Stephen Amell, left, with David Ramsey as his bodyguard Diggle, discuss a family matter with Susanna Thompson's Moira Queen, Oliver's mother. The shot, on location at the Royal Roads University in Victoria, was one of Amell's favorites during filming of the pilot and was ultimately cut from the hour. "I think it will actually end up playing in the second episode becuase it's important," Amell says. "It's during this scene that David came up to me and said, 'This is undeniable; we're going to get picked up to series."
Day 1: Fight Scene
Amell's first day in production on the Vancouver set of Arrow found the former Private Practice and Hung actor tied to a chair for an intense fight scene. "The choreography for the fight scene was like 10 steps: duck, grab the chair, flip it up, step back, take a punch, shove the chair into another guy, grab a piece of wood from it, turn around and stab it into him," he recalls. "I've never done fight stuff on TV or in front of the camera and there's a rhythm to it. You don't want to go as fast as you can; you want to go 80 percent speed -- it looks smoother."
Harder Than Fight Scenes
Amell, here with director David Nutter (Game of Thrones), went from playing a drug addict on ABC's Private Practice to becoming the CW's new Green Arrow in the network's adaptation of the DC Comics hero. While fight scenes were challenging for the actor, they weren't the hardest work he's done so far in his young career. "Sex scenes remain the most physiclly demanding things that I've ever done on TV," he tells THR.
The Magical Hood
Amell, here with Nutter, says Oliver's hooded Green Arrow costume was designed to be as functional as possible with the hood somehow magically staying in place during fight scenes. "I wanted to be able to put the costume on myself becuase if I could do that, then people would buy it," he says of the duds, which he notes get a little hot during filming.
Director Nutter inspects the metal arrows Oliver's alter ego uses. Amell says he did three weeks worth of intensive archery work. In a year that has already seen The Hunger Games put the spotlight on archery, Amell is confident his hero could easly top Katiniss in a head-to-head.
In addition to archery training, Amell participated in basic fight training at the Tempest Freerunning Academy, where he taught himself how to do the salmon ladder seen in the pilot, as well as three hours a day of fight traning prep during preproduction in Vancouver. "For the pilot, it was critical that every little piece of fight scenes was planned out," he says, noting that he hopes to adjust quickly for the series' forthcoming combat scenes.
A Little Coaching Goes a Long Way
"A lot of times when I shoot arrows on the show, it's CGIed in and I'm drawing the bow and nothing is there," Amell says, noting he ended up becoming quite a skilled archer at the end of his training with archer Patricia Gonsalves, center. "So the form had to be really good since you don't have an arrow to ground you." During the fourth day of his training, Amell says Nutter came to inspect how his skills were progressing. "I nailed a Starbucks cup from 40 feet away on the move," he recalls. "I could tell the second it left my hand that it was going exactly where I wanted it to."