Legends of Tomorrow: Caity Lotz Breaks Down Directing This Week's Sara-Heavy, Partially-Animated Episode

Tonight's episode of DC's Legends of Tomorrow sees Sara Lance not only get as much screen time as she has all season long, but also gave actor Caity Lotz plenty to do when she wasn't onscreen. The episode, titled "The Satanist's Apprentice," was directed by Lotz, and featured an animated sequence that saw a number of her Legends co-stars into animated characters straight out of a Disney princess movie. All of this happened while establishing a new status quo for a major character on the series, and providin gfans with their first real insight into exactly what it is that Sara and some of the galaxy's most dangerous aliens were abducted for in the first place.

That's enough for anybody's first time behind the camera but, as she pointed out with a laugh, Lotz had to do a lot of it while strapped down. Lotz joined ComicBook to discuss her directorial challenges, and how the Disney-inspired animated sequence came together.

Spoilers ahead for tonight's episode, so watch it before you jump in!

What was it like coming into direct an episode and then finding out that you were going to have to also oversee the animation aspect of this particular one?

At first, I was a little worried because I was like, "I have no idea what to do." And then once we all got on a call with Tony Cervone, who was our animation expert over at Warner Brothers, he was just super knowledgeable, and so sweet, and awesome, and excited to play with us. So after I got to meet all of them, I was like, "Oh, I don't have anything to worry about." I would definitely highly recommend working with Tony. He was very nice and very open to collaborating, and patient with my lack of experience in the animation space.

I've always heard it's kind of hard to direct yourself. What was it like trying to direct yourself when you were so often alone or mostly alone?

.And I'm chained to a bed! It was really tough. It was tough, and I think, because in the last episode I only had one scene and it was simple, I was like, "Oh, this will be a breeze." Acting and directing? Ain't no thing.

And then, on day one, I was like, "Oh, wow. Wait. How do I do this?" We hadn't really had any actor-directors, and I actually hadn't worked with an actor-director, so I didn't know what pitfalls I was going to be hitting beforehand. And neither did the show, so we learned together.

On the first day, it was really hard. By the second day, we had figured out how to get the feed to my iPad, and how to record it so that we have time to do the playback. And that we needed to get a special actor that is cleared for COVID, who could be there for blocking and rehearsals, so that I could be behind the camera, because the way that it was, there was nobody that could even stand in for me with the actors because of COVID.

So really, what you're saying is that Ramsey really needed to have come a little earlier.

Yeah. If he had come and figured it all out and told me, then maybe that would havemade that first day go faster!

But, yeah. That was definitely a challenge, but I'm excited to do it again, now that I know how to make it a less stressful situation.

It's also famously hard to play drugged, which you had to do while directing yourself with no one around.

Yeah, it's hard. It's also hard because I'm also doing this while watching the actors's performances while I'm in the scene with them. I have to be like, "No, stop it, Caity. Wrong hat! Just be in the scene with them, forget about that stuff!"

But then, when do you get to give notes? I'm trying to be fully present with the actor, but then also I'm like, "Oh, I need this from their performance," or whatever. It's definitely a challenge, but I'm hungry to do it again, because I feel like I will be a lot better at it the second time around.

For Sara, this is a big episode not just because she gets to meet the big bad, but also because she gets this mini-revelation which is this claim that he makes that essentially, Ava doesn't really love her because she's not capable of that. She doesn't seem like she buys that, but is that something that's going to hang over her head a little bit?

I don't think that one in particular. I think Sara doubts herself way more than she would doubt Ava. Most of her demons are not external, they're internal. So she loves Ava, and I think she believes in Ava's love for her.

I think it's more...what will happen is her questioning herself, and whether she should be loved or deserves Ava's love. But I don't think that one will affect her.

Was it nice to get to spend a little bit more production time with the rest of the cast as a director? It does seem like you've been very sequestered season.

Yes. I hadn't seen them much, especially in the beginning.

When we first went out there, there was a lot of crazy COVID rules. And people were even ... [00:05:30] Because we're like, "Are we even allowed to hang out with each other off the set? What are these rules?"

The whole first half of the season it was weird, actually, not being with everybody. It felt a little disconnecting. I'm not going to lie, I appreciated the time off though because once I was in my own storyline, I got a lot of off days. It was a really different experience not being on the Waverider and having to be there in every shot. But yeah, I definitely missed everybody, and so it was fun to be able to see everybody. Even though I only had all of the Legends for a couple of things, and then they turned into animated objects.

With Dominic stepping away next season, what does that do to you, head space-wise, in terms of you're the [00:06:30] only person left from the pilot?

Oh, God. Well, I mean, also ... I saw someone tweeted something that was like, "Sara Lance is now the longest running, still there, Arrowverse character." I was like, "Oh, my gosh!" I'm like, "Wow. All right, Caity. You've been here for a while now." I've got a hell of a lot of episodes under my belt. It doesn't feel weird, because Nick and Tala have been around some season two. It feels like they've been there the whole time. I guess it's like, now that Dom's gone, nobody remembers the dark days of season one. But we're all pretty close, even with our newbies.

For you, as the actor, what is the biggest takeaway that Sara has from this part of the experience? What's she thinking coming out of this episode?

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I mean, it's such a visceral journey for Sara, and such a wonderful mindbender, and it just keeps going. She's not even at the worst of it yet; there's more bombs that are about to be dropped, and I think it's a challenge for Sara, because she's alone going through this, too. She doesn't have her support system. She doesn't have her team -- and all this stuff is a little over her head. She's not into this science, techie stuff as much, and now it's she's thrown into this situation, and it's all on her own.

Her normal approach is, she's like, I kill you. I beat you up and I kill you. That's how we handle things. And it's like, you can't kill this guy. Now what?