Stephen Amell’s Oliver Queen has been preparing for the opening of his mondo nightclub Verdant in the CW show “Arrow” for a good portion of the season — the venue provides additional cover for his actions as the bow-and-arrow-toting vigilante.
For the hotspot’s splashy screen debut on tonight’s episode, “The Huntress Returns,” producers brought in Steve Aoki to help add cool visuals and an authentic soundtrack.
A comic-book fan, the Grammy-nominated electronic music master was happy to step in and try something new.
“It’s a good experiment and testing ground,” he said. “It felt like a good fit. The crew and the cast were incredibly nice. I like it ’cause it just puts a different angle onto my work.”
Granted, Aoki’s involvement in the story line is overshadowed by the return of Queen’s old girlfriend Helena (Jessica De Gouw), also a vigilante named the Huntress. But he still enjoyed the chance to give input on the production and lighting aspects of the nightclub scenes, and he’ll debut two new tracks on the show, the songs “Transcend” and “Singularity.”
“I was surprised that they can turn an empty bare room into a nightclub so easily,” he said. “There’s ideas that I love that I would actually put in a real club. The DJ booth was lit from beneath so that you could see the DJ from anywhere.”
Aoki called up colleagues during production and told them to prepare a stage similar to the show’s that he can use for his real-life DJ appearances.
“Most people that do clubs don’t think like a [director of photography],” he said. “They think like ‘How is the audience gonna hear the music?’ This has different angles and lighting arrangements to give it a different feel.”
Aoki also geeked out a bit knowing that he was on a comic-book-inspired set. His choice of comic-book favorites follow in the “Arrow” mold — vigilante, loose-cannon heroes who reject authority and often work outside of the law.
“Wolverine was absolutely the one I was obsessed with,” he said. “I’m surprised they haven’t had a [live-action] show already. But honestly, if you’d asked me which character I’d like to be, it would be Green Lantern. I mean, if your power is to do and make anything you can imagine — shapes, flying, whatever — I think that’d be the greatest power in the world.”
Although this isn’t the first TV experience for Aoki — he hosted his own reality show “Chasing With Steve Aoki” in 2012 — he said he’s open to more opportunities in the future, including a return booking at Verdant.
“I’m not one to go into castings and do all that, but if something is thrown my way, I’ll look at it,” he said. “If they ask me to come back, I’ll be there. It was really comfortable walking into a set like that. I’d love to hang.”
— Jevon Phillips
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