Diggle is an integral part of Oliver Queen's team on the hit CW show, Arrow. Having spoken to the character's arch nemesis on the show, Deadshot, last week, ComicBook.com decided to reach out to David Ramsey for some insight on what to expect from the character and the show (and of course, address some rumors).
David agreed to join us for an exclusive interview.
I have to start by asking you about the Instagram photo you posted standing next to Deadshot, and the Suicide Squad. On the post you wrote, “Coming.” I thought Diggle was never going to work with the Suicide Squad again?
Diggle’s a liar. No, I’m kidding!
There’s no secret that philosophically he doesn’t agree with Amanda Waller and her brand of justice with the Suicide Squad and by relation his own wife is a high ranking official at ARGUS, as well and to some great degree, moves along with the way Amanda runs ARGUS and agrees with many of the tactics. Specifically the way there are bombs in the backs of criminals heads and detonating them when they don’t do your bidding. So, that’s one of many things he doesn’t quite see eye to eye with Amanda or his wife.
But, for a certain chain of events, in an episode coming up, he does end up working with Amanda and the Suicide Squad, Task Force X, on another noble mission. That’s the thing. Even, the first time he teamed up, it was a noble mission. It’s the way [Amanda] handles things when people aren’t cooperating that he doesn’t agree with. The mission itself is noble. I think that’s kind of Diggle’s M.O. He’s about doing the right thing with the right mission, so he kind of overlooks some of the things that Amanda does in an effort achieve a higher goal. There’s a bigger picture.
And he’s on a mission with his wife, so there’s that drama and that dynamic.
So, you’re right. He did say “wasn’t gonna do it again,” but through fantastic story telling, he is going to do it again.
We also spoke to Mike [Rowe] the other day, and we talked about the relationship between Diggle and Deadshot. Do you think Diggle could ever forgive Deadshot for what he did to his brother, even if Deadshot continues to redeem himself?
This is the great thing about the show. We’re gonna see some more of that in this upcoming episode that I took the Instagram photo of. We’ll get some more about Deadshot, who is such a great character. And what’s great about the show is that they take these strides to really show the humanity of people. When they get involved with the character they do some great stuff in terms of creating a human tissue.
So, Deadshot, Floyd Lawton, is a very interesting character. As we saw in the other Suicide Squad episode, when I had a conversation with him about his daughter and the fact that he’s doing this and sending checks back home to his daughter and in doing so created kind of a connective tissue with Floyd. In that sense, I think Diggle kind of dials into the humanity of Floyd Lawton. He sees that underneath this scarred assassin is a beating human heart and a real man with real emotions. That being said, I think he is still very bitter toward Floyd Lawton for pulling the trigger. Even though, he knows he was just an assassin for hire for a larger, more nefarious group, called H.I.V.E., which the show has not forgotten and will definitely be getting into, by the way. Even though he knows that he was just an assassin, there is still a sort of bitterness that he holds toward Floyd. Diggle is a smart man. I think he can compartmentalize that to a certain degree in order to work with him and in order to find the humanity in Floyd. He certainly does not feel the full fledged hatred to Floyd that he did once before when he thought that he just a man that killed his brother. He understands that he was an assassin, that he was a hired gun. Not that he excuses him, not that he finds forgiveness for Floyd, but I think he can work with Floyd because i think he’s found a connective tissue or a humanity in Floyd that he hasn’t before.
We also asked Mike who would win in a fight between the two of you, and he mentioned that it gets talked about on set and you’ve joked about it before. He says Deadshot wins, but I have to ask you: who wins a fight? Deadshot or Diggle?
I think Diggle is an emotional fighter. I think he’s an emotional man. He has the ability to think really clearly on his feet, a very wise guy. He’s the voice of reason, but I think he does have a lot of passion. I see where Mike’s coming from where he’s an emotional fighter and Deadshot is kind of composed and he’s gonna score some. But you take away the sniper rifle, you take away the knifes, you take away the bullets, you go shirtless with just pants and combat boots on…there’s very little way once I get him in a lock that he’s getting out. Now I’m gonna pay for that! He’s quick. But once I get that, what’s he gonna do? I mean, the length, I’m so much longer. If he stays on the end of my punches it’s just a matter of time. I would say Deadshot has a shot because of his craftyness… And the thing about him is he’s going to try and get my head, he’s gonna try to Ali me, he’s going to talk about my brother, what he did to my brother, I’m gonna see my brother tattooed across his chest, pounding on all of that to get in my head. After he wins a few rounds from that, it’ll be a knockout. I’ll knock him out.
