Roy Harper's never had an easy path on "Arrow," but now that his mentor has fallen at the hands of Ra's al Ghul, Colton Haynes reveals that it's time for Arsenal to man up – whether he's ready or not.
The character takes a central role in crimefighting in Starling City starting with this week’s return episode “Left Behind.” Rather than falling apart now that Oliver Queen appears to be dead, Haynes explains that Arsenal's ready to focus more intensely on his crusade for justice, but the rest of Team Arrow may not be on the exact same page.
The actors offered CBR News some hints at where Roy's headed in the second half of Season 3, what the reveal of Sara’s killer means for the show and some behind the scenes tidbits – including the co-star whose superpower is apparently the ability to instantly break Haynes up.
CBR News: So as sad as we all are to know that Oliver is dead, it's kind of a good thing for the rest of you guys on the show, right?
Colton Haynes: It is. It gives us a lot of work. We have a lot to catch up on. [Laughs]
Tell me how Roy steps up in Oliver's absence.
He's still dealing – he's not sure if he's pissed off that this happened. He is very emotional when it comes to that because he lost a mentor and he lost a friend. And he really has to step up, and he isn't really ready to. So he's going on his own ventures, as it is, trying to figure out if anything that anyone's saying is true or not. It's almost like having too many cooks in the kitchen. It's a vote every time we have to do something, so that's kind of frustrating. And at the same time, no one really listens to each other. They all have their own ideas of how they want to do things. But it is nice because it creates a team with everybody, and everyone goes off the hinges once this happens. He is the linchpin of the entire show and the entire team, so once he's gone, everyone goes a little batshit crazy, yeah.
Who have you gotten to work with a little bit more now, in the wake of Oliver's death?
It's been a lot with Diggle and Felicity, and also with Laurel – the Black Canary now – so that's been really, really fun to do. We have terrible laugh attacks that don't stop, and we really, like, ruin peoples' workdays because we can't stop laughing. And it's a problem. We should be more professional and stop, but it's been nice to actually do that. And it's been nice to work with them as a team as opposed to just one other person.
Who's the easiest to break and who's the hardest?
David Ramesy is, by far, the easiest person. David and I can't look at each other in the eye. We actually have different eye-lines, because he is the funniest person I've probably ever met in my entire life. And he will just say anything – anyway, he's just the funniest person ever. The hardest to make break is definitely Barrowman. You'd think that he would be the easiest one to break, but he breaks everybody. He'll say something, a random joke, right before you're going to do a take, and you're like, "They just said 'rolling,' and now I have to actually get through the scene.”
In the realm of fight scenes and action, what's been the coolest thing you've gotten to do recently?
There's been so many things – I'm thinking! I got to do a lot of stuff with the batons, which is cool, but I'm not the most coordinated so I kind of look like a baton twirler as opposed to like a badass. But my stunt double's the best. He made me look cool, and I had to do a bunch of work on the mat and everything, so that was cool.
Since we met Roy, he's been a tortured kind of guy. Is there any relief, even in the loss of Oliver?
Yeah, he is able to because he's now making an effort to – what people forget is that Roy killed someone. And he was under the influence, so therefore, he wasn't himself, and that's not fair. And it's also really causing him to be emotionally just distraught. So now he's taking the steps to figure that out, and he's going back and seeing people from the past to see what he can do to manage his emotions because Roy doesn't want to make a bad decision on an emotional level, as opposed to a logical one.
Thea's been going down a fairly dangerous path so far. Where does their relationship stand moving forward?
They're good friends. They work together, and they're really good friends. And Thea's going to find out some really big information going forward that only makes Roy and Thea closer. And [it] really makes them question if was just – it was big lie. Roy did lie to her, just a massive lie. Whether that lie is a big enough reason to be apart, you know? Because they kind of need each other in all of this, and they've gotten each other from the beginning. It's a matter of forgiveness.
Where does the mystery of Sara's murder fit in the back half of the season? Is it still front and center?
It is. Certain people don't know who killed her. So once those people find out, people are going to be at each other's throats once...it's funny because now I'm like thinking "Who knows?" Not everybody knows who actually killed Sara. Not even the person that killed Sara knows that she killed Sara. When that happens, imagine the relationship between Thea and Laurel. Imagine the relationship with all of that. I have a feeling there's going to be a lot of catfights coming up. We'll see.
What element of Roy from the comic books would you still love to play?
The drug aspect and the losing an arm. I think Roy's very emotional, and we're toying with that. He's toying with how he's going to cope with his deep issues. And I think that would be fun to do that kind of dark, edgy aspect of it.
”Arrow” returns Wednesday at 8:00 on The CW.