Katie Cassidy on her 'Arrow' family drama and romance woes: 'It's very draining'

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arrow-paleyfest-katie-cassidy.jpgThings were going pretty well for Laurel ( Katie Cassidy) on "Arrow." Her boyfriend has an actual job, she's got a juvenile delinquent helping her pick up the slack at work, and we're pretty sure there was a week in there where no one tried to murder her. (Okay, maybe three days.)

And then her mother showed up.

Dinah Lance ( Alex Kingston) is a major player in the DC Comics universe that "Arrow" is based on, so we knew her return to Starling City would cause some waves. We didn't expect her to reveal that she believes Laurel's sister, Sara, is still alive. (If you'll recall, Sara in a shipwreck while sleeping with Oliver, who happened to be Laurel's boyfriend at the time. Oh, sisters.)

Expect some fireworks when the Lance family gets back together. When we brought up the family dynamics to Katie Cassidy on the PaleyFest red carpet, she had a mini panic attack before she could even answer the question!

"The stuff that I shoot with Alex and Paul is always very stressful," she says. "I don't know if it's because it's a family situation, or just because there's a lot more weight on the scenes. Certainly it takes a lot, emotionally, out of me. Even you bringing it up, I'm like gasping for air!"

It's something that she, Kingston, and Paul Blackthorne talked about a lot off-camera, to figure out just why the Lance family is so fraught. "We did a lot of backstory into it, and we've certainly put as much color and weight into it as possible and then we start to strip it all away," says Cassidy. "So it's usually very draining shooting that stuff, but also it's amazing. As an actor, it's the stuff that moves me, and of course that's what you want to shoot."

In addition to a complicated relationship between Laurel and Dinah, we'll see a surprising tension between Dinah and Quentin. "At this point we don't really know [what their relationship is like] but in upcoming episodes, I think you'll see the struggle that is happening. You'll see what had happened that broke them apart, and then what's going to bring them back together, maybe," Cassidy teases. Hint hint!

As we near the end of the season, we can expect Laurel to be spending much more time in Oliver's company, reminding us of the strong feelings between the two that drove the beginning of the season. "It's almost like a bookend," says Cassidy. "At the beginning of the season you saw them together a bit, but they were butting heads, and then it evolved quickly into something ... but toward the end of the season, you're definitely going to see them reconnect."

In the meantime, Laurel's relationship with Tommy is going to take a difficult turn, because he's keeping Oliver's secret from her... and let's just say Tommy isn't quite the professional liar that Oliver is. "Laurel certainly senses it. She's very self-aware, she's very smart, and she's very quick. Like she knows something is wrong with him, but she doesn't know what. It does put a wrench into the situation."

Tune in to "Arrow" Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. EST on The CW. In the meantime, watch our video interview with Katie Cassidy below!

Photo/Video credit: Getty Images/Zap2it