‘Arrow’ Interview: Celina Jade Opens Up About Shado

by Ryan Rigley

Looks like Yao Fei’s daughter is finally stepping out of the shadows and into the spotlight (see what we did there?). On last week’s episode of “Arrow,” flashback Oliver is introduced to a new prisoner of the island of Lian Yu: Shado, played by Celina Jade. With this week’s Shado-filled episode mere hours away, we sat down with Celina Jade to get the scoop on Oliver Queen’s newest mentor and love interest.

“It’s always been a dream for me to play a comic book character,” Celina Jade raves about her role on the series. “As soon as I got the audition, I was super excited. I was like ’Wow, I get to play someone who’s an incredible archer as well as martial artist?’ It’s just my thing; martial arts, comic book character, strong Asian female, I love it.”

“At that time, other than reading the comic books, I really didn’t know much about Shado,” reveals Jade on her “Arrow” character. “I actually spoke to [producer] Andrew [Kreisberg] over the phone to find out more about her. In terms of training, there wasn’t any training within that time period, but I’ve been training in martial arts since I was a very young kid. My father was like the token bad white guy in all the old Jackie Chan/Bruce Lee films.” Much like Shado and Yao Fei, Jade has been learning the ways of martial arts from her father for as long as she can remember. In fact, he also first introduced her to the bow and arrow!

“I started training in archery probably two months ago,” Jade recalls. “I don’t have too much experience with archery, other than Club Med. My father was actually a really keen archer when I was kid. It’s really cool to be able to actually do it myself. Not just shoot standing, but shoot while I’m moving, shoot moving objects. I really want to get a bow and arrow for Hong Kong but I don’t know how I’m going to get through Immigration with that.” First appearing in episode 14 of the series, Shado has been a prisoner of Edward Fires for quite some time now. But how exactly did she fall into his clutches in the first place?

“Basically, it’s revealed that Yao Fei used to be a general in the Chinese military and got framed for a massacre,” explains Jade on Shado’s backstory. “He got banished to the island and Shado is a lawyer. She was fighting to get a pardon for his release, but she’s had no luck with it. All of a sudden, Fires and the bad guys come and next thing you know she’s kidnapped.” Luckily, Oliver and Slade rescued Shado towards the end of last week’s episode. So what’s on the horizon for flashback Oliver and company?

“From episode 19 onwards you start to see Shado’s training of Oliver and it’s really different from Slade’s,” says Jade, teasing “Unfinished Business.” “Slade trains in more of a pragmatic, technical combat style. He’s more like ’You better toughen up otherwise we’re all gonna die,’ whereas Shado is more about the philosophy behind martial arts and fighting. The way I like to see it is she’s a little bit like Mr. Miyagi in ’Karate Kid.'” Last week’s episode also does a terrific job of setting up for this week’s “Unfinished Business,” ending with Shado claiming to know the ins and outs of Fires’ dastardly plan.

“It definitely has to do with the missile launcher,” Jade hints. “In terms of where that’s gonna go, you’re gonna have to wait and see. It’s quite amazing.” Let’s hope so. With that huge missile launcher looming over the island of Lian Yu, here’s hoping that this season of “Arrow” goes out with a bang!

“Arrow” airs Wednesday nights on the CW at 8/7c.

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