Stephen Amell

Ar­row’s Oliver Queen on work­ing out, Bar­row­man and mix­ing it up with The Flash

SFX - - Stephen Amell - Words by Joseph McCabe por­trait by Gomil­lion and Le­upold

“I get no­tice from the pro­duc­ers if and when I’m gonna be shirt­less”

If there’s one show at the core of the cur­rent su­per­hero TV re­nais­sance it’s Ar­row. And much of the credit for the suc­cess of Warner Bros’ take on DC Comics bat­tling bow­man Oliver Queen must go to Stephen Amell’s sym­pa­thetic por­trayal of this 21st cen­tury Robin Hood, a man haunted by past mis­deeds but determined to save his city at all costs. In less than three years, Amell’s show has spawned spin- offs, ac­tion fig­ures, and a videogame in­car­na­tion ( found in Lego Bat­man 3: Be­yond Gotham), all of which the ami­able Canadian ac­tor couldn’t be hap­pier about — even as his on- screen coun­ter­part has en­dured his great­est tri­als ever, in­clud­ing a mid- sea­son im­pale­ment at the hands of the ne­far­i­ous Ra’s al Ghul. But if the mile- wide smile Amell wears when SFX catches up with him in Los An­ge­les is any in­di­ca­tion, there’s still plenty of life left in Star­ling City’s cham­pion… With shows like The Flash now spin­ning off from Ar­row, what it’s like to be at the cen­tre of the ex­pand­ing DC TV Uni­verse?

It’s been won­der­ful. Be­cause ev­ery time we are given per­mis­sion to bring some­one like Grant [ Gustin] on as Barry Allen… Some of the guest stars that we’ve been able to get on our show have been won­der­ful — get­ting John Bar­row­man was such a coup in our first sea­son, and Bran­don [ Routh] cer­tainly — but then you see, on The Flash, Went­worth [ Miller] and Do­minic [ Pur­cell] and Vic­tor [ Gar­ber]. I feel like ev­ery time that hap­pens that’s a vote of con­fi­dence from peo­ple. What are your feel­ings to­wards DC hav­ing sep­a­rate TV and cin­e­matic uni­verses?

I’ve spo­ken a lot with the DC peo­ple about how fo­cus­ing on each of those [ uni­verses] be­ing the best that they can be is just as ad­van­ta­geous or pos­si­bly more so than hav­ing to fo­cus and worry about con­stantly cross- pol­li­nat­ing ev­ery­thing. A lot of peo­ple have said, “Well, Agents Of SHIELD is a good show, but boy, they’re just sort of tied to the films and some­times it can be a hin­drance.” So I like our po­si­tion. John Bar­row­man has said he ap­pre­ci­ates the re­sults of your work­outs for Ar­row.

[ Laughs] I love John so much. David Ram­sey and I and Emily [ Bett Rickards], we have a par­tic­u­lar type of fun, but I’d say that my most ed­u­ca­tional ex­pe­ri­ences on set both in a real form — in terms of grow­ing as an ac­tor — but also just en­joy­ing my­self come from John. With such a testing shoot, where do you find time to work out?

Well, I wouldn’t call it a “mis­take”, but I went so balls to the wall with train­ing for the pi­lot… The pi­lot is this stand­alone event where we have 17 days to shoot one episode, we have a month to prep, and I have so much adren­a­line that I’m able to work out ev­ery sin­gle day when I’m film­ing, whereas the sea­son is a 23- episode marathon with eight days to shoot, and travel. But I have to pick my spots, and I have to get no­tice from the pro­duc­ers if and when I’m gonna be shirt­less on the show so that I can ramp up. Be­cause I can’t go through a process where I main­tain that pace of the pi­lot. It’s im­pos­si­ble. The in­tro­duc­tion of Bran­don Routh as Ray Palmer cre­ated a love tri­an­gle be­tween his, your and Emily’s char­ac­ters. Would you like to see that con­tinue?

I’m en­vi­ous of Bran­don’s char­ac­ter be­cause of how fun and care­free he is, de­spite the fact that he is do­ing what he is do­ing be­cause of the tragic event in his life that hap­pened quite re­cently. But the good thing is I just en­joy Bran­don per­son­ally, and he and I have only worked to­gether one day — it was the third day that we shot this year. I am hope­ful that some­time in the fu­ture we’ll get to do more stuff. Do you have a favourite episode to date? I’m al­ways gonna be a slave to the re­cent, to the new. I’m still proud of our mid­sea­son fi­nale this year. I think that the episode where

Moira [ Queen] died last year was our show’s ex­e­cu­tion at its finest. Would you like to see a more in­te­grated Ar­row/ Flash uni­verse? When you and Grant work to­gether, his char­ac­ter brings things out of Oliver we’ve never seen be­fore. You’re ex­actly right. We were do­ing some pro­mo­tional things yes­ter­day, and we got to do some stuff to­gether, and there’s just some­thing about the chem­istry be­tween the two of us and the dif­fer­ences be­tween the char­ac­ters. So I do hope that we get more op­por­tu­ni­ties to cross over. I know that we will. How do you stay so fo­cused out­side of work­ing out? This re­ally is a dream job. I al­ways try to re­mem­ber it. I’ve been able to re­mem­ber it more so re­cently be­cause of how much time I’ve had away from the show. That per­spec­tive has given me a lot of room to ap­pre­ci­ate.

Ar­row airs on Sky 1 HD in the UK.

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