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FAN EXPO: Stephen Amell & Manu Bennett Talk ARROW at FAN EXPO VANCOUVER

Photos by Sherie/@MartiniHoudini. Instagram by Sean Koo/ Video from The World Goes Pop.

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Arrow wrapped filming of its second season of non-stop-action around dawn on Good Friday. Star Stephen Amell (Oliver Queen/Arrow) celebrated with a liberating buzz cut and appearances at Fan Expo Vancouver for photo ops and a popular Q&A on Saturday afternoon, where he answered some questions about Arrow’s final four episodes this season:

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  1. Stephen Amell said Arrow 2×20 Seeing Red this Wednesday is a “cataclysmic” episode for the series. It leads into the final three episodes which “take place over the course of one night” which explains four or five weeks of Arrow night shoots like the overnighter on a closed Georgia Viaduct. “I’m exhausted,” said Amell, explaining how difficult it is to do night shoots in Vancouver at this time of year when the sun doesn’t even set until 9 o’clock at night. “It makes my job a lot tougher.”
  2. Final episodes will have a series of flashbacks, some of which are from seven years prior, the “furthest we’ve ever gone”.
  3. There is a “brutal scene” coming up, which sounds like a death scene. Amell found Tommy (Colin Donnell)’s death tough to shoot last season and finds death scenes hard in general because he has to “divorce” himself from his real-life feelings for the actor (s). “My character might be happy somebody’s dying and I’m very sad” because they’re off the show.
  4. Amell teased the season two finale saying it has “two things I’ve never seen done on TV before”.
  5. Amell paid tribute to Manu Bennett’s Deathstroke, this season’s Big Bad. “You’re only as good a super hero as your villain,” he says, arguing that The Dark Knight is the best of the Batman trilogy because of Heath Ledger’s Joker.

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Arrow’s Big Bad of season 2 Slade Wilson/Deathstroke, aka Manu Bennett, had his own popular Q&A on Sunday and proved to be a big old softie in real life. He held up his phone for fans to sing Happy Birthday to his seven-year-old daughter in New Zealand, talking about how difficult it is to film a series so far away from his family. He also spoke a little about Arrow.
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  1. Manu Bennett told the story of his audition for Arrow to waves of laughter from the audience. Bennett had just finished the Spartacus series and been shown how to do a choke hold by a U.S. special forces fan in Kuwait so when he read the scene of his Arrow character dropping through the roof of fuselage and grabbing Oliver around the throat, he thought, “Ah it’s a choke hold.” So Bennett got in there, grabbed the young guy reading Oliver’s part and choked him out. When the young guy collapsed to the floor, Bennett thought he’d be kicked out for sure but the casting director said “perfect” and gave him the part. To sum up: Bennett “got Slade Wilson [Deathstroke] by choking out this reader from a move this special forces guy showed me in Kuwait.”
  2. Strict stunt rules in Canada mean that Manu Bennett can’t do his own stunts even fight sequences which the producers are happy about because even when Bennett does fight inserts with a stunt performer so that they can show his face on screen he “tends to hit people”. He has a reputation for being “a bit dangerous with my sword and my fighting”.
  3. So it’s only fair that Caity Lotz (The Black Canary) accidentally punched Bennett in the face while filming the season finale. Lotz apologized but Stephen Amell couldn’t stop laughing.
  4. Arrow showed a blooper real at the season two wrap party last week. One of the highlights is video of Manu Bennett break-dancing in his Deathstroke costume.
  5. Manu Bennett said he is proud to be part of the “Deathstroke identity” especially after the comic book creator told him that Bennett put “the humanity” in the character.
  6. Manu Bennett says fans are “going to love the finale of this season…it’s kickass”. As expected, the showdown between Arrow and Deathstroke is the “big climax”. Bennett recalled shooting in studio at 4 a.m. last week and looking around him at the stage setting and thinking he “was in a big-budget film”. But Bennett says that’s what television is these days: “Television is the new film.” Bennett compared watching a film to a “one-night stand” and watching a TV series to a “marriage” if you’re “going to be with that person, four or five years”. Which sparked more laughter in the audience.

“Stay strong kid,” Manu Bennett told the young fan below.


Arrow’s “cataclysmic” Seeing Red airs Wednesday night at 8 p.m. on The CW in the U.S. and CTV in Canada.

Fan Expo Vancouver 2015 is scheduled for April 3rd to 5th next year.

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