For the Tom Welling fans on my flist, I want to highlight Justin's wonderful quote about him:
"Tom turned out to be...what I think his talent is, is directing. I think he's one of the best directors I've ever worked under, to be totally honest with you. The guy is wonderful to work with."
The entire interview follows:
Smallville's GREEN ARROW Takes Aim at Dark Archer, JSA.
By Jenna Busch
posted: 25 January 2010 05:46 pm ET
The two-hour “Smallville” movie “Absolute Justice” is set to air on Feb 5, 2010. Written by Newsarama’s Reader Favorite writer Geoff Johns, the movie will see Clark and Oliver meeting with the heroes of old, the Justice Society of America.
But before the JSA goodness, we have “Disciple” on January 29th. In this episode, Ollie has a run in with his former teacher, Dark Archer (Steve Bacic), who's kidnapped all his lady friends. Let's just say, they don't get along. We spoke with Justin Hartley, who plays Oliver Queen, the Green Arrow, about the second half of the season. Hartley spills some juicy info on the episode, Ollie's upcoming clash with Hawkman (Michael Shanks), why he really doesn't want anyone else from the universe to show up and the return of Speedy (Elise Gatien). He also drops a major hint about an upcoming love affair.
Newsarama: I know you have a run in with Dark Archer in the upcoming episode. So can you give us some info on the relationship you guys have? Sort of set it up for us?
Justin Hartley: Sure. So basically we've all seen Oliver take this turn for the worse this year and then kind of recover from it. And right now he's on the brink of recovering from this whole downward spiral thing and trying to figure out who he is and making sure...he's teetering back and forth, and I don't think he really trusts himself that much. But he's on this good path right now. So what happens is, because timing is everything on 'Smallville', right? This Dark Archer, this guy from Oliver's past comes back to kind of claim what's rightfully his. They were both members of this underground society and one of the deals of this society is, when you get older, your apprentice is supposed to take your life so that you don't watch yourself decay and all that stuff. So he comes back to claim that, and people around Oliver are kind of mistaking him for Oliver. They're not quite sure if it's Oliver. Maybe he's lost his mind, maybe he really is a bad guy. So they start second guessing him, which is kind of depressing in a little way. But they square off at the end, and...I'm not sure if I should tell you what exactly happens, but I am in the next episode, so I don't die. I can tell you that. [laughs] They square off, and Oliver is trying to claim what is his, saying, 'Look. I've changed. I'm a different person. That's not me anymore.' So there is a big face off there.
Nrama: We know that Speedy is back.
Hartley: Yes. She's one of the victims of the Dark Archer. What he's doing is, when Oliver denies him, when he says, 'Look, I'm not part of that anymore,' he stars going after people that Oliver cares about, so he goes after Speedy and Lois (Erica Durance) and Chloe (Allison Mack), and it's only a matter of time before things get really bad. So he's got to figure out a way to stop this guy from doing what he's doing, without giving this guy what he wants. So it's kind of an interesting little situation he's got himself into.
Nrama: Everyone is really freaking out about the two hour “Absolute Justice”. If Twitter is to be believed, it's going to be the highest rated show in television history.
Hartley: [laughs] Good!
Nrama: So how does “Disciple” set up “Absolute Justice”? Or does it?
Hartley: No...you know...it does in a way. I think it sets up Oliver for what he does in “Absolute Justice” more than the series. Those two shows are basically...I don't want to say they're stand alone shows, because they're not. They do tie into the main theme of the year. But those two episodes, they were so well done that they stand on their own. They don't contradict anything that we've done all year, but at the same time, they don't necessarily need any of that to stand on their own. They're individuals. It's basically a movie...and then afterwards we still talk about it a bit. In the subsequent episodes, we still talk about what's happened in those two. It doesn't set up the story line for any other character, but...for all the other heroic things that Oliver's doing, or that Green Arrow's doing in “Absolute Justice” and the things he does and the decisions he makes in “Disciple” kind of makes it more believable that this guy just came back from this downward, hurried momentum, is now kind of back and ready to do the hero thing.
Nrama: I read the official description of “Absolute Justice”, but they don't really talk much about what's going on with Oliver. Michael Shanks (Hawkman) has talked about you guys butting heads. Geoff Johns has spoken about a 'shared behavior'. So can you talk a bit about your role in that?
