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EXCLUSIVE | 'Upload' star Robbie Amell hints at a possible return to Arrowverse, teases upcoming projects

In an exclusive interview with MEAWW, Robbie Amell talks about his experience of working in 'Upload', his future projects and a possible return to the Arrowverse
Robbie Amell (Getty Images)
Robbie Amell (Getty Images)

A story that begins in the afterlife, that's the premise of Amazon Prime's 'Upload', starring Robbie Amell and Andy Allo, and created by Greg Daniels. After meeting an untimely death, Nathan is 'uploaded' into a luxurious digital version of heaven called Lakeview by his girlfriend Ingrid (Allegra Edwards). The 'angel' assigned to him is Nora (Andy Allo), a customer service executive, who tends to his needs.

Though she is not allowed to form any friendship with her client, she does, and so begins an unusual love story, with elements of comedy and a thriller. The first season ended on a cliffhanger, leaving the door wide open for a Season 2. In an exclusive interview with MEA WorldWide, Amell opens up about the show, hints about the second season and discusses his future plans. 

On what drew him to the show, he promptly answers, "Greg Daniels. I am a huge fan of his from 'Parks and Recreation' and 'The Office'. And the script itself. I thought Nathan and I shared a similar sense of humor. I went and I met with Greg. I had read up to episodes 1, 2, 3. We talked a little about the project, and he thought that I might be right for the role. I just thought that he did such a great job for writing different genres, comedy, romantic comedy, sci-fi and I was just blown away by the script. It was one of those that you read and say 'This would be so great!'"

Speaking about the progression of his character, Amell said, "Nathan starts off as a shallow, self-centered douchebag. Greg and I talked about that, as it gives us somewhere to go. But we didn't want to lose the audience too early. I never found him to be a bad person, he was just into himself and could care a lot about others. Nora brings out the best in him, and it is interesting that he has to die for him to learn about life." 

Asked about the most challenging part of acting in this show, he said, "The biggest thing for me, was talking to Greg about the first episode and making sure that the audience didn't dislike Nathan. We just wanted to make sure we rode a fine line that he would still be someone you would root for, after thinking he was bit of a douchebag. As an actor, you're like 'I don't want people to give up on him'. Other than that, there's always the fear that goes into making a comedy, it's either funny or not. I had all the confidence in Greg, his direction and script. I was surrounded by great actors. Everybody Greg cast was really funny and great to work with."

Season 1 ended on a worrying cliffhanger as Nora confesses her feelings to Nathan, who is unable to respond. Thinking that Nathan has dismissed her feelings, Nora leaves town. Will Nathan and Nora find a way back to each other? Answering this question, Amell said, "At the end of Season 1, they said a lot, but it's about how much was heard. Nora needs to protect herself now. It will be an interesting dynamic to have Ingrid's character being uploaded."

Speaking about the second season, he said, "We met with the writers for Season 2, before the lockdown, Amazon was confident with the show and opened the writers' room and luckily the show premiered well and we could have a Season 2. Greg started thinking about this show 30 years ago and actually had a Season 2 and 3 mapped out. He was a writer on 'Saturday Night Live', and he thought of this concept but he felt it was too out there. But then stuff like 'Black Mirror' paved the way."

However, Amell prefers to keep the plot details of Season 2 under wraps. On whether we're heading to a future where we can upload our loved one's consciousness so that we can interact with them, he says, "With everything out there in the world and the growing technological revolution and everyone's desire for more time, it does seem possible."

Would he want to try this? "Yeah, but more of a last resort. I don't want to give up on my current life, too. But the breakfast buffet is good enough for me. It's so interesting that Greg did that, this wasn't a utopia or dystopia, but a middle-topia. It makes for good comedy and so much more relatable, and without being preachy. If man created digital afterlife, it would have the same problems that the world does, like the division of wealth." 

Amell has played several unique roles over the course of his career. He has acted in comedies like 'How I Met Your Mother' and 'Modern Family', and has also taken on action shows like Hawaii 5-0. Asked what is his comfort zone, he says, "I've enjoyed all of it. I've been very lucky to have worked with great people in my career. I made a movie with my friends 'Code-8', and that was one of the greatest experiences in my career. And then working in 'Upload' with a legend like Greg. Greg Berlanti, who has always supported me, and my family. He created the show 'Supergirl', 'Arrow' and 'The Flash'. I would like to continue working with great people."

Amell won hearts as Firestorm in 'The Flash'. On whether there is a possible return to the Arrowverse, he says, "For sure. It all depends on the schedule and whether it makes sense. They have a lot of great people on the show who deserve their time on-screen. It has to make sense for both sides. But it would be great and I would love to go back." 

About his upcoming projects, he says, "I have a movie premiering on Netflix on July 3, 'Desperados'. I have another film called 'Babysitter 2'. Just excited about that, and a sequel to Code-8, and a sequel to Upload, when the world goes back to normal."