SDCC Interview: Stephen Amell Talks About Playing Arrow

Craig Byrne July 13, 2012 2

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!)


  1. Rox July 15, 2012 at 10:22 am -

    The show sounds promising. Arrow will be on for seasons to come!

  2. Ary August 20, 2012 at 11:54 am -

    OMG YES! I have been a comic book girl since EVER when I would stay up late to watch my dvd’s from all marvel and DC goodies. Yet by far Green Arrow has had a special place in my heart with Speedie (Red Arrow) right behind. The trauma, the way he built himself to become Green Arrow. The many mistakes costing his marriage, his friendships to try to regain all he lost. He is a compelling character and I will forever love him in the JLU when he swooped in and chanted his own theme song while he did so. I do hope that Arrow (c) does not let me down. I have been ranting that they should have given Green Arrow and Dead Pool some of the spotlight and I couldn’t have been happier. For a movie is only a few hours and couldn’t show all the complexity we are allowed to witness with tv dramas. I await October and Wendsdays with an ardor.