ARROW: Stephen Amell, Willa Holland, Colin Donnell, Katie Cassidy and David Ramsey Interviews (2013)


Heroes are carefully crafted from the brutal sands of time, and in the CW series ARROW, Oliver Queen was forged by five harsh years trying to survive on an island hunted and tormented by oppressors at every turn. It steeled his resolve to return home and eradicate the evil festering in his home city so that those he loved would be free of such fear and domination. Fortunately for Oliver, he has a few key friends and family watching his back along the way. At last month’s WB Mondo International Press Tour, stars Stephen Amell, Willa Holland, Colin Donnell, Katie Cassidy and David Ramsey shared insights into their heroic characters, a few teasers about what’s upcoming on ARROW, and what the shows they love watching on DVD.

Stephen Amell (photo credit: Courtney Vaudreuil)
Stephen Amell (photo credit: Courtney Vaudreuil)

Stephen Amell

Now that we’ve kind of seen some development as the relationships, the one that’s kind of taken the most fire is the Laurel and Tommy one. How exactly is Oliver going to feel about them really pursuing this relationship?
STEPHEN: In an ideal world, Oliver wants Laurel to be happy and wants Tommy to be happy. I don’t think he holds grudges against either of them. Specifically Laurel, though, he wants her to be happy. Does he want it to be with Tommy? Probably not. But it’s not up to him to choose, to decide, to say you can be with this person but not this person. He wants her to be happy and I don’t think he would ever stand in the way of that. Unless, of course, Tommy messed up, in which case Oliver would probably take Laurel’s side.

What do you identify most about your character and what’s biggest challenge for you about your character?
STEPHEN: The thing that I identified most with, actually, is Oliver is trying to please everybody while being very, very busy. I’m shooting the show every single day, and I’m trying to please a lot of people, while also being very, very busy. And I’m having the time of my life and this is a dream come true and these aren’t real problems that I have, but they are real scheduling issues. So identify that. The way I differ most is the island version. One of my favorite movies is “Children of Men,” and I thought Clive Owen and, to a lesser extent, although not to diminish the role, Jamie Foxx in “Collateral.” I liked roles that are played without ego, so that’s I really try to strip that away and that really takes me to different spots.

How long are you going to keep the secret about what happened really on the island, the writers?
STEPHEN: We are really moving fast on the island right now. A lot of stuff is happening on the island. And I think one of the small spoiler or tease, as the case may be arguably, the biggest reveal in the entire series so far happens in episode 11. It’s about the island. And it’s not the end of the episode, the beginning of the episode. It’s just a point in the middle of a conversation. You have to pay attention. But if you pay attention and you hear it, you go oh, and it adds intrigue to the island’s story.

What made you commit to acting?
STEPHEN: There was just a personal upheaval in my life where, in December of 2009, I was just basically, I had been in long term relationship. I was no longer in it. And I took a look around and I said what in my life makes me happy, and it was family be and friends and acting. I think that some careers you can have where you can take your personal life and you can take your career and you can separate them. I don’t think, for me personally, that a career in the arts I think that it has to sort of meld together. So it was family, friends. And then acting really, really makes me happy. So I decided to take an honest run in it, and it’s been going great since then.

A lot of people discover shows watching them on DVD as the new technology’s generated. Have you been a fan of watching shows that way? Do you like watching the extra features and stuff? And what do you think about people who will later discover this show on DVD?
STEPHEN: Well, I don’t actually own a DVD player, but I watch all my favorite shows on Apple TV now. I love Apple TV. I think it’s the best quality in terms of the picture resolution. You get to watch it without commercials, which I don’t know if I should say too loud, which is really nice. I do think that we are not better or worse but different than any other CW show, just in terms of our tone and in terms of maybe who we’re targeting as a demographic. So I think that there’s a long tail for our show in terms of there are people right now who are not watching our show because they just haven’t considered watching a show on this particular network. So the word of mouth has been really good. Once we have a season in the can, as they say, I think a lot of people will discover the show on DVD. I hope.

