Stephen Amell on ‘Arrow’ Ending: ‘It’s a Little Frightening’

All good things must come to an end. Even hit TV shows. 

With the end of the CW series, Arrow, a chapter of actor Stephen Amell’s life will be closing. The actor who has starred in the show since 2012  will retire his Green Arrow costume after Season 8 airs this fall. 

Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, and Andrew Kreisberg, developed Arrow, which debuted along with the rest of The CW’s shows in their fall 2012 lineup. 

Based on the DC Comics series, Amell plays billionaire Oliver Queen who is presumed dead after being away for years.

Stephen Amell
Arrow star Stephen Amell at Supanova Comic Con and Gaming exhibition at Sydney Showground on June 21, 2019, in Sydney, Australia. | Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Shocking his family, he returns home alive and becomes a hooded vigilante in Star City who would become Green Arrow in Season 4. Over the course of the series, others join the Green Arrow’s cause, creating a group of people who protect the city. 

‘It’s a little frightening’ Stephen Amell says of leaving the show

In Entertainment Weekly’s cover story, Amell talked about leaving behind the security of playing this particular character.

“I’m very emotional and melancholy, but it’s time,” Amell told the publication. “I’m 38 years old, and I got this job when I was 30. I’d never had a job for more than a year. The fact that I’ve done this for the better part of a decade, and I’m not going to do it anymore, is a little frightening.”

Stephen Amell on the cover of Entertainment Weekly. | Stephen Amell via Instagram

How Amell landed the role

As it turned out, when it came time for casting the role of Oliver Queen/Green Arrow, Amell auditioned first. 

Casting director David Rapaport recalled the process of casting Amell in an April 2019 article of Entertainment Weekly

“They said to me, ‘We want someone that looks like a superhero and can act,’” Rapaport recalled. “I had just cast Stephen [Amell] in a guest spot on 90210, and it was a pretty dramatic role. He had the muscles and that kind of dark mysterious look behind his eyes, so he was the first person I thought of when I read the Arrow script.”

Stephen Amell as The Green Arrow. | Arrow via Instagram

The developers agreed Amell suited the character. 

“It was Stephen’s intensity. He just made you believe he was that character,” Guggenheim said of Amell’s audition. “We had crafted Oliver to be this mystery box character, and Stephen somehow managed to find this balance between being totally accessible in a way you would need a TV star to be, but he’s still an enigma,” he added. 

Amell recalled the audition where he did two readings, once for a small number of people and then again for a larger group.

“I called [my manager], and I go, ‘I know this is not how it’s supposed to work, but I just got that job,’” he remembered. 

‘Arrow’ creators failed before reaching success with the show

Before Arrow became a hit for The CW, two of the developers of the show — Berlanti and Guggenheim — experienced failure with the 2011 film, Green Lantern, with Ryan Reynolds in the lead role. While the film flopped, we don’t think Reynolds would call it a failure because it’s where he met his future wife, Blake Lively. 

Berlanti and Guggenheim wrote the movie’s script together but didn’t have the final say in the film. That’s why they were hesitant to jump into a project based on the same character when Peter Roth, the president of Warner Bros. Television, asked them about creating a TV show in 2011. 

Still from Arrow. | Arrow via Instagram

They agreed to sign on for the project under one condition: they got total control. 

“As long as we succeed or fail on our own work, and not someone else’s work then maybe this is worth a shot,” Guggenheim told Entertainment Weekly about agreeing to the show. 

It turned out to be worth it because Arrow premiered to a success the network hadn’t seen since the premiere of  The Vampire Diaries in 2009. 

Watch Seasons 1-7 of Arrow on Netflix and also stream a handful of recent episodes on The CW’s website. 

On Tuesday, Oct. 15 at 9 p.m., the eighth and final season of Arrow premieres on The CW.