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Stephen Amell was recently at SDCC chatting about Olicity, going back to Starling City, and creating his own version of Arrow. Read more to see what he did and didn't reveal about Season 4.

DISCLAIMER: This was a roundtable interview and we apologize if we didn't get to your questions.

Stephen Amell Q&A

The Green Arrow first look

Q: What things are you specifically hoping to get to play?

A: It’s not hoping to play a lighter Oliver Queen or a more classic Oliver Queen, it’s just getting to play more notes than being sad all the time. It’s cumbersome if you’re an audience member, it’s cumbersome if you’re playing the character, it’s cumbersome period. It’s also not as interesting as Oliver going through different phases. It’s been important and critical to where we’ve ended up, and I hope we get to see different sides of him.

Q: It ended literally where they ride off into the sunset.

A: That was a practical shot, by the way. We were out there and we nailed that shot. I remember our B Camera Operator high-fiving after that. True story.

Q: How quickly will you get back into fighting?

A: The show is the show. I don't know if anyone ever watched 24, but there was one season where Jack started the season in China. Everyone’s like, “When is he going to get back”? He’s going to get back in episode one. It’s going to start with him on a plane, guys, on approach. So it doesn’t take very long for Oliver to get back to Starling City, but whether or not that includes him crime-fighting or doing what he did before remains to be seen.

Q: What do you think the theme of the season is?

A: It’s too early to tell. You can always tell by the midway point. We knew very much that it was identity going into season3, and season 2 was wanting to be a hero. We don't really know what it is yet going into season 4. Which is a good thing, actually. I think a season that takes a minute to play out is a little refreshing.

Q: It feels that in the last two years, the DC television universe has expanded rapidly.

A: Because it has.

Q: How comfortably do you play in a group?

A: I mean, me personally? I’m fine. I just finished filming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in New York and I was very much a passenger on that train, as opposed to driving. When I get a chance to go over and play on the Flash or when we get over to Legends of Tomorrow, if that happens, I really enjoy being a supporting player and supporting those shows and bringing in new elements, just as Grant does. It’s a refreshing thing to do in the middle of a long season.

Q: Andrew [Kreisberg] did say that Legends of Tomorrow and Arrow will kind of interact this season. Any thoughts on that?

A: It’s too far down the road. I know that what we’re going to do in the first part of the season is hopefully build a lot of those characters out from both Arrow and Flash. I know that Caity Lotz is our property, so to speak, and so is Brandon Routh. But there are other characters on Legends - Firestorm and Captain Cold and Heat Wave, and God knows where Hawkgirl and Rip Hunter come from. So that will be interesting to see. Once they’re a fully established world, that will be interesting because their show is so different in concept from ours or even Flash’s.

Q: Fans are pretty mixed on the Felicity and Oliver relationship. How do you see that relationship?

A: I think that we basically took almost the better part of two seasons teasing a relationship, so if you don’t explore it, it’s like you’re ripping off the audience. Whether or not it lasts remains to be seen.

Q: How creative of hand as an actor do you think you have in giving him dimension given the presence of the comic? Have you ever felt limited, have you felt the comic stopped you?

A: Never. I read the comics very sparingly, and I just trust in the character that we’ve built. I play an Oliver Queen with his own idiosyncrasies. You know, Ben Affleck’s not going to an impersonation of Christian Bale, Henry Cavill didn’t do an impersonation of Christopher Reeve and Jared Leto’s not going to do an impersonation of Heath Ledger, and Heath didn’t do an impersonation of Jack Nicholson. You get in, you get on the ground, you get 69 episodes into a series. My Arrow is my Arrow. So the comics Arrow is the comics Arrow. The fact that he now in the comics looks like me is just cool. But they can continue to write him however they want.

Q: In the finale, we saw that Diggle and Oliver’s relationship is somewhat repaired but somewhat not. Where do we find them now?

A: Very much strained. There’s certain things that you can do that can upset someone and then there’s certain lines that you cross that you can never come back from. You see that in real life and we see that this season with Oliver and Diggle’s relationship. Will it ever be the same? I don't know. Even if they get back to 99% of where they were, there’s alway going to be that one inkling in the back of his head that this is what Oliver did.
I don't think he’s asking for forgiveness. But I’m sure if they are going to work together again, he’d like them to be able to trust one another.

Q: Season 2 into Season 3, we got an idea of where Oliver’s flashbacks were going. Three to four, we didn’t really see any sort of dramatic set up. Where is Oliver at in his journey to becoming Arrow?

A: No comment (laughs). Where the flashbacks take place this year is a plot point that should remain secret.

Q: Did you have to train for any new skill sets for this season specifically?

A: No. If they need Oliver to fight with a hockey stick or baseball bat, I’m good, I’m set for that. Oliver, if he’s getting back into crime-fighting, he’s coming back with the same repertoire. Of course, he’s definitely a better swordsman now, so that’s a new skill, but he certainly hasn’t learned anything over the five months that the show has been away.

Q: In the Comic-Con context, how hard is the notion of preserving the story for the audience?

A: You’re going to get me in trouble with this question because I would reveal nothing. And I mean nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing. I remember when a trailer for the premiere came out and had Emily and I kissing in it and I was like, “What the f**k is this? Why would you show this?!” I live in a different world. I’m not in that field. I’ll just tell you that if I ran a show...By the way, our ratings went up last year. And the CW’s ratings progressively since 2012 have gone up. So whatever they’re doing, they’re it doing right. But me personally, I’d go the Matt Reiner route and literally show nothing. When he did preview clips for new episodes of Mad Men, people would be like, “Why even show these? These clearly have nothing to do with anything.” I wouldn’t even show anything. I’d show a poster and a date. And maybe one trailer, but it would be a teaser-y trailer and not a trailer trailer with all the plot points in it.


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