Arrow’s Stephen Amell is Disarmingly Charming

Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen
Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen © The CW

If Oliver Queen had half the charisma as the actor who portrays him, I’d never miss an episode of The CW’s Arrow.

Stephen Amell’s spotlight panel at Emerald City Comicon was the first time the Arrow actor made an appearance at the con. Amell is an actor well-versed in social media, often sharing and tweeting photos of himself working out and on set, so it was a bit of a surprise to see that in person he’s often unpretentious, highly complimentary of his co-stars, and prone to geeking out a little bit about the Flash and the Justice League.

Amell’s panel was so easygoing that he didn’t even wait for host Clare Kramer to give him an introduction, sauntering out with a smile while she was mid-sentence. While most actors chose to stand solo in the spotlight answering fan questions, Amell—with a Flash cap perched on his head—sat down with Kramer to chat and respond to fans.

Arrow fans in the audience were treated to a casual, fun Q&A that highlighted how much the cast enjoys playing in the DC universe, even if the dark tone of the show doesn’t make it obvious. When asked if Oliver Queen’s peripheral vision would suffer with the hood up on his head (held in place only by his “grippy hair,” Amell attests), the actor laughed and said that Deathstroke has even more difficulty due to his eyepatch. “When [actor Manu Bennett] is all cool getting into a limousine,” grinned Amell, “just know that he almost knocked himself unconscious.”

The Arrow star also talked about his archery training for the show, which some fans might be surprised to hear never once includes actually firing an arrow. “There is no safe way to shoot an arrow on a set,” said Amell. “I’m grabbing nothing [from the quiver], nocking nothing, releasing nothing. But my form is good.” Amell credits his hard work on his form to his instructor, who started his training when the show began with a 45 minute video showing all the ways TV and movies get archery wrong.

And with the upcoming Superman/Batman/Wonder Woman film hinting that a Justice League movie might be in the future, what about another Oliver Queen donning the hood and firing those arrows? “The thought of someone else playing Oliver Queen makes me want to smash my head on that table,” Amell said without hesitation. It’s obvious he’d love to be a part of such a team-up, but hasn’t yet been approached about a film role.

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Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen and Grant Gustin as Barry Allen © The CW

Stephen Amell is excited about what the future holds for Arrow, with more and more nods to the DC universe coming into play. (The spinoff show with Barry Allen as The Flash kicks off in the fall.) “There’s so much space to move toward iconic characters,” Amell replied when asked about seeing a Canary Cry or Oliver’s classic goatee. He even related how excited he was to have Harley Quinn put in an appearance in a recent episode.

With so many references to characters and places in the DC Comics universe, it’s unfortunate that almost none of the easygoing charm that Amell exudes comes out in his Ollie. The tone of Arrow has always been dark and brooding, with an Oliver Queen to match, and like Corrina, I’m having a hard time tuning in every week. Perhaps if they let a little more of Amell come through in his character, fans would see a little bit of the charming Oliver Queen they’ve come to love in the comic books.

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Kelly Knox is a freelance writer in Seattle, WA, where she contributes to local parenting magazines. She also writes for StarWars.com, Geek & Sundry, and more. You can find crafts and art projects for geeky families at her blog The St{art} Button.