SDCC Interview: Stephen Amell Talks About Playing Arrow SDCC Interview: Stephen Amell Talks About Playing Arrow
Stephen Amell talks about playing Oliver Queen on Arrow SDCC Interview: Stephen Amell Talks About Playing Arrow

A few hours before the Arrow cast will take the stage at Comic-Con, actors Stephen Amell and Katie Cassidy as well as executive producers Andrew Kreisberg and Marc Guggenheim spoke to the press in roundtable discussions. GreenArrowTV was one of the outlets in attendance, and here’s some of what Stephen had to say.

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For starters, Amell did notice that playing Oliver Queen means that there were multiple aspects of the same character to play. “The cool thing of this show, for me, was that I read the pilot script, and I went ‘oh man! There are four different characters here!'” he explains. “There’s Oliver before the island. There’s Oliver acting like the old Oliver when he gets back. There’s Arrow. And then there’s Oliver Queen without the suit on, and how he thinks. Which is not, actually, technically that different than him as Arrow, but as an actor, that’s a really cool thing,” he says.

“There was one day [of shooting] where there were four different scenes, and four distinctly different versions of Oliver Queen. That was a taxing day. Plus, I had a bunch of different wardrobe changes, with wigs and stuff like that,” he adds.

It’s not going to be easy for Oliver as he is reunited with his family after so many years. “It’s really hard for him,” he says. “It’s one thing to have that first initial hug when you get back after five years away. It’s an entirely different thing to deal with people who have a very different expectation of you. My sister [on the show] is 17 years old. I left her when she was 12. I have a sister, and the difference in her between age 12 and age 17 was bigger than a little. So, it’s going to be really challenging. I just read the second episode, and that’s something that Oliver is going to continue to struggle with.”

Oliver Queen comes from an interesting place as the series begins, and that, too, will affect his relationships in the present day. “The director on the pilot, when he was talking about one of the scenes, said – it’s not his quote, but it’s a good one – The opposite of love is not hate. It’s apathy, and all he’s got right now is hate and rage,” Amell explains. “We haven’t even gotten into the mythology of what happened to him on the island. He didn’t go from pre-island Oliver Queen to Arrow. He went from pre-island Oliver Queen to nothing, and then he had to be built back up.”

We will see how Oliver Queen became Arrow in the form of flashbacks, though Amell says it won’t be seen all of the time. “We don’t have to go to the island every week,” he says. “It’s not necessarily like LOST where I have to take something I learned on the island and apply it to real life, although that’s a cool storytelling technique and I’m sure they will do that every once in a while. But it’s going to be really cool to see what he went through, because it had to have been awful. Really awful. I hope it’s really awful.”

Arrow premieres October 10 on The CW. Stay tuned to GreenArrowTV soon for more interviews and follow @GreenArrowTV on Twitter for more updates throughout the panel (assuming the Wifi works!)

Craig Byrne

Craig Byrne has been writing about TV on the internet since 1995. He is also the author of several published books, including Smallville: The Visual Guide and the show's Official Companions for Seasons 4-7.