Does any of this change Diggle’s relationship with ARGUS going forward?
That’s interesting, too. ARGUS isn’t going anywhere, right? Like S.H.I.E.L.D. in the Marvel Universe? They just see everything. They know everything. So, they’re not really gonna disappear. They’re kind of what you have to deal with. In terms of what Diggle’s role will be, it’s gonna be interesting. His wife is gonna be there and by association he’s there. So, it’s gonna be very interesting. The writers have something big coming up, specifically season four with ARGUS. So, ARGUS isn’t going away in the DC Universe and certainly not in the Arrow Universe. They’re gonna be here for a while and Diggle’s association with them is just gonna get more involved. If for no other reason than the fact of his wife. It’s a fixture.
Theres been a lot of talk recently on whether or not Diggle needs a mask. Some have gone as far to say they’d want you to be the Green Lantern, John Stewart. What are your thoughts on that? Does Diggle need a mask? Would you want to become the Green Lantern?
Diggle can be a husband, a father, and a hero. He didn’t go through some type of tragic event. He’s a guy who grew up in the Glades, which is the hood, he did four tours, and he joined the special forces. This is a guy that I can be, that you can be, that any of the viewers can be, unlike the others who went through some tragic event and compelled them to become these characters. Diggle did through simple sheer force of will. That’s survival with regular folks. I think that’s part of the power this character has. When you cover it with a mask, he becomes something. That’s why in general we’ve been struggling with, “How do we give Diggle a mask of any sort?” Obviously, he’s out in the open, he has a wife and a child to protect, there’s a fair question about how we protect that identity and still keep him out in the field. That’s a very fair question and we’re working on it.
Now, John Stewart… Is John Diggle John Stewart? I cannot say “yes,” and cannot say, “no.”
Oh, come on!
I’m serious! I do know that there is serious discussion about whether or not this guy becomes John Stewart. But, I mean, I’ll say this: it is top secret. David Ramsey has asked them, and they’re like, “we’re working on some stuff.” If that’s the case, it’s gonna be huge. This is the stuff they want to avoid. I think they don’t want anybody to know yet and they haven’t even told me. They have told me that they are thinking about it and they are considering it. Greg Berlanti told me that. Andrew and Marc have told me that. I haven’t spoken to Geoff Johns about it, yet. But that’s the word from people directly involved in Arrow- that they’re working on something.
Here’s the truth of it: if I knew, I would tell you I knew and I’m not at liberty to tell you that. I probably wouldn’t tell you anyway! I would at least tell you that I know. But I honestly do not know.
Would you want to see them go that route and see Diggle become a super-powered Green Lantern?
I love John Stewart. At one of the comic cons I met the original creator of John Stewart and he is just an awesome, awesome character. To answer your question: if Diggle becomes John Stewart, I would be honored to be play that character. Honored. The same way that I am honored that John Diggle is now a part of the DC canon. That’s just an incredible honor to me. I would love it because I think that he’s an awesome character. I would love to sink my teeth into it. I don’t know how would fit into the Arrow Universe because the Arrow Universe is so rooted in kind of grounded reality, if you will, however real people with a bow and arrow can be. I don’t know how a thought-based weapon fits into that world. I don’t know how that fits into Arrow, but yes, to answer that question I would love to play the character.
Have you seen the new A.T.O.M. suit?
Yeah, I did see it before it got released. It’s just awesome! Awesome. Awesome!
That’s pretty much the unanimous reaction, everybody loves it. Has Diggle seen it?
Diggle has not seen it.
What do you think his reaction will be?
He’ll probably have the same reaction he did to Flash, but he will. The whole team will see it.
It’s exciting because we’re only in Season 3. You’ve got A.T.O.M., Flash, Canary, Black Canary, Speedy, all these great characters and it’s just Season 3. Could the Lantern happen? Could the Green Lantern come about? I mean, it’s only season 3, anything can happen.
