Haynes joins The CW’s Stephen Amell drama as Roy Harper, a pickpocket who — in a clip from the “Dodger” episode exclusive to The Hollywood Reporter — is in police custody after swiping Thea’s (Willa Holland) purse. In the DC Comics, on which Arrow is based, Roy Harper evolves to become known as Speedy — Green Arrow’s trusted sidekick. However, on The CW’s adaptation, Ollie’s (Amell) kid sister Thea shares the same nickname.
“Roy is still a bad-ass like he was in the comics, but the Arrow producers have given him a heart,” Haynes tells THR. “He’s definitely the bad boy that piques Thea’s interest, but he’s doing the things he has to do to live the life he’s been given in the ghetto of [Starling City’s] the Glades.”
While it’s still too early to tell if CW’s Roy will turn into Arrow’s right-hand man Speedy, as he does in one incarnation of the comics, Haynes says producers have some fun with the fact that his alter ego and Thea share the same nickname.
“There’s definitely some teasing in the dialogue that alludes to that,” he previews. “There’s two different versions of the comics — one with Thea as Speedy and another with Roy Harper as Speedy. Producers aren’t really saying if they’re going to do either-or, but they definitely have some dialogue that eludes to both of them becoming that.”
After getting their relationship off on the wrong foot (hello, petty theft!), Thea and Roy’s relationship will bloom quickly when she gets a sense of how different their lives are. “She’s grown up with money and he puts things in perspective for her, and that helps keep her interested,” Haynes explains.
Another common denominator comes when Thea learns that the Vertigo drug has had an impact on Roy’s life as well, creating an instant bond that Haynes says will grow from there.
“It goes back to when you’re in kindergarten when the boy pushes a girl down and she falls in love with him, that’s what’s happening,” he says. “Since Thea got in trouble with Vertigo, that also piques her interest; so right off the bat, it’s an instant connection. She won’t go away, and she’s chasing Roy Harper. And eventually he has to let her in.”
Her concern for Roy also will see Thea go above and beyond when Roy winds up in trouble again. “Thea comes to Oliver for help when something happens where Oliver or Arrow has to step in and give Roy some help, that’s where Oliver and Roy’s relationship first starts,” Haynes notes. “There’s going to be a really fun story line between Roy and Oliver within the next five episodes.”
It’s at that point, Haynes says, that Roy will begin to realize that someone cares about him, and that potentially could see him turn away from the life of crime he’s led in order to make ends meet and care for his family.
“It’s this weird feeling he hasn’t really encountered because his parents weren’t in the picture and he had to grow up and take care of himself,” the actor says. “He’s introduced to the life of the right with Thea, and it will be interesting to see if Roy is going to manipulate her and take advantage of her or follow his heart.”
While Haynes is set to recur on the freshman drama, the former Teen Wolf star is optimistic that Roy could return for the series’ recently announced second season. “Having a younger character like Roy on the show could appeal to a wider audience — plus, his relationship with Thea is really blossoming. I’m very hopeful.”
Arrow airs at 8 p.m. Wednesdays on the CW. Hit the comments below with your thoughts on Haynes and Roy Harper’s arrival.