Make Canoe my Homepage

Well-rested Stephen Amell prepares for Arrow with some “private practice.”

- October 3rd, 2012

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When Stephen Amell was cast in the new superhero series Arrow, he happened to be working on an existing series, Private Practice.

So, Amell thought, why not take advantage of this opportunity to pick some brains?

“I asked Benjamin Bratt, Amy Brenneman, Kate Walsh and Tim Daly, who all have played leads in shows, I asked each one of them for a tidbit of advice,” recalled Amell, who is pictured above in Arrow garb (at least, we hope it’s Arrow garb, and not casual Fridays). “Not like a game plan or anything, just, ‘Hey guys, give me one thing.’

“Each of them had something different. But then all of them added, ‘Oh, by the way, when you get more than 30 minutes to yourself, sleep.’

“They were like, ‘Lunch time is not for eating. Lunch time is for sleeping. You have to train yourself to be able to shut down for 25 minutes.’ They all said it, independent of one another. Sleep.”

So both Amell and TV viewers should aim to be well-rested for the debut of Arrow, which takes place Wednesday, Oct. 10 on CW and CTV Two.

Arrow, not shockingly, is based on a comic book. But purists aside, most people actually don’t have an encyclopedic knowledge of every comic book ever written, so here are the basics.

After a deadly shipwreck, billionaire playboy Oliver Queen (Amell) goes missing and is presumed dead. Five years later he is discovered alive on a remote island in the Pacific.

Oliver returns home, but his friends and family quickly detect that he is not the man he used to be, mentally or physically. But only Oliver knows just how dramatically he has changed, and how he now is on a quest to right past wrongs.

Amell is a Canadian actor whose resume includes not only Private Practice, but also a season on Hung, a stint on The Vampire Diaries, the Canadian series ReGenesis and Rent-a-Goalie, as well as loads of episodic work on various series.

But Arrow is a big step in Amell’s acting career, and he knows it.

“I don’t feel like it’s live or die, but I do feel ready for it,” Amell said.

“I felt comfortable taking an ownership. I felt comfortable dealing with actors who are much more experienced than I am, either because they’re older or just because I haven’t been in the business that long, who are looking to me to anchor the show.

“I felt like a host at first. I felt like it was my responsibility to introduce people (on set).”

Arrow, which is shot in Vancouver, also stars Colin Donnell as Tommy, Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance, David Ramsey as John Diggle, Willa Holland as Thea Queen, with Susanna Thompson as Moira Queen and Paul Blackthorne as Detective Quentin Lance.

“I know actors say this all the time, but we have a great ensemble cast,” Amell said. “I get what you’re saying about the responsibility, though.

“I’m playing a superhero on TV. It’s not called Arrow and Friends.”

All the more reason Amell needs his sleep. Remember, Stephen, a weary Arrow is a dreary Arrow.

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

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