In 2012, the CW network introduced a new live-action comic book series in order to fill the void left by the departure of Smallville following its ten-year-long run. Wanting to explore Oliver Queen’s quest to become the Green Arrow, the network received the rights to the popular DC Universe comic. The development of Arrow would eventually become the catalyst for the creation of multiple spin-off series featuring additional infamous DC superheroes: The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow.
Currently filming its fifth season, Arrow has gained a dominant and faithful audience that has helped the show find great success. Additionally, the fandom has helped the cast raise millions of dollars for charities. While those accomplishments can be a result of the positive feedback of the show, the fans credit the cast for being inviting and relatable. Stephen Amell, who plays Oliver Queen, has a strong presence on social media, especially his Facebook account. Quite frankly, his page is like one big party. Amell is constantly hosting Facebook Live chats and even holds weekly “Monday Meme” contest for fans to submit their Arrow related memes and edits.
Much like the fans, the cast is also invested in the show’s storylines and their characters. It’s no secret that Amell is the biggest “Olicity” shipper and has even dubbed himself the Captain of that ship. Which is why the fandom refers to Amell as “Captain.” While the Arrow cast has a considerably close relationship with its fans, there is still some information about their favorite stars that they may not know.
Whether you are already aware of these or not, here are 15 additional facts about the cast of Arrow.
15. The Cast Are Dedicated Sports Fans
When they aren’t spending long hours on set fighting crime, the cast of Arrow can be found cheering on their favorite professional teams. As a Canadian native, Stephen Amell’s passion for hockey didn’t fade once he moved to California for his career. The actor quickly demonstrated his support for the LA Kings by being spotted at multiple matches accompanied by either his wife or cousin. When Amell isn’t at the rink, he is at the ballpark watching a Blue Jays game. In fact, the Green Arrow actor rallied fans to join Josh Donaldson’s All-Star campaign. He made several videos on his official Facebook page urging fans to vote for the Blue Jays third baseman. In return, Amell was able to join Donaldson and the team and hit BP. Katie Cassidy loves her sports, too, and is apparently a die-hard Seattle Seahawks fan. She has posted several pictures on her social media account decked out in their neon green and blue gear and has been spotted on the Seahawks’ sideline prior to kickoff. Much like her co-stars, Willa Holland supports her hometown Los Angeles Clippers and Galaxy soccer team. It’s safe to assume that these Arrow stars don’t want their teams to fail their city.
14. Caity Lotz Wasn’t The Original Sara Lance
When Sara Lance made her return to Starling City as the Black Canary during the second season, it actually marked Caity Lotz’s first official appearance on Arrow. While Laurel’s sister was briefly introduced as Oliver’s mistress who accompanied him on the Gambit, the youngest Lance was played by another actress. To make a long story short, Sara’s character was simply a one-time appearance plot device for the show in order to portray Laurel as a woman scorned and give her a reason for vengeance by becoming the Black Canary.
While the Green Arrow comics and Arrow are unrelated to certain degrees, many are aware that the Green Arrow and Black Canary are together in the DC Universe. However, the network hired Katie Cassidy as Laurel without giving her a screen test with Stephen Amell. This ultimately caused the producers to shoot themselves in the foot because it’s no secret that Cassidy and Amell have zero chemistry together; which makes it virtually impossible to have a romantic relationship between their two characters. In order to save the storyline of Laurel, they decided to bring back Sara as the Black Canary who learned her skills while on the island with Oliver. Her eventual death then gave Laurel the opportunity to fill her sister’s shoes. Lotz was cast instead of bringing back the original actress who played Sara, due to the fact that Lotz was an accomplished dancer and had the techniques to perform most of her own stunts as the vigilante. While her appearance on Arrow only lasted a few seasons, Lotz then joined the spin-off series Legends of Tomorrow as the White Canary.
13. David Ramsey Is An Accomplished Martial Artist
Just one look at David Ramsey and you know that the actor puts in a great amount of time and effort into his fitness regimen. Considering his character, John Diggle, is involved in some form of physical combat on a daily basis, Ramsey is able to deliver a believable portrayal of the former military specialist turned Team Arrow vigilante. With more than 20 years of training, the 42-year-old Detroit native admits that his passion for martial arts aids him in his quest to deliver a realistic performance for the show.
