‘Legends of Tomorrow’ Season 3: Tala Ashe Interview on Playing Zari and Joining ‘Legends’

ShowBizJunkies.com has an interview with Tala about Legends of Tomorrow. It’s a short interview but it includes more about Zari and her role in the show.

She’s from the future; she’s from 2030. She’s going to meet the Legends in 2030. She’s a woman who speaks her mind. She’s powerful. She’s a hacker activist. She’s sort of seen the fallout from events that started in 2017, the rise of populism, the refugee crisis. She’s encountered and experienced this very bleak future. So, she feels that the Legends should not just fix history, they should improve history. They don’t exactly see eye-to-eye at the beginning. The journey of the season is going to be how she becomes a part of the team.”

“I think normalizing a Muslim American character, a character who is just as American as she is Muslim, I think that’s really a powerful thing to do right now on television and in the media.”

See the interview below:

Meet The CW’s New Muslim-American Superhero

Buzzfeed has an article up about Tala’s Legends of Tomorrow character, Zari. It includes a few quotes from Tala.

“A lot of my work as an artist has been about representing not only Muslim characters, but immigrant characters or third culture kids in an accurate, nuanced way,” Ashe told BuzzFeed News after the Legends panel at TCA. “I’m definitely looking to further do that on this show. I think it’s very powerful to see yourself expressed in media and speaking specifically to the Muslim-American thing. Because of the climate of our world and what’s going on, I think the depictions primarily in media and of course in the news have been overwhelmingly negative about Muslims and Muslim-Americans. So I think it’s even more essential.”

Ashe, who grew up in Ohio and studied acting in Boston and London, understands how important it is to see yourself and your experiences reflected on screen. “Representation is a really powerful thing,” she told reporters. “I know that when I was growing up, when I watched television, I didn’t see anyone who looked like me. It broadens your perspective and I think what’s so lovely about the show is the Legends are this tapestry that reflects the America of today.”

Ashe and Guggenheim both pointed out that being a Muslim-American isn’t Zari’s defining characteristic, just as being bisexual isn’t the defining characteristic of Sara Lance (Caity Lotz). “I think it’s important to say what [Zari] is in the same way we say Caity’s character is bisexual,” Ashe said. “And if that comes up in a storyline, we address it. If it doesn’t, it’s not sort of the thing on my forehead all the time. I think that’s really smart and it hasn’t been done as often as I wish it would be done. … She’s just as American as she is Muslim.”

Ashe noted there have been many Muslim characters on television and in film. But, she said, “I haven’t encountered many like this who are being represented as like, this is just another person who is part of the tapestry of America. That I love.”

Legends of Tomorrow: Zari Will Challenge the Legends in Season 3

ScreenRant.com has an article up about Legends of Tomorrow and the character that Tala will play.

“Zari is challenging to all the Legends at first. Ray is a glass half full guy and she struggles with that, because of what she’s seen. I think that they’re also going to bond in that. Opposites attract in that way.”

Given that the show has attempted to pair Ray with nearly every female character on the show, it’s not surprising they’ll attempt the same with Zari. Still, the character may provide a good counterbalance to the altruistic hero, as Routh says Ray will be forced to reconsider how he uses technology and time travel to help people.

“Zari… presents a different view on technology and what it can do. Even more of her pessimistic view of the world, she challenges Ray to do more with his technology and inventions, in trying to help change the world. That’s a conflict with Ray. Do I really try to change time for the better or do I just keep it the way it is? How much can I really affect it?”

While the idea of the Legends is that they save time from those who harm it, often times they’re actually altering history wherever they see injustice. As a result, changing things for the better has always been their M.O. While it’s usually small things, the entire first season saw the Legends trying to stop Vandal Savage’s reign.

With Zari on board, however, it looks like the Legends will once again try and tweak time for the better. And considering how much damage they did last season, it’s not as if things could go much worse for them.

How Trump Inspired ‘DC’s Legends of Tomorrow’ to Add Muslim Superhero

Variety has an article up about Tala’s character on Legends of Tomorrow.

Adding a Muslim character in the midst of the current political climate was no coincidence.

“You might have heard there was this election,” cracked executive producer Marc Guggenheim on Wednesday at the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills. “Not to get political, but something that we all gravitated toward in the writers room was making this character Muslim.”

“Representation is a really powerful thing,” said Ashe, who plays the Muslim superhero. “When I was growing up watching television, I didn’t see anyone who looked like me. When I think of the kid version of myself, I think it broadens your perspective. What I think is so lovely about this show is that the Legends are this tapestry that represent America today.”

Guggenheim also said that his personal experiences inspired the decision to create a Muslim character this season. Sharing a story about his sister-in-law, who happens to be Muslim, the producer said, “She was talking about how difficult it is to be a Muslim-American in the current political climate. Having a character who’s a computer hacker and is from the future but also happens to be Muslim, it’s a nice, important aspect of her character.”

Asked by a reporter how else global politics have influenced the upcoming season, Guggenheim said, “It’s not just politicians — a lot of the heroes of real life are letting us down.”

“We’re being let down as a society,” Guggenheim continued. “I think the reason why the audience and the creatives are gravitating toward superheroes is because it’s wish-fulfillment. They’re looking to find a little bit of hope and a little bit of escapism that quite frankly doesn’t exist.”

Executive producer Phil Klemmer added, “We’re all looking toward the day when 2017 is in the history book and hopefully isn’t the last day in the history book. I find the current world difficult to comprehend.”

Guggenheim also said that aside from bringing on a Muslim character, the writers were interested in bringing on another female character.

“There weren’t enough women quite frankly,” he said. “It’s something we were looking to address.”

Klemmer chimed in, adding that “Legends” is comprised of an ensemble who all bring different points of view, like Ashe’s character. “We want somebody to bring a new point of view,” he said of introducing new characters. “Whenever you’re doing a scene with eight people, everybody needs to have a distinct voice … it’s interesting to bring in someone who has a totally new perspective on history.”