Exclusive Interview: Legends Of Tomorrow’s Olivia Swann Breaks Down Massive Astra-Centric Episode & What’s Coming Next In Season 6

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WARNING: This interview includes SPOILERS from Legends of Tomorrow, season 6, episode 5, “The Satanist’s Apprentice.”

Legends of Tomorrow season 6 is finally back with new episodes and tonight’s installment was a huge one for Astra Logue, as Olivia Swann is back for the first time since the season premiere. “The Satanist’s Apprentice” follows Astra still trying to get used to being on Earth, which definitely isn’t like Hell. But as Astra gets frustrating with Constantine’s empty promises, she turns to an unexpected ally, who becomes the villain of this week’s episode. While “The Satanist’s Apprentice” certainly checks in with Sara Lance and her alien situation, Astra wonderfully takes center stage in this episode.

DC TV Podcasts was fortunate to chat with Astra herself as Swann breaks down the character’s biggest episode thus far on Legends of Tomorrow. With magic driving this installment, the fifth episode also serves as the partially-animated episode that had been teased in previous trailers. In the interview, Swann shares her experience working with Caity Lotz as a director, the progression Astra does in this episode, and where this takes Astra next in Legends of Tomorrow season 6.

DC TV Podcasts: I know you guys just finished season six during this crazy time. So how was having to film the show during a pandemic, because I am sure that in itself is challenging?

SWANN: Yeah, everyone honestly pulled together, and we made it through. It was intense. I think under these conditions, there are so many more added elements that you have to factor in, like testing and introducing things masks and so many more features. But everyone was able to incorporate them so easily. And they worked. It became and felt like we were just doing everything normally. So it was really nice to kind of feel like in this bizarre situation that the world was in, we were able to have a bit of normalcy within our little kind of community, which was lovely to feel obviously it’s not normal. But everything seems to go really smoothly. We’re very, very, very lucky. So yeah, it was wonderful being with everyone and making this season. But have it done and have it be ready to people to see, it’s exciting.

DC TV Podcasts: I believe this was your first time getting to work with Caity Lotz as a director. So can you talk about that experience but having Caity be on the other side of the camera?

SWANN: Caity is a phenomenal director. We are very lucky to have actors like her who were able to shift between actor and director so easily. She’s on it, so prepared, and working with her as a director and myself as the actor, it’s such a gift. Because she truly, truly invest in the scenes and the actors, working with me and Matt trying to figure out different ways to do the scene. It’s such a joy as an actor to get to do that before we start shooting, it doesn’t always happen here. Its time is very, very limited. We have to get things done, but she made sure that she took the time to figure out exactly what we were doing, different dynamics, different ways to play it. That’s truly what I value a lot from her was the actor/director relationship, and she was just so so on. She’s so prepared. It was such a big episode, but she made it look like the easiest thing in the world.

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DC TV Podcasts: With a show like Legends, that can naturally make musical and animation part of the overall story, what was your reaction when reading the script for the first time, learning that not only would Astra be singing, but you would also get to see yourself as animated, that must be pretty cool?

SWANN: [laughs] Are you kidding? My inner child was just on the floor, crying! I was so excited. I read it, and my jaw dropped. And then came the fear of ‘Oh no, no, I have to sing solos. Okay, right.’ But when the time came to do all of it and put it all together, it was so much fun. It took a level of mental prep for myself to kind of get into a space of ‘Don’t overthink and just do it.’ But in terms of like, figuring out the voice and figuring out this personality of this princess, that certainly was such good fun. Yeah, I mean, [it was a] phenomenal experience, who doesn’t want to see themselves animated? I mean, I was dying with happiness.

DC TV Podcasts: We see Astra learning more magic in this episode, where we see yourself kind of struggle a little bit with her darker side, but by the end, kind of overcame it. Would you say that this episode kind of marks a conclusion to her dark past? Or do you feel like there are going to be more episodes this season where she is still trying to figure out overcoming since she is now living in our world?

SWANN: I think it is not kind of saying goodbye to her past. I think the wonderful thing about Astra is that she will always maintain a level of Hell queen. Because that is how she grew up, that is so much ingrained that is part of her. What we see is a shift from thinking ‘I need power by myself to survive and to rule,’ to do this thing on Earth. And from that go actually go into [thinking] ‘Actually you know what, maybe I work with people, maybe I can do this thing called teamwork, and maybe that is the best way to kind of navigate this path that is in a way worse than Hell.’ So I’m not saying that’s the end of it there. She has not completely fully shifted into like, [having] team members and getting on with everyone, not at all. But it’s the beginning of that shift. And the start of the journey for her, I say [begins with] this episode. We’ve definitely not seen the last of that [struggle with darkness], but it’s definitely a moment that shifts her slightly from that.

DC TV Podcasts: I’m sure you can’t say too much right now. But after the events of this episode where we see that, she and John are going to try and figure out a bit more about this magic thing, what can you tease about her upcoming stories with the Legends because there’s no way she can be done on the Waverider completely right?

SWANN: [laughs] Not completely. I think that being part of the Legends, it is a very slow process in terms of her fully being on board. Astra is someone who puts everyone in the idiot category until she decides that they’re worthy of coming out of it, which is rarely. So I think it’s very much that with the Legends, she’s in the situation [where] they are there to – and again, it’s it’s very slow process – find the dynamics, finding what took place here, why is she there? How does she fit in? And her navigating that with this crazy team of misfits, which I honestly do think she does fit into, because she’s also a misfit herself. I’m sure she would never say that out loud. But she does fit very easily into the group, it’s just whether she wants to or not.

DC TV Podcasts: Your on-screen dynamic with Matt Ryan is something I’ve always enjoyed seeing evolve for the last few seasons. But in this episode, we get to see him fully as Crowley, which was bonkers, in a great way, of course. Do you recall your reaction to shooting those first scenes with him? Because the accent is different, his demeanor and energy, it’s all completely different.

SWANN: I was on the floor, honestly! Matt is just such a great actor. Of course, if anyone was going to have to kind of take on the persona, and match the performance level of Matt Lucas (the voice for Crowley), I think that is what came first. So Matt had to then match his performance to Crowley’s voice, which he did phenomenally, he completely embodied him. And his whole physicality changed and just commitment, I think that’s all it takes for Matt is this committing to something to nature of choice, and he knocks it out of the park. And truly, it was like working with a different actor because he is just that good at shifting and playing and coming up with different ways of being somebody else. So I was in awe of just watching him, in seeing them and watching them was honestly a pleasure and a joy.

DC TV Podcasts: I know I have to start wrapping up soon, so I want to ask this since I know season seven isn’t coming for a while. But do you know when you’re going back to film? Have the writers been teasing or given you some heads up on what’s coming next season for Astra, without giving anything away, of course.

SWANN: [laughs] I truly have no clue whatsoever! I’m as excited as you are, and I am in the dark as anything else. I think I just love to see her grow, you know, as much as anyone, discover more about her. That’s really what I want to do is to discover more different parts of her that maybe we have not seen before. That’s my hope, but I have no idea! [laughs] It is going to like be jumping in the deep end with eyes closed and see what happens, and I can’t wait.

Catch new episodes of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow on Sunday nights at 8/7c on The CW and stream them the next day only on The CW and The CW app!

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