What shows have you caught up on DVD?
STEPHEN: “24,” which is the single greatest show to watch all at one time in the history of television. It’s just fantastic. I’m on hour eighteen and I’ve got to keep going. But a ton of shows. So I watched THE WIRE that way. I watched SOPRANOS that way. And now I’m so busy I have my shows. I haven’t seen a single episode of DEXTER, of BOARDWALK EMPIRE, of HOMELAND, of SURVIVOR which is a television show that I have seen every season of, at least this season. I have them. They are waiting for me. I have a wine cellar of television shows right now. So yeah.

Is there any difficult part that you can’t handle yet about being famous, most of all because of the success of the show?
STEPHEN: No. It’s so far so good. John Barrowman who’s on the show, he is sort of acting like a little bit of a mentor to me in terms of he’s been in this genre for a while. He has a rabid fan base. And he’s had some really good pointers how to deal with them. Namely that if you are constantly trying to push people away, then all they’re going to want to do is clamor in and get close to you. Whereas if you’re a little bit more inclusive, if you treat them more like human beings a little bit more, then when you ask for space, they tend to give it to you. And I think that that’s kind of my modus operandi a little bit. Its try to remain normal, try to be inclusionary. And then, if and when I need my space, I’ll feel comfortable asking for it.

Is it kind of thrilling to be part of one of the DC universes of all the those things?
STEPHEN: Yes. Yes.

Do you ever read “Green Arrow”?
STEPHEN: No. I never read “Green Arrow” growing up, but I’ve read it now. I don’t have a huge opportunity to think on the macro side of things. Because I wrapped at 5 o’clock in the morning today and flew to Los Angeles, and it’s a full day of stuff and then it’s going to be dinner with friends, back to work. We’re out in the jungle this week and then I’m on Christmas break. I need some space and some separation from it to really think about it. But really, it’s a thrilling experience.

Willa Holland (photo credit: Chris Frawley/Warner Bros. International Inc.)
Willa Holland (photo credit: Chris Frawley/Warner Bros. International Inc.)

Willa Holland

Maybe you could talk a little about Thea’s crush on Tommy. That seemed to come out of nowhere. It was absolutely adorable. He shot her down so beautifully. But yet, what does she see in Tommy?

WILLA: I think it was something that just kind of ‑‑ at that moment, she had never really thought of Tommy like that, and it was something that kind of just got put ‑‑ instilled into her brain. She totally thought he was talking about her. So it was just something that it kind of came out of left field for her. And she acted upon it not necessarily in the best way, and I think it’s been put to bed for the moment. I definitely think she learned her lesson that time, I think, is not going to approach it. And if she does, she’s going to do it a lot smarter next time.

How are you most like your character and what are the big differences?
WILLA: I love my character. I absolutely do. Because she is not your typical teenage celebutante billionaire, not that there’s that many of them. But she’s very grounded in her own sense. Before Oliver left, I like to think that Thea, when she was 12 years old, was more like a bookworm and kind of like a smarter child out of the bunch and always kind of looking up to Oliver but also seeing what bad he was doing and knowing to stay away from it. And then the second that he disappeared, having your father taken away from you and your brother, like those two main male figures, I think she tried to kind of relive in their ‑‑ put herself into his shoes and try to live her life vicariously through what he left behind, through all the partying and all that. I like her a lot. And how am I different from her? I definitely never went through that crazy, crazy partying stage. I played the characters that did, so I never really needed to do that too much. And in this industry, you know, even at the age 14, it’s not unheard of to be invited to the Chateau Marmont for some party or something like that, and they actually let you go, even though at the Chateau, you’re legally not allowed to stay at that hotel unless you’re 21. So how could somebody underage get in there? But anyway it’s just ‑‑ you know, growing up in Hollywood, you kind of succumb to this, so I think I did the best to steer clear from it. But it is very interesting playing characters that do go into that, because I want to bring people away from the negative outlook on girls that are going through that situation. Because they always think that they’re just spoiled and have everything offered to them and the reason why they’re doing that is because they just have the opportunity to. But I think that there is more to it. I think they are acting out. There are reasons why they are doing this. Because they actually do have everything handed to them on a silver platter and they could be living life perfectly, going to Harvard on the perfect A‑track, but they choose not to for a distinct reason, and that’s actually to piss off their parent, but for a reason. There is a reason for all those things, so yeah.

