While we've been having some fun over the past several weeks keeping tabs on Heels star Stephen Amell as production grinds along on his indy wrestling-focused STARZ series. But we need to turn things serious for this one because Amell made an emergency appearance on the Inside of You podcast with host Michael Rosenbaum to reveal for the first time why things have been quiet over the past few weeks: the actor tested positive for COVID-19.
Over the course of the episode, Amell revealed that his positive test came at the beginning of this month and that he was in quarantine and tested for 15 days before getting cleared to return to the set. Not only does that explain the more personal posts from Amell but also his recent posts showing a newfound appreciation for the Heels team and their dedication to the series. But please make it a point to listen beyond Amell's revelation and the timeframe to how all of it went down this month because the actor also discusses the impact that the positive result had on him mentally, from questioning his future and his own sense of near-invulnerability to the guilt he carries about potentially getting others on the set or in his personal life sick.
STARZ's 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.
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…
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.