When The CW’s Arrow returns for its eighth season on October 15, it will mark the start of the show’s final year with a total of 170 episodes being produced. Like the other superhero series based on DC Comics heroes on the network — such as Supergirl, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Black Lightning and the new Batwoman — the show is still going strong with a devoted fanbase. But for star Stephen Amell, there are very specific reasons he wanted this year to be the last. Largely it’s because the actor, 38, is Canadian and he has a desire to become an American citizen. However, given that Arrow shoots in Toronto, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult for him to do so.
“I want to put roots down in Los Angeles,” he explains during a Comic-Con interview. “I have a nice house there that I’ve spent maybe a hundred days in over the past four years. In order to become an American citizen, you have to spend over 50% of your time there over the course of five years. My daughter is a dual citizen, my wife is American, I own property there, I pay taxes, but I can’t vote. So that’s actually one of my goals: to spend enough time in the United States that I can qualify to become a citizen.”
Additionally, because of his nature, he finds that while he has desires to do a number of things career-wise, he’s too focused on the show to achieve any of it. “Another reason I wanted to be done with the show,” he notes, “is because I have a difficult time being an aspirational thinker when I’m in the midst of a project. It might actually be true what they say about men and multitasking: I can’t do it.”
While he plans for the future, Stephen is dealing with the here-and-now of this series, and the character of Oliver Queen/The Green Arrow, winding down while also being asked to assess its overall impact.
“That’s a really difficult question to answer,” he admits. “It’s hard for me to look at what we’ve done from 30,00 feet, because I’m deep into it at the moment. What I can say is that is that I’m proud of what we’ve inspired. Beyond The CW shows, there’s the Netflix shows Iron Fist, Daredevil, Jessica Jones and The Defenders. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. comes to mind. If Arrow is proof of concept that you can do a superhero show on TV and that it can work right — piggybacking off of Smallville, which should never go unmentioned — I feel like the legacy is we produced a bunch of content and people dig it. It’s not going to last forever, but I’m glad we were the first.”
Arrow Season 8 premieres on The CW October 15.
Please scroll down to see how Stephen has changed over the seasons, and for a titles guide to every episode of Arrow.
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