'Arrow' Interview: Stephen Amell on Thanksgiving, FBI Investigation and Family

'Arrow' Interview: Stephen Amell on Thanksgiving, FBI Investigation and Family

It's "Thanksgiving" in Star City! In unusual scheduling, the CW is airing Arrow on Thanksgiving night and it's a hour not to be missed before next week's epic four-part DCTV crossover event, "Crisis on Earth-X." Oliver dons the Green Arrow suit once again.

TVBuz stopped by the Arrow set in Vancouver with some other reporters and talked with Stephen Amell about the Thanksgiving episode, the FBI investigation threatening Oliver and his team, William and more!

Oliver's having his first Thanksgiving together as a family with William. What is that experience like?

It sort of works like every other holiday or moment that should be fun, which is to say that it goes to shit almost immediately, like in Act One. But, it ends on a relatively happy note.

Oliver gave up being the Green Arrow because of the FBI investigation, but it hasn't derailed or detracted from it. And, the team is still under investigation. Can you preview a little bit about the investigation and how it affects the team?

A large part of the investigation comes to a head in Episode 7 ["Thanksgiving"] ... I've really enjoyed Sydelle [Noel]. She plays Samanda Watson. They always write Oliver and her as having these tense standoffs. But, starting in Episode 2, when I go in there to talk to her, I don't know what it was, but I felt like my character just wanted to smile and border on being almost smug. Or, just competent. I feel like that is something we've tried to bring in this year. This is a guy that's more comfortable in the public space now and in the public eye. He's just more comfortable in his skin and hopefully that's shown. 

Thea's been in a coma for a pretty long time by now. What can you tease about what we're going to see from that story moving forward and how it's going to come back into play for Oliver?

Well, Willa has been back with us recently. I don't think it's a big reveal to suggest that series regulars when they are in comas tend to wake up eventually. I can't really tease a ton of that. But, assuming that Willa is back at a certain point, I think that there's some interesting things we can do for her character. 

On Cayden James and other Arrow Season 6 Villains

Well, [Cayden James] is not physical. He's intellectual and uses that intellect to-- We wanted to create a new kind of villain. Look, I cannot say enough about Michael Emerson. It is a stunning thing to share scenes with him, especially as someone that was a giant fan of Lost growing up. Not growing up. [Laughs] 

The difference in the dynamic this year - We can't just do the same thing that we did with Chase and just create a villain that's ten steps ahead, so he's unique in his own way. But the real uniqueness this year is the number of people that Team Arrow is up against. We have Cayden James and, theoretically, we have Vigilante in the mix. We have Richard Dragon. And we have Black Siren. And we have Anatoly. These are five extremely powerful, capable people on their own. So you put them all together, and it's really something. I'm interested to see how that dynamic plays out because I don't know what they're going to get up to yet.

The theme this season is family. Can you talk about how William might be Oliver's greatest strength, but possibly his greatest weakness?

Yeah, I mean the thrust of our show for the first five years is me being the Green Arrow and growing into what that means and trying to learn from my experiences. And, here we are. I have given it up with a very clear conscious, for at least for the foreseeable future on the show. Some of my stuff with Jack this year has been some of my favorite stuff to play. Really, really good actor. 

We get in and work on the scenes together because I feel like they are written like he's a couple of years younger than he is. I guess maybe the writers remember him as that kid that we saw in Season 4. Now, all of a sudden, he's 14 years old and not a kid. So, a young man. They've been really great about letting me get in there, and play around with Jack, and figure out how we make those scenes as relatable and human as possible. I do think that Oliver's relationship with William, it has changed things forever. I don't know where it ends up, but it's not like we are going to erase him having a son. It's now part of what we are doing.

Do you feel William is an Achilles' heel?

Sure, in the same way Felicity is, or Thea is, or John is, or Tommy was or Laurel was. It's just the nature of superhero relationships. The people closest to you are in the most danger.

Arrow airs Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW.

(Image courtesy of The CW)

Tags: Arrow

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