The population of Starling City continues to grow on the CW’s “Arrow.” This week’s episode adds “Teen Wolf” vet Colton Haynes as Roy Harper, a tough kid who appears to be up to no good. Of course, longtime fans of Green Arrow will recognize Roy’s name as Oliver Queen’s ward and eventual sidekick, Speedy (or Red Arrow, depending on which part of the character’s lengthy history producers choose to work with).
Haynes spoke to Hero Complex via phone about his new role, which debuts in tonight’s episode, “Dodger.”
HC: Roy Harper has quite a history, at least as far as the comic books go. Did you educate yourself or did you come in fresh?
CH: Oh no, I definitely learned a lot before I came into it. And I asked a lot of questions, trying to get spoilers. They tried to keep me in the dark on some stuff, but when I came with a lot of information, they had to tell me.
HC: It must be good for an actor to get some sense of where his character is going. A lot of times on TV, the actors have no idea.
CH: My brother is a huge fan of pretty much every DC comic. He thought I was joking. He said, “Do you realize [Roy] is the Robin to [Oliver’s] Batman?” I said “No way!” Then I went and did a lot of research.
HC: That analogy wasn’t brought up when you first discussed the character?
CH: I did a lot of research and understood that there were three different characters Roy Harper could become. He could be Speedy or Arsenal or Red Arrow in the different stages of his evolution. But I wasn’t sure which way they were going to go. And I’m still not sure which way they’re going to go. Right now, he’s still just Roy Harper.
HC: Has your brother had a chance to visit the set?
CH: I keep telling him I’m going to fly him out, but he has a little baby at home. But I give him spoilers. My brother definitely knows a lot more than what I’m able to talk about.
HC: How physical do you get to be?
CH: I’ve had a bunch of scenes where I’ve had to get down and fight, but I leave it to the experts. Eli, my stunt double, is kind of a bad ass. He’s one of the best stunt men I’ve ever worked with. He makes me look good. I’m not going to take the credit on that.
HC: Have you picked up a bow and arrow at all?
CH: I tried to pick up Stephen [Amell’s] bow and arrow and he posted a picture of what happened after. He beat the crap out of me. I’m kidding. I haven’t gotten to touch the bow and arrow on camera yet.
HC: So now that you’re off of “Teen Wolf,” can we consider the second season finale the conclusion of Jackson?
CH: I’m not sure how they’re going to get rid of that character. It was such a fun experience for me, but it was definitely time for me to see how much fun I could have working on “Arrow” with Greg Berlanti.
HC: It must feel like you graduated high school in a way. You were on a show where everyone was playing teenagers and now you’re on a show where everyone is an adult.
CH: Yeah, except I’m the only teenager on the show. So it’s like I went from junior year to senior year.
HC: What’s your interpretation of Roy?
CH: Roy is really stubborn because people give him a bad rap. He’s got a reputation for doing bad things, but you have to realize that people do bad things because they’re acting out or trying to get love from someone to make up for a loss in their life. With Roy, he does a lot of bad things because that’s normal. He fears normal. When he meets Thea Queen, she’s extremely wealthy. It’s the only world she knows. So when you bring Roy Harper and Thea Queen together, from two separate worlds, they’re both out of the norm and they have a love-hate relationship.
HC: In the comics, Harper was a ward of Oliver Queen. Has Stephen Amell taken a similar paternal role to you on set?
CH: Oh yeah, it was a crazy, obnoxious bromance at first sight. Actually, I had met Paul [Blackthorne] at a poker tournament a few months ago and we all became friends and started hanging out. We had a hell of a Super Bowl party.
– Patrick Kevin Day
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