Willa Holland, who is well known for her potrayal of Thea Queen (or Speedy) on Arrow, turns 25 today (June 18th). We have seen both her and her character grow throughout the four seasons of Arrow. Initially, back in Season 1, she was just Oliver Queen's baby sister for the viewers. But she has grown into this badass superhero with a bloodlust. With the departure of Katie Cassidy's Black Canary, Willa's Speedy is the only female superhero left on Team Arrow and we can't wait to see her back for back for Season 5.
Happy Birthday Willa Holland! Let's Celebrate Her Birthday with 6 Facts About Her That You Probably Didn't Know:
1. Steven Speilberg Is the Reason Why She Pursued an Acting Career
When Willa was only seven years old, a well known director told her parents, "You’ve got to put her in front of a camera" and that director was none other than Mr. Steven Spielberg himself. With Speilberg's advice, Willa Hollands's ex-stepfather Brian De Palma, who's also a director (Mission: Impossible being one of the movies directed by him), got her an agent soon after, as she signed with Ford Modelling Agency.
2. She Was Once the Top Child Model in the USA
From when she signed with Ford Modelling Agency, to when she was 11 years old, she was the top child model in the US and she modeled for the likes of Burberry, Guess, Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch and Ralph Lauren during that time period.
3. Arrow Wasn't Her TV Debut
Willa Holland joined Arrow as a series regular (and still is), when she was only 21 years old. However, it wasn't her first venture on television. Her TV debut was back in 2006 on The O.C., where she played the role of Kaitlin Cooper. She was initially a recurring character in Season 3 of the show. But she became a regular for the entire fourth season.
4. She Had Already Worked on The CW Network Before Arrow
Stephen Amell, who plays the role of Thea's big brother, Oliver Queen, had appeared in the second season of The Vampire Diaries, before he was cast for Arrow. Just like her on-screen brother Willa had also played a role on another show from The CW Network before joining Arrow. In 2008, Willa Holland joined Gossip Girl (which was also in its second season) as a 16 year old model, Agnes Andrews and appeared in four other episodes since.
5. Willa's Character Wasn't Originally Supposed to Be Malcolm Merlyn's Daughter
Willa Holland's character, Thea Queen is Malcolm Merlyn's daughter on Arrow. But that wasn't the original plan. Oliver Queen was originally supposed to Malcolm Merlyn's son, according to John Barrowman. Here's what he had to say in an interview with EW:
“We had lunch with Andrew Kreisberg. It was season 1, we were talking about the future of Malcolm Merlyn, it was myself and my partner who said, ‘Why don’t you make Thea my daughter?’ They wanted Oliver to be my son, and I said, ‘No, it’s too Star Wars.’ It’s, ‘Oliver, I’m your father.’ But if you do Thea then it creates a whole new can of worms because Oliver will have a very difficult time killing Malcolm because he knows what it’s like to lose a father and won’t want to kill his sister’s father. And also it meant I was guaranteed a job for a long time. Yay!”
6. Willa Is a Supporter of LA Clippers and LA Galaxy
Willa Holland loves sports. She probably loves basketball more than she loves football (Yes! It's football for us, and not soccer!). But she definitely watches both when she has time. Having spent her entire life in Los Angeles, she supports LA Clippers in NBA and LA Galaxy in MLS.
Not being able to meet David Beckham and still calling yourself lucky? This should be enough to prove how big of a LA Galaxy fan she is.
Willa Holland is an extremely talented actress and we want to see her continue being a part of any other show from the Flarrowverse, if not Arrow. We wish the birthday girl all the very best in the year to come.