At a young age, Ramsey expressed a passion for martial arts after discovering the assistant manager, Ray Copeland, at the video store he worked at was training under the legendary Dan Inosanto. The two then formed a friendship that revolved around talking shop and watching classic martial arts films while on the job. A few years later after Copeland opened his own school, Ramsey began training in Jeet Kune Do and earned his black belt. The combination of both Ramsey’s acting and fighting abilities secured him the role of Muhammad Ali in the 2000 television film. Nowadays, his martial arts background comes in handy when facing off against the evils of Damien Darhk and Deadshot.
12. Stephen Amell Owns A Winery
While on a road trip to Oakland to see the Blue Jays play, Stephen Amell took a detour with his friend Andrew Harding and headed into wine country. It was during that trip that the two friends were inspired to open their own winery. After much planning, Nocking Point Wines was officially established in 2013. Housed in Walla Walla, Washington, the company produces various red and white wines that are easily accessible for sale online. Interestingly enough, Amell and Harding incorporated many Arrow themed elements into Nocking Point. For instance, the official logo of the brand features two intercrossing arrows. Many bottle designs feature arrows and the “Wicked Aim” blend features a mashup of the Green Arrow and Amell’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 character, Casey Jones. Fans additionally will appreciate the Sangiovese blend that is named “Verdant House Wine 2013,” a reference to the nightclub on Arrow that is owned by Oliver Queen and his best friend Tommy Merlin. In order to bring awareness to their new venture, Amell and Harding shot a short documentary titled Dudes Being Dudes in Wine Country, which illustrated them learning more about wine and the people behind the scenes in the wine region.
11. Steven Spielberg Discovered Willa Holland
Best known for her role as Kaitlin Cooper on the FOX drama The O.C, Willa Holland is no stranger to the entertainment business. Growing up in Los Angeles, Holland was exposed to the Hollywood lifestyle when her mother married Brian De Palma, an American film director and screenwriter. Holland accompanied her former stepfather to one of his sets and was introduced to Steven Spielberg. Little did she know that meeting would pave the path for her future success when Spielberg told De Palma that Holland belonged in front of the camera. Taking that advice seriously, Holland immediately signed with Ford Modeling Agency when she was just seven-years-old. A few years later, Holland became one of the top child models in America. Her modeling resume includes prominent brands such as Guess, Abercrombie & Fitch, Ralph Lauren, and Gap. Since then, she has booked multiple national campaigns and appeared in several commercials that helped her transition her career on both the small and big screen.
10. Stephen Amell Is A Philanthropist
With the platform to reach a wide range of audiences, many celebrities use the attention they receive and put it towards making a difference. When Stephen Amell isn’t fighting crime and bad guys on television, he is doing good by giving the finger to cancer. Amell joined the F*** Cancer charity a few years ago while his mother was undergoing chemotherapy in April of 2012. The charity got in touch with the Canadian actor after he posted a picture of him and his mother giving the finger to the camera in regards to her fight with cancer. Since then, Amell has launched a T-Shirt campaign through Represent in order to raise money for the charity. The shirt design featured his face with his signature Post-It Note on his forehead that said “F-Cancer” and raised over $1 million for cancer research. The campaign was so successful, Amell launched another campaign to raise money for an anti-bullying quest, Stand for the Silent. The design for this T-shirt featured a jab at himself, when he misspoke the word “seriously” and pronounced it “sinceriously.” Fans got a kick out of his mistake and Amell took it a step further and created a definition and pronunciation of speech for his invented word. Amell’s goal was to spread the word around and have the Oxford English Dictionary proclaim it an official word. While that hasn’t happened yet, there is still hope to accomplish that goal considering all the success Amell and fans have created with previous campaigns.
