Colton Haynes Talks ARROW Season 3, Roy Harper’s Journey, His Relationship with Thea, If We’ll Get More Backstory on His Character and More

     November 12, 2014


In what has become typical Arrow fashion, the action for Season 3 of The CW hit series is big and the personal drama is even bigger.  Team Arrow is facing new villains and new heartache, all while trying to recover from the death of one of their own.  In Episode 306, entitled “Guilty,” Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) is struggling with disturbing dreams that he’s having and shares a secret with Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards).

During this exclusive phone interview with Collider (which took place prior to the big reveal involving Roy Harper in Episode 305, so it’s not directly addressed in this interview, but likely wouldn’t have gotten a direct answer anyway since that would be a major spoiler), actor Colton Haynes talked about how having no idea where his character would ultimately go when he signed on, what’s most surprised him about Roy Harper’s journey, where things are headed between Roy and Thea (Willa Holland), whether we might ever learn more about Roy’s backstory, that fans are going to hate who’s ultimately responsible for Sara’s (Caity Lotz) murder, and that he loves the built-in butt that his superhero costume gives him.  He also talked about the great experience he had working in Australia on San Andreas with Dwayne Johnson.  Check out what he had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.

arrow-colton-haynes-season-3Collider:  With as popular as comic book and superhero movies and TV shows are now, what’s it like to get to be a part of the DC universe, in such a big way?

COLTON HAYNES:  My brother gets so mad because he’s the comic book guru and he is obsessed, and I’ve had to deal with him my entire life, talking about these characters.  When Greg [Berlanti] called me to come be on the show, I didn’t know that it was actually a popular character.  So, my brother found out online and basically called me in tears and was like, “I can’t believe that you’re basically playing the Robin in Batman.”  And I was like, “You need to calm down.”  Now we’re mid-way through Season 3, and I understand the excitement and how incredible the fandom is and how and how incredible the comics are.  It took me some time, but now I understand why it’s so incredible.  I love comic books now.

Roy Harper has come such a long way, since we first met him.  Did you have any idea that he would be as developed as he is now, or were you just hoping that things might turn out the way they have?

HAYNES:  I had no idea.  There were probably five weeks that I’d been off work with my previous job, and then I came on to do this, thinking it would be three to six episodes.  And then, it turned into a series regular and I actually became part of Team Arrow, which was really cool, but it was so out of nowhere and so quick.  I think I got the call at 10 pm, that they wanted me to be a series regular, and I was like, “What?!  It’s 10 pm.  I have to sign my contract now?”  So, at 10 pm, I had to say yes to a deal, and I was so excited.

What’s most surprised you about the journey that you’ve taken with this character and what you’ve learned about him?

HAYNES:  What’s surprised me the most is that originally Roy Harper was very guarded and had put up a big shield.  He had a lot of parental issues from the past that he wore on his sleeve, but you have to break down all of that.  I don’t want to say that Roy Harper became a softie, but he’s sensitive now, in a way that helps him.  You see him in scenes with Thea and he’s sensitive towards her and really shows his love towards her, but then he can be out on the battlefield and still be a bad-ass.  He’s always flipping off of things.  Anytime there’s a car, he’s going to do a flip off of it, which is really cool.

When you wear such an awesome costume for work, does it take away some of the fun of Halloween?  Do you ever wish you could wear your costume from the show because it looks so cool, or do you intentionally go out of your way to wear something different for Halloween?

arrow-image-colton-haynesHAYNES:  Oh, yeah.  Halloween is basically my favorite day of the year.  I take it so seriously, and I’ve been that way my entire life.  I think it’s ‘cause my mom would make us go over-the-top.  She was that kind of person, and I carried that with me.  The costume is incredible, but I basically have no dignity, so I like to turn myself into something completely different and express myself that way.  It’s clearly ridiculous, but it’s fun.  [Fiona from Shrek] was a dream costume of mine, and I can’t even believe that I actually pulled it off, with my friend who did my make-up.  It was just the most fun night, ever.  I danced so hard that I think my crown fell off four times.  It was fun.

Thea left, and then Sara died, making everything between Team Arrow much more weighted.  Thea is back now, but she and Roy clearly are not on the same page.  What can you say about where things are at with them, going forward?

HAYNES:  In the end, he lied, so she has a reason to be a little stand-offish.  But now, it’s cool that they’re able to come together and, especially going forward, be friends.  It’s nice that she was able to let that go, and he’s apologized a few times.  Their relationship, going forward, is really cool because they still have some sort of relationship, even though it’s not romantic.  But then, you throw in the fact that she’s the daughter of Malcolm Merlyn, who’s the most evil person in the entire world, and now she’s training.  So, there will be a few roadblocks with Roy and Thea.  It’s gonna happen pretty quickly, I can say that.  But if they can come out on the other side of what’s about to happen, that’s the bigger question at hand.

There was talk, before the season started, of meeting someone from Roy’s past and learning a bit more about his history.  What’s it like for you to get some of those bits of information?

