [with Felicity]. No, it’s very, very exciting and of course she’s probably not going to do a very subtle job and I think that the bigger, the better, the ‘funner,’ the brighter. Games and food and feathers and maybe some pink – as much as there can be to help celebrate what is one of the most joyous occasions she’s ever dreamt of (laughs). 

Access: Could there be wedding bells in her [own] future? Obviously Detective Lance is a rather attractive man, he’s got a good job, he’s a good man as well – obviously she’s had a little trouble with [less honorable men in] her past. 
Charlotte: I empathize with Donna in the fact that she’s had a rough road with men. I like to think of her as kind of the juggle we all have of — you don’t want to become hard if you’ve been hurt a lot. You still want to have that optimism and that joy that true love can happen, and I think she is a little naïve and overly optimistic sometimes and I think she’s gotten burned that way. So I think she has let her guard down much more than she has in many, many years because he does work in law enforcement and she feels like his core values are very much aligned with someone who really wants to do the right thing and really wants to be honest, and is most likely on a higher level of a quality man than she has encountered much, if at all. So, I think that her guard is down a lot and she’s really all in and like you said, he’s pretty dreamy to look at. We’ve got that down in spades, but I mean in terms of a really good quality guy, I think she’s thinking that she might have hit the jackpot and she’s really, really hoping it works out.

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Access: You and Paul Blackthorne are very cute together on screen. The first scene you guys had together at the bar was so fun.
Charlotte: Oh that’s so sweet to say. Well, you know what? Opposites attract and sometimes it’s like, ‘Oh my gosh,’ with these two people. …  That’s one of the great things about TV. You kind of can throw things in the pot that you didn’t think you would ever think of throwing together and sometimes, sparks fly. That’s what happened with Dennis Franz and I on ‘NYPD Blue.’ I certainly was not brought on to be his wife, and as the years progressed, they saw some natural chemistry. So again, it’s just one of the things that I love and I’m really glad that they took the leap and they’re having us do this little dance. 

Access: For sure. Now you sort of talked about Donna’s heart being more open for Lance because he’s a good guy, but does that also kind of set her up, potentially, to get hurt a lot more if he backs away, which it sounds like he might be doing in this week’s episode, with danger being very present.
Charlotte: Well, you know that they’ve done a whole set up there in that Damian Darhk is a big part of what everybody’s dealing with and [Lance has] had to align with him and so he may have some struggles in terms of how honest he can be with me about all the things he has going on because he’s questioning being honest with a lot of people in his life because of what he has going on. And I love it because it really sets a high stake for Donna and Lance, because at the end of the day — I personally believe this in real life and on the show — I think trust is the foundation of any good quality relationship, so if that’s compromised, that can be really, really painful and so I can’t say what happens in the episode, but one of the things she loves about him is that he’s totally, totally honest with her, so you’ll have to watch the episode to see if he sticks with that. 

Access: The ‘Demolition Team’ is going to [try and] take down Team Arrow. I’m curious if you get to be involved in any of that stuff. … I’m guessing there’s going to be a lot of action because [‘Arrow’ stunt coordinator] James Bamford directed this episode, so I’m wondering if you get to play at all in that world.
Charlotte: I love Bam-Bam. Oh my gosh, he’s so wonderful! I can’t really say that she puts on a pink cape and some glitter heels and starts to fly and help everybody, though that would be fabulous (laughs). But no. They’ve been kind of slow to kind of have me align and figure out that Stephen’s character, Oliver, is Arrow. I do wonder how that’s going to color my loving them together so much because it puts her in danger so much. … I don’t know how much Oliver and my daughter are involved in that world yet, but the longer I’m in Star City obviously, the more I’m going to see of that, so it’ll be interesting to see how I fit into all that. I know one fan sent the funniest picture of me, and I’m not kidding – I had a pink cape, pink glitter heels. I can tell you right now, I’m sure that’s not going to happen, but it was funny. 

Access: Are you hoping there will be a run-in on the show between Donna and her ex – Felicity’s dad, so she can tell him off for what he did?
Charlotte: I am. Just as a woman who’s had a few exes in my personal life, I know that when an ex comes in a room you feel differently, you react differently, are there things that you want to say? Are there unsaid things? And we know there’s a really intense history with him and Donna had to raise her daughter on her own, and it doesn’t sound like it was an easy road and I just think there’s a lot of rich storylines that could come out of that in terms of how she would handle that right now. So I’m really hoping he does come back, to, as you said, ‘tell him off.’ But also, Donna’s come a long way and can probably handle him in a lot better way than she did when she was younger and I think that there’s just so much to be had there. So I do hope Tom [Amandes] comes back, big time. Yeah. 

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“Arrow” continues Wednesday at 8/7c on The CW.

Jolie Lash

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