Before Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) was shipwrecked on The CW's Arrow he was a man of leisure who loved to party, hit up clubs, hit paparazzi, and hit on the ladies. But as we saw in the first season, the island changed him into a much more serious man. And in season two, that serious man is proving that he has quite a head for business and is actually willing to use it. That doesn't mean there aren't important women in his life, but the relationships are made much more complicated by everything that has gone on in the past year-- especially the past five months that he's been away again.
"We got to see him as island Oliver and basically Arrow, and then Oliver Queen playboy-millionaire-return-from-the-dead guy just sort of hovered; there wasn't a lot of that. So I get to play in street clothes a lot this year, though it's not for lack of action, and I'm liking it! I'm liking the character," Amell said when LA TV Insider Examiner visited with him on set in Vancouver*.
"In talking with the executive producers after what I think amounted to our first day or our second day...the guys immediately responded to the Oliver Queen CEO role, and I'm enjoying it because it's actually something that he takes seriously."
But how is that affecting his relationships with people like his mother, who is behind bars when we return with Oliver to Starling City; or his sister, who has drastically stepped up and matured; or Laurel (Katie Cassidy), who he didn't go after last season because he thought he was bad for her; or even Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards), a woman who Oliver may have underestimated when he first met but quickly enough brought into his closest confidence? Amell talked about all of them, plus the introduction of Isabel Rochev (Summer Glau):
- On Thea (Willa Holland):
"He came back, and she pushed him pretty hard for a number of episodes, you know, 'What's going on? Open up; let me in; talk about what happened', and when she realized that I wasn't going to...shelved it. So there's a kind of an uneasy peace that exists right now," Amell said.
- On Moira (Susanna Thompson):
"I'm enjoying playing my scenes with Susannah...because I'm now getting to talk with her just as myself; there is no facade. I certainly don't know if this was the intention of the writers, but Susannah and I talked a lot about our scene in the finale, where I come in there and to say 'I talked to Malcolm', and we always thought that if she turned to me and said-- and this obviously wasn't written-- 'Well, why'd you do that?' 'Well I'm the vigilante, mom, so now let's go get-- we need information.' I wasn't trying to hide from her. Our relationship is in a really good spot, you know, I have a lot of respect for her trying to get out in front of it. I know that what she did was wrong, but I also know that I'm not in a position where I can sit in judgement on anybody. I don't know if there's one character in the entire universe of the show that I could say is wrong. Our relationship is in a good spot-- as good as one can be when one of the people is in jail!" Amell said.
- On Felicity:
"Felicity as a member of the team...has really come into [her] own...I definitely think that Oliver is changing his idea of who Felicity is a little bit and what she is capable of because she keeps proving herself a little bit more," Amell said.
- On Isabel:
"All that she knows about Oliver Queen is what she would read in the tabloids: party boy, great congratulations on surviving on an island for five years, but you didn't go to school! So she is not interested in working with him at all to save Queens Consolidated. She wants to save it herself or dismantle it-- whatever she wants to do, she doesn't want to do with Oliver! But that dynamic is interesting because I am a lot more intelligent than I let on (as Oliver), so she's constantly pushing at me, and it's a great opportunity for me to push back," Amell said.
- On Laurel, or finding love at all this year:
"He has a very critical line in the sixth episode...He is in a spot where he is convinced that he shouldn't be with anybody that he could really, really care about. That doesn't mean he can't be with some people that he only kind of cares about!" Amell said.
"I think if you gave this guy some truth serum, he would admit to being pretty lonely."
Arrow airs on The CW on Wednesday nights at 8 p.m., returning October 9 2013. Click here for our video chat with Amell about the ladies in Oliver's life for season two, and be sure to stay tuned for more from our set visit!
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* Travel and accommodations provided by WBTV