The Paley Center for the Performing Arts has been sponsoring some new fall previews with question and answer sessions afterward. Yesterday the broadcast the Q&A live. Notes are below. The photo to the left is courtesy of the Paley Center, as well.
Attending the session were Marc Guggenheim, Stephen Amell, Greg Berlanti (pictured) and Andrew Kreisberg.
Tell us about the casting process. What did Stephen bring to the character?
Kreisberg: He was the first person to audition. Period.
We were like, you need to meet this guy, he's not going to be available for very long. It was funny. He was like, "Really? This guy? Five minutes?" We watched multiple actors and always said, that guy's not Stephen.
It's not just about being good looking and in shape, and Stephen is both, but he's also a tremendous actor.
Stephen: I was a wrestling guy in school. I had never read the comics. I thought the pilot was all encompasssing and I didn't need to know more than was on the page. Once we wrapped the pilot, I read everything.
I started with the basics of fighting, literally the wax on wax off stuff like you see in the Karate Kid.
I said, if you need me to come to Vancouver a little early, I can do that. I thought maybe a week, and they asked for me in two days.
As for the archery scenes, we actually have a bow that is drawn and held in that shape. I'm not a fan, but I understand why it has to be like that.
What percentage of stunts do you do yourself?
Stephen: I am young and niave and bull-headed and wanted to do a lot of them. I'm doing less now because of logistics. If I can't be vetted by everyone then I can't do it. Simon Burnett, my stunt double, is incredible and makes me look wonderful.
I'm super competitive, I want to do it!
The ladder, is that you?
Yeah, that's me. It's like a chin-up with a dance move thrown in. I remember being embarrassed in the gym, knowing I'd have to be shirtless in the pilot.
Did you get any advice from any other people who have played super heroes?
No, but I was working on Private Practice when I got the part, so I asked all of them. It turns out that right before Tom Welling booked Smallville he was playing Amy Brennaman's love interest. She now states her love gives birth to superheroes.
The advice from the entire Private Practice team was this: Lunch time is for napping.
What do you think about the costume?
It's hot. That's good, because sooner or later you're going to see me without the hood and it's good to be sweaty and look like I've been active.
When we first started designing it, I went to Colleen Atwood's house to start the process. I remember seeing stuff on the wall and thinking, oh, those are plaques for academy awards over there. THOSE ARE ACADAMY AWARDS OVER THERE!
It's been said there are essentially four characters within Oliver that you play in Arrow. What is your favorite role to play?
Stephen: Oliver on the island. Young, vulnerable, scared Oliver.
Guggenheim: In episode 5 he'll need to be shirtless on the island, and will have to de-ab. He didn't always have those abs!
Kreisberg: There really are two series. One on the island and the other. Very cool. The last scene of the series should be Oliver seeing that boat. You can erase all of the present day scenes and have a five year series only on the island.
So what about Sarah. Is she dead?
Kreisberg: Yes, she's dead. People also ask "is Jamie Sheridan dead?" He shot himself in the head! You don't walk away from that.
There are so many characters in the DC universe, and we're excited to bring some of the lesser known of them onto the show.
What's in store for the future of Laurel? Such as, might she be The Black Canary?
We have plans, and we'd love to share them with you fine people. She's the love of Oliver's life and a public interest attorney, and we'll have easter eggs about what might be her future in coming episodes.
What about her mother? There must be some reason why she's still in the picture.
Guggenheim: Moira has her own motivations and justifications for doing things. It's not just because she's sitting around saying, "I'm so evil this week because I'm EVIL! "
Other things of note as my transcription got shoddy!!
The kinds of shows we love, Homeland, Breaking Bad have jaw dropping moments at the end, so we're trying to do that. It's part of the fun of the show.
Marc Guggenheim is dying to do a fun cameo with Justin Hartley (who played Green Arrow on Smallville).
There is a lot of behind the set crossover from Smallville, but nothing with the characters.
John Barrowman! Even a little tease of him and how he'll relate to the world?
Kreisberg: No, but it will be worth the wait. I am a life long Dr. Who fan, so to have him on the show is a dream come true.
He has a very large public persona, and is every bit as funny and warm as he is.
So no Capt. Jack and Oliver going at it?
That's for fan fiction. Type away!
Stephen, you're great on twitter. You said yesterday, "there are so many cool ways to go through a window."
I like to go through without anyone knowing.
"There's no good way to be thrown in a pit."
There isn't. I never lie in my twitter account.
Is the costume comfortable?
Stephen: The worst thing for me is my wrists get sore from wearing handcuffs.
Kreisberg: They want to hear about when we're shooting.
Stephen: Well, I teed that one up!
He talked about his last trip through the halls of Comic Con as unrecognizable.
Stephen on archery: Before my trainer let me touch a bow and arrow, she showed me a 45 minute video of all the ways it was done wrong. You have to be relaxed in the one spot where everyone holds tension. It forces you to breathe and think.
Berlanti: You can see live twitter feeds, etc.. When I started they wrote letters. We do listen.
Berlanti: Oliver shares his secret pretty early on, which makes it easier on us.