So did you ever rebel against anything growing up?
WILLA: I did rebel against my mother. My way of rebelling against her is I had a boyfriend that was a little older than I was at the time. But it’s not like I ever really went out clubbing or anything like that. My way of rebelling was by, you know, going to hang out with him instead, without her permission. And I would ‑‑ you know, I’d sneak out of the house and stuff like that, but I’ve never really party‑partied. And I’d also steal my mother’s clothes, not that I knew what they were, the labels or anything like that. But I’d borrow her clothes sometimes. She’s just got the biggest closet, and she’d never noticed they were gone, I swear.

A lot of people are watching TV shows these days by buying a whole set on DVD and powering through it and getting to see the outtakes and special features. And your show is probably going to be one of those shows where people will be able to get that first season and watch it that way. Have you watched shows that way? What do you think of the idea of people watching your show on home video?
WILLA: I have watched a couple shows like that. I discovered my obsession with BREAKING BAD that way. I started the first and second season on DVD. I was sick and watched it all within maybe four days. It was a really long four days, but it was amazing and I loved it, because you just kind of like swarm in everything. And then all you want to do is watch it over and over again to get bits and pieces. And I think ARROW would actually be a very good show for that, because there’s a lot of things that I even find myself, when we’re filming, I’m like, oh, oh, oh, God, okay, this makes sense now. It’s like there are so many levels to the show, and it’s kind of hard to pay attention to everything when we’re going through it. We got a shoot this whole hour episode in eight days, so it’s not necessarily the easiest thing to do. So there’s a lot of things going on that keep us distracted. And especially when we do the read throughs. It’s kind of like an eye opening experience. And then we watch the show after maybe a couple weeks later, and it’s like, wait, I read script, I shot it, and how did I not notice that? It’s kind of interesting, but I enjoy it. I enjoy these little gems. They’re like little Easter eggs that you can never keep yourself away from.

How do you compare the hero of ARROW with the other superheroes? What do you think is special about him?
WILLA: Well, ARROW is necessarily a vigilante, he doesn’t actually have superpowers. Like Batman, he’s kind of just using his own awesome physical abilities that he’s acquired over the five years on the island and that crazy salmon ladder thing that he can do. But I think that what makes him different is the fact that Oliver attacks these things he’s very smart about this. He’s had this kind of five year revenge plan that he’s kind of worked up to the T. And even if things don’t necessarily go as planned, you always see him consistently adapting, and I think that’s something that I enjoy about his take on a superhero, is that he’s very reactive and able to adapt and he’s reactive and able to adapt.

Colin Donnell (photo credit: Chris Frawley/Warner Bros. International Inc.)
Colin Donnell (photo credit: Chris Frawley/Warner Bros. International Inc.)

Colin Donnell

Tommy and Laurel, this is the romance we totally didn’t expect to happen this quickly, this fast. How exciting has that been for you to be kind of the romantic lead suddenly on this hot show?
COLIN: I love it. And I think one of the best parts is being able to work so closely with Katie. And I think it’s a really interesting relationship to set up. Because I think everybody was expecting the Oliver Laurel thing to jump off to a quick start. I’m loving being able to be a foil for whatever ideas that they have coming up later on.

How do you identify with your character and what’s the biggest challenge for you?
COLIN: Um, I’m not wealthy, so there’s that. (Laughs) No, I think that there’s a great deal of humanity to Tommy and some, you know, lovely sarcasm and wit that they’ve written into him. I joke with Andrew that Tommy is able to say everything that Andrew wished he would have been able to say when he was 20 years old. And it’s great. I love trying to balance the sort of not so great things about Tommy’s character with the things that I see as really redeeming qualities about him, the way he cares about his friends and the way that, you know, he cares about his friend’s family. And all those interactions with him are very near and dear to him, mixed with drugs and alcohol and sex.

Are you ready to be probably in the next season in costume, a super villain costume?
COLIN: What do you mean by ready? No, I mean, whatever comes along and whenever that happens, I think the thing that I’m most excited to find out along with everybody else is how it eventually happens, you know, and when it will happen. And I think it’s going to be super exciting to see, you know, how they sort of bring it all together and put us at odds with each other.

