ARROW: Colton Haynes on Roy Harper’s Evolution, His Desire to be on ELLEN, and More
February 20, 2013 by Marisa Roffman
Another DC character makes his way into the ARROW universe tonight — Roy Harper!
I spoke with Colton Haynes (Roy) about joining ARROW, his character’s romance with Thea, and…loving THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW?!
What can you tease about how viewers are introduced to Roy Harper?
Colton Haynes: Roy is introduced in a very romantic way — he steals Thea’s purse. [Laughs] He’s introduced in a way that is pretty much exactly how he is.
What is his relationship with Thea like?
CH: I think Thea’s very fascinated by him, because he’s one of the only people who has that personality of, “I’m going to do what I want and you’re not going to get in my way.” And they’re both very rebellious. He isn’t paying attention to her at all until she keeps showing up. And obviously he sees her as a beautiful young girl, but he doesn’t see anything past that until she keeps presenting herself at his doorstep.
CH: She’s very persistent! She’s wanting to know why he’s such a jerk to her.
Do we see Oliver and Roy get to interact in tonight’s episode?
CH: Not in tonight’s episode, but one of the next episodes in the very near future. [Laughs]
How many episodes have you actually shot so far?
CH: I’ve done three so far, and they’ve been awesome. It’s been awesome; it’s been a blast. Hopefully I’ll be in a lot more in the future.
Have they talked with you about the arc for Roy, and whether that might extend into the just-announced season 2?
CH: They’ve definitely talked about it. Whether or not it will happen, that’s still a possibility. I think they’ve got such a great arc for Roy Harper. The Roy Harper you’re going to see in tonight’s episode is not going to be the Roy Harper you see in a few episodes a few weeks for now. I think that will be fun for the fans of the show: to see the different, almost multiple personalities, of Roy Harper. Because he’s definitely going to lead you on the path of thinking he’s going one way, but he’s eventually going to surprise you.
Were you familiar with the character before you joined the show?
CH: Thanks to my amazing older brother, Clinton, he’s a big comic book fan, and he gave me the rundown; he gave me the lay of the land. The fans are wondering whether Roy is going to become Speedy or Arsenal or Red Arrow. And that’s still unsure, but I have an idea of how my character arc is going to present itself.
Do you like that there are so many possibilities for where this character can go from what’s out there already, or is a part of you hoping they go in a completely different direction with him?
CH: Well, there’s different interpretations. There’s different things Roy could become, and that’s fascinating. I was a huge fan of the show ARROW before I started working on it, but with the comics, there’s so many different things that Roy gets himself into, whether it’s drug use, and I believe one of the versions of Roy is HIV+. Which is interesting. So I think there’s a lot of different ways. It’s cool that they’re slowing bringing Roy into the ARROW universe, and they’re doing an awesome job at it.
Speaking of bringing Roy into the ARROW universe, do you have scenes with non-Queen characters?
CH: Well, I have a great interrogation scene tonight with Paul Blackthorne, who plans Detective Lance. I actually worked with him in the past on a show called THE GATES. I worked with four people on ARROW who were on THE GATES with me. It was fun to see them and catch up. Roy just gets in a lot of trouble and he’s eventually going to be around all the characters. It’s going to be a promising situation.
Detective Lance has zeroed in on The Hood…will Roy be under as strict scrutiny from Lance, too?
CH: Well, in the first thing you’re going to see tonight, Detective Lance is not going to be happy with Roy…but then Roy [relays] information to him that makes Detective Lance have a soft spot for him in a way. Or, you’re not quite sure if he’s lying to him or not. So, I think Roy Harper starts to fly under Detective Lance’s radar until a few episodes in the future.
Interesting. Do you have a favorite episode you’ve filmed so far?
CH: We just filmed — 1×18 is the one I just finished and I got to do a lot of really amazing things with Willa [Holland], who plays Thea. It’s cool to play Roy Harper in this…instead of him being this jerk, they’ve given him a heart. That’s really cool, because it’s giving a lot of different feelings for Thea and making people think maybe Roy isn’t this huge troublemaker; maybe there’s more to him than that. So 1×18 was awesome to film.
Is it a full-on romance for those two in what you’ve filmed? Or are they still in the middle of a will-they-won’t-they?
CH: Well, at the beginning, it’s kind of like when you were younger: if you bully someone, it might mean you like them. So I think it’s that case — I’m going to be as mean as I can to her and see if she’s still around. It’s his way of pushing everybody away. I don’t know if you’re going to get rid of Thea.
Fair. Based on your tweets, it seems like you’ve really been having a blast with the ARROW cast…
CH: [Joking] We just hate each other. It’s terrible. It’s just terrible how much we hate each other.
It’s awesome to go to work and know you’re going to have fun. It feels like we’re having a blast on set and the writers and the producers and directors trust us that we’re not being disruptive; there’s a lot of fun going on on set and I think that brings a lot to the characters on the show. It’s great to feel like you have a family on set, since we’re up in Vancouver.
Since you do have that dynamic, have you pulled any good pranks on them yet?
CH: I thought about doing those dance dares you see on [THE] ELLEN [DEGENERES SHOW], but obviously it wouldn’t be cool unless it was on ELLEN. I’m still finding out the lays of the land first, because I love pranks. I think I’m finally there where I can — I got in trouble because Stephen [Amell (Oliver/Arrow)] posted a picture the other day of me trying to shoot his bow and arrow. And that didn’t turn out very well; don’t touch Stephen Amell’s arrow.
Well, ARROW and ELLEN are both Warner Bros. shows…
CH: Should we hashtag #GetColtononEllen [on Twitter]? Who do we need to talk to? At least let me in the studio audience. I don’t think Ellen would let me on, because my mom is super obssessed with her and I’ve grown up with Ellen, so I might — it might be like one of the those situations where it’s like, “Can we please have Colton escorted off the premises? He’s getting way too close to Ellen.” So I think that might not be good press for the show. [Laughs]
[But] I have some ideas [for on-set pranks]. We could do the Harlem Shake, which I think Stephen just did. I’m working on my dance moves, but I need the rest of the cast to be on board with me. [Joking] I’m going to put them through an audition. The terrible dancers can’t be on it! [Laughs]
ARROW airs Wednesdays at 8 PM on The CW.
And to be the first to see our exclusive videos by subscribing to our YouTube channel at youtube.com/givememyremotetv