SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for "Spartan," the latest episode of Arrow.
Arrow just offered a glimpse into John Diggle's past. In "Spartan," the latest episode, Dig turned to his stepfather General Stewart for help with a mission. This led Dig to confront some of the ghosts in his past, including his unresolved anger for Stewart's role in his biological father's death. Soon, Dig learned the truth behind his father's death and the extent to which Stewart cared for him, leading him to reconcile with Stewart and heal from the trauma of his childhood.
Speaking to CBR, Dig actor David Ramsey reflected on his character's journey in "Spartan" and why that arc resonated with him personally. He praised Ernie Hudson for his "sincere" performance as General Stewart, addressed that big wink to Green Lantern mythology and teased Stewart's return down the line. He also dropped a big hint about Diggle's status in the 2040 timeline, revealed what he hopes to explore in the show's final season, addressed Emily Bett Rickards' departure and more.
CBR: What was it like to work with Ernie Hudson?
Ramsey: You've got to be on your A-game! How do you make a four-star general -- how do you play and look at him as official and larger-than-life as he is, and then, in an instant, he's Dad! Right? Now he's just Dad. The ability to kind of instantaneously switch gears that way is, you know, just a testament to how great Ernie is. Everyone knows that! It was just fantastic, you know? Just watching him work and throw me low pitches for me to swing at, in terms of just playing my character and the lines... It was just great.
I can't think of anyone that could have played Diggle's father with the emotional resonance that he had and the command that he had. He's everything you thought that Diggle's father would be, and with so much heart -- with just so much heart. We haven't, hopefully -- well, I know we haven't seen the last of General Stewart. And it was also fun to find out that Diggle's mother is around someplace in this universe! So it was fun.
At this point, you've been playing Diggle for years now. After all that time, did you build up some kind of long backstory for him in your head?
Yeah, you have to! You have to do that, to kind of make sense of it all and give everything some weight in terms of where it's coming from. So I always knew my father was around. We always knew that, because we always talked about -- since Season 2 or 1 -- of exactly what Diggle's backstory was. You know, we've always talked about his father being some sort of military person or another. So we knew he was alive in this universe, but we kind of wanted to... tease some things as well and we wanted to play with this Green Lantern idea and we don't know what's going to come of that, but to make his last name General Stewart, I think, is the greatest Easter egg. So we just kind of want to wait till the right opportunity. So I think they nailed it. I think they involved all the party. The casting was great and I think him being General Stewart is fantastic.
Did the writers discuss that at all while they were developing this episode?
I suggested Ernie, when we knew what was happening, in terms of this season being the season we'll see him. At the beginning of this season, me, Marc [Guggenheim] and Beth [Schwartz] talked about it and I suggested Ernie Hudson. I couldn't think of anyone that would be as wonderful as Ernie was. So yeah, we talked about it at some length.
Listen, the writers don't look at me for approval, but we do discuss these things to some degree -- and him being adopted as opposed to it being his blood father. You know, that was an important issue. So there was some discussion about this -- whether or not we would talk about Andy in this episode. I mean, we all talked about this to some degree. I surely put Ernie's name in the hat because I couldn't think of anyone that would be better in this role.
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