Katie Cassidy – actress

Katherine Evelyn Anita Cassidy, aka Katie Cassidy, is an American actress born on 25th November, 1986. She’s most known for playing the character of Laurel Lance/Black Canary in the television series, Arrow (2012 to present).

Since her first onscreen appearance as seen in an episode of The Division (2003), Katie has taken on various TV and film roles that have earned her the reputation for being a modern day Scream Queen.

In 2007, Katie played the role of demon, Ruby/Lilith, in the TV drama series, Supernatural (2005). The 2009 horror-mystery series, Harper’s Island, saw Katie in a more central role as bride, Trish, who celebrates her big day with family and friends on an island with a history of gruesome murders. Characters are killed off in each episode, but the cast apparently weren’t informed of the deaths until the day of receiving the script.

Katie made her film debut in When a Stranger Calls (2006) directed by Simon West (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider). The film is a remake of the 1979 movie of the same name and stars Camilla Belle (The Lost World: Jurassic Park) as Jill, who is harassed by prank calls during a babysitting gig. Best friend and boyfriend stealer, Tiffany (Cassidy) shows up at the huge lakeside mansion to talk. Jill asks her to leave, but a tree branch knocked down by the storm blocks the exit road.

Tiffany gets out of her car to move it and is attacked by a figure that’s been stalking the property. She’s later found dead by Jill and, realising the anonymous calls are coming from inside the house, the teenager does everything in her power to get herself and the children out of there unharmed.

Again in 2006, Katie landed her first starring role as Kelli Presley in Black Christmas, a remake of the seminal 1974 slasher film. Written and directed by Glenn Morgan (Final Destination; The X-Files) a group of sorority sisters are murdered in their house by an escaped mental patient, who happens to be the former resident. Katie stars alongside a healthy cast including Michelle Trachtenberg (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Mary Elizabeth Winstead (10 Cloverfield Lane, The Thing) amongst others.

Each actress was chosen based on ability in order to avoid typecasting of the lead and supporting characters, as commonly seen in this sub-genre. This was a clever move by Glenn Morgan, though not as ballsy as the studio’s decision to set the US release date for Christmas Day. This garnered backlash from religious groups due to such graphic content shown during the festive season, and with so many comparisons to the original classic, Black X-Mas (as it was advertised) didn’t go down too well with critics either.

Nonetheless, with candy canes sucked into stabbing weapons, lethal cookie cutters and murderous ice skates, this brutal remake requires a sense of dark humour and, for the more squeamish viewer, a sick bowl to hand.

It’s fair to say that Katie’s most notable role in horror came in the 2010 remake of Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street. The 1984 original needs no introduction, although the plot and characters in the remake differ somewhat from the original.

Katie’s character, Kris, is amongst the first to be killed off after witnessing her boyfriend seemingly cut his own throat in a diner. Of course, no one realises he’s actually asleep and it’s the actions of burned, claw-handed dream ghoul, Freddy Krueger, played by Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen; Preacher). Kris begins to dream about the same man and is afraid to sleep until her ex, Jesse (Thomas Dekker) shows up to watch over her.

It’s not enough to save Kris from being slaughtered, and Jesse turns to friend, Nancy, who was working at the diner on the night of the supposed suicide and has also been having nightmares. With their friends dying one by one, Nancy, played by Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) digs deeper into the connection they all share, seeing as none of them can remember each other before their high school years.

Directed by Samuel Bayer, A Nightmare on Elm Street, 2010 is the highest grossing title in the franchise, yet it was met with primarily negative reviews from critics and audiences alike – including Wes himself, who reportedly didn’t approve of the remake. Katie Cassidy came off slightly better than the ratings with a nomination for a Teen Choice Award in the horror/thriller category and a Fright Meter Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Katie also portrayed Sharon in Wolves at the Door, directed by John R. Leonetti (The Conjuring; Insidious). The 2016 home invasion horror film is loosely based on the Manson Family’s murders, and Katie’s character was inspired by the late fashion model and actress, Sharon Tate.

Katie’s breakthrough, however, came in 2012 when she was cast as Laurel Lance/Black Canary in The CW’s Arrow. Created by Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim and Andrew Kreisberg, the TV series is based on the Green Arrow comic books published by DC Comics.

After being shipwrecked on an island for five years, billionaire Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) returns to his home as a hooded vigilante to right the wrongs of his father and, in doing so, fights the crime that has overridden the city. Laurel (Cassidy), ex-girlfriend to Oliver and assistant district attorney, ends up fighting by his side after taking her sister’s place as Black Canary; and in later series, her doppelgänger from a parallel world, Black Siren. Katie went on to make appearances in the series spin-offs, Legends of Tomorrow and The Flash.

Katie has expressed her honour at the opportunity to suit up as the brave vigilante and even shed a few tears when she was fit for her onscreen sister’s (Sara Lance) jacket to take over as Black Canary – a role she’d been waiting in anticipation for.

With her support for strong women, Katie has quoted in the past that there’s “definitely something that has to be said for me liking the action, Lara Croft type stuff” – well, don’t we all!

Rae Louise, HORRORPEDIA

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