First, we want to make something clear right from the start. What we're about to say is not meant as an insult because we've been knocked on our collective butts over just how good his and co-star Alexander Ludwig's STARZ pro-wrestling drama Heels turned out to be (with the second season not arriving soon enough). But just like what Ryan Reynolds is having to deal with when it comes to Deadpool, the same can be said for Stephen Amell. In millions of fans' eyes, Amell will always be Oliver Queen from The CW's Arrow. That's not taking away from his other work, it's just that Queen was a character that Amell really made his own. As Amell continues training before heading back in front of the cameras next month to begin filming the second season of Heels, he took some time to share a very cool (but all-too-brief so please share more) look back to when he was first training for the Arrow shoot.
Here's a look at the clip from his 2012 Arrow training days, eight months before the foundational Arrowverse series would first hit screens:
Back in August 2021 when he was a guest on the Hero Nation podcast with Deadline Hollywood's Dominic Patten and Anthony D'Alessandro, Amell was open and honest about the final two seasons. Basically, he didn't want to come back for them. From a creative standpoint, he believed that the show had "done everything" it could after six seasons and that the filming structure had become too formulaic. Amell also found it "frustrating" how the series was always passed over for recognition and awards consideration. While Amell makes it a point of giving individuals their due, it was pretty surprising to hear just how creatively burnt out he was by the time the sixth season wrapped. So who convinced him to stay? Arrow producer Greg Berlanti– and it looks like it took Amell becoming "Green" Arrow in an entirely different way for it to happen.
"I just thought that I had another year, and I thought that I had more in the tank, more that I wanted to share with this industry and this career that I've chosen, and I wanted to be inspired again," Amell explained. "So Greg Berlanti, who's way smarter than I am, as evidenced by his prolific nature in film and television, convinced me… He basically put me to a place where it would've been fiscally irresponsible to not do a seventh season and then complete it with a truncated eighth season." During his appearance on the Inside of You podcast with host Michael Rosenbaum in November 2020, Amell revealed that there was a time over that summer when production on Heels was riddled with huge question marks. But since Amell was already quarantining, wanting to work, and on stomping grounds that he got to know for eight seasons of Arrow, he decided to give Berlanti a call. Amell's pitch: he's already in the area and since The CW shows might be having issues getting American actors over the border, why not whip up another season of Arrow or at least keep it "on the radar," as Amell asked Berlanti to do: