Arrow's Jessica de Gouw Talks Returning as The Huntress in Tonight's "Birds of Prey"

Arrow-Birds-of-Prey-Huntress-1In tonight's episode of Arrow, titled "Birds of Prey," The Huntress returns for the first time in a year, still hunting her murderous father, and is caught between Arrow, Canary and the law when she takes a courtroom, including Laurel Lance, hostage en route to her revenge.

Last week guest star Jessica de Gouw, who plays Helena Bertinelli (The Huntress) in tonight's episode, joined and a group of other reporters for a discussion about the episode.

You can read some highlights from the conversation below.

Arrow returns tonight at 8 p.m. EST on The CW.

Arrow-Birds-of-Prey-huntress-3What's different this time around from when we saw The Huntress in Arrow's first season?

de Gouw: Well, yeah. It's been a year. She's been all over the world, chasing her dad to no avail thus far and then comes back to Starling where it all began and so she's dealing iwth not only coming and encountering her father agai but also encountering Oliver and Laurel and this town that she was not only in but at one point thriving in. Of course, she's a little different this time around.

For me, coming back -- it's been a year but it seemed so easy to put the costume back on and suit up again. It felt very organic. Working with Stephen and Katie again and finding some new friends was just very fun. It just kind of sat right and was very easy to find again. I think there's an ease to her as well; in addition to having this darkness, too, I think she's let go of a lot. She's let go of all these complications and she's got a very focused aim.

I was running about in a corset [on NBC's Dracula] for a really long time, so coming back and fighting people was just about all I could have hoped for, really! Coming back for this episode was great; I got to do something entirely different to what I was doing.

The fight scenes in tonight's episode looked brutal. How much preparation did you have to put into getting ready for them?

de Gouw: We have an amazing stunt team! When I first started, there was a lot of time for choreography and training and everything way back when and so I did a lot more then. Obviously now everything moves so fast. You walk into a room and it's like "You're going to finish this bit, you're going to start this bit, and here he is," and you've got to kind of roll with it. So I didn't get to do as much as I used to but I still get to be involved.

Do you think Helena is redeemable?

I do. I do think she is. I think most people are, and I think where she's at, at the end of this episode, she's certainly in a place where she can be redeemed. And if it comes about that she comes back, it's going to be a very interesting thing to see her explore fighting for good, for very different reasons. But I think definitely....You shift, you change gears, you shift and evolve as a person.

How do you compare your Helena to the one on the previous Birds of Prey series?

That would be kind of brilliant, I think. I think we’re also very different. I’ve seen some of the original stuff, and they’re such different shows as well.

Check back for more after the episode airs tonight; much of what de Gouw and producer Marc Guggenheim said was spoilery enough that we had to hold off on it until after tonight's episode!