Need Your Heroes, Villains and Hotties? Go To 'Arrow' and 'The Flash!'

13 cast members and 3 producers were present for the Arrow/Flash panel. (Getty)

They’re physiques are to die for. They will save your life. And they look good in spandex when they’re conquering the bad guys. But what is a good hero without the best villain (or villains) to fight? That question gets answered over and over on the CW series “Arrow and it’s spin-off, “The Flash.

Whether you’re a comic book fan or just like good action with a slightly fantastical backdrop, there’s much to love about both the heroes and the villains on each show so it would make sense that the CW would gather both adversarial groups together for a panel this past weekend at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour.

On Sunday, “Arrow” cast members Stephen Amell, Colton Haynes, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Brandon Routh, John Barrowman joined Grant Gustin, Tom Cavanagh, Wentworth Miller, Dominic Purcell, Robbie Amell from “The Flash” as well as executive producers for both shows, Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg. 

Of the group that gathered, Barrowman, Miller and Berlanti are out actors and producer, respectively. Gustin first came to TV viewers’ attention playing gay character Sebastian previously on the Fox series, “Glee” and Routh played gay on the short-lived CBS sitcom, “Partners.”

Here are some highlights:

Amell on the arc that started in the midseason finale with Oliver falling to his 'death.' (He is present so obviously Ollie survives:

“We had a very full discussion about the third season back in, I want to say, late June or early July, and they said the first arc of our season will commence with Sara’s death, and will end with Oliver facing Ra’s al Ghul and losing.  I personally love when there is adversity for the protagonists.  And when we give other characters on the show an opportunity to acquit themselves and to come more into leading roles, because we’re 50‑plus episodes into the show, and if we don’t give other characters an opportunity to shoulder the load, then we give nothing for the viewers to attach themselves to, and it’ll be really difficult to do our next 50 episodes, as we just found out. So I’m excited.  I’m excited for everyone’s opportunity. 

Barrowman on why there are so many comic book hero shows on TV right now:

“Because geeks rule the world.”

Barrowman was also asked how he feels about being surrounded by so many great looking men. Never one to shy away from talking about hot men, the actor/singer replied:

"I just like it when there are fight sequences with shirts off. I never miss any of those. Stephen always finds it quite strange when he's in the makeup trailer, and he's getting his scarring done, I am there. And I don't know why, I just seem to be drawn to the trailer…but, yeah it's always nice. Very nice."

Front row (l-r); Tom Cavanagh, Wentworth Miller, Dominic Purcell. Back row (l-r): Marc Guggenheim, Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg, Victor Garber, Robbie Amell. (Getty)

Out producer Berlanti on how the writers approaching story for both shows and NOT seeing them as comic book shows:

"The only other thing I'd probably add to it is just we really don't think of them like superhero shows and genre shows. I know it's probably hard to believe, but we get most excited when we're in the story room and the writing room to work with these actors and to create stories and character stories and character journeys for these people, and the people that are up in Canada right now. And it's no different from when I've been able to participate in family shows or teen dramas or straight‑on character shows. It often always just feels the same. You know, it's what's the heart of the story, what are we following, and why do we care, and why is this going to be exciting and interesting, and how can we craft a scene that's as talented as some of the people ‑‑ all the people we're surrounded by right now."

What comes first, the actor or the villain they are going to play? Berlanti, who went after Miller for the role of villain Captain Cold, said:

"I would say the really exciting thing about today, for me, just personally, in addition to seeing all of the actors next to their comic-book characters on the screen, which is really cool, is that everybody that was, you know, additive to this, beyond the original cast, we would make a list, and at the top of the list would be an actor's name that we thought we wouldn't be able to get, and they're on the stage today. So everyone was our first choice. So we're really, really, really lucky. And then, yeah, we do tend to write to that, I think, because, you know, we get excited by the notion of what they can do and that inspires us."

Gustin on how to not let things get to wacky when shooting with green screen and fighting comic book villains:

"And in the respect of not letting it get too, you know, big and goofy and whatnot. The green screen work scared me early on, because I had never done anything like that, and there's nothing in front of you, and you have to imagine it at all. But I've been playing a superhero since I was a kid. And, you know, you don't think you're goofing around as a kid; you take it very seriously. And I think, as an actor, what I always try to find first in a scene is just what is my truth in that scene. And if I can just find truthfulness in any scene, and no matter how big it is, then it's going to be grounded."

Routh, who came into the public eye playing Superman on the big screen, said of adding another superhero (Atom) to his resume:

"When this was proposed to me, it was just a meeting about to come and talk about this idea that they had for a character. And I was hesitant, yes, to be honest, stepping into this DC world again. Really never thinking that would happen, that I would never play another superhero, having played, you know, in my mind, the pinnacle character. But I went forth with open arms, because I appreciated the work of the show, of seeing "Arrow" and the great work they were doing there. And, you know, it's been nothing but, like, amazing, an amazing experience getting to play a character that I get to go and have fun and be light most of the time. And have fun with Emily. And, you know, it's just become such a cool experience. Everyone on the show is amazing to work with. And it's loved. It's good to be a part of the show that's so well loved and appreciated. And I'm loving playing this character. So, yeah, I would love to keep (laughs) - love to keep playing him as much as possible."

Out actor Garber said he didn’t necessarily look for a comic book project but has a history with the producers of ‘Arrow and ‘The Flash:’

“No, it never crossed my mind, seriously.  I mean, I did play Jesus once. (Laughter from reporters) But really, it’s gentlemen to my right, the three gentlemen to my right…we were involved in a show a few years ago called “Eli Stone,” and it was one of the best experiences I ever had.  And so as soon as I got the call about this, I basically said yes before I really knew anything about it.  Because I knew I was in good hands.  And then, unfortunately, I have to work with Robbie Amell, but that seems to be working out.”

“Arrow” airs Wednesdays at 8pm and ‘The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8pm, both on the CW.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

Got a comment for the LGBT site? Tweet @JimHalterman or his Facebook page with your question.







The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

Got a comment for the LGBT site? Tweet @JimHalterman or his Facebook page with your question.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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