Did you do research on Merlyn from the comics?
COLIN: Yeah. I’ve gone back and read a bunch of the stuff. And Geoff Johns actually sent out this great package of comic books and sort of tabbed all the places where Merlyn was appearing. And I’m sure I’ve missed a ton, but it’s been really cool to see, because I feel like even in the comic books Merlyn still maintains this kind of cool distance within the world of the assassins. He plays an interesting role not only in Green Arrow’s life, but within the world of the assassins. It’s going to be fun to see how that all plays out and how to balance all that.

Who are your comic book heroes in general?
COLIN: Superman. Grew up, loved being Superman. When I was, I think, 20, my parents bought me “The Death and Life of superman,” the novel. I loved it. And I have read it about ten times since then.

Do you watch TV shows on DVD, what you think of the idea that people can now when your shows comes out on DVD, watch all the behind the scenes stuff but also just catch up on shows. Do you do that? What do you think of that technology?
COLIN: You know, I find most of the time I end up watching shows on Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime here in the States and DVD. I mean, it’s the way that seems to be going. And I love interacting with the audience on Twitter live when people are watching it live, because I’m seeing they’re reactions to it for the first time and I love it. It’s great that people still watch it live. But then I love that four days later, somebody’s saying that they just got home from work and they finally put their kids to bed and they were able to catch up with the show. That to me is awesome. The more people we reach, then the more people that are able to escape for an hour and enjoy what we’re doing.

What are some of the shows that you’ve watched that way?
COLIN: I recently watched SHERLOCK, BBC’s SHERLOCK. Which those guys, holy shit, they’re good. And what else have I watched? I watch MAD MEN. I devour that. BREAKING BAD. And I feel like those shows especially sort of lend themselves when you can sit down for three days or maybe one night.

Can we talk women for a second? I was just wondering about your fan base. Do you get lots of proposals? Do you find that women are throwing themselves at you in bars, things like that?
COLIN: (Laughs) I’ve got Stephen as a great barrier. We have some wonderful fans, and I’ve got some lovely people on Team Tommy, which has been great. And people are loving the Laurel Tommy relationship, which I think is great as well. I would love for people to root for that as much as they would root for Oliver and Laurel to be together.

When you read the project for the first time, what did you think was special about it?
COLIN: I loved how much of a human approach they had taken with a very extraordinary situation. I liked the wit of the character specifically. I loved the action, and I loved the risks that they were taking, especially for a network like CW. I thought that they were really trying to push the envelope with the show and try to make something really, really extraordinary. And I could tell that on the page, and then we got into it and it really took off from there.

Katie Cassidy (photo credit: Chris Frawley/Warner Bros. International Inc.)
Katie Cassidy (photo credit: Chris Frawley/Warner Bros. International Inc.)

Katie Cassidy

Maybe you can talk a little bit about the Laurel and Thea relationship. We haven’t seen a lot of it, but I suspect because of their history of the Oliver Queen family and her family that there should be at least some history. Why haven’t we seen more of that and will we be seeing more of that?
KATIE: You’ll definitely get an opportunity to see the history between Thea and Laurel. Thea does something that sort of gives them an opportunity to bond with one another and I don’t want to give anything away, but she sort of sees Thea as her younger sister, you know. They’ve had many years together and I think she feels for her. I definitely think Laurel has a sensitivity towards her.

What’s it like coming into a show where your character and everybody has this mythology that has been documented and seen in episodes of other shows before, just little hints of that character? I mean, were you aware of that mythology? Have you studied it? What do you think about being the Black Canary?
KATIE: Well, I definitely, obviously, was aware of it when I signed on to the show, of the background and the mythology and everything. And I did do some research, but I didn’t want to dive into it too much because I didn’t want it to affect my take on the character. And I think for our creators, they saw something in me that was similar to what they felt like Laurel would be. And I just try to play true to the way that I interpret her, and I think hopefully responds well to the fans and the Laurel Lance character, and it’s been good.

What’s the thing you feel like makes you feel like Laurel?
KATIE: I think Laurel has an enormous amount of [strength], she stands up for what she believes in. She’s a strong woman. And I’m very supportive of women and working. And I feel like I’m pretty stubborn, and I think Laurel’s also pretty stubborn. She can’t help, and I also have a quality to myself, that I’m almost honest to a fault, and I feel like she’s the same way. She can’t help but say what she thinks when she’s asked. And I shouldn’t say I sort of, I’m definitely like that.

