“Arrow,” based on the template of the DC Comics character, is one of the most anticipated new series of the fall, and it’s packed with action, much of which is performed by the show’s incredibly in-shape star, Stephen Amell.
“As a producer, it is a little frightening when your star is doing a quarter of the stunts because there’s no second string,” show executive producer Greg Berlanti explained on Monday at the Television Critics Association summer tour, in response to a question about the athleticism of the series from AccessHollywood.com. “So, it’s a little daring, but it’s one of the things that makes the show incredibly unique and a lot of fun.”
As previously reported on AccessHollywood.com, in the pilot for the CW series, among the many feats performed by star Stephen, who plays Arrow/Oliver Queen, is a series of “American Ninja Warrior” inspired pull-ups. (Click HERE to watch Stephen explain how he performed the athletic move.)
Berlanti explained that as the series goes on, it will keep up the energy of the pilot, which was screened for hundreds at Comic-Con 2012 in early July.
“I think it stays very consistently athletic,” he explained. “There’s a lot of action in the show. That’s one of the large elements in the show that’s successful in the pilot and we try to maintain going forward.”
For fans of the original comic, there are a few big changes to the cast of characters that surround Arrow/Oliver. In the comic, his parents are dead, but Moira Queen (played by Susanna Thompson) is still alive. He also has a sister, Thea Queen, played by Willa Holland.
In the pilot, once back from the desert island he was marooned on for five years, Stephen’s character has trouble adjusting to life back home. While the pilot sees him go after someone who did his city wrong, the actor said his character’s experience of spending half a decade on an island will haunt him deeply as the show moves forward.
“One of the things that we’re gonna deal with, with Oliver, is he’s coming back from this island and he clearly has post-traumatic stress disorder and that’s a serious subject, and that’s something that we’re going to get into,” Stephen said. “All the talk of super villains and [a] potential nemesis for the Arrow, I think that the most imminent danger to Oliver right now, is himself.”
In the pilot, there are scenes showing Stephen’s character on the island Oliver was stranded on for five years – something that will feature in flashbacks throughout the season. The island looks harsh on screen, and the actor said it was tough in real life too.
“We filmed in Whytecliff Park, just outside of Vancouver. It’s very beautiful, but it’s certainly not the island from ‘Lost,’” Stephen laughed. “There are no plush beaches, it hurts when you fall on rocks no matter how well you’re trained to do it and you can pretty much guarantee that regardless what the weather was the day before in Vancouver, it’s gonna be 51 degrees and overcast when we’re there.”
“Arrow” premieres October 10 at 8/7c on The CW.
UPDATE: On Tuesday evening, via Twitter, Amell noted he actually performs three-fourths of the “Arrow” stunts.
He admitted he kept quiet during Monday’s panel to keep his executive producer calm.
“At our TCA panel, @GBerlanti said I do 25% of my stunts. To keep Greg relaxed, I didn’t say anything. (at least 75%… don’t tell him),” Amell wrote. “I wouldn’t have said anything, except Access Hollywood picked up the story, and I’m super-competitive / possibly crazy.”
-- Jolie Lash