Johann Urb On Making 'Arrow's Vigilante More Human

Tonight's episode of Arrow asks one of the season's big questions: is Vigilante trustworthy?

The character, played by veteran genre actor Johann Urb, was shrouded in mystery for almost a year before finally being revealed as Vincent Sobel, the former police partner of Dinah Drake (Juliana Harkavy). That relationship has driven much of the plot over the last few episodes, and it will take another turn tonight.

"You'll see some more of the history between Dinah and Vincent. The history between them is really, really rich," Urb told "The love is real, and the love is strong, and the love, I believe, is what really has unlocked a lot of Vincent, because I think for a long time he was just living to be Vigilante only. There's just revenge and anger there, and there's not a lot of connection in his life. Now that there is this discovering of the human side of him again, it changes you. It changes how you operate, and who you are, and what you do, and why you do things. That's the beautiful and wonderful story of that. I think that it's very natural that you have all those bits inside of you. It's just which part is activated, which part is awake and inspired in the moment."

Despite the fact that the handsome actor's first action figure will almost certainly come from a scarred and mangled face, he said that he actuall likes the makeup, becuase it helps him stay in-character.

"It's been an absolute joy because it really helps me drop into character a lot more having the scar on the face as well as having a contact that blocks a lot of your vision," Urb said. "A lot of the scenes take place in dark allies. It gives you a sense of danger. It gives you a sense that there's something different. I love watching myself with a scar on the face. It's just a different human being. It certainly has helped me a lot to unlock more of this character."

Building the character is something that he took upon himself; after he got the gig, he was not offered a pile of comics to read up on but rather given a more general sense of the TV version fo Vigilante and the opportunity to shape the character for himself. He is glad to have that freedom -- but he checked out the comics anyway.

"I wasn't given a whole lot of backstory on this, so I did a bunch of research myself," Urb admitted. "Obviously it's not exactly the same backstory, how it happened in the comic books and how it happens on the show. For me, it was just really interesting to get into the comic books and learn about what drives this guy and who he is, the characteristics, and the duality of him, and then also not to be stuck in that world so I can't make changes and adjust to what the show is writing me and giving me. It was just a very enriching experience for me to have so much to go from yet to be open to it going completely another route."

Arrow airs at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Thursdays, following episodes of Supernatural on The CW.

ArrowWednesday at 8 PM ET on CW


ArrowWednesday at 8 PM ET on CW

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