What about the amount of work? Were you prepared for that? The grueling hours.
KATIE: I literally feel like I haven’t slept in a year. It’s exhausting. But at the same time, it’s so worth it. It’s so part of what I do. It pays off so much. It’s all I want to do. I’m like I’ll sleep later. Like, it just is sort of there with me all the time. And, yeah, the hours can be long. But again, all the crew and all the cast wanting to be there, it makes it so much easier. Everyone’s excited to go to work in the morning. Everyone’s excited to be there, and having that, it’s motivating.

Do you have a favorite hero or heroine now?
KATIE: Wonder Woman is pretty cool. I don’t know. I feel like they’re all really cool. It’s like just to be a superhero in general is cool. I feel like I’m kind of a fan of them all.

Are you excited or worried next season to wear a suit of the Black Canary?
KATIE: Well, you never know it’s TV what can happen. I don’t know. I have no idea. I think that’s a question you’d have to ask for Mark and Andrew. As far as am I excited about it, yeah, that would be awesome, being a girl and I want to kick ass. I’m very pro-women. So for a female to sort of stand up like that, I love that. I am drawn to that. So, yeah, I’m not worried about it. I’m more excited about it.

Everybody’s watching TV these days by buying the DVDs of the whole season. And this will be one of those shows, I’m sure, that fans will want to own and watch later. Do you have a relationship with watching TV that way? What do you think of the idea that your shows will be available like that with special features and all that stuff. Do you like that yourself as a fan?
KATIE: I do like that aspect. I think that’s really cool. Having said that, as of right now, I don’t have a ton of time to watch much TV. But I think it’s cool. I like to be accessible in that sort of way and sort of talk about it and be able to share information for people who are interested and be there for the fans. And I think that’s really important and I think it’s cool.

David Ramsey (photo credit: Chris Frawley/Warner Bros. International Inc.)
David Ramsey (photo credit: Chris Frawley/Warner Bros. International Inc.)

David Ramsey

Do you think John Diggle’s fully embraced Oliver’s chosen path, or is it just too dark for him, he’s kind of wary of it?
DAVID: Yes and no. I think that John Diggle is probably the only person that sees that he’s suffering, Oliver’s suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. And so there’s a sense of wanting to help. I think there’s a relationship here that he has with Oliver that’s similar to maybe that he had with his deceased brother Andy. I think there’s that. But Diggle has a very high moral code, right? I think when he first joined the crusade he told them that he was here to help Oliver stay on a path that was not about arbitrary killing. I think they both agree on the bigger problem that Starling City is worth saving and the person that deserves justice doesn’t always get it, and a sense of purpose. Diggle has lost his sense of purpose after leaving the military, I think. So there’s something that he needs from this with Oliver. I don’t think he always agrees that justice is best served by honoring his father’s dying wish by killing people in a book. I don’t think he sees it that way. And there’s some episodes that even reflected that by him going after some small time drug dealers and some other stuff that Diggle thought was important in terms of how it helped the community. So the larger picture, they agree on. On how to get there, they don’t.

Were you familiar when you took this job on? And is your character part of that mythology? Can you tell us what you learned?
DAVID: Yes, I was familiar and I knew that I was not part of it. John Diggle is a made up person. John is kind of connection to the Little John of the Robin Hood lore, right? He is Little John. Diggle is homage to Andy Diggle who was the creator of “Green Arrow: Year One,” the comic book. So together, they make John Diggle. And he’s kind of the voice of reason, the moral base for Oliver. But, no, he did not exist in the DC or “Green Arrow” universe.

So that gave you a bit more freedom, then, didn’t it?
DAVID: They did. When I walked in the room, met Andrew Kreisberg and David Nutter, they’re like, “You don’t exist. You are a figment of our imagination, so we can do anything with you.” And that gave them some creative license, even more so — I mean, there are some restrictions, obviously, to the “Green Arrow” universe, but I’m out of that universe.

