November 13, 2013 7:00am PT by Philiana Ng
'Arrow': David Ramsey on Diggle vs. Deadshot, Stronger Team Bond and 'Huge' Reveals
[Warning: Spoilers ahead.]
Oliver Queen's right-hand man John Diggle faces his past on Arrow when he learns that an old friend, Lyla Michaels (a high-ranking ARGUS agent), has been captured in Russia while on a quest to find Deadshot.
Naturally, Diggle recruits Team Arrow (Felicity and Oliver) to help in his dangerous mission, bringing them outside the borders of Starling City to Russia. To say things get complicated is an understatement, with Oliver's Queen Consolidated partner Isabel Rochev on Team Arrow's heels.
In a chat with The Hollywood Reporter, David Ramsey previews Wednesday's Diggle-centric hour, the freedom of doing away with the List and surprising revelations.
Compared to the first season, Arrow this year has ramped up the action and evolved the relationships a lot more -- and viewers and critics have praised the show for its growth. Have you felt a difference going through the episodes this year?
I can tell the difference. It's been a common note from the actors who have been interviewed, and everyone has commented on how it's really ramped up. A big part of it was -- I don't want to call it growing pains -- but it really was tough the first season out; there was a lot of pressure for the writers and the producers to get the tone. The tone was probably one of the most important things -- and I'm speaking a little bit for the producers -- but it really is important for the actors too because we want to get the right tone. Also, this year is the establishing of the hero and that's always a little more fun. We have incredible enemies coming, and last year was the bad guy of the week, the List and the vigilante crossing off names from the List. It really wasn't about the hero. Now the universe has expanded and it's more enemies, more bad guys, more danger. It's not just concentrated on a List, and now that we've expanded outside of the List, the Arrow universe is really opened up. Taking the List out has really taken the reins off the writers.
This season has seen several great new characters, such as Black Canary, as well as a featured stable of villains. Has there been a favorite for you to go up against?
We just had another fight between John Diggle and China White, that's always fun! Michael Jai White is not only a personal friend, but he played an incredible character as Bronze Tiger.
Let's talk about this week's episode. What can we expect to see?
This episode is going to be huge. It's From Russia With Love, so to speak. (Laughs.) Not only on a personal note do I get a lot to do, but also Team Arrow bonds in a way that you haven't seen them bond yet. I think that's one of the strongest points on the show: the Arrow, Felicity and Diggle trio and the bromance between Oliver and Diggle. That's what excites me about the show. You'll see them unite in a way you haven't seen before.
We haven't seen the team move out of Starling City like this. What was it like to have Team Arrow operate in another country?
It's the first time we really got to leave Starling City so it was cool for me that I was doing a storyline that was the first of something. I haven't seen all of it, but I've seen parts of it and I can't overemphasize how incredible the look of the show is. It looks like we're in Russia. (Laughs.) And I've been to Russia!
Does the fact that they're out of Starling City change the dynamic between Oliver and Diggle?
I think what's interesting about this particular storyline is that the parameters of being in Russia creates a drama by itself. You're not in Starling City, you're not even in the States anymore, so that creates some stress. How they remain loyal and connected to each other through this trial that they face in Russia is part of what I'm talking about when I say that Team Arrow bonds in a way we haven't seen them bond before. I think the change in locale helps the story in terms of the friendships and the relationships within the team.
How does someone like Isabel, who's in Oliver's corner because of Queen Consolidated, affect the trio?
Isabel is obviously a thorn in Oliver Queen and Queen Consolidated's side, and their relationship is a thorn in Team Arrow's side. Without giving away too much of the story, interestingly enough, through this story you not only see Team Arrow bond, but you also see Isabel reveal something about herself. There will be some reveals in this episode. It's not Malcolm Merlyn huge, but it's huge. It's big enough.
How successful will Diggle be in his quest to topple Deadshot and rescue Lyla, which prompts him to go to Russia in the first place?
You'll find out more about Diggle in this episode, probably more than you found out previously. The buildup with his vendetta with Deadshot will be paying off in a very interesting way. I think people will be happy with what happens in the end of Diggle and Deadshot. It is an exciting reveal.
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.