Stephen Amell on Arrow Season Four: "The Arrow is Not an Inspiration...But the Arrow is Dead"

The next time we see Stephen Amell strap on a superhero uniform, it will be as the Green Arrow -- a journey he's been making for more than three years now.

Along the way, though, Oliver Queen has lost plenty and alienated almost everyone around him. How does he work through all that to become something truly bigger than himself?

Amell joined and a number of other reporters for a roundtable conversation at Comic Con International: San Diego to discuss the forthcoming season.

What can you tell us about what's happened between seasons?

That five months have passed and Oliver has learned a bunch of new skills. But typically when we come back from a hiatus, it's like a new suit or a new bow or he decided that he wanted to take up jiu jitsu. This time around, almost all of the skills pertain to domestic life, which is fun.

So he and Felicity are just playing house?

They've traveled and I believe that they've settled. It's interesting to learn who has enjoyed this process more, be it Oliver or Felicity.

Is being still married to Nyssa going to play in?

No. I don't think that weddings at knifepoint in Nanda Parbat, lorded over by a sorceress really count in the great scheme of things. Felicity did have that funny line in the finale about annulling the marriage, but no, that doesn't actually play.

Can you give us any clues about what Oliver is going to be facing the first few episodes?

So, what we are dealing with this year -- and I wouldn't say it's as concrete as it was last year when it was like "The Theme: Identity!" -- is magic and mysticism. And Oliver alludes very early on in the season that this is something that he's seen before, so clearly that will play into this year's flashbacks for him.

Is Oliver going to feel any great regret from having placed Malcolm Merlyn at the head of the League of Assassins?

I've read three episodes of the season, and we haven't seen an interaction that would allow that to play out yet. I don't think that this is a bargain that Oliver enjoyed making, just like he didn't enjoy taking Diggle's wife and endangering their child. But he did it because in his mind, the ends justified the means.

What will ultimately bring Oliver back to Starling?

Impending doom, as it always does.

Look, our show is our show. I'm not going to spend five episodes in domestic bliss in nowheretown. The show is the show. We come back, five months have happened, and conveniently right when we pick back up again, I get activated, so to speak.

In The Flash, there's that teaser scene in the crossover where you meet your baby mama in the coffee shop. Do you want to see that play out a little more?

Me personally being a dad, I would love to see how Oliver interacts with having a kid. Now obviously, it would be a different experience from that experience, but I think that that storyline deserves further attention.

One of the big tenets of Greg Berlanti is you don’t introduce something to the audience and you don’t tease it if you are not going to follow through with it in some way, shape or form. So I think it’s a safe bet that Oliver will find out about his child at some point.

What's going through his head in terms of his relationship with Nyssa? They had such animosity last year.

I think that there is an uncommon truce between them, coming from the fact that I killed her father, and the only reason she was upset was that she wanted to be the one to do it.

That being said, I installed her mortal enemy as the new leader of the League. So I'm sure when I see her, it's not going to be high-fives and hugs.

Where's Oliver's moral compass, in terms of doing what needs to be done versus doing the right thing?

It's interesting this year: When Oliver re-enters Starling City, it's a different guy. That's exciting for me because this will be our seventieth episode, so it's exciting that he's going to consider things differently.

We think we see a different Oliver, but when the rubber hits the road, when push comes to shove, when the people that he cares about are in danger, that sort of primal instinct that he's always had, I would suspect that it would rear its relatively handsome head.


The idea of superheroes is often to be an inspiration. How has it been trying to play that while also being a character who has been so morally gray for such a long time?

The Arrow is not an inspiration...but the Arrow is dead, so if there is a new version of that hero, hopefully one of the things that he strives to do is inspire people. That is the basic tenet of a superhero -- that they have to make people believe in something bigger than themselves.