Heels Preview: Mike O'Malley's Charlie Gully Has DWL in His Sights

Okay, it's time to update your scorecards when it comes to who's who in STARZ's upcoming pro-wrestling drama Heels. So far, we've been introduced to Stephen Amell's Jack Spade, Alexander Ludwig's Ace Spade, Mary McCormack's (The Kids Are Alright) Willie, Chris Bauer's (For All Mankind) Wild Bill Hancock, Kelli Berglund's (Animal Kingdom) Crystal Tyler, Alison Luff's (New Amsterdam) Staci Spade, Allen Maldonado's (The Last O.G.) Rooster Robbins, James Harrison's (NFL star) Apocalypse, Trey Tucker's (What Lies Below) Bobby Pin, Robby Ramos' (Snowfall) Diego, and Alice Barrett's Carol Spade. Now, the focus shifts to someone we can best refer to as at least one of the season's "big bads": Mike O'Malley's (Snowpiercer) Charlie Gully, the owner and impresario of the Florida Wrestling Dystopia (FWD), a new wrestling promotion that is more interested in violence than compelling storytelling. Having made his fortunes up north in the world of fishing and outdoor sporting equipment, Gully is looking to benefit from a new territory war which means clashes are on the way with Jack Spade and the DWL (Duffy Wrestling League).

heels
Image: STARZ

In Heels, the focus is on the men and women who chase their dreams in the world of small-town pro wrestling. Set in a close-knit Georgia community, it follows a family-owned wrestling promotion as two brothers and rivals — Jack Spade (Amell) and Ace Spade (Ludwig) — war over their late father's legacy. In the ring, somebody must play the good guy and somebody must play their nemesis, the heel. But in the real world, those characters can be hard to live up to — or hard to leave behind.

In the ring, Amell's Jack Spade is the charismatic villain, or heel, of the Duffy Wrestling League (DWL). In the real world, he's its hard-working owner, a husband, and father trying to make ends meet while fighting to realize his impossible dreams. He has the mind of an artist in the body of a warrior, and a Steve Jobs-ian need for perfection — and for control. He says he'll do whatever it takes to build the DWL into an empire. Will he go so far as to risk his marriage – or his relationship with his brother, Ace?

Ludwig's Ace Spade is the beloved hero and star of the DWL. Things are more difficult in the real world, where he struggles to reconcile his town idol status with his insecurities and demons. He's brash, cocky, and self-destructive — yet so damn charming and good-looking that you can almost forgive him. If he can keep it together, he'll have a ticket out of Duffy and to the big time. But that's a big if…

Heels is beginning to post images from the upcoming Stephen Amell series. (Image: STARZ)
Heels is beginning to post images from the upcoming Stephen Amell series. (Image: STARZ)

Written by Michael Waldron (Loki), directed by Peter Segal (Shameless), and with Mike O'Malley serving as showrunner, the series also stars Chris Bauer (For All Mankind), Kelli Berglund (Animal Kingdom), Broadway actress/musician Alison Luff, Allen Maldonado (The Last O.G.), James Harrison (S.W.A.T.), Mary McCormack (The Kids Are Alright), David James Elliott (JAG), and Joel Murray (Mad Men). Waldron and O'Malley are also set to executive produce, alongside LBI Entertainment's Julie Yorn, Chris Donnelly, and Patrick Walmsley. STARZ and Lionsgate TV produce.

About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.