Like most Colton Haynes fans, we were bummed to hear that he wouldn’t be returning to “Teen Wolf” for Season 3; his character moves away in the four-month time-jump after Season 2. But after spending a little time with Haynes on the “Arrow” set this month, we’re no longer disappointed — we’re just incredibly excited to see the impact that his character, Roy Harper, will have on Oliver Queen and his cohorts.
In the comic books on which “Arrow” is based, Roy Harper is known as “Speedy,” the Green Arrow’s sidekick, and later he becomes the Red Arrow. He’s an orphan, introduced to archery by a Navajo medicine man, and he becomes an asset to Oliver until he’s sidelined by a heroin addiction. Obviously, the “Arrow” version of Roy is updated and reimagined, as all DC characters are when they appear in The CW show.
When we meet Roy in Wednesday’s episode, “Dodger,” he’s not exactly on
the up-and-up. “Roy is a very troubled soul,” Haynes tells us. “He’s definitely not brought up in a very good part of town; he’s from a place called The Glades. It’s a down-and-out, really poor neighborhood, so in order for Roy to move forward in the world he has to make some really bad decisions and do some very bad things.”
Very bad things, including purse-snatching. In fact, he and Thea (Willa Holland) are introduced when he tries to steal her bag. “I think that’s a good way to meet someone!” Colton jokes. “You steal their purse, you can kind of see what they have in there, and it’s only uphill from there. You get the bad stuff out of the way first.”
“That’s totally how lovers meet,” jokes Holland. “Somebody jacks your purse on the street, you go chasing after him, and then la-de-da! Cupid!” In addition to literally chasing Roy, though, Thea will be figuratively chasing him. Despite their less-than-ideal first encounter, she’s intrigued by him, and Holland tells us that we’ll see Thea make an attempt to win Roy over and convince him that she’s more than just some brainless rich girl.
On Roy’s part, his interactions with the wealthy, powerful folks of Starling City have mostly been limited to petty crime, so when Thea Queen starts to insert herself into his life, he sees a bit of an opportunity. “It starts to weigh on his mind that there could be a possibility of maybe getting into that world one day,” Haynes says. “At the same time, he’s not used to it. His ‘normal’ is being from the ghetto, in a sense. This all is just added trouble for him, because he wants to live this life that he’s been living, and now he’s starting to feel like someone might care about him.”
In the comic books, Ray is an orphan who is actually adopted by Oliver when they team up. Though the “Arrow” version of Oliver obviously isn’t in any place to be a father, he might be positioned to be a positive influence on Roy’s life. Roy has a lot to learn before Oliver sees any sidekick potential in him.
“I think Roy could definitely be an asset to Oliver’s life, but I think
in a way it could also be the other way around,” says Haynes. “Oliver could have a lot
of influence on the way that Roy sees life from here on out.”
Initially, though, most of Roy’s interactions are with Thea — when we
visited the set, Haynes hadn’t shot any scenes with Stephen Amell yet.
“I have an interaction with him coming up in an upcoming episode, but not
necessarily as Oliver,” Amell teases, hinting that the Arrow might have a few words with Roy. “Colton’s character Roy, at his core, is a good
person, but what we’re starting to learn … is there’s a
fundamental problem with The Glades. Oliver’s warehouse is in The
Glades, his club, by coincidence — not — is in the Glades. We heard a lot about it, all the way back into the pilot,
where Tommy takes me to see my father’s factory so I can scout the
location, and he just says, ‘This city’s gone to crap.’ One of the
things that we’re learning with the undertaking [and] Colton’s
character, is everything is kind of leading to The Glades.”
Tune in Wednesday night at 8 p.m. EST on The CW. In the meantime, watch our video interviews with Colton Haynes, Stephen Amell, and Willa Holland below.