Hartley: First of all, huge mistake not mentioning my name. [laughs] Just kidding. Green Arrow is all through the thing and Oliver is all through the thing. It's mostly about the Justice Society, and Clark kind of finding out...there is this interesting thing where you find out who was after them is now after us. So we have to work together. And you're right. Hawkman and Green Arrow do not get along. They do not see eye to eye politically. [laughs] They don't see eye to eye on any kind of social issue. But yet they're stuck together because they work well together. So here you have two guys that are basically forced to work together to find out who the 'bad guy' is, and put a stop to all this bleeding, and in the process, they kind of, towards the end, grow to...I don't want to say like each other, because I don't think that really ever happens, but a mutual respect is kind of formed throughout the course of the show. I would say about half way through the second one, when you start to see that, although I don't agree with everything he's doing and he doesn't agree with everything I'm doing, the two characters kind of help each other out. It's interesting that Green Arrow is the one telling Hawkman things that basically he should have told himself three months ago. But since he's been able to figure all of that out, now he can help Hawkman get over what was lost to him. They definitely have common ground at the end.
Nrama: You've got some amazing characters from the DC Universe coming up in the rest of the season. Silver Banshee (Odessa Rae) was just announced. Is there someone from the universe you'd like to see that you haven't yet?
Hartley: You know, every time someone comes in from the universe, they usually end up beating the hell out of Oliver, so I don't want to see anybody. [laughs] Every time they bring in a new character, I get my ass kicked on that show. So I guess the question is, who would I like to get my ass kicked by? You know, man, I think that every time someone comes on the show...and to be quite honest with you, Silver Banshee came on the show, and I'm reading this script and I see Silver Banshee...I don't know Silver Banshee. I'd never heard of that, but just from the description, I thought I should look that up, because it probably has something to do with the comics and the DC Universe, and sure enough it did. I don't know. I like to see the people return a little bit. I'd like to see Cyborg (Lee Thompson Young) back for an episode. I think his story needs to be told a little bit more. But then, you know, I appreciate it when no one is there and they can dive in to the Clark (Tom Welling) story a little bit more. The Superman story. I have a lot of faith in them and what they're doing. They tend to know exactly...they have their finger on the pulse, you know what I mean? They have their story, their year, and they do a really good job of keeping everybody tuned in throughout the course of the year. So however many new characters they need or to maybe keep them away for a while and focus on Clark, they really do a good job. I was always an Incredible Hulk kid, but I don't think we can bring him on, because it's Marvel. [laughs] Let's see what happens there.
Nrama: Everyone wants to know what's up with Ollie's love life. Who are we going to see him end up with?
Hartley: We will see him with, let's see. In “Disciple”...you can assume that he's with a lot of women. I will say this. One of them is...I can't tell you who it is, but I can tell you that it's a series regular, and it's not someone that I've been with before. So we'll see how that goes.
Nrama: The message boards are going to go crazy with that little hint! We wanted to ask you about another upcoming episode, “Warrior” that Allison Mack is directing. What was that experience like?
Hartley: That was really great. I learned a long time ago...I think it was two years ago, maybe three years ago, when Tom (Welling) directed an episode. My first instinct was, 'Oh crap.' Basically I don't know how I'm going to handle that. But it was such a great experience. What I learned from that was, though it's hard to do sometimes, is not to have any preconceived notions that are so easy to have. Tom turned out to be...what I think his talent is, is directing. I think he's one of the best directors I've ever worked under, to be totally honest with you. The guy is wonderful to work with. So then Allison comes in and directs this episode and she's so smart, but yet she understands what her grasp of directing is now. OK? So she's not afraid to ask for help or listen to other people or any of that stuff. Which makes her even smarter. Working under her is great also...unfortunately I only get to do two quick little scenes, but one of them is with her. And she's got this way about her. She's really fun to be around and work for. It was really, really great. We're lucky. We have a great cast. Everybody likes each other and there's never a big ego thing going on, you know what I mean? Everyone's there for the baby.
Nrama: Another thing I happened to see online was something about you and Stargirl (Britt Irvin) clashing.
Hartley: Yeah. I guess a little bit, although I just kind of flick her off to the side a little bit. She's really small. I mean, I don't know about us clashing, but she just kind of annoys me. [laughs] But yeah, we do clash a little bit. I think it's funny, actually. Oliver is funny with women, you know what I mean? [laughs] You never know what you're going to get with him. But she's bound and determined and she's this little firecracker and so we have a little bit of a thing going on there I guess.
Nrama: The way it's been sounding, it's looking like there may be a Season 10. Are you signed on for that?
Hartley: Yeah, but I'm looking for a lot more money. I'm going to renegotiate for a sh*t load more money. [laughs] No, I'm kidding. But yeah. That's something I am signed on for. So the way it works is that, to be quite honest with you, if they want me on the show next year, if there is a Season 10...then they have me contracted. And if they don't want me on the show, then they can let me go. That's kind of the way it works. It works in their favor. So I have to mind my p's and q's. I have to be nice. Know what I mean? I can't just be a jerk. [laughs]
”Smallville” airs Friday night at 8/7c on the CW.