The consummate under-dog, CW’s Arrow quietly staked a claim in the periphery of the DC-verse at the outset of the 2012 TV season. I don’t think anyone expected much from the show – and early episodes struggled to balance its comic-book aspirations under a TV-friendly budget. But over the course of its first season and especially in its second year, Arrow slowly came into its own, deftly balancing sci-fi heavy tropes within a surprisingly grounded moral quagmire. It became clear that Arrow himself wasn’t the prototypical hero he or the audience initially believed. As the dark nuances of the titular character were explored, the show grew by result. Much of the credit to the show’s qualitative success can, of course, be laid at the feet of star Stephen Amell. Amell has since become the poster-child for the DC Television verse – and with his dapper looks and sharp stare it’s not hard to see why.
In the following round table interview with star Stephen Amell, he discusses just when the character will finally become ‘The Green Arrow’, his relationship status on the show, and why he’s sick to death of talking about The Justice League. For the full interview, hit the jump.
Stephen Amell: Delusion is the correct word choice.
How long does the delusion last?
Stephen Amell: About twenty minutes. This will be an interesting year. Now granted I know what happens — but if you go back and watch the first episode of Season Two, all of the themes are really touched upon in that episode. The same is true of the pilot and when you watch our first episode of season three, all of the themes present there echo throughout [the season].
Are you happy you don’t have to answer any more Justice League questions?
Stephen Amell: Yes — and by the way, there’s a The Flash show, we have Firestorm, we have Canary, we have The Atom… The actual Justice League film — I don’t know when that’s coming out. You can watch The Justice League on television now. But the reason I’m happy to not have to answer the question anymore is because I think it undersold what we did on TV. I would put our degree of difficulty – having to produce twenty-two episodes of television every year, spinning off the show, giving people the confidence to green-light other DC properties — up there with producing a two hundred million dollar film. They’re very different things. I never want to feel as though our existence is only going to be justified by being part of the cinematic universe. That has nothing to do with anything. We are stamping out our own spot.
[What is the romantic situation like for Oliver this season?]
Stephen Amell: There’s one lady in Oliver’s life.
Stephen Amell: Just one. There’s one woman in Oliver’s life this year.
Is that his sister?
Stephen Amell: No — it’s Felicity.
It just seems he’s got Sarah out there and Laurel…
Stephen Amell: The ship has sailed on those romances. I don’t think we’ll ever see Oliver & Sarah or Oliver & Laurel together again. I mean – they’ll be together but just not ‘together-together’. They’ll be teammates. We discover in the premiere the way that Oliver feels about Felicity. Because of that — if we just introduced random love interests, it would undersell what we do in the premiere.
Stephen Amell: I can’t think of a specific choice. I will say the storyline where Oliver has a child really hit home for me. We filmed that episode — my daughter was five months old and we were shooting those scenes with Susana [Thompson]. The most difficult scene I’ve ever had to shoot on the show is when Oliver finds out that this girl lost the baby. Besides the feelings it stirred up in me personally, it was also my last scene with Susana Thompson whom I love and adore and respect and miss. So it was really difficult to divorce my personal feelings from that scene and some of them actually shown through. But for the most part, we live in a pretty fantastical world on Arrow and I’m able to divorce Oliver’s reasoning from my own.
What is the dynamic between Thea and Oliver like this season?
Stephen Amell: It’s all about unspoken things. Oliver made a commitment to Thea to be more honest with her. And when Oliver and Thea meet up, he is more honest with her. He reveals things that he’s never told her. Things he regrets very much.
How aware are you of the direction of the character throughout this season and for future seasons as well?
Stephen Amell: I really do think we are moving to a spot where we will refer to my character as ‘The Green Arrow’. We are moving to a spot where we will continue to embrace the fundamental classic elements of the character. Because we have that license now. We’re 46 episodes in. People like it. They buy into it. But unless this character is evolving — The Hood to Arrow to The Green Arrow — then people are going to lose interest. So I always want there to be a journey for him. And this year’s journey is really interesting.
Does that evolution involve the goatee?
Stephen Amell: No.