"I can't believe they gave him a coat! They gave him like a black detective coat, like a vampire coat. And I'm like, 'That's his costume? A black trench coat? Are you serious? And I've gotta wear—look what I'm in. My goodness.'"
Believe me, Justin, I'd much rather see Tom in a costume like yours, just in red and blue. :)
The entire interview follows:
Smallville: Green Arrow's Future
Justin Hartley talks about the arrival of the Justice Society, Oliver's relationship with Speedy and more.
by Eric Goldman
January 27, 2010 - After taking a break for a couple of months, Smallville is back this Friday, with "Disciple," an episode focusing on Green Arrow. I spoke to Justin Hartley, who plays the emerald archer, to find out the big events in store for Oliver Queen this week, not to mention in the big February 5th two-hour Smallville event, "Absolute Justice", which introduces the Justice Society.
IGN TV: The show's finally coming back, and it sounds like you've got a really big episode coming up Friday.
Justin Hartley: Yeah, it's good. It's a lot about [how] Oliver has gone down this dark path and has sort of rebounded and found himself again, and everything is going well. He's taking it one day at a time, and he's still a really delicate person. And then this guy from his past comes back and reminds him of what he was like, and it starts to feel really familiar to Oliver. Boy, I'm making it sound like they're a couple, aren't I? Yeah, and then they cuddle! No. [Laughs]
Oliver's trying to explain to him, "Look, this is not who I am anymore." And this guy's coming back, saying, "Well, you can't get away from who you are. You can't run away from your true calling, who you really are. This is who you are; remember this." Oliver kind of rejects him and he goes after Oliver's friends and Lois and forces Oliver into a bad situation. He's forced to go after this guy, this Dark Archer and meet him face to face.
I think what you learn -- that is a beautiful part about Oliver's character -- is this is gonna be something that torments him his whole life, and it's not something that he's gonna get over; it's something that he's gonna have to deal with. And Oliver doesn't deal with things; he ignores them. So this is something that he can't ignore, which is kind of neat.
IGN: I know this episode involves Mia [AKA "Speedy"] again, and I'm curious how it is for you getting to play the mentor role. It's a different one for Oliver.
Hartley: That's fun, because usually he's the one kind of messing everything up, and it's really actually funny that he's trying to teach someone how to be, how to function. It's just like, "Are you serious? What qualifies him?" But they've got a good relationship. They've got a good thing going. She's one of the people that the Dark Archer goes after. Once he goes after her it kind of sends Oliver over the edge, and that's when he decides, "Well, I've gotta go deal with this guy," to protect her.
IGN: And then after that, you have "Absolute Justice", which I'm sure you're aware has fans very excited.
Hartley: It's gonna be great.
IGN: What was it like to film that and doing a story with all of these iconic characters?
Hartley: It was great. We knew that Geoff [Johns] was writing back-to-back episodes, so we knew they were going to tie in together. I didn't know they were going to air them back to back in one night, like a movie, until we got into the second one. And luckily for us, Tom [Welling] was directing it. He's been there for almost every scene of the past nine years, so he's got a good feel for the show. When Glen [Winter] directed the first one, and he's got a great feel for shots and the way the show should look, and Tom's got a great feel for the way the show should look and feel and Geoff wrote it – you're basically just there along for the ride. When you've got people taking care of you like that, it kind of makes things easy for you. It's fun.
Let's see, there's one scene where you have, and forgive me if I'm missing anybody, but you have Green Arrow, Stargirl – I don't think you have Dr. Fate, but maybe you do – Hawkman, Clark, Icicle's in the room... They're all battling, and they're all doing their special little tricks at the same time and it's all these ramping shots; it looks like a comic book, like you're flipping through a comic book. It's really cool.
IGN: In the comic, there's definitely an aggressive relationship between Hawkman and Green Arrow, and we've already seen the picture where you two seem to be fighting. What's that relationship like with these two characters in the Smallville universe?
Hartley: They don't get along very well. They both annoy each other, and I think Oliver probably annoys Hawkman a little bit more than vice versa, but [Hawkman's] just like an old grouch, you know what I mean? If I ever thought that I couldn't look ridiculous, it would be next to him. I look normal; he's got a beak and everything! It's weird. [Laughs] But he's an old grouch, and he's got these antiquated ways and weapons and toys and stuff like that. He doesn't have a lot of respect for Oliver and thinks he's like a childish little fool. So there's some quippy, fun dialogue, and there's also some serious action stuff. Towards the end, Hawkman kind of opens up to him and explains his side of the story, and says, well, "That's why you're so f**ked up." But I think even by the end they would prefer to not really be around each other. They annoy each other.
IGN: For a while on the show, you were pretty much it as far as a full costumed superhero with a code name. Has it been nice for you to finally get some other people in there so you're not the only guy standing around in a superhero outfit?
Hartley: Sometimes it is. I think they learned that you have to shoot that stuff at night. Because when you have multiple people dressed like that, and it's day time, it looks like trick or treat. When it's at night, it looks cool. And also, you can't have them talking that much. I don't think Oliver should ever talk when he's Green Arrow; I don't think Green Arrow should talk. Because he's got that voice, and, I don't know, sometimes it sounds goofy when he talks.
But, yeah, it's nice to have other people there that you can actually make fun of. I've got this running joke - every time someone shows up in a costume and I have mine on, I walk right up to them and go, "You look ridiculous." That's my "welcome to the show" to everyone that wears all that stuff. But yeah, it's good.
IGN: At least Tom is somewhat wearing a costume now, when he stands next to you on those rooftops.
Hartley: I can't believe they gave him a coat! They gave him like a black detective coat, like a vampire coat. And I'm like, "That's his costume? A black trench coat? Are you serious? And I've gotta wear—look what I'm in. My goodness."
IGN: A lot of people wanted to know if we might see Black Canary again at some point. Would you be excited to explore that relationship more since that's obviously one with a lot of meaning?
Hartley: She hasn't come back yet. I don't know if she's going to come back before the end of the year. I haven't heard any discussion of it. But yeah, that's always fun; there's always something there. And I think Alaina [Huffman], isn't she on a show?
IGN: Yeah, she's on Stargate Universe.
Justin Hartley: So she's here. She's up in Vancouver, so maybe. Who knows, but I haven't heard anything at all though.
IGN: Where do you think Oliver is at as far as his relationship status? He let Lois know that he still had feelings, but since then, she and Clark got a lot more intense than they have been. Has he moved on at this point?
Hartley: I don't think he'll ever move on. I think he's at an interesting place, where instead of carrying things around in a camouflage bag and not looking at it, he's actually forced to look at where he's at and realize that this is the woman that he will probably never have and he's gonna have to deal with that. And this is the past that's always going to be around with him and he's going to have to deal with that every day. Although he's in a better place now, that dark place he went to wasn't all for nothing. It was like he took stuff from that. I think he's more of a deeper guy now. He's a little bit more developed as far as a human being goes. That'll be fun for me as well.
IGN: A lot of viewers are intrigued even just by the possibility of Oliver and Chloe ever getting together. Is that something you foresee could possibly happen between those two characters?
Hartley: Yeah, that could happen. I don't know how much of that I'm allowed to say; just that I hope people are into it…
Smallville returns Friday, January 29th at 8:00pm ET/PT on The CW.