EXCLUSIVE | 'Arrow' archery trainer Patricia Gonsalves reveals Stephen Amell's grueling training for Oliver Queen's role
Before 'Arrow', Amell was an acclaimed actor, but for his role on the show, he had to become someone else. He had to become something else.
Oliver Queen / Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) has dazzled fans with his archery skills for eight long seasons of 'Arrow' and soon it will be time for him to bow out. But ever wondered how he got that good at handling a bow?
Before 'Arrow', Amell was an acclaimed actor but for his role on the show, he had to become someone else. He had to become something else. Lykopis Archery founder Patricia Gonsalves, who trained Amell in archery right from the beginning of the show, spoke to MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) in an exclusive interview about the training that Amell went through for the role.
"So before we filmed the pilot," Gonsalves said. "He did a month of training that was every Monday through Friday for a couple of hours. Him and I in a cold, very large warehouse. We started out with some basic archery and then we got moving."
When preparing Amell for his role as the Green Arrow, Gonsalves faced a major challenge, getting his actions to seem authentic while also looking good on screen. The focus on authenticity was partly because of how archery was depicted in Marvel's 'The Avengers'.
"Jeremy Renner's portrayal of Hawkeye in the Avengers movie, archery-wise, most archers were not happy with that," she explained. "And he admitted that though he had archery lessons, and what he learned didn't translate well on the screen and he's right."
"If it wasn't for the fancy camera, it's kind of boring to watch," she continued. "So when I started to train Stephen, we stood still and we shot, and then I was like, we got to get moving. We gotta get him to have this bow in his hand like it's not there. Like, it's like it's his cell phone. Like it's just an extension of his body. And we need to get that movement of shooting the arrow to be very dynamic and engaging."
So they trained, focusing on getting Amell's movements to be as realistic as possible without compromising on cinematic perfection. And for a whole month before the pilot and for the long years afterward, Amell continued to hone his skills.
"Stephen went through the paces," Gonsalves said. "He pushed himself a lot. I had hay bales brought in and we set up hay bales here, obstacle course, and cardboard cutouts of dudes, and he was running and shooting real arrows, jumping. And then he put a lot of work into it to make sure that he looked authentic as well as like a superhero. So, yeah, he definitely progressed into his own style over eight seasons and I remember sort of the day where it turned over. I think it was around season three when I just realized I hadn't had to give him little pointers, with the elbow further or whatever. And those little pointers came few and far between. But Stephen was always willing to listen when I had learned a new technique and he's saying that if I thought it would translate on screen. He was always willing to listen and give it a try."
Stephen Amell's Oliver Queen will be back in 'Crisis on Infinite Earths' Part 4, airing exclusively on The CW on January 14.