Legends Of Tomorrow star Tala Ashe has offered some new details about her character, Muslim superhero Zari Adrianna Tomaz. The show's central team – The Waverider crew – seems to get more progressive and inclusive with each new season. The CW’s DC time travel show has a tendency to pick up new recurring cast members on the regular. For example, in season 2, Maisie Richardson-Sellers’ Amaya joined the series, adding more diversity and a different perspective on proceedings.
Season 3 will continue this trend. An announcement was made a few months back, confirming that Odyssey star Ashe will play Zari across Legends Of Tomorrow season 3. The character – who gains strength, wisdom, telekinesis and the power of flight from a magic Egyptian amulet - is better known in the comics as Isis, although they may not keep that moniker for obvious reasons.
Today, some fresh info about the role has come to the fore. Speaking at Legends' Television Critics Association summer press tour panel, Ashe had plenty to say about her new role and its importance:
“I think representation is a really powerful thing. I know that when I was growing up when I watched television I didn't see anyone who looks like me. So when I think about the child me in Ohio right now, it broadens your perspective. What I think is so lovely about the show is that the Legends are this tapestry that reflects the America of today. Zari is further diversifying that.”
“So the Legends meet Zari in 2042, and 2042 is a pretty bleak dystopian police state essentially,” Ashe added, explaining how her character will arrive in the show. She then went on to describe Zari’s style of heroics, hinting at some ideological differences between her and the other heroes:
“Zari is speaking truth to power in the ways that she can. One of those ways is that she's a hacktivist. So she encounters the Legends and there's sort of a philosophical challenge there because she sees that they are going to fix these anachronisms and history, but she's living in a time that's so bleak and so terrible that she kind of asks or challenges them and says, ‘Is there a way for us to be Legends and be close to humanitarians about it? To improve history not just fix history.’”
“So I think there's going to be some tension there," Ashe mentioned in closing. Certainly, it’ll be interesting to see this difference in opinion – how best to save the world – playing out on screen. As we’ve seen in the real life political sphere recently, deciding the best course of action for one nation isn’t always an easy process. Trying to repair all of history, all over the world, is bound to throw up some tense debates.
Ashe’s Zari isn’t the only strong female character joining the show this season, either. Just yesterday it was confirmed that Jess Macallan of Mistresses will play Special Agent Ava Sharpe, a member of the new Time Bureau organization headed up by Arthur Darvill’s Rip Hunter.
One thing’s for sure: Caity Lotz’s Sara Lance is bound to be excited by this injection of smart, savvy females onto the roster.
Legends Of Tomorrow returns to The CW on Tuesday, October 10.