ATX TV Festival Season 10 starts tomorrow! We confess that we´re excited because, one more year, the festival moves to our homes to show us everything that is coming on our TV, as well as some long-awaited reunions. In this context, we had the pleasure of chatting with Stephen Amell about his Speech And Debate: Legacy panel that you can enjoy on June 19. In our interview, we talk about Speech And Debate, what Arrow meant to him, he told us a few things about his new show Heels, and of course, we also talked about Olicity. Ready?
Here we go!
The Speech and Debate saga consists of two really special film shorts, where he team had to create a comedy that really hooks you and makes you laugh in a very short time and, at the same time, it’s full of friends and family. You can tell how much they enjoyed bringing life to this story. So we were curious to know how the idea for Speech and Debate came about.
“Well, our good friend came in, wrote something fun. And my wife Cassandra (Jean Amell) has gotten more into directing. And this was a great opportunity for her to do something. It was also, frankly, a fun opportunity for me to do something a little bit different. And to hang with a bunch of the crew from Arrow as we were wrapping up the show because we shot on those times. And the first one…Yeah, that’s just fun. I like working with them,” he shared.
In Speech And Debate, Stephen works side by side with family and friends and… it may not be as straightforward as it sounds. Sometimes that same trust that you have in each other makes them demand even more of you. We asked Stephen about this “Yeah, I’m more likely to listen to what the director says when the director happens to be my wife,” he confessed.
Speech and Debate was something different in Stephen’s career and, like any adventure, it left a mark on him. But, what was the best thing Stephen took away from Speech And Debate? “Comedy. It’s been a long time that people think, you know, career wise that I don’t like comedy just because of the character that I ended up playing. But I really like trying to be funny and trying to make people laugh. So the best thing was just getting to do that again”, he told us.
Everyone who knows us a little is aware that we’re Arrow and Olicity fans a round here. Especially the excited woman who writes this piece. Basically, Arrow is our comfort show and Olicity our OTP of all time.
We’ll know that Stephen was always in favor of Olicity taking center stage in the show and be its endgame. Throughout these years, he has told us on countless occasions what he saw in Olicity to make it the perfect match for Arrow and for his character Oliver, why he believed that this couple made a difference. So we wanted to twist the question a little and find out why he thinks Olicity came in and conquer the hearts of fans.
“Well, sort of the same thing that I think works in Speech And Debate, which is that the actors in it have to have chemistry. It has to be well directed and well written and well shot, but it has to be something more to make it happen: chemistry. Emily (Bett Rickards) and I had chemistry, I believe that you should have chemistry to make the magic happen. And we had a lot of that,” he shared.
He’s absolutely on point, right? His chemistry with Emily was always explosive and it was a big part of the reason why you just couldn’t stop staring at Olicity and wish they were together, even in the worst times. Perhaps, even more so in the worst moments. They had a way of making you feel everything that you rarely see on screen.
Speaking of Arrow, this show was tremendously important to all of us in different ways. It was almost ten years and when it ended, a part of us left with it, it was the end of an era. We all felt that a part of us, of our lives, was leaving with Arrow and our hearts were inevitably broken. But what did Arrow mean to Stephen?
“It’s probably the most important job that I did in my life, other than husband and father. But you know, it just defined, how we planned our years for the better part of the decade. And, this a little bit… but I’m excited for new jobs come out, we’ll see a different side of me. And to see my past and to see that I usually try to be funny,” he commented.
Let’s get a lot of tissues while we cry in the corner.
Seizing the opportunity, we asked Stephen about Heels, his new adventure that is about to premiere on Starz. It must not have been easy to change the register and make such a different show. In that sense, we were curious to know if it was a challenge for Stephen to put himself in the shoes of this new character.
“Very, very much. On one had, it was easy to be a different guy. But the physical aspects of it were challenging. It’s, you know, the same but different. It’s been really a show, like any other one but it’s different and a another network too. And, you know, everything about it feels a little, a little a little bit different and exciting and new. But at the end of the day, it’s acting,” he confessed.
In relation to this, all of us who have followed Stephen over the years know that he loves wrestling, but we felt there had to be something more, another reason to say yes to this role. And we are not wrong.
“I just said: get the show. Based off that they offered me the role, I sat down and read both the scripts that were sent to me. And by the time I got to the end of the second one, I was like I need to do this and, then, I reached out the showrunner, he has a lot of talent and I wanted to work with him. After that, you know, he and I had a good long chat about our vision for the way that we wanted to go and by the end of the meeting I was like: Alright, let’s do this,, he commented.
Thanks to Arrow and Heels we were able to see Stephen do drama and action, while Speech And Debate, gave him the opportunity to show us his comedic side. Considering that he has been able to work with different registries, does he have anything else to do in this industry?
“I hope so. I would like to do more comedy. You know, I really like acting, I really enjoy being on set. So you never know. It’s not as though I can predict what the future is gonna hold. But I say if there’s one thing that I’m looking forward to, it’s being directed by my wife more often,” he shared with us.
And here ends our interview with Stephen Amell. I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. Those of you who know me know that Arrow has a special place in my heart and talking with Stephen was a dream come true. It is not easy to meet our heroes because, inevitably, the meeting brings certain expectations… and Stephen fulfilled them all.
He’s a humble, kind and straightforward man who simply loves to act and does his best in every adventure he embarks on. I always thought that actors and actresses should leave a bit of themselves in each of their roles because, in some way, they mark them.
Mark their career, they mark their life. With Stephen I felt exactly that. He leaves his skin and a little of himself in each role. He’s really grateful for his past, which is burned into his heart, but he’s ready for all the adventures that will come.
Did you enjoy the interview? Feel free to share with us in the comments below!
ATX TV Festival will come to your home from June 11 to June 20.