With a name like Echo, it’s no question why it clings to your memory with a resounding effect. Luckily for actor Echo Kellum, you won’t have to ask for his name twice. Kellum stars in The CW’s hit superhero show Arrow and also may be best known as Tommy from FOX’s former show Ben and Kate. He’s come a long way from portraying a lead character’s best friend to now a superhero known as Mr. Terrific. Check out our interview below as Echo Kellum talks ‘Arrow,’ Crossovers, and more. Kellum, you have not failed anything.
Cliché: When you were younger, did you know the entertainment industry is where you wanted to be?
Echo Kellum: Well, I started my career as an actor. I started acting in church plays when I was younger and then school plays. When I was 13, I was fortunate enough to join a theater troupe that did live theater and professional shows. We got paid doing shows throughout Chicago and we performed for thousands of kids. That was kind of where I got my start. Some of my heroes that I look up to, that influenced me to get into acting, are Jim Carrey and Will Smith. Then, as I got older, I started doing stand-up and just really delved into comedy with improv and sketch. I always knew comedic acting was where my heart was, so I moved out to LA and really started getting into the comedy scene, and tried to figure out where I wanted to go with my career. I was fortunate enough to start booking commercials and then television shows.
If you could tell your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
It would be to keep your head up and that no matter what obstacles life throws at you, know that everything is going to be okay. And know that you will get to do what you love one day.
Season 5 ofArrow has so many things happening. Before you started shooting, what were you anticipating the most this season?
Really coming into the fold as a part of Team Arrow in the vigilante sense was the most exciting part for me and it’s been a whirlwind journey.
What is the dynamic like having huge superhero shows in the same vicinity when you do crossovers?
The dynamic’s really interesting and I think it adds a lot of different energy, a lot of positive energy, that comes with it because I grew up loving these heroes and these characters and seeing the actors that really bring them to life. I love the energy and spirit they bring when we get to crossover and it’s really nice to get to work with different people that you admire.
It’s a given that if you were in The Flash, Curtis would hit it off with Cisco. Who do you think would be Curtis’ confidant in Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow?
I think Curtis would confide in Supergirl. I feel like she’s a nerd and they would have some connection with that. On Legends, I feel like him and Ray Palmer would have a deep connection because of their love of science and technology. Curtis would probably just want to fanboy over how he shrinks into The Atom. I think they would really have a lot of fun science and technological banter back and forth.
If you could have any DC superhero guest star on your show that hasn’t been on yet, who would it be?
Batman! I love Batman. I would love for Batman to show up on one episode.
Arrow and the DC TV Universe has a MASSIVE following now. Have you felt pressure of perfecting Curtis Holt/Mr. Terrific’s character?
There’s definitely pressure there, but I think the fans are so awesome, passionate, and willing to go on the journey with you, so they really help in that aspect.
The fandom has a huge liking to Curtis, but what do YOU love most about him?
I love his resilience. You know, that he can take a punch, get up, and keep going. I think that’s a huge thing for people to know: when you get knocked down, get up, and keep persevering. Life will be okay and you will make it through whatever struggles you’re dealing with.
Steering away from television and into music… I also hear you’re working on a hip-hop album! Can you tell us anything about that?
The one thing I can say is that my brother was a rapper from Chicago in this group called LEP, so I’m kind of making an album as an homage to him. I hope for it to be completed by the summer of 2017, but it’s something I’m definitely taking my time with. I have a really busy schedule, so it’s something I’m trying to work on here and there, and put some time into. I’m not really expecting anything from it, but it’s a labor of love because it’s something I’ve always been really passionate about and I’m really doing it for my brother because he passed away.
What do you hope to accomplish in the new year?
Definitely that album; that’s one of my biggest goals. The second goal is my screenplay; I would love to shoot this feature that I’m working on right now about something that happened in my life. And I would love to get picked up for another season of Arrow. That would be great!
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Echo Kellum Talks ‘Arrow,’ Crossovers, and More: Photos Courtesy of Lesley Bryce