Canadian actor also appears on Reelside doc series
There’s plenty to swoon about when it comes to the long-awaited coupling of Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) on Arrow, and fans get giddy recounting highlights like their steamy night in Nanda Parbat.
But Stephen Amell likes to keep things in perspective.
“I just enjoy when there’s a storyline that’s built over the course of several seasons and then it comes to fruition,” he says. “Our writers are big believers in not teasing the audience without delivering. How long it takes is anyone’s guess. But it’s important to pay off storylines.”
In last week’s episode, the second in the DC Comics series’ fourth season, Laurel (Katie Cassidy) decided to dig up her sister and take her back to Nanda Parbat to bathe her corpse in the Lazarus Pit. Oh, and Oliver made his candidacy for mayor official.
Fans might also notice a different feel to the show and its brooding hero. While producer Marc Guggenheim has said the tone could be described as lighter, the Toronto-born actor says there’s some nuance in the remark.
“I think that our show is our show, and even if there’s a quote-unquote lighter side of Oliver, I wouldn’t even say ‘lighter’. I’d say it’s a more patient and possibly wiser version of the character,” he explains.
Amell gave insight into his onscreen persona in a recent episode of Reelside, a docuseries about Canadians in Hollywood that’s airing on Movie Central and The Movie Network. (You can still catch the episode via the cable networks’ on demand options.)
With filmmaker Matthew Lochner working on his own superhero concept, Amell joined David Hayter (X-Men) and Lloyd Kaufman (The Troma Empire) in showing cameras what it means to be a superhero, the importance of the genre’s fans and what drives them in their careers.
“In Toronto — and this was my fault, this is not a reflection of the industry – I found it difficult to string one job into another job. It’s the way you’d build any other career, like an athlete goes from A, to AA to AAA to the big leagues,” says Amell, whose cousin is fellow actor Robbie Amell.
“In California, there’s a really clear progression over the course of two years. Arrow is my 10th American job, and (over the years) you can really see them get bigger and broader and juicier.”
Before he landed Arrow, Amell was playing Scottie, a recurring paramedic on ABC’s now-defunct medical drama Private Practice. He remembers the moment he got the call for Arrow vividly.
“I was at a restaurant in Burbank, Calif., having breakfast. I’d just filmed an episode of Private Practice that morning and was heading to one of those old makeup shops in Burbank to have a prosthetic built for my next episode,” he says.
“I got the call from my manager and agent at the time, and they just said, ‘Congratulations.’ I texted my parents and Robbie, and I put the press release on Facebook and Twitter. Then I distinctly remember driving home and taking a long nap.”
Amell will star as Casey Jones in next year’s film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Half Shell. Fans might also catch him on another DC Comics series, Legends of Tomorrow, which debuts early next year on The CW and CTV. After all, Arrow and DC property The Flash crossed over extensively last season.
“I don’t know – we’ll see,” he says, when asked about a possible Legends spot.
And as for a cameo on Supergirl, yet another DC Comics show debuting Oct. 26 on CBS and Global?
“Well, never say never.”
Arrow airs Wednesdays, CTV/The CW