Arrow star Stephen Amell has suffered a back injury while performing a stunt for his new Starz drama Heels, which is set in the world of professional wrestling. Starz has released a statement about the incident, which states: "While performing a stunt on the set of Heels this week, Stephen Amell sustained an injury to his back. Following a medical evaluation, he is now resting and recovering at home in anticipation of his return to set. Production continues as Stephen recuperates." Amell has always been vocal about performing his own stunts for Heels, so this type of injury was always a possibility.
According to reports from TV Line, Amell was quickly attended to by Heels' on-set medic and stunt coordinators - part of the required team of medical personnel, stunt coordinators, and wrestling advisors that the show keeps on-set. The stunt in question is described as having been "thoroughly-rehearsed" prior to Amell attempting it.
This injury continues what some may see as a cursed strain of luck for Amell in fall 2020; the actor just revealed that he battled a COVID-19 infection earlier this year. As he explained to actor Michael Rosenbaum on the Inside of You podcast, he was legitimately worried that his coronavirus infection would sabotage production on Heels:
"When it happened, when I got the positive test, for me it became, ‘Holy f–k! I just destroyed this show because I’m No. 1 on the call sheet and I work every day, more or less,” Amell said. “I’m in my head going, ‘S–t! They’re going to have to shut down the production. We’re not yet done with the first block of two episodes. Did I just ruin this?'"
The Starz wrestling drama Heels follows two brothers who are wrestlers - one (Alexander Ludwig) who is a hero character, the other (Amell) who is a "Heel," i.e. an antagonist in the ring. The story follows the tension between the two brothers/rivals as they "wrestle" for control of their father's wrestling promotional business. The series also stars Keli Berglund as a female wrestler valet that wants to step into the ring; Alison Luff as a reluctant female owner of a family wrestling promotion; Mary McCormack as Amell's business partner and brains behind the promotion; with Chris Bauer (True Blood) and Allen Maldonado (Black-ish) all appearing.
Heels is expected to premiere on Starz in 2021.