A few weeks ago The TV Junkies attended Edmonton’s Comic and Entertainment Expo. Edmonton is a little off the beaten path but they managed to put on an excellent expo and attract a number of interesting media guests. Arrow’s Stephen Amell was one of those guests. His panel ended up being a simple fan Q&A, but we were able to get some insights into how things go down behind the scenes, some of Amell’s favorite things from filming and a peek into what’s to come on the fifth season of Arrow that premiers Wednesday night.
When asked about the process that adds scars and tattoos on his boday was like, Amell admitted that it really wasn’t that bad. He said that they always do his back first and he relaxes in one of those massage type chairs you see in airports, then once they’re sealed he flips over, pulls his tuque down over his eyes and takes a nap while they do his front. He usually wakes up to a little tap when they’re done.
The hard part about all of the scars and tattoo’s is really taking them off. It usually takes about 40 minutes and at the end of a long day when he’s exhausted that can get pretty frustrating.
Now he’s not exactly sure why but many fans have mentioned that Oliver’s use of arrows has gone down over the past few seasons. Well that is going to change this season. In Amell’s script for the Season 5 premiere it read “The Green Arrow fires an arrow BECAUSE THE GREEN ARROW IS GOING TO *expletive* USE MORE ARROWS THIS SEASON!” We are also going to see a lot more trick arrows being used this season, one from Episode 507 Stephen has even dubbed “the condom arrow.” He couldn’t really explain what is is going to be used for, but there is no doubt that you will see what he means when you watch the episode.
Amell admitted to having two favorite stunts. One was swinging down from the tree in Season 2 to get Felicity off of the landmine. He says it was real, it was terrifying and he regretted saying that he would do it almost immediately. The second was at the start of Season 3 when Diggle tosses him a gun and he sort of acrobatically shoots a bunch of people and turns to Roy and says “I didn’t say I didn’t know how to use a gun.” He really loved that scene.
Amell says his most difficult stunt was one that he did for this upcoming season. In the scene he has a bunch of very small explosives strapped to his chest and legs. When they were filming the scene the explosives malfunctioned four times so he had to go through this incredibly unnerving experience of prepping himself for things to explode on his body three times before it actually happened. He was so stressed by the time that they finished filming that his hands were shaking.
Differences between The Flash and Arrow
With the addition of The Flash–and now Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl–the casts get to check out how things work differently on each other’s sets. Amell admits that as a big picture, both shows are quite similar but the methodology in filming can be quite different. On The Flash things are a little more relaxed. They tend to take their time and have a lot of fun on set, whereas on Arrow they are there to get it done and in the most efficient way possible. Not to say that they don’t have fun, because they do, but they do it in a much more efficient manner.
Also for The Flash many scenes are filmed in pieces because the actors will have to say their line and freeze so that Barry can go into “Flash” mode, which is added in by CGI later. Because of that filming method it takes much longer to film scenes, especially fight scenes. A fight scene that took 4 hours to film on Arrow would likely take two days to film on The Flash.
When asked which costume was his favorite, Amell admitted that hands down his favorite was the one from Season 1. Really it was just a leather jacket and a hood and was by far the most comfortable. Season 4’s was by far the least practical and least comfortable. He even injured himself with it several times. Amell did say that the Season 5 suit is pretty badass though and he’s looking forward to the fans’ reaction.
Amell admits that the pilot was by far the most challenging episode to film. He says it was intimidating to put on a superhero suit for the first time in from of all those executives. When they were filming the pilot there were easily 30 people (executives, producers, writers) watching them film, waiting to see if all of this would be a success. He says there was a lot of pressure because you just don’t know how the character is going to shake out. Will people like him? Will the fight scenes come together? You just never know.
Stephen Amell vs. Oliver Queen
The main difference between Oliver and Amell is that Amell has never killed anyone (obviously!) but he says that he likes to put that out there just so everyone is sure. He admits that there is a lot of himself in Oliver though. Oliver is just Amell turned up. Oliver does a lot of things that Amell would love to do he just doesn’t have the guts to do it. He said that at times he doesn’t know where he ends and Oliver begins. But Oliver is definitely a lot more morose than he is. He needs to relax a little bit more, take things a little less seriously and maybe even crack a joke every once in a while. He really needs to smile more.
Season 5 is really important to Amell. They just started filming their 100th episode and that in itself feels like a huge accomplishment he said. He said that he used to kid with the crew a lot when they were filming the fifth episode in Season 1. They’d say “that’s a wrap,” and he would say “only 95 to go!” Now he’s there so he’s feeling pretty grateful.
In Season 5 they are also going to start acknowledging that they live in a world with meta humans and acknowledging the presence of aliens with Supergirl joining the team. But he says not to expect too many crazy meta humans to be appearing in Star City. Their meta humans are going to sticking to the Miracuru soldier types of meta humans, at least this season anyway.
Are you excited for Arrow‘s return? Sound off in the comments below!
Arrow Season 5 premiers Wednesday, October 5 at 8 p.m. on The CW and CTV Two.
Christy is a self proclaimed and proud TV Junkie. Her love for TV began at an early age with shows like Degrassi, Alias, ER, Buffy, The X-Files & Friends. You can now find her watching, ok obsessing over, shows like When Calls The Heart, Saving Hope, Arrow, Outlander, Grey's Anatomy and many many others. You can catch Christy on Twitter at @ChristySpratlin where she will likely be live tweeting her favorite shows and talking about everything TV.