Manu Bennett might bring Slade Wilson/Deathstroke to life in Arrow, but he fully stands behind his character's big-screen counterpart.
During a recent panel at Heroes & Villains Fan Fest San Jose, Bennett was asked about Joe Manganiello, who was cast as Deathstroke in the DC Extended Universe and made his debut in one of Justice League's post-credit scenes. And as Bennett explained, he has a pretty positive relationship with Manganiello, and is excited to see what he brings to the role.
"To be honest, when he was announced to do this role, I was very very happy for him." Bennett revealed. "Of course, I was a little bit disappointed that I wouldn’t get to do such a wonderful opportunity of getting onto that big screen with Deathstroke. But listen, I have had the wonderful opportunity to be a TV actor, and to spend the time it takes to cook a character. And sometimes, I don’t think you get that chance when you’re on the big screen. But as for Joe’s ability to get up there and do this character, I’m behind him, I hope, as much as everybody else is behind him."
Bennett went on to say that he gives Manganiello as much support as he can possibly give.
"We have a word in Maori, called “tatoko”, which means to give somebody your best feeling of support." Bennett explained. "And I give Joe my best feeling of support, and I hope he gets up there and does a fucking great job."
Bennett has been pretty candid about Manganiello's Deathstroke tenure in the months since it was announced. While he initially joked about the matter on Twitter, he praised Manganiello's Justice League performance while at a convention last month. And apparently, that rapport springs from the two actors having a long history with each other.
“I’ll tell you a little story. About five years ago, maybe even six years ago, maybe even seven years ago, because my memory’s getting worse as I get older... I met Joe Manganeillo at San Diego Comic-Con. And he and I sat down, and we had a really really awesome conversation. Both of us had some similarities, you know, in growing up. But I remember it being such a pleasant conversation. And then I rang Joe a couple of times when I was in LA, and we spoke. He and I have a history of being friends."
Justice League is in theaters now. Arrow airs Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW.