‘Arrow’ Star Stephen Amell Worried He’s Already Ruined His New Wrestling Show ‘Heels’

After Arrow ended in January, Stephen Amell moved on to the Starz wrestling drama Heels. The show began production under coronavirus (COVID-19) safety protocols. Not even two episodes into the new series, Amell worried he’d already ruined it. 

Stephen Amell | Sergei Bachlakov/The CW

Amell was a guest on Michael Rosenbaum’s Inside of You podcast on Oct. 27. He discussed what happened to make him worry about the fate of Heels

Stephen Amell thought he’d be the end of ‘Heels’

Despite following the safety protocols, there were some instances of coronavirus on the set of Heels. When Amell himself tested positive for coronavirus, despite wearing a mask and social distancing, he worried about the whole show more than himself. 

Stephen Amell crossover
Stephen Amell | Sergei Bachlakov/The CW

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“When I got the positive test, for me it became holy f*ck, I just destroyed the show because I’m number one on the call sheet and I work every day more or less,” Amell told Rosenbaum. “Four and a half days a week on this first block we’re shooting. I’m in my head going, ‘Sh*t, they’re going to have to shut down the production. We’re not yet done the first block of two episodes. Did I just ruin this?’”

‘Heels’ is continuing to film while Stephen Amell recovers

Amell started feeling sick on Monday, Oct. 5 and got his positive test result Oct. 6. He has been in quarantine, recovering, while Heels films scenes without him.

There’s a real malaise that sets in and a real boredom. I’m down here in Georgia. I’m solo. What the f*ck am I supposed to do? What can you do? There’s nothing to do. They tell you, I ask my doctor, ‘Can I exercise?’ Not recommended. ‘Until when?’ Until you’ve been symptom free from 72 to 96 hours. ‘Really?’ Yes, really. So in that first bit of time when I was isolated and kept testing negative, obviously you’re not exercising. Then you get a positive test and you’re not exercising. Then you spend almost a week symptom free, you’re not exercising. So you’re just frankly resting.

Stephen Amell, Inside of You podcast, 10/27/2020

Wrestling scenes will have to wait

Amell plays a wrestler in Heels, so he was keeping up his physical regimen from Arrow. Between coronavirus and missing workouts, Amell no longer looks like a wrestler.

“[I lost] 15 pounds in three weeks,” Amell said. “My first day of work was going to be Wednesday, we were supposed to start in the wrestling ring. I was speaking with the production. I just said, ‘Guys, this is a nonstarter. This is a worst case scenario for me. I haven’t been able to do anything. Until I get back into the gym, which was yesterday, I don’t know if I have residual impact in terms of lung capacity or anything like that.’”

Heels rearranged the schedule so Amell has time to get back into Arrow shape. He won’t gain all 15 pounds of muscle back, but he’s on his way.

Arrowverse Stephen Amell
Stephen Amell | Katie Yu/The CW

“I’ve got a good 10 days to be back in the gym,” Amell said. “I’ve been training like a motherf*cker. I have been in the gym five days a week, in my home gym usually on the Saturday or the Sunday doing really good workouts, mixing it in with shooting, being active and eating well. What you’re hoping is you’re a balloon that deflated just a little bit but hopefully you’re just going to blow back up.”

Amell expects to gain 10 pounds back in 10 days. 

“[I’m] eating like crazy but eating healthy,” Amell said. “I’m eating because I need calories. These workouts are like an hour and 45 minutes and they’re heavy. We’re going pretty heavy with stuff because I really wanted to be thick and strong, not necessarily look paper thin and all cut like I’m trying to win a definition competition as opposed to look like I can body slam James Harrison on our cast who’s 285 lbs.”