'Arrow's' J.R. Ramirez on Ted Grant: Perceptions Will Be Changed

Oliver will "have a different idea of who Ted is" after Wednesday's episode, the actor hints
Ed Araquel/The CW

Is Ted Grant hiding a secret?

The spotlight turns to Laurel's (Katie Cassidy) new boxing coach and mentor on Wednesday's Arrow, titled "Guilty," when a dead body inexplicably turns up at the Wildcat gym, causing Oliver (Stephen Amell) and his team to suspect that Ted had something to do with it.

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J.R. Ramirez, who plays the enigmatic boxing pro, talks to The Hollywood Reporter about transforming Laurel into a fighting machine, going up against the Arrow and whether Ted will suit up.

How familiar with Ted Grant/Wildcat were you before you joined Arrow?

Just like any other young kid, I was obsessed with Batman and Superman. It was a complete obsession, till this day — I'm a Batman addict. But I didn't really read too many comics, to be honest with you. But when I read the role, I didn't really know [his backstory]. I just saw that he was a boxer and had a nice story arc with Laurel, but when I realized that this guy was named Ted Grant, a character who exploded in the comic book world, I was like a little kid in the candy store doing research. That's when I really got excited about the whole thing because I knew how successful the show was.

Ted has been integral in Laurel's journey as she starts to transform into what we assume will be her eventual superhero alter ego. How would you describe their dynamic at the moment?

Ted sees a lot of him in her, but he wants to make sure she's doing this for the right reasons. She's obviously working through a lot of turmoil and a lot of pain. I feel like right now he's wanting to take that step by step and not get too ahead of ourselves and work on the technique and the training. It's not about having her go out and fight people; it's more about really loving the sport and hoping that she sticks to loving what boxing is and not any other reason. It's been fun working with [Katie] and as a character.

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In this episode, Ted comes face-to-face with the Arrow, which I imagine must present some interesting possibilities. Can you explain their moment and what we can expect from them?

I can't really give too much away, but [in that scene], Ted comes back to his gym and finds that there are some bodies that are sprung up in his gym. There's definitely some great stuff that happens this week. And of course the Arrow believes that Ted is guilty. It's the first time that Ted gets to interact with him. It's definitely a crucial part of where they're going to go. There will be many standoffs between Ted and Arrow, but at the same time, Ted realizes that this Arrow guy can be a huge asset to help him figure out what's going on and where this craziness is coming from and who's doing it. You'll really get to see more background on Ted Grant, on top of the fact that there's a lot of fun stuff between him and the Arrow that I'm excited to watch myself.

Might we see Ted interacting with Oliver as well?

I can't really say much about that, but I'm hoping to get to work with Oliver. This week is centered on Ted being charged for a murder he did not commit, so it's a lot of the Arrow and Ted Grant. But I'm hoping to continue working and hope to work with Stephen as Oliver. Hopefully one day I'll get to suit up.

Oliver isn't happy about Laurel going down this road with Ted. How do you think his first official interaction with Ted minus the vigilante identity would be like?

That's a good question. After tonight's episode, I'm curious to see where Oliver's perception of Ted Grant is going to be because I feel like he will, hopefully, have a different idea of who Ted is, that he's not trying to hurt Laurel but that he's trying to help her. It can go a lot of ways. I'm curious myself to see where they're going to take that. I don't know how, after this week's episode, Oliver is going to perceive Ted, so I'd be curious to see what he thinks of the whole thing. There's definitely going to be a sense of bonding that happens between Oliver and Ted; they're both kind of stuck, they don't have a choice. I'm curious to see where it goes.

You teased about perceptions changing regarding Ted. Can you elaborate?

More than anything, you'll get to see a little bit of where Ted is coming from. Again, we haven't gone down that road yet on where they're going to take him and how involved he's going to be as a vigilante — if he's going to even be a vigilante. None of that has been established yet. I'm more than willing to suit up. I will be like a little kid in the candy store if that were to happen.

Arrow airs 8 p.m. Wednesdays on The CW.

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