In tonight’s mid-season finale, the DC Comics-inspired show follows up the debut of Barry Allen with a number of new wrinkles set to put the characters in a wounded position. For starters, series lead Oliver Queen is struggling after last week’s cliffhanger, his life in Allen’s hands. And to complicate matters further, teasers for the finale have shown Roy Harper — the street tough teen played by actor Colton Haynes — similarly inflicted with the Amazo-inspired super serum possessed by Brother Blood. As not everyone who’s exposed to the serum lives, the last new episode of 2013 presents multiple races against the clock under the ominous name “Three Ghosts.”
CBR News spoke with Haynes about his role as Harper, and the actor shared his thoughts on being the only character from the streets of Starling City, his pseudo-sidekick role and how Brother Blood’s schemes will set up the back half of Season 2.
CBR News: Colton, I’ve got to say that Roy has had a tough time of late. In particular, the last episode showed the vigilante being kind of a jerk to him.
Colton Haynes: Well, someone’s got to throw him a get well soon party. Why’s everyone gotta be so mean to Roy? He’s lived through enough! [Laughs]
It’s been interesting watching Roy’s journey over this season. Every time he tries to do something good, it seems to blow up in his face. How does that roll into this finale? Does it make for more of an “Empire Strikes Back” scenario, or is there a little light at the end of the tunnel?
After the mid-season finale and towards the end of the season, I feel like there may be a light at the end of the tunnel. But at the same time, there has been that whole “are they going to join forces?” tension going on with Oliver and Roy. During this finale, something very, very bad happens to Roy that Oliver has seen happen to Slade Wilson, and I think it’ll make him a little more aware of and a little more wanting to look after Roy — to monitor Roy in a way. He’s seen what Slade went through [on the island], and then Max didn’t make it out alive when he was injected. So we don’t know if Roy is going to or not.
What do you see as Roy’s thematic place in this part of the show? A big part of the series this year has been criticisms of Oliver being a rich boy trying to help the Glades, but Roy is really from the streets. Does that impact how he fits into everything going on with Brother Blood?
The good thing is that Roy can cover a part of town that Oliver is not used to, but at the same time, Roy’s not looking to just be his errand boy. I think Roy’s starting to realize that what he brings to the table is a lot more than Oliver is allotting him. It’s going to be interesting to see the relationship between Roy and Sebastian — Brother Blood — because it’s almost like a puppeteer kind of thing going on. Roy doesn’t know who injected him going forward since Sebastian wears the mask.
Roy is a bit of a rebel on the show, but I still get the feeling that he’s looking for someone to mentor him. Is that part of what gets him involved with Brother Blood?
No, it really happens because Roy is always poking his head in everyone’s business and getting involved in things behind the scenes. What happens is that Roy is snooping for information and eventually gets clocked over the head and taken. [Laughs] It’s almost like it was in the episode last year, where he was kidnapped. He’s getting himself into more trouble, and I think that could present itself in a way where Roy more sees the dark side of things. Which route is he going to choose? Is he going to wait in the wings where Oliver wants him to stay, or is he possibly going to join the dark side and get to do more than what he’s done in the past?
Since you were introduced onto the show, Roy has been a bit of a mix between action hero and punching bag. Do you like being in that position where you’re either jumping over fences or getting punched a lot?
Well, luckily I have the best stunt guy in the world, Curtis [Braconnier]. I’m the last person to be like, “I do all my stunts,” because I do almost none of them. It’s fun to watch myself on television, because I look like a badass. [Laughs] But I have to really give all the credit to the stunt team and James “Bam Bam” Bamford. I like that they’ve turned Roy into a badass, but at the same time, there’s a real heart that’s hiding behind that concrete all. It’s been cool to see how his love has developed with Thea and how he’s looking for that brotherly or father figure in the Arrow. Little does he know that when he’s having these quippy conversations with Oliver, they’re one and the same. If the Arrow ever gets unmasked to Roy, that’ll be a really fun aspect to play.
It’s also been fun to see you spin off in this “Blood Rush” serial that’s divided between TV and online. I feel like the most fun for you there was to play off Emily Bett Rickards’ Felicity, but what was it like adding to the world in that way?
It was so much fun working with Emily. Felicity is my favorite character in the series. I mean, she’s everyone’s favorite character! [Laughs] But it was fun because it made both of us think that there’s a possibility that we could actually work together on the show. It was great to see the dynamic between the two in the Bose spots, and I’m very hopeful that there will be more of that in the future.
Looking down the road, everything we’ve talked about aside, the big question around Roy is whether he’ll join Oliver fully and morph into some version of Speedy. Are you hopeful or worried about the possibility of being fitted for a costume?
I am looking forward to it, if it happens. That would be incredible. But I am a little nervous about it. Luckily, as we’ve all seen, I’ve gotten to keep my clothes on this season, which I’m so excited about, especially after Thanksgiving. But I’ve seen the costumes for all of the possibilities, whether it be Red Arrow, Speedy or Arsenal, and they’re quite revealing! [Laughs] So I’m going to do my best to bribe Greg [Berlanti], Andrew [Kreisberg] and Marc [Guggenheim] and see if they can maybe make it so I won’t have to be so scared to go to work in the cold every day.
“Arrow’s” mid-season finale airs tonight at 8:00 Eastern and Pacific on The CW.