9. Katie Cassidy Has A Passion For Fashion
When Katie Cassidy isn’t on set filming, or checking her bags at the airport, the film and television star can be found working on her fashion blog, Tomboy KC. In addition to her passion for acting, Cassidy has expressed a lifelong love for clothes and creating new looks. With the help of her friend, Lynsey Eaton, Cassidy launched the fashion and lifestyle blog to share her personal style and current inspirations. According to Cassidy, she was inspired for the name of her blog by her young self, who was very much a tomboy growing up, but also enjoyed wearing clothes and shoes from her mother’s closet. The fashion enthusiast believes that your look represents your lifestyle and wanted to inspire women of all generations to be confident and express themselves. Despite her busy filming schedule, Cassidy finds the time to be extremely hands-on with her brand. In fact, Arrow co-stars Emily Bett Rickards and Willa Holland have made guest appearances on her blog as models for several photo-shoots.
8. Emily Bett Offers Therapy To Fans
No matter how many times we tell ourselves that our favorite show is strictly fictional, we still feel every real emotion inflicted by the storylines. While Arrow may be an action packed adventure depicting Oliver Queen’s metamorphosis to the Green Arrow, the show packs a punch with its interweaving storylines of heartbreak, betrayal, and death. Ask any Arrow fan and they will honestly admit that they are still not over Tommy Merlin’s death, despite occurring almost four seasons ago. Since the show is known for its darker tones, Emily Bett Rickards, offered up a comical, yet necessary, solution to help fans get through the pain.
The idea of “Bathroom Therapy” emerged after an episode where Felicity and Oliver’s slow-burn relationship hit a rough patch. Rickards posted a video of herself sitting in her tub offering advice to fans and encouraging them to not give up hope for the beloved couple. The impromptu therapy session was a huge success among the fandom, which had Rickards posting another video where she answered questions from the fans. She later on used her “Bathroom Therapy” skit as a way to raise money for the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association by selling shirts with the session logo and donating all proceeds to the AARDA.
7. Colton Haynes Isn’t Afraid To Be Himself
Before Colton Haynes was the lovable Roy Harper on Arrow, he spent two seasons with the MTV young werewolf drama, Teen Wolf. Much like his characters that he played on these two shows, Haynes was struggling to identify with himself in his personal life. Following his departure from Arrow, Haynes was ready to make strides with both his career and life. During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the Kansas native came out as gay. While the 27-year-old actor has never publicly addressed his sexuality, he hinted at it when a fan posted an old racy modeling photo of him and caused many fans to speculate over his sexuality. The reports following those pictures had the actor entering rehab to monitor his anxiety over the situation. According to the interview, Haynes was out to his family, friends, and co-stars, but was nervous about the reaction from fans. Despite his apprehension, Haynes wanted to be open and honest. With a link to the article, Haynes tweeted fans a statement that read, “I believe in living life to the fullest and taking control of your life story. More to come.”
6. Katie Cassidy Is No Stranger To The CW Network
Before Katie Cassidy landed the role of Laurel Lance, the actress was a member of several other CW shows. Cassidy first joined the CW Network with her role on the hit sci-fi drama, Supernatural, where she played a demon named Ruby. After six episodes portraying the snarky demon notorious for driving a wedge between the Winchester brothers, Cassidy’s role was eventually re-cast to another actress. On contract with the network, the Los Angeles native signed on to the Melrose Place remake, but sadly only filmed eighteen episodes of the show before it was canceled following its first season. On the heels of the reboot failure, Cassidy was quickly added to the network’s hit teen drama, Gossip Girl, where she channeled her inner mean girl for twelve episodes during the show’s six season long run. It was her performance as the scheming antagonist that caught the attention of Arrow producers.
5. Before He Was The Atom, He Was The Man Of Steel
Long before he made his television debut on Arrow, Brandon Routh portrayed Superman alongside Kate Bosworth in the 2006 Superman Returns film. While he was no Henry Cavill in the film, it wasn’t a complete bomb. Seven years later Routh would once again be playing a DC Universe comic book hero when he signed on to play the billionaire tech-genius Ray Palmer. Routh’s addition to the cast wasn’t warmly welcomed by fans due to the fact that his character was taking over Queen Consolidated and had his sights on Felicity. Seeing as the relationship between Oliver and Felicity is one the show’s most prominent storylines, Ray’s arc to becoming The Atom was overshadowed by his developing relationship with Felicity. Much to the relief of fans, Ray Palmer only lasted a season before he joined the Legends of Tomorrow cast to further explore The Atom’s abilities to save the world.