What surprised you about your character that you didn’t expect?
DAVID: That’s a good question. I didn’t expect him to stand up to Oliver as much as he does. I really expected him to kind of fall in line a little more and he doesn’t. I mean, he challenges Oliver every week. Every week he challenges Oliver, which, I think, really helps the growth of the hero, and I’m glad to be part of that. And I’m glad that it is not a challenge that you look at Diggle, you hear Diggle and you go, oh, God, here it comes again. But it really does make sense, the stuff that he’s saying to Oliver. Listen, if every day, every week when you turn on ARROW if this is about killing part of the 1 percent every week, then it gets old, it gets old in about two episodes. So it has to be about him reining in his own peers, but it also has to be a bigger and larger story. And I think Diggle is the catalyst of pushing Oliver around to broadening his horizons.

If you would have to pick one key scene that explains his personality during all those that you’ve shot so far, which one would you choose?
DAVID: That’s another good question. Well, I would probably pick the scene where he decided to join the crusade and he tells Oliver that Oliver is not a soldier. Because Oliver, I think, first saw himself as in a war and himself as a soldier. And I think Diggle kind of took some offense to that because he is truly a soldier. And there’s a great scene where Diggle explains to Oliver that arbitrary killing is something that takes a piece of you as a member of humanity, and it continues. The more you do it, the more it scrapes a part of you off more and more and more. And I think that humanity was something that Oliver is struggling with on the island, because the island did such horrible things to him. And Diggle immediately saw that depth of emptiness from trauma that was done to Oliver. He identified with it. He saw it. And I think that speech that he gave to Oliver about what war really does to the soul, what killing really does to a human, I think, was probably one of the most important, poignant things of the whole series so far.

Do you watch any other shows on television?
DAVID: Yeah, I’m a big fan of television. I was a part of it, and I mention it all the time. Maybe I shouldn’t mention it as much, but I still love DEXTER. I was a big part of it for a couple seasons. I think the season with John Lithgow is probably the best season. But this season is just right up there. I mean, how are they doing it season after season? I mean, just the writing. And Again, I think our show, ARROW, I think, like DEXTER it starts in that writing room. And every single week when we get a script on ARROW the same way we felt on DEXTER where you’re like, “Oh, what’s going to happen next?” It is the same way I feel on ARROW. I really don’t know what’s going to happen next. And when you see it, it’s like, “How do these guys come up with this?” So we can’t sing the praises enough of the writers.

A lot of people are watching their TV now and seasons on home video, on DVD. Is that a way that you catch up with things? What do you think about people who will be able to buy a season of this show or other shows? What about the special features and the extras; do you like that?
DAVID: I do like that. I mean, because BREAKING BAD is like what it is on DVD, hello. I really didn’t watch the series. And I’m watching it on DVD, and I’m like how did I miss it? And another series, I didn’t watch “24.” And I started watching it on DVD, and I’m like how did I miss this? But, no, I love it, and I really would love (knocking on table), it would be great one day we could be having this interview and we’re talking about the behind the scenes of the box set of ARROW. I would love that.


David Ramsey (photo credit: Chris Frawley/Warner Bros. International Inc.)
David Ramsey (photo credit: Chris Frawley/Warner Bros. International Inc.)

Since this is called ARROW, how to the point are you? Do you tend to focus in and “arrow in” on things, or are you more diffuse?
DAVID: I think that I probably kind of get real focused. I kind of can get a little obsessive compulsive thing. But I think I’m probably more Diggle in that I don’t think I’m not as obsessive as Oliver. You know, Oliver is Hamlet, right? He got this thing from his father, and it’s the burden of the task that he must fulfill his father’s dying wish. I mean, this is right out of Shakespeare, in my mind. I mean, don’t write “David Ramsey compared ARROW to Shakespeare.” But there is that thing that, I mean, he sees his father in a vision. He has a book from his father. His father puts this pressure on him, “Fulfill my dying wish.” I mean, this was written 500 years ago, so there’s that. Diggle doesn’t have that. He doesn’t have that trauma. He doesn’t have that pressure on him. I’m probably more a person that can obsess, but, like Diggle, I will kind of begin to look at all the options and then kind of go middle of the road. Diggle’s really a middle of the road guy. That’s why I identify with him personally.

