Interview with ARROW Martial Artist and Actress Celina Jade

Celina Jade, who plays Shado on the show Arrow, got a chance to answer some questions for TV Addict.  Here are some highlights:

Can you tell us a little bit about your character SHADO and what we’re going to see from her this season?
CELINA:  Basically with Shado last season, we delved into how she was introduced into the island, her training of Oliver, the little spark that happened between them and all the drama that followed afterward with the death of her father [Yao Fei]. So during the hiatus, five months have passed and Shado and Oliver are actually in a relationship now. So this season, we’re going to see how the love between Shado and Oliver starts to affect their trio with Slade and how it affects their relationship and their teamwork as a whole when it comes to surviving the island. There’s been hinting of pirates for this new season on the island. It’s actually going to be a really exciting, exciting season. I’m shooting along and reading the scripts as we go and it definitely kept me guessing as well and I’m quite shocked by some of the things that do happen. It’s going to be a really cool season for fans to watch and the island is going to get big.

That sounds really exciting. How would you describe this new season? Anything you can tease for us besides pirates?
CELINA: Yeah, I think this season you’re going to see ARROW move a lot towards superheroes.  They’re going to introduce a lot more names from the comic books that comic book fans have known for a long time. More bad guys also from the comic books. It’s going to be a really great concoction of all the superheroes from the comic books. Yeah, that’s what I can tease. (laughs)

640px-Shado_Celina_Jade_and_Oliver_Queen_Stephen_Amell-4-croppedYou mentioned that Oliver and Shado have a relationship that has developed. How’s it been working with Steven Amell and any favorite scenes with him so far?
CELINA: There are but I can’t talk about them! (laughs) There are definitely a few pretty awesome scenes that will be extremely memorable on the island that will happen in season 2. I mean, I really enjoy working with Steven as well as Manu (Slade). They’re really cool people and very different. Manu is very, very, kinda crazy and outgoing and fun. Every time we start a scene, you’ll see Manu do like 50 push-ups and start running. It’s really funny. Like just before we go into a scene because he’s a method actor.

Steven is very kind, he’s very nice and definitely protective. Especially when it comes to doing stunts and fighting and stuff. So he’s given me a lot of great advice because he’s been playing Arrow for a while. I’ve been learning archery, but it’s funny because there’s certain things that you wouldn’t think would happen while you’re shooting, for example, holding a bow and holding it for 15-20 minutes while people are having a conversation. It’s quite difficult. It’s quite exhausting, especially when you have to do take after take from many different angles. And he’s really good at being like ‘Oh, Celina, just relax. We can’t see you in this shot.’ Or [teaching me] how to run with [the bow] to make sure I’m not poking all them in the butt. (laughs)

It’s really fun. The action is just incredible, too. The choreography is great and they’re very creative. The writers are very creative. I literally am just reading, and we just finished episode 7, and I’m reading the scripts and I’m shocked, you know, as I’m reading along. The writers really know how to fix it up and they definitely don’t lack anything in the creativity department.

I know you come from a martial arts history. How is the training for the role of Shado compared to what you’ve worked on in the past?
CELINA: The different training I’m getting is definitely archery. Because I’ve never had to play an archer in any of my old martial art movies. But I have an incredible teacher, Patricia Gonsalves. She’s so cool. She’ll teach you how to shoot walking and talking and sleeping and hanging and running. (laughs) She’s such a cool teacher. It’s actually made me really passionate about archery. Now I have my own personal bow. I’m just waiting for a cover so I can ship it back to Hong Kong or bring it back with me. I’m a bit concerned about immigration stopping me, “This is a weapon. You can’t take it back.” (laughs)

What is it like being one of the strong women characters kicking butt alongside the men on this show?
CELINA: I love it. I think this is a dream role for me. I find it really boring, maybe not boring, but I find it difficult for me to play the subservient girlfriend type of role. I’ve had that problem in the past. I shot a romantic comedy and I was meant to stop a fight between my asshole ex-boyfriend and my best friend and I think I pulled the guy’s arm and he fell to the floor. The director was cracking up and like “Stop, you need to throw a handbag or something at him.” And I don’t know how to do that! I know how to block, defend and stop a fight. I don’t know how to take my purse and slap him in the face. That’s weird to me! It’s a weird action.

640px-Slade_Wilson_Manu_Bennett_and_Shado_Celina_JadeThis has definitely a dream role for me and I think it’s great that we’re portraying women as an equal to men. You know, because it happens and we do exist. Women like that do exist and it’s really cool to play that strong powerful woman. Even cooler to play someone who helps Oliver find the strength within him to become that hero. So I couldn’t have been luckier when it comes to landing a role on ARROW and landing that role, in particular.

It’s a lot of fun and I love the action. I remember, the director asked me “Are you looking forward to shooting out in the woods? Is there something you don’t look forward to or do you love it?” And I told her, I love it. I really love it. I love the action. I love running around. I love explosions going here and there and the adrenaline and the guns and the shooting and tripping over roots. You know, mastering choreography and walking out, except I trip over roots. (laughs) It’s fun.

We saw Yao Fei die at the hands of Fyres at the end of the season and now we’re jumping ahead five months. How is that going to change Shado now?
CELINA: Yes, it definitely does affect her. But I can’t really talk about how it changes her. You will see.

via the TV addict.

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