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‘Arrow’ Star Echo Kellum on How His Character Becomes DC Superhero Mr. Terrific

”I think it will be some type of event that happens that pushes him to want to do more,“ actor who plays Curtis Holt tells TheWrap

Felicity Smoak has been “Arrow’s” resident tech guru since the beginning, but Season 4 is welcoming a potential new addition to Team Arrow who can assist in that area.

Indeed, when Echo Kellum first made his appearance as Curtis Holt on the CW superhero drama, his comedic introduction reminded many viewers of Emily Bett Rickards’ first meeting with Stephen Amell‘s Oliver Queen in Season 1.

“I definitely feel like they are similar, in aspects of their love for technology and science and computers. They definitely have a really good camaraderie,” Kellum told TheWrap of the rapport between his and Rickards’ character.

One thing Curtis Holt has that Felicity doesn’t, though, is a superhero alter-ego. In the comics, and eventually on the show, Holt becomes Mr. Terrific, who’s not only highly intelligent, but also an Olympic-level athlete and martial arts master.

Below, Kellum describes whether Holt might become a bona fide member of Team Arrow and teases what might propel his transformation into Star City’s latest superhero.

Your first appearance was very reminiscent of Emily Bett Rickards’ in Season 1. Are you Felicity’s Felicity?
Well, she really came on and it was instantly like “Who is this amazing girl?” so I definitely take that as a compliment. [laughs] I definitely feel like they are similar, in aspects of their love for technology and science and computers. They definitely have a really good camaraderie. And they really get each other, and have really strong passions that align with each other. So I definitely think there’s a lot to glean from Felicity’s character, but I definitely feel like he’s his own person as well.

What is he going to be getting up to in this week’s episode?
He’s going to be working on that groundbreaking technology [discussed in last week’s episode] and showing it to Felicity. He and Felicity are going to deal with the metahuman Double Down (played by J.R. Bourne), who ambushes them to try to find out who the Green Arrow is. So Curtis will be dealing with finding out that Felicity works with the Green Arrow and trying to help.

It sounds like he finds out about Green Arrow sooner that expected. Can we expect to see him integrated into Team Arrow soon?
I would say he’ll definitely be working with Green Arrow through Felicity in a lot of aspects. He’ll be coming out with a lot of tech that they possibly would be able to use. But as far as being integrated into the team, as of right now … It’s definitely something that’s being talked about, but it might be later on.

So have you just worked mainly with Emily Bett Rickards so far, or have you gotten to work with anyone else?
Yeah, I worked with Stephen and David and others as well. Curtis gets to go out into the field, but I wouldn’t say he’s a member of Team Arrow just yet.

Your character is also Mr. Terrific in the comics. Is he already Mr. Terrific when we meet him on the show, or does he start to show signs of becoming that character?
I think it’s the latter. In the comic books, the character was motivated to become Mr. Terrific through tragedy. I can’t really say how Curtis becomes Mr. Terrific, but I think it will be some type of event that happens that pushes him to want to do more for the city and in general. You’ll see a little bit of a touchstone at the end of this episode; he and Felicity will have a heart to heart, how he wants to do more for the city and how’s wanted to do that for a long time. And the fact that Felicity is doing what she does, he thinks is awesome.

Can you talk about how similar or different he will be from the character in the comics?
He’s definitely similar. The character in the comics was extremely smart — he will create the same things the character in the comic books created, he’ll be the same superhero. He’s an Olympic athlete, knows martial arts, so he still shares a lot of similarities with the comic book version. But he is his own character.

This version of Mr. Terrific is also an LGBT character. How does that shape who he is?
I think it shapes who he is only in that that’s who he chooses to love. He’s married, he has a husband, but it’s not the most defining quality about him. It’s important, but he is a living, breathing character who happens to be gay … Rarely do people live their lives through their sexuality.

Crossovers are huge in this universe. When will we see you on “The Flash” or “Legends of Tomorrow”?
Oh my god, I can’t really say right now, but there’s definitely been discussions and talks. So hopefully soon, but we’ll see!

“Arrow” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.