HAYNES:  There were a few storylines that were gonna happen, which we all teased at Comic-Con, but some of them have been extended a bit, with the introduction of awesome characters, like Ray Palmer.  Brandon [Routh] literally cracks people up during table reads.  He’s so funny and so good, and the relationship between Ray and Felicity is awesome.  So right now, Roy’s backstory isn’t taking a lot of the focus, but he is getting a lot more to do with Team Arrow.  It’s definitely going to happen, this season.  It hasn’t happened yet, but hopefully soon.  I can say that there is someone from Roy’s past that’s coming back into his life.  He’s going to go find this person in The Glades, and it’s going to be really heart-warming and I hate to say the word epic, because I say the word, every other word, but it’s gonna be epic.  It’s really cool. 

arrow-colton-haynes-stephen-amellIs there a character from Arrow or The Flash, or even from the greater DC universe, that you’d love to see your character team up with or go up against?

HAYNES:  Oh, gosh!  Ever since I’ve been getting into this comic thing, I think Robin is the coolest character in the entire world.  Obviously, I’m not sure that would ever happen, but I think that Roy Harper and Robin are similar, in a lot of ways.  If he were to come from somewhere, then that would be really cool.  That’s a longshot, but who knows.

What’s it been like to work with Stephen Amell, David Ramsey and Emily Bett Rickards?  What sort of energy do they bring to the Team Arrow scenes?

HAYNES:  David and I literally can’t look at each other.  It’s actually becoming a problem, and I feel so bad.  Greg [Berlanti], Marc [Guggenheim] and Andrew [Kreisberg] have to look at the dailies and be like, “We can never put them in a scene together again.”  I can’t look at him, so my eyeline is a little off because I have to deliver my lines to the left or the right of him.  He’s just ridiculous.  He will say things that don’t make any sense.  He will mumble lines.  He makes me cry, laughing.  I can’t even say lines.  So, that’s becoming a big problem.  When you get the four of us in the Arrow cave, or the lair, for 12 hours, shooting until six in the morning, we can’t keep it together.  I feel bad ‘cause our crew must hate us, but I have to walk away because I can’t breathe.  That’s pretty much the energy that goes down, whenever you put us all in a room together.  I get so unprofessional, a lot of the time, and I feel so bad because I can’t stop laughing.  It’s a problem.

With everything that Roy has been through, how secure is he now, in who he is with Team Arrow?

HAYNES:  He’s really secure in his position, but he’s starting to question the validity of what they’re fighting for and what the point of all of it is.  He’s starting to question Oliver’s motives.  He’s also starting to think that a few people on Team Arrow might be lying, or might be leading the team in the wrong direction.  I think you’re gonna see a lot of issues that come with that.  Also, everyone is trying to find out who killed Sara.  So, you have Team Arrow, but you have individual detectives within the team, questioning each other and trying to figure it out on their own, and then coming back, at the end of the day, and trying to be a team.  It’s pretty interesting.

arrow-season-3-castWhen you lose a cast member, like you did with Caity Lotz, and then you have this mystery surrounding her character’s murder, were you guys trying to come up with your own guesses for who it would be, or did you always know?

HAYNES:  We know who it is now, but they would not tell us.  I am the last person you tell.  I’m a great vault for secrets, in real life, but if you tell me something about a storyline, I’m gonna accidentally slip up.  I don’t know what it is, but I’m that person that blurts out the thing that you’re not supposed to say, when it comes to storylines.  So, I definitely was left in the dark, when it came to who killed Sara.  Now we know, and I just feel bad for whoever did it.  For that alone, people are just going to hate this person, but the person will pay for what they did. 

It took some time for Roy to be fully accepted onto Team Arrow and for him to get his own bad-ass costume. 

HAYNES:  I know!

What was it like, the first time you put that on and saw yourself in the costume, and does it ever get old?

HAYNES:  I think it’s the coolest part.  Our costume designer is the best.  She just killed it.  It’s great to go to work because I have a butt.  They built in a butt for me.  I’m totally feeling myself at work, strutting around feeling like I’ve got it.  So, that’s cool.  We’re still waiting for Diggle to get some sort of costume.  Pretty much everyone is suiting up now, which is really cool.  I think Roy Harper paved the way for fashionable superhero costumes.

You also recently did a role in San Andreas with Dwayne Johnson, didn’t you?

HAYNES:  Oh, yeah.  I’ve been doing ADR on that for weeks now.  It was so awesome.  It was the coolest experience.  I want to move to Australia now.  I got to be there for two months this summer, working with Dwayne and Archie [Panjabi], and a few other cast members who haven’t been announced yet.  It was a really unbelievable experience for me. 

How was your experience working with Dwayne Johnson, who has such a clearly focused work ethic?

HAYNES:  It was really eye-opening for me.  I got to bring my brother, who is my best friend.  He had never been out of the country before.  Dwayne is such a kind person.  He really is just game for whatever.  He’s a team player, and he’s a really great leader.  It was just really cool.  My brother was basically in tears again.  He’s gonna be made because everyone is gonna think he cries all the time, but it was the way everyone embraced him.  Working with that whole team that surrounds Dwayne is just a dream.  A lot of the things that he does are with the same team, who just welcome people with open arms.

Arrow airs on Wednesday nights on The CW.


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