In the new action series Arrow, Stephen Amell plays Oliver Queen, a rich, spoiled playboy who gets stranded alone on a remote island for five years after a shipwreck. When he returns to town, it’s to make amends for his jerky ways and to dole out justice using the deadly skills he honed while on the island. Queen’s hooded, leather-clad alter-ego fires off an infinite quantity of custom-made arrows—flaming arrows, exploding arrows, arrows that enable him to hack into the computers of corrupt financiers. He also speaks Russian, breaks thugs’ necks with his bare hands and engages in some agile urban parkour. Amell is a rugged slice of comic book beefcake, and a perfect fit as the show’s grimly determined hero. The role is a big step up for the 31-year-old Toronto actor, who until now has mostly been cast in bit parts as the hunk du jour on dramas and sitcoms like Hung, Heartland and New Girl. Not that Arrow’s creators are exactly shy about flaunting their star’s GQ looks—the show based much of its advance marketing campaign on Amell’s special effect–like abs. And every time the superhero life gets too stressful, Queen likes to blow off steam doing bare-chested pull-ups in his secret workshop. Vigilante justice never looked so good.
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