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Tom Cruise or Jesse Plemons? Arrow's Stephen Amell explains his actor dichotomy

Also: which movie director would have him climbing into the trunk of a car?

Stephen Amell at MCM Comic Con 2023
Image credit: ReedPop

Best known for roles on Arrow and the the recent wrestling draam Heels, Stephen Amell is clearly thinking about upcoming moves when it comes to acting, surprising attendees at his MCM London panel with some teases about where he might go next.

Asked if he’d have any interest in theatrical work in the future, Amell said, “I do have interest in doing it in the future. Seeing my buddy Colin in his play has galvanized that in me. I’d love to do Broadway or the West End.”

Consider it the latest career ambition for a man who, in his own words, only got started as an actor because it “just sort of seemed like a good idea.” If nothing else, he explained, it was better than the job he had at the time, saying that his calculations didn’t extend much further than thinking, “it beat landscaping.”

These days, he said, there are two different types of careers he considers in terms of actors, describing it as thinking, “there’s Tom Cruise and there’s Jesse Plemons. The former, he said was a movie star — 'He’s Tom Cruise, and he’s Tom Cruise all the time' — while the latter will disappear for months at a time, and then return having entirely immersed himself in the role.

Of course, there’s more to his career than just acting; there’s also producing, a move that Amell explained by saying, “My nature when I’m on a film set [is that] I’m not controlling, but I do like to be in control. I like to know everything that’s going on. I don’t just focus on myself, I focus on everyone’s stuff. If there’s one thing that doesn’t work on a script, it’s like a loose thread on a knitted sweater.” Producing, he said, “just seemed like a natural thing.”

“If I’m going to do any sort of project, I either want to be a passenger, or I want to have the car keys,” he reasoned. “I don’t want to ride shotgun sporadically giving directions. But if I’m in a Martin Scorcese film, you know, put me in the trunk.”

Hey, Marty; sounds like Stephen Amell is ready to go the Jesse Plemons route for awhile.


While Amell is working out his future, revisit his Arrowverse past. We’ve got a guide to the best way to do that.