Do you think we get anymore spinoffs in the future?
Oh, yeah. I personally think that almost everything that we see on TV has been a direct reflection of the success of Arrow. I think Arrow has something to do with Gotham, something to do with Constantine, something to do with the upcoming Supergirl, has something to do with all of it. I can’t give you a percentage of how much it is, but sure, I think people have dialed into Arrow and been like, “Oh, wow! Look at that!” You know, because things are in development for years and I think things get pushed along when other things are successful.
With success we get success. As long as this stays successful there will be other things that come out. Flash came out. Other things are coming.
Maybe Green Lantern. Who knows?
Maybe Green Lantern! I think television finally has the ability to do things like Supergirl and Green Lantern. This is a great time for comic book franchises on television.
Do you think there’s a chance we see Batman or Bruce Wayne on Arrow or Flash?
Andrew Kreisberg has gone on record to say there are two cities you will not be hearing about in our universe. He didn’t go on to say what those cities were but you can assume they are Metropolis and Gotham City. so I would assume that also means Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent a.k.a. Batman and Superman. Whatever great things have happened, it’s happened in less than three seasons. It’s been a quick ride. The show has been huge. I personally think when I read the scripts that Geoff, Andrew, Marc, & Greg put together they are better, and better, and better. Anything can happen. You know, like you said before, Diggle said he wouldn’t work with the Suicide Squad… Less than a season later, he’s working with the Suicide Squad. Anything can happen.
Do you watch the movies? Marvel or DC?
Marvel is holding the chalice right now. They’re the champs right now. Any reasonable person will say that Marvel in movies- “They’re doing it.” I will say that Batman vs. Superman may be a game changer and the upcoming Justice League may also be a game changer. I think there’s something to be said about the fact that they’re taking their time and doing it right. You know, Superman, there’s a lot of things to get over into making that successful and they did! They were climbing up a mountain, you know what I mean? And it came out well. It was successful and now there’s a Batman/Superman movie coming from that. Ultimately, a Justice League movie coming from that. I think over the next few years, four or five years there might be a shift, but, sure right now movie-wise Marvel holds it down and TV-wise, DC holds it.
Did you have a favorite super hero growing up?
I did, man! You know, something, I was kind of a cross between the two. I loved the Hulk. I loved the idea of the X-Men, you know, the outcasts, and finding a school and being able to use their powers that people didn’t like in this group. So, I was a big X-Men fan and the Hulk. Part of that was the TV series that Bill Bixby was in, and Lou Ferrigno. That was a part of my growing up. That was part of my allure toward the Hulk- this tragic guy, running from this reporter who’s trying to get a story… There was something that was real dramatic about that. I was really into Marvel. My DC guy was Batman. That was my DC love. Silver Surfer was a big one, too. Fantastic Four, those are big. I was heavily into Marvel.
Have you seen the new Fantastic Four trailer?
I have not. I’ve been told about this, I have not looked this up yet. I have to look at that. I have seen Daredevil’s.
Yeah, Daredevil looks interesting. It looks like what you said earlier, similar to Arrow, taking that grounded and dark take on a super hero.
It’s not even a cousin show! It’s almost a brother. It’s a direct connection.
I agree. I think that may be Marvel’s competition for Arrow. Arrow and Flash are staples of DC comics and they’re on TV. Marvel might have to use mainstay heroes in a show. Maybe if they get Spider-Man back, I would like to see a Spider-Man TV show.
I would like that, too. Peter Parker is a character that you can really get into. You know this is stuff TV can do. Getting back to DC, I would love Bruce Wayne. You know? Batman… Fine. But, Bruce Wayne. I would love to see him come to Starling City or maybe he’s part of the League of Assassins. You know? Just where is he during the show? Maybe he’s in protective custody? Just lost his parents? Who knows? I don’t know. I would love to see just where… Batman is such an iconic character and by association Bruce Wayne. I was such a fan of Batman and Bruce Wayne as a kid, I would love to see him Arrow.
David seems to believe, with good reason, that Arrow is only going to continue to grow. What do you think? Will we see more spinoffs from the series? How about Diggle becoming Green Lantern? It would be fun, but is it necessary?
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 EST. David Ramsey will also be starring in Accidental Love, which hits theaters February 10.