'Arrow' Q&A: Stephen Amell On Bringing Back The Salmon Ladder & Developments With Roy Harper

Stephen Amell in 'Arrow' Stephen Amell in 'Arrow'

There’s been a barrage of bad guys in “Arrow’s” Starling City this season, but it appears that this week, Stephen Amell’s Oliver Queen is about to get some more muscle on the ground thanks to some recent developments with Colton Haynes’ Roy Harper.

The mirakuru-serum injection has made Roy both super-strong and unpredictable, and if the previews are anything to go by, Stephen’s The Arrow is going to take the young man under his wing. And, while training Roy, there will be a treat for fans of The CW show — the return of Stephen’s salmon ladder pull-ups!

Stephen hinted at what’s to come between the two characters when AccessHollywood.com spoke with him on Monday night. We also managed to get his thoughts on “Olicity” (Oliver + Felicity), and whether or not he thinks it’s possible that Grant Gustin’s Barry Allen/The Flash could come back to Starling City this season (before the character is spun off into his own pilot episode).

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AccessHollywood.com: Before I get into asking you about this week’s episode, you wrote on Facebook that you had your first audition in 23 months [on Monday] How did it go? Was it fun to do an audition?

Stephen Amell: It was great. It was for a comedy project.

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Access: Was it weird?

Stephen: It’s weird to be back in it, but I’m gonna work over our hiatus this year. I have a couple of things — a couple of things are percolating and I’m excited.

Access: The preview for this week’s episode — it looks like Colton is doing the salmon ladder – is that right?

Stephen: No, that’s me. It was time to bring it back.

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Access: Whose idea was it to bring it back?

Stephen: It was just randomly in the script, you know, ‘doing the salmon ladder.’ Like, ‘Great. All right. Absolutely. Let’s do it.’ But I wanted to add an element to it that we hadn’t done before. … The first rung on the salmon ladder is always the hardest, getting started without any momentum, so we actually did it and I am having a conversation while I’m doing it. I start out actually pressed above the bar, and then I do one and we continue the conversation, and I do another. It’s cool. It hurt though, I’ll tell you that much.

Access: I hope they gave you a bonus for that.

Stephen: No, no bonus. They didn’t even warm up the studio. They just spritzed me down and had me go after it.

Access: It looks like you are taking Colton’s Roy Harper under your wing. … Is it the two of you that are going to take on Bronze Tiger this week?

Stephen: I reluctantly have to bring Roy out in the field because I don’t think he’s ready. The parallels between Slade and Roy — they’re not just similar, they’re virtually identical and things do not work out well with Slade as we actually find out in this episode. I actually talk about what ultimately happened, or what I think ultimately happened with Slade. But Roy’s character, his role is certainly becoming more dynamic and I’m just interested to see if he’s going to find out my identity because it’s not fun having to conceal it. I’d much rather him know it, but we will see.

Access: You’ve sort of suggested on Facebook before something along the lines of you’d like to have Roy in Oliver’s Scooby gang.

Stephen: Yeah, I mean, listen, more people to talk to, more people to bounce ideas off of, the more members of Team Arrow we get, the more dynamic and fun and interesting it becomes.

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Access: So, Stephen, the ‘Olicity’ question – is [it the kind of thing] where you kind of don’t want them to get together because you think that that could lead the show in a direction that you can’t get out of? Is it more fun to keep it at arm’s length?

Stephen: It’s just fun to play scenes with Emily, period. Whether or not our characters become anything more than friends is a decision that I don’t get to make and wouldn’t want to make because it’s not my job. But, you know, the fact that people keep asking means that we’re doing something right. So as long as people keep asking, we’re in good shape.

Access: Is there any chance The Flash (Barry) could come back before it spins off?

Stephen: It’s always possible. I mean, originally he was supposed to be involved in our 20th episode, and that’s not happening. I know that it’s less likely that he comes back this season because I think [they] rightly want to save his story for his show, but if his show is successful and is on the air, I can’t imagine that we wouldn’t use the opportunity to do crossover events so to speak.

Access: Nice. I love Oliver and Barry’s chemistry, which means your chemistry with Grant.

Stephen: Yeah, Grant was great and he gets a lot of credit too. … He was the star of Episode 8. It was his story and he nailed it and that’s an incredibly difficult thing to do to come in as a guest and really take ownership of an episode and he did it. He killed it. It’s why they took it from Episode 20 and made it a pilot because they’re banking on him and they should be.

“Arrow” airs Wednesday night at 8/7c on The CW.

-- Jolie Lash

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