Stephen Amell's Speedo Moment
Stephen Amell is going from 40 year old superhero to wrestling villain.
On Tuesday, Starz unveiled first look photos of the Arrow star in the new wrestling drama Heels, which also stars Vikings' Alexander Ludwig. In the pics below, Amell and Ludwig are decked out in full wrestling attire and about to enter the ring — but they don't look too thrilled about it.
Stephen Amell as Jack Spade and Alexander Ludwig as Ace Spade on 'Heels' | CREDIT: QUANTRELL COLBERT/STARZ
Centered on a family-owned wrestling promotion, the Georgia-set show follows Jack Spade (Amell) and his younger brother/rival Ace (Ludwig) as they war over their late father's legacy. In the ring, Ace is usually the hero and Jack is his nemesis, a.k.a. the heel, "but in the real world, those characters can be hard to live up to — or hard to leave behind," reads the official synopsis. These are both Amell and Ludwig's first TV roles since Arrow and Vikings, respectively, ended in 2020.
This formula sounds a lot like a shameless rip off of the Byron Balasco mixed martial arts family in Kingdom, that starred Frank Grillo, Matt Lauria, Jonathan Tucker, and Nick Jonas. Kingdom was such a success it will be hard to match for its authenticity and grittiness. And then there's standing up next to 6'2" Alexander Ludwig in a speedo. Its kind of hard to live up to 29 year old Ludwig's physique.
Alexander Ludwig as Ace Spade and Stephen Amell as Jack Spade in 'Heels' | CREDIT: QUANTRELL COLBERT/STARZ
In October, Amell revealed he tested positive for the coronavirus and opened up about the anxiety he felt because of what his diagnosis could've meant for Heels, which he was shooting in Atlanta at the time.
"When it happened, when I got the positive test, for me it became, 'Holy f---! I just destroyed this show because I'm No. 1 on the call sheet and I work every day, more or less…" said Amell during an appearance on Michael Rosenbaum's podcast Insider You. "I'm in my head going, 'S---! They're going to have to shut down the production. We're not yet done with the first block of two episodes. Did I just ruin this?'"
Luckily, he didn't, as the show simply shut down for one day and pivoted to shooting other material while Amell recovered from the illness. "What they were able to do is mind boggling, quite frankly," he said. "It just goes to show that they were prepared for it, but not everyone has the luxury of taking two weeks off."
Heels also stars Mary McCormack, Alison Luff, Kelli Berglund, Allen Maldonado, Chris Bauer, Robby Ramos, Trey Tucker, Roxton Garcia, and James Harrison. The show is written by Community and Loki alum Michael Waldron, who executive produces alongside showrunner Mike O'Malley, Julie Yorn, Peter Segal, Chris Donnelly, and Patrick Walmsley.
Heels premieres summer 2021 on Starz.
Amell is no stranger to some shameless sexploitation, much to the delight of his millions of fans, as seen in this images above from his ARROW workout and below, naked poolside, from his Instagram.
. . . and in these images from the TV show HUNG. And if you dig deep enough you'll find shots of nearly naked Amell in the gay soap Dante's Cove (2005-2007).
But for most fans he will be best known as THE ARROW, from the long running CW hit, where he always rocked a pair of tight green leather pants and for some unknown reason wore black eye make up, but only when in the "Arrow" character. His Arrow alter ego, Oliver Queen, went back and forth from being preppy rich kid to martial arts fighter on a desert island, with shady characters. Yeah, it was sometimes worth the watch.
. . . and on Arrow Amell wore a towel and scars like no other.