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FAN EXPO – Stephen Amell Has Not Failed His City

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Even before Arrow became a franchise-birthing hit on The CW, Arrow star Stephen Amell has been a fixture at Toronto’s National Fan Expo, and why shouldn’t it? This is the actor’s own backyard. “This is my third straight year now and I’ve seen some of the same people for three consecutive years,” said Amell enthusiastically, kicking off his Sunday Q&A. “This is my home! It’s been amazing!”

Naturally, the hour started with some hints and teases for the third season of Arrow.“It is a big story point in season three we don’t gloss over that there has been an earthquakes and a siege in two years in a major metropolitan area,” explained Amell. “That’s the focal point for [Ray Palmer, played by Brandon Routh], that no one wants to live in Starling City even though we have criminals on the run.”

There was also discussion about season three’s big bad. “[It] was the greatest reaction I’ve ever heard in my life,” Amell said of the reaction at San Diego Comic Con of the trailer for season three and the fact that Ra’s al Ghul was coming to the show. “It was like being at a sporting event when someone dunks or something.”

Right now, the series is shooting episode five, which is the long awaited Felicity flashback episode called “The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak,” which allows Amell some rare down time. “I have four out of eight days off, which is unprecedented,” he said.

The actor assured the crowd that the reason his show has been the success that it has been (and will continue to be) is because the people behind it have done their homework. “Arrow has been created by people that love the comics and with the co-operation and co-ordination of DC Comics,” Amell said. “We’re not just trying to create a TV show, but were trying to bring a graphic novel to television.”

Amell also teased the episode 8 crossover between Arrow and The Flash saying the the first night on The Flash is titled “Flash Versus Arrow” while mumble the title of the adjoining Arrow episode. We supposed it was a secret. “I hope everyone likes it because it’s going to be challenging,” he added.

A fan named Abdullah asked if Amell could tell him that he has failed this city, to which the actor happily obliged. “I give credit to you guys,” Amell said of the show’s decision to bring the line back this year. “It became an integral element to the show, and people started coming up to me and asking why I wasn’t doing it anymore, so I went to the producers and they said that it was a season one thing…”

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Inevitably someone asked if Amell was going to be a part of the cinematic Justice League as Green Arrow. The rumors have been out there for some time, but Amell burst the crowds bubble by saying that it was unlikely that he’d be fighting the good fight along side Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot.

However, “We are creating a Justice League on TV for us,” Amell said to the cheers of the room. “I don’t think there’s a logistical reality to us participating in the [films]. But I don’t think we want to justify ourselves because we’re included in the movies. The Justice League and its elements are very present in our show already.”

As for other Justice League associates he’d like to see on the show, with all the references to Ferris Air, Amell wouldn’t mind being joined by someone else who’s colored green. “I think it would be really cool to have Green Lantern [on the show],” he said, “but I have no insider information if that will happen. Unless I do.”

Amell was asked about his cousin, Robbie Amell, and his new job playing one half of the hero Firestorm on The Flash. “The only time we ever teamed up was in beer pong,” he joked before teasing, “I think there’s a chance that Oliver Queen and Mr. Firestorm might cross paths.”

John Barrowman then came up in conversation, and from Captain Jack, Amell said, he learned the value in respecting the fan community and their influence. “He has taught me so much about using the energy that you give us,” Amell said adding that the small amount of time he’s spent with Barrowman so far will be rectified quickly in season three. “We work together – a lot,” he said. “I have never been so fired up as when we shot the first time we meet this season,” he added, a scene Amell said included 275 extras.

Someone else asked about video games, since Amell is taking his Green Arrow legacy to other media now, voicing the character in Injustice: Gods Among Us, and another upcoming DC Comics-based video game coming out this year. Amell says that he would like to see Arrow get its own game too. “We don’t have our own game yet,” he said, “but I get asked often enough so I’m sure it would be popular.”

Amell, whose popularity is due in no small part to his outreach on platforms like Facebook and Twitter, was asked how he’s managed to become such a social media guru. “It’s just something I enjoy,” he said. “If there’s not any authenticity to social media these days, and if you don’t represent you then people can tell.”

In his approach, Amell thought, “What if I tried to be reachable and talk back to people and ask them questions, and I feel like we’re at the tip of the iceberg there,” he explained. “There are things that happen on the show because of the fanbase, and I know what those things are.”

Category: TV

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