'Arrow' Star Juliana Harkavy: 25 Things You'd Never Know About Playing My Character

The actress behind Black Canary is sharing *all* her behind-the-scenes secrets with MarieClaire.com.

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Arrow's midseason finale is airing tonight (!!!), and in anticipation Juliana Harkavy (AKA Dinah Drake, AKA Black Canary) is sharing 25 things you never knew about her completely badass character—and the show itself—with MarieClaire.com. Super-fans rejoice.

1. When I auditioned for The Black Canary, I only knew I was reading for a new recruit on team Arrow. It wasn’t until I’d booked the role that they told me who I’d be playing.

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2. Playing Dinah has made me a healthier, happier person. Because she is so strong and skilled, I eat cleaner, workout more, and take time to breathe and meditate so I can do her justice.

3. The first time I did the "canary cry," I launched two men across an alley. Even though they were stunt men on wires, it was the most powerful I’d ever felt.

4. Sometimes when I’m out at a store or restaurant, I switch into character, just to see how people really would respond to Dinah.

5. Transforming into Dinah/Black Canary takes one-and-a-half to two hours in the hair and makeup chair every day.

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6. The first time I tried using the restroom in my canary costume it didn’t go well. Let’s just leave it at that.

7. I have struggled with anxiety and depression since I was a teenager. Since I began playing Dinah, both have decreased significantly. I really do think I’m drawing strength from her in my real life.

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8. I feel like Dinah’s favorite food is Chinese food. Cold noodles with sesame sauce right out of the takeout box. She’s never eaten it in the script, it’s just a weird hunch.

9. A couple months before I got the audition for Arrow, my husband and I had just sold everything we owned, packed our dogs and belongings into a truck, and moved to Los Angles with a prayer and almost no money. When I ended up booking the role, we both cried from joy and gratitude for a week straight.

10. Since I’ve started attending cons and meeting fans, I’ve learned how much Arrow means to so many people. The show/Dinah has helped folks overcome illness, improved deployments, made kids stand up for themselves, and brought families together. I try to think of these people individually before every scene. I think it helps me do my best work.

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11. I am super jealous of Dinah’s wardrobe. It’s so stylish. I started taking photos of what she wears so I can buy it for myself, and now I sometimes wear the same clothes to work that I have to change into when I get there.

12. My three rescue dogs are the loves of my life. Our stunt director, James Bamford, is amazing, and arranged for them to be part of the show in a very clever way. So keep an eye out for a little cameo from the fur babies!

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13. My stunt double Ivett Gonda is an Olympian in Taekwondo. She kicks like nothing I’ve ever seen. I’m so lucky I get to learn from her.

14. I believe Dinah’s fierceness is how she shows love.

15. The cast of Arrow is truly one of the greatest groups of people I’ve ever met. Every single one of them is kind, funny, loving, and talented beyond belief. We all love each other and I think it contributes to fan’s strong emotional attachments to the characters.

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16. One of the funniest scenes to shoot was during season five. Oliver and Diggle are trapped in wet cement, which was actually thousands of gallons of oatmeal. After a couple of days it started to smell putrid, and we were all gagging and laughing the entire time we shot it.

17. Dinah’s favorite color is black. Mine is green!

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18. I have a “Dinah Playlist” on my phone and I listen to different songs to prepare myself for different scenes.

19. If I could create a new episode of Arrow I would want it to be an hour-long fight from beginning to end with very little stopping and very little dialogue.

20. I do push ups in my trailer before every scene to pump myself up.

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21. Some people already know this because I freaked out and tweeted about it right after it happened, but I recently split the pants of my Canary costume mid-fight. Apparently it’s a right of passage on our show.

22. My canary mask only goes over my eyes, but in order to make it we had to make a cast of my entire head. It was a little claustrophobic but a very cool process.

23. Most days for breakfast, Dinah has an egg sandwich with lettuce, tomato, bacon, avocado, and light mayo.

24. One of my favorite parts about playing Dinah has been getting to know Vancouver. We’ve really fallen in love with Canada. It’s become a second home.

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25. Playing Dinah is one of the greatest honors of my life. Every day I go into work it feels like I’m dreaming. I’m just so grateful to have the opportunity to play such a strong, powerful, intelligent woman, and be a role model for so many. Is a blessing beyond belief.

Arrow airs Thursday night at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.

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