David Ramsey Talks ARROW, the Absence of Oliver Queen, Katie Cassidy as Black Canary, Diggle’s Backstory, and More

     January 21, 2015

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With Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) presumed dead, after the face-off between he and Ra’s al Ghul (Matt Nable) in the Arrow winter finale, there’s no telling where Team Arrow will go next or how they’ll fare without him.  What is clear is that fans of the show will have to wait a bit before learning his true fate because no one is revealing anything.

While at The CW portion of the TCA Winter Press Tour, actor David Ramsey spoke to Collider for this exclusive interview about where Team Arrow is at, emotionally, how difficult the absence of Oliver Queen is for everyone, what it’s like not to have Stephen Amell around, what the team-up of Diggle (Ramsey) and Arsenal (Colton Haynes) looks like, what Diggle thinks of Laurel (Katie Cassidy) as Black Canary, why Diggle needs a mask, why Diggle’s normalcy makes him extraordinary, fun Daddy Diggle moments, and his desire to see Oliver Queen and Bruce Wayne together.  Check out what he had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.

arrow-david-ramseyCollider:  What can you say about where Team Arrow is at, when the show returns? 

DAVID RAMSEY:  Nothing.  No.  Well, I can say that we’re emotionally crazy.  We’ve lost our leader and captain, so we’re all a little crazy.  We all have to ask ourselves, “Why are we doing this?  Will we continue doing this?”  The big question is why.  This was Oliver’s crusade, but it has become our crusade, and our meaning myself, Felicity, Arsenal/Roy and Black Canary/Laurel.  We just have to ask ourselves why we’re doing this, and that becomes a big emotional journey during Oliver’s absence.

The show is called Arrow, so the Arrow can’t be gone forever, but how difficult is the absence of Oliver Queen for Diggle?  

RAMSEY:  We’ll get into more of Diggle’s backstory, in terms of his relationship with Andy, the brother he lost.  His hunt for Deadshot and his pure hatred for Deadshot was because he is the man who killed his brother.  Oliver fills that void.  Oliver is the brother he can save.  And now, he can’t and he didn’t.  So, you’re gonna see what that does to Diggle, specifically, and where that takes him, emotionally.

When you have someone like Stephen Amell, who’s such a presence on the show, what’s it like to have him not there? 

RAMSEY:  That’s interesting that you ask that.  It’s odd, as an actor, doing so much with Stephen, and then he’s not there.  You miss him, as an actor, obviously.  But outside of that, me, Colton [Haynes], Emily [Bett Rickards] and Katie [Cassidy] really got to work together in ways that we weren’t able to work together before.  There are some great scenes between me and Katie, and we never had scenes together before, like that.  So, it was great to explore those things because we got to work with people that we never really got to work with before.  It was odd being without Stephen because we missed him, but it was also great to work with these other actors.

arrow-david-ramseyEven without Arrow, the city still needs saving, so what will the team of Diggle and Arsenal look like? 

RAMSEY:  We’re finding our feet.  It’s a little bit of fish-out-of-water.  It doesn’t go smoothly, at first.  Our head is not quite in the game, as it should be.  The man who was running point is now dead, so someone else has to run point.  It doesn’t go smoothly, but we find out legs.  We find out why we’re working for the city and why we’re here, and we end up being okay.  Team Arrow is more than just Arrow, hence the team part.  There is no Arrow in team.

What’s the dynamic like between you and Colton Haynes? 

RAMSEY:  Colton is my little brother from another mother.  He’s great.  Working with Colton is fantastic.  Working with Arsenal is great.  The Diggle and Arsenal team-up is fantastic.  He and I have some great scenes together, out in the field, as we’re fighting together.  There’s a great big warehouse scene that we have together, where we’re both fighting a big bad guy in Oliver’s absence, and we have to find out how we work together.  The writers have really done a great job at putting together these combinations that normally don’t have to work together.

Team Arrow is used to dealing with Sara as Black Canary, but now Laurel has stepped into that role.  What’s it like to see her in the costume now? 

RAMSEY:  In terms of what Diggle feels about it, Diggle is a soldier, so he realizes that getting a civilian that’s on a mission – and that’s how he sees Canary – isn’t good, logistically.  It’s not a good idea.  That’s the way he approaches it, just purely militaristically.  It’s not smart.  But, he gets on board because she’s passionate and she’s training.  She becomes a formidable ally in the field, and he recognizes that.  Me, personally, having seen her don the outfit, I was jazzed about it.  I was just like, “Wow!”  I didn’t know what to expect.  I was like, “Katie is now Black Canary?  How’s that going to be?”  I didn’t know what to expect, good or bad.  But watching her in it and watching her take on that superhero persona, she’s been awesome.

arrow-david-ramseyWhen you’re seeing all of these people around you in bad-ass costumes, are you wondering where Diggle’s suit and mask is? 

RAMSEY:  That’s the question.  It’s all over the internet.  Everyone is asking, “Does Diggle get a mask?”  I get it.  We’re in a big warehouse, the crime is going on, there’s fire, you see Canary run in and she’s clad in black leather, Arrow has got his bow and green leather, Arsenal has got his red leather and mask, and Diggle comes in, in a bomber jacket.  Yeah, I get it!  There’s a great line that Oliver had where he said, “The mask isn’t just to protect you.  It’s to protect the people you love.”  If there’s anyone who has people he loves, with a potential wife and child at home, it’s Diggle.  If anyone has something to protect, it’s him.  So, the writers aren’t blind to this, nor is the audience, or the critics, or myself.  We see it.  I think it will be addressed.  But, I also think that you have to be careful with Diggle because his appeal, I think, and I think everyone agrees with this, is his normalcy.  He’s just a guy who came up through the ranks.  He’s a normal guy who went to the military, served his country, did three tours, got married and had a child.  He’s you and me.  Everyone else is extraordinary, even Felicity.  She’s in the top 5% of the world, in terms of her intelligence.  Everyone is extraordinary, except for Diggle.  What makes him extraordinary is his normalcy.  So, you’ve gotta be careful.  But yet, he does absolutely need to protect his identity in the field, no doubt about it.  We just haven’t figured out how to do that yet.

Will there be any fun Daddy Diggle moments coming up? 

RAMSEY:  Oh, yes!  I think that’s great for the show.  No other character has that.  Also, Diggle is probably the most well-adjusted of the characters.  He’s where Oliver Queen wants to be, in five years or so.  He has a family.  He’s a crime fighter, and he has a wife and child.  He’s also well-adjusted to being able to go out at night and beat up bad guys.  So, yeah, you’ve gotta see that.  I think that’s what locks you into Diggle’s awesomeness.  He can do this, and then go home and kiss a baby and be okay with that.  You’re going to see a lot more of that.

Now that we’ve seen how great and successful cross-over episodes can be, do you have a checklist of characters that you’d love to see Diggle go up against or team up with, in some way? 

RAMSEY:  You know I am.  You know what I would like?  It’s never going to happen, or maybe it will.  I don’t want to see Batman, but I would love to see Bruce Wayne.  Maybe he’s part of the League of Assassins, right now.  Maybe he watched in horror as Oliver Queen was pushed off the cliff, or maybe he watched and it wasn’t so much in horror.  Maybe he’s just joined the League, or maybe he’s been part of it for years.  Who knows?  Maybe he’s a billionaire who visits Starling.  I don’t know.  But, I would love to see that.  As big as Ray Palmer is, with his billionaire persona, it ain’t Bruce Wayne.  I would just love to see Bruce Wayne and Oliver Queen together.

Arrow airs on Wednesday nights on The CW.

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