'I hope Wild Dog will fight alongside Batgirl this year,' says Rick Gonzalez about the fate of Rene in 'Arrow' season 7
Rick says Captain Lance's death will force Team Arrow to pick up the pieces and start over in order to capture Diaz
It has been close to a month since 'Arrow' aired that epic finale, where Oliver Queen aka the Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) was captured, not by his past demons or current foes, but by the American government. Team Arrow is in disarray and we are all left wondering "What next?"
Just as I thought saving Star City is a lost cause, Rick Gonzalez aka Rene Ramirez aka Wild Dog swooped in and put things into perspective. We got to speak about everything from how Captain Lance's death will impact Team Arrow to him hoping to kick some a** alongside potential Arrowverse inductee Batgirl.
Here are some edited excerpts from Meaww's interview with Rick or CW's 'Arrow':
Congratulations on a great run on 'Arrow.' This season, for the first time, has not left us with a fear of an impending big bad, but with a sense of defeat. Before you read the script, did you anticipate this sort of an ending? What was your reaction to it?
Rick: Thank you. I did find out the plan for the ending of the season before the script came out. My first reaction was, “That’s great”. What I love about the writers on our show is they continue to find ways to create different storylines to engage our audience. Which allows the characters to continuously react and grow on the show. ‘Arrow’ tries to break conventional story methods for television which makes working on the show fun and interesting.
I read that Paul Blackthorne will not be returning for another season, which means that the death of Captain Lance might stick. How do you think it will affect the Team Arrow dynamic? Rene had a great bond with him, how do you think he will cope with the news?
Rick: Sadly yes, we lost Paul Blackthorne as Captain Lance on the show. I will miss Paul a great deal and wish him well on his new show. I know he will be fantastic and I’m rooting for him always. I think things will dynamically change for everyone in the upcoming season.
Losing Captain Lance was the ultimate loss on the show for Team Arrow and not capturing Ricardo Diaz was the icing on the cake. Team Arrow will have to pick up the pieces and start over in order to capture Diaz.
Personally, for Rene, Captain Lance meant a lot to him. Lance represented the first glimmer of hope in a world where Rene was always dealt a bad hand. I’m sure Rene will always keep a special place in his heart for Captain Lance.
In exchange, you are getting Roy back. What excites you most about this addition?
Rick: Yes, excited that Colton Haynes joins the cast again. I think having Roy Harper as a part of the show will take us back to where the show first started. Interestingly enough, Rene Ramirez and Roy Harper are from the “Glades”. I’m sure on some level there’s a good connection to be had from two good guys from a tough neighborhood.
There is also the Earth 2 Laurel who is now seemingly on Team Arrow. Would everyone be able to forgive her and work with her - especially the members of the split team?
Rick: In comic books having the villain team up with the heroes is a timeless idea. If Black Siren does team up with Team Arrow it would not be a shock. What’s fun is how does this complicate things in the future for Team Arrow? We’ll see.
What do you hope for Rene in the coming season? Maybe a love story?
Rick: I hope for Rene in the new season to continue to peel back layers for the audience to get to know a character with a strong vibe and energy. The juxtaposition for Rene is played out through the season with his daughter. You see how much he cares for Zoe and also you see how strong he holds his position with everyone else. I believe we will continue to see just what makes Rene tick and how much of a great hero he is.
Could you walk us through a typical day on the sets of 'Arrow'? Are pranks a staple? Who breaks character the most?
Rick: Typical day consists of an early start in the morning. We rehearse the scene and do what’s called “blocking” which means the actors and director create the physical movements of the scene to coincide logistics with the camera. Once that’s finished we start shooting the scene. From time to time, If I’m shooting with Echo [Kellum] especially we flub our lines and make each other laugh. Good times.
How excited do you get about the prospect of crossovers in the Arrowverse? You are yet to be on 'The Flash' and 'Supergirl'? How hard are you going to rally for that?
Rick: I remember back in season 5 learning about the crossovers and when I was told I would be in it with 'Supergirl' and 'The Flash', I was very happy. I so wanted Wild Dog to converse with these great heroes. It’s a long time coming for Wild Dog who started out with his own comic back in the 80’s.
I really hope we get to see Wild Dog fight alongside “Batgirl” this year who will make her appearance in our “Crossover”.
Could you tell us a little bit about your audition process for landing the role on 'Arrow'? What excited you the most about Rene?
Rick: Well, when I auditioned for 'Arrow', I read for a part with a different name than Rene Ramirez. When I got the part, our costume designer Maya Mani said: 'What are your sizes? I need to fit you for a mask as well.' I replied: “Excuse me? I think you have the wrong character? I’m playing so and so.” Maya says: 'No honey your playing “Wild Dog”'.
I immediately became excited. Googled Wild Dog and the rest is history. What excites me about Rene is his energy. I grew up loving 'Wolverine' and 'The Punisher'. I feel like Rene/Wild Dog has the same energy.
What are some of the projects in your near future that you are excited about?
Rick: Right now all of my focus is on Rene and Arrow.
What is your career bucket list like? Who are some of the actors and directors you would like to work with? Any genre you would like to explore?
Rick: I love what Ryan Coogler is doing. Hopefully, we can work together soon. As a kid I watched 'Say Anything' and loved everything Cameron Crowe did after as well. Would be nice to work with him.