By Lucas Siegel
Stephen Amell says he has “arguably, the best gig in all of DC [Entertainment].” As the worlds of DC Comics are increasingly explored on television in shows like Amell’s own Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl, and Gotham, plus films like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, Amell is proud to be the longest-running current hero in that world.
(Photo credit: Comicbook.com)
“I’ve got the tenure belt right now!” the actor told ComicBook.com in an interview at a new fan convention, Heroes and Villains Fan Fest in New Jersey.
The actor, plus friends of his from several of those aforementioned shows, made an extraordinary effort last weekend to still attend and put on the convention despite the deluge of snow from winter storm Jonas. The storm forced a cancelation of the first day due to a state of emergency in New Jersey, but Amell and his team still managed to throw a party Saturday night, and put on a convention with signings, panels, and photo opportunities on Sunday. They plan to also offer a rescheduled weekend back in Jersey – once things warm up a bit.
By his own admission, Amell is “very forthcoming” with his fans, both in person and on the internet. With over four million followers on facebook, the actor regularly communicated directly with the people that watch his show, in live Q&As on the site, or weekly pre-scheduled “events” there like “Meme Monday” and “Fan Art Friday,” where he picks the best of the bunch from hundreds and thousands of submissions.
“I know for a fact that you can’t do what we do if you don’t have fans. If people stop watching our show, we don’t get to make it!” he said of his interaction. He’s also put that large fanbase to use for charity, teaming with individuals and organizations alike. After a successful raffle that gained over $200,00 for a little girl fighting cancer, he teamed with the organization F* Cancer on t-shirt campaigns and autographed memorabilia. A current campaign with WWE Superstar Stardust, aka Cody Rhodes, is selling t-shirts and hoodies to support a young fan named Elijah Mainville, whom the WWE brought into Rhodes’ life, and in turn, Amell offered his support as well.
“I’m incredibly fortunate,” Amell said of his charity work and fan outreach. He’s proud to be able to push his fans into doing good for others.
In addition to Arrow, the actor has made guest appearances on spin-off The Flash, which in turn spun-off Legends of Tomorrow, where he’ll make an appearance about halfway into the first season. He’ll also appear in June 2016’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of The Shadows. For that film, he reached back into his Canadian past.
“I grew up skating, because I’m Canadian, so I grew up playing hockey, because you’re basically forced to,” he joked. His character in Turtles, Casey Jones, has a hockey theme, and does “a lot of skating” in the film.
On Arrow, the cast gets along well, which helps in ventures like Heroes and Villains conventions, where they join him frequently. He looks to castmate John Barrowman, who plays one of his darkest villains Malcolm Merlyn on the series, for help with how to communicate with fans.
Of course, on the show, the two are still enemies, something he says comes to a head in the latter half of season four.
“We got the all-time - the all-time end of an episode [coming up] where you just go, 'MERLYN! C'MON! Really?!'” Amell said emphatically, slapping his leg animatedly for added affect. After “drastic changes” teased by Barrowman at the same convention, Amell said, they have “a showdown.” The pair’s last direct, one-on-one fight was at the end of season one, and this is “the rematch three years in the making.”
Summing up the fight, he probably also sums up his life right now as a DC Comic book star on TV, a budding film career, and an outreach officianado.
“It’s pretty cool,” Amell said with a subtle smile.
You can check out the interview with Stephen Amell here:
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