We have to wonder: once his independent pro-wrestling drama series Heels for STARZ wraps (after a lengthy run, of course), will Stephen Amell stick to roles where he gets to sit around on couches a lot, wearing a robe and fuzzy slippers? Coming hot off the heels (so to speak) of his eight-season run on The CW's Arrow and COVID-based production delays, he's been in "The Heels Gymnasium" for the past week and posting updates. Just to get everyone up-to-speed, Heels focuses 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 (Alexander Ludwig, Vikings) — 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.
Here's a look at Amell's post direct from "The Heelnasium," where he decides to give us a little bit of "The Gun Show" but it's James who's impressing the **** out of us the most:
"Steve… hop on my back so I can plank for a minute."
"Ok James." pic.twitter.com/aVUsaPaxUK
— Stephen Amell (@StephenAmell) August 31, 2020
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.), and Mary McCormack (The Kids Are Alright). 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.
In the ring, Amell's Jack Spade is the charismatic villain, or heel, of the Duffy Wrestling Association (DWA). 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 DWA 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 DWA. 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…
Luff's Staci Spade is the reluctant young matriarch of a family-owned Southern wrestling promotion. Having married into the world of independent wrestling, she soon learns that she has to contend with the emotional stakes her in-laws have invested in their wrestling goals and the demands it puts on her family. Berglund's Crystal is a 20-year-old wrestler's valet who yearns to transform this traditional role and compete as a wrestler. A rural-town girl of limited financial means, she's an incredible athlete who just needs an opportunity to prove she belongs in the ring – and she'll do whatever it takes to make that dream come true.
Bauer's Wild Bill Hancock is a larger-than-life former wrestling star who is now a high-level pro wrestling scout. Maldonado's Rooster Robbins is one of the best wrestlers in the circuit who always has something to prove, and always backs it up. Harrison's Apocalypse is a been-around-the-block journeyman wrestler who's been at it for decades and has no illusions of fame or glory. McCormack's Willie is the business partner of Jack's and logistical brains behind the local wrestling organization who came up in the glory days as Wild Bill's valet, but grew tired of babysitting and left him just as his career took off. His return to the local circuit complicates her life, as does the reflection of her younger self that she sees in Crystal.