Diggle was hired as like a bodyguard, but it also seems like he’s kind of the protecter now of Oliver, both of the secret and of Oliver Queen, the billionaire. Yet, one of the things that seemed obvious that they haven’t done yet is they haven’t vetted anybody in Oliver’s life. Why not? That’s like the first thing you suspect when there’s like a threat of any kind or somebody who needs to be protected, is you vet each of their personal connections.
DAVID: Well, you’ll see that. There will be some vetting of some key figures, very key figures in his life. Some very close people will be placed under a very, very bright light and this is going to cause, yet again, some tension between Diggle and Oliver about how you proceed with the truth of who these people are, of what the light is showing about these people, i.e. the Queen family. Can we just get it out? I mean, they are the 1 percent and it’s no secret that there’s been some really, really shady going ons in that family, and it’s going to come. It’s going to come before Oliver in a way that he can’t ignore, and neither can Diggle. And how to proceed and how to go forward is going to be yet another line of contention between those two guys.

Do you have any feedback to the director or for storyline? If you have an idea, are they open to exploring, or is it pretty much there’s a bible that you have to follow?
DAVID: No. That’s a good question. Yeah, probably both. They do have an outline, but they are very open to suggestions. I spoke to them many times about the fight scenes, about love interests. And they will say, well, “This is kind of where we’re going and this is what we’re thinking about.” And I’m like, “Well, do you think it should be this?” And they’re like, “Well, maybe, yeah, well, yeah, maybe.” So right now, season one, they’re very receptive.

Do they use the bow and arrow on set much around you?

And is it a real one or a fake one?
DAVID: Both. There’s an arrow wrangler. Because they have to use the real arrows because the real arrow tips catch the light in a way that the fake ones don’t. And then, if they’re pointing it at you, you can’t be within 6 feet or 8 feet and they have to point it away. I mean, there’s these whole safety regulations and everything else. But yes, and it’s a real formidable instrument.

How close do you want to be when they’re using those real arrows?
DAVID: You don’t want to be close. I mean, they have things. These have these sponges covering them and they uncover them. It’s a whole presentation with these arrows, I mean. But yeah, it’s a whole thing, and they’re sharp. They’re razor sharp.

Is Stephen good at use the bow and arrow now?
DAVID: Stephen, yes, yes, he is. Stephen’s form is like I mean, people write about it. His form is fantastic.

John Diggle already has fans all over the world.
DAVID: That’s what I heard. That’s what I heard. I got some fans all over the world. I mean, right now I’m just enjoying the ride. So ask me in season three when I’m like, “Yeah, I got fans, brother, I got fans.” Right now I’m just taking it all in stride. It’s great. Like I said, it’s great to go to work and love something that you’re doing, to be a part of a show that, wow, it’s a really good show.

So you haven’t been struck by fame?
DAVID: No. No. It’s always so fleeting. Every week I get a script and I’m looking at it thinking, “Oh, wow, they came up with this.” But every week I get a script, I’m looking to see if there’s a sniper on the roof about to kill Diggle.

You’ve been wearing that bulletproof vest just in case, haven’t you?
DAVID: Yeah. Because you never know, you never know. And as an actor, you’re always thinking, “Oh, God, please don’t die.

You’ve been watching “24” too much.
DAVID: I know, exactly, or DEXTER.

So what’s your thing? Oliver Queen’s is the bow and arrow. What is the thing that you have in Diggle’s arsenal?
DAVID: I train a lot. I’m doing stuff in Vancouver. I have a fantastic school in Vancouver, a fantastic school in Los Angeles. So I’m training a whole lot just because I love it. Working with weights, but a lot of JKD, a lot of mixed martial arts. I just love the culture of it.

And you’re looking forward to Diggle getting a love interest?
DAVID: Yeah. I think everyone on the show has one now except for Thea doesn’t quite have a love interest yet. Maybe Thea and Diggle. (Laughs) But, no. But, yes, Diggle will find some love.

With those teasers in mind, and with the promise of more high-stakes, more high-octane adventures and more villains to fight, ARROW returns with all new episodes on Wednesday, January 16th at 8:00 p.m. on the CW.



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