4. The Amell Cousins
If you have ever watched The Flash and thought that Firestorm closely resembled the Green Arrow, then your musings would be correct. The Canadian vigilante actors are in fact cousins. In addition to their charming smiles and dashing good looks, the Amells just might be two of the most talented actors on television right now. That’s right Hemsworth brothers, step aside because there is a new family in town. Despite the seven-year age difference, the cousins grew up extremely close and both expressed a passion for acting at a very young age. Previously attached to the canceled CW show, The Tommorrow People, the younger Amell joined his cousin on a highly anticipated crossover event featuring the teams of Star and Coast City. After sharing a fair amount of screen time together, the cousins launched a 30-day campaign to raise money for their sci-fi feature, Code 8, which they will star in together. Looking to film early next year in Los Angeles, the actors had one of the most successful crowdfunded films of 2016 after raising just shy of $2 million for their project, an impressive feat for the family that is quickly making a name for themselves in Hollywood.
3. Katie Cassidy And Her Famous Family
While Katie Cassidy has found great success in the entertainment industry as an actress, her father David Cassidy paved the way with his role as Keith Partridge on The Partridge Family. The elder Cassidy’s appearance on the 1970’s musical sitcom made him into a household sensation overnight and opened doors for his career as one of pop-culture’s most popular teen idols and singers. Following his television career, Cassidy released three solo albums while on contract with RCA in the late ’70s and graced the American Top 40 chart. In addition to her father, the Los Angeles native actress’ paternal grandparents were actors Jack Cassidy and Evelyn Ward. After her birth in 1986, Cassidy was exposed to a Hollywood lifestyle that influenced her decision to pursue an acting career by following in the footsteps of her family. Since Cassidy’s mother and father were never married, she wasn’t raised by her father but the two share a profound bond that contributed to their similar careers.
2. Stephen Amell Joined SummerSlam!
Arrow’s leading man, Stephen Amell, isn’t shy about showing his support for his favorite sports teams. In addition to rooting for his beloved LA Kings and Toronto Blue Jays, Amell is an avid WWE fan. Amell first stepped into the WWE scene after trading insults with wrestler Stardust on social media. The verbal taunting then led to a smack down during a three-hour Raw presentation last August. Things between the actor and wrestler turned physical and eventually Triple H intervened, declaring that the two would each be given their own match at SummerSlam. For his first appearance in the ring, Amell gave a solid performance and sold all of the action in a believable fashion. On set as Oliver Queen, Amell is no stranger to executing live-action fight scenes and has experience performing his own stunts for the show. While a return to the mats has yet to be confirmed, it’s safe to say that Amell’s appearance was a dream come true for the dedicated WWE fan.
1. Emily Bett Rickards Was Originally Cast For One Episode
Considering that Emily Bett Rickards’ character, Felicity Smoak, is a solid main character on Arrow, it may come as a shock to many to know that Rickards was originally only supposed to appear in two scenes during the first season. The blonde tech genius was introduced on the The CW’s DC Entertainment drama in order to briefly assist in Oliver Queen’s early crusade as the infamous vigilante.
However, one day of shooting quickly transitioned into almost five seasons of filming for the Canadian actress. When screening the third episode of the series to journalists, the infectious spirit of the babbling blonde captured everyone’s attention and left them wanting more. Additionally, critics were blown away with the palpable chemistry between Rickards and Stephen Amell. In return, the network took the feedback in great stride and incorporated a larger role for Rickards. Now heading into its fifth season, Felicity and her relationship with Oliver is one of Arrow’s most popular storylines. The Felicity character added humor to the dark storylines and was the light that Oliver needed in order to continue his crusade as the Green Arrow. It goes without saying that the show would be completely difference if Rickards wasn’t a core character and member of Team Arrow OG.