LOS ANGELES — Stephen Amell was filming an episode earlier this year for the final season of The CW’s “Arrow” when he took off the leg quiver he wears during a break. He didn’t put the costume piece back on and filmed the rest of the night without it. The next day Amell pushed for the scene to be reshot because of the continuity problem.
“That (expletive) matters to me. It’s a (expletive) travesty and inexcusable,” Amell says.
His reaction came when it would have been easy for the Canadian actor to have just moved on because the show is coming to an end. That’s not the way Amell works. He has been a passionate advocate of the TV series since it went on the air in 2012, playing both the playboy-turned-good guy Oliver Queen and the hooded vigilante Arrow with the same deep convictions. Amell stresses if he didn’t care so much about the show, things like continuity mistakes wouldn’t bother him.
Amell’s commitment will take him through 185 episodes playing the character, with the final offerings starting 8 p.m. Tuesday. He says in the year “Arrow” debuted there were 180 scripts for network TV shows ordered and 60 filmed to be potential series. Only “Arrow” and “Chicago Fire” are still on the air from that season of new programming on the five networks.
That’s why he calls being around for so many seasons as being part of “rarified air.”
The story starts with a violent shipwreck that left billionaire playboy Oliver Queen missing and presumed dead for five years before being discovered alive on a remote island in the North China Sea. When Queen gets home to Star City, he’s determined to right the wrongs of his family. Help in doing that came from former soldier John Diggle (David Ramsey), computer science expert Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards), inventor Curtis Holt (Echo Kellum), street-savvy Rene Ramirez (Rick Gonzalez) and meta-human Dinah Drake (Juliana Harkavy).
Amell has also worked on the feature film “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” and the television movie “Vixen: The Movie.” Other credits include “New Girl,” “Private Practice,” “Hung” and “CSI: Miami.” There have also been crossover episodes where he appeared on “The Flash” and “Supergirl.” There will be another major crossover event this year starting Dec. 8, “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” where Amell will play two different characters.
Executive producer Beth Schwartz explains the 10 episodes that make up the final season of “Arrow” will be leading up to “Crisis,” and the crossover has changed the normal structure of how the show has been filmed. Previously the show would go along with its normal storyline and then the crossover would be inserted. It’s all about the crossover this year.
“This year, because we’re leading up to something spectacular, we’re allowed to do huge event episodes, and we’re allowed to bring characters back that we haven’t seen in a while. And it’s each episode is humongous. It’s not like anything we’ve done on a show before,” Schwartz says.
The intensity of the final season has been a distraction for the cast and crew from dealing with the final days of filming. Amell describes how this year every episode has felt like they were trying to try to put a button on a certain part of the program.
“And every day, knowing that there’s an end in sight, knowing how many of our crew despite the fact that they got offers for shows that are going to be filming 22 episodes this year, our entire crew came back for 10 episodes. Every day that I walk on set, I just think about how lucky I am to have had this opportunity,” Amell says.
The plan for Amell is to take a few days off after “Arrow” is done and then get back to work in early 2020. He feels ready to take on any new acting challenge because of what he has learned from the show.
“I know it sounds weird to say this but what I did on ‘Arrow,’ I think I have become a pretty good actor. I am ready to get back in the room and fight for something that I want. Nothing would make me happier than if someone else would be Arrow and nailed it. But I am ready to say goodbye to Oliver Queen,” Amell says.
He does have one tiny regret.
“I’m kind of pissed we didn’t get to 200 episodes, but what are you going to do?”