‘Arrow’s Joseph David-Jones on the ‘Growing Pains’ of the Future Team

Leap of Faith
Colin Bentley/The CW

It’s up to the kids to save Star City now — at least in the future timeline.

Arrow introduced flash-forwards last year, and we’ll continue to follow Mia (Katherine McNamara), William (Ben Lewis), Connor (Joseph David-Jones), and Zoe (Andrea Sixtos) during the final season. And their job is going to be even harder because the enemy is Connor’s brother, JJ (Charlie Barnett).

Though there is love between the brothers, they did choose different paths, and that puts them at odds — which also creates conflict between teammates.

Here, Joseph David-Jones previews the future team’s dynamics and Connor’s relationships with Mia and JJ.

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How do you think Connor’s time beginning to work as part of the future team last season & having the older heroes guiding them has shaped him into the Connor we see in Season 8?

Joseph David-Jones: For the longest time, he was just with Mia. It was him looking out for her and getting roped into dangerous situations with her, up until the team actually formed. There was always this desire in him to live up to that hero mantle that his father had, that Diggle has in the show, and forming with the team with everyone, it’s the manifestation of his desires.

It’s weird because last season they obviously had the team to work with and know what to do and the best way to approach missions and everything. What you see is that’s not so much the case for this season. It’s going to be a lot of growing pains with trying to find the right way to take over the mantle to be a hero.

(Sergei Bachlakov/The CW)

Speaking of the growing pains and how the team is doing working together this season, who has the easiest time adapting and who’s clashing the most?

More than likely, William is probably having the easiest time adapting. His role in the show is pretty well established and he’s trying to get us to find where we all fit and behave like a team together. Although he’s definitely getting roped into his failures like anybody else, he’s going to be the one who has the easiest adjustment.

I’d say it’s a tie for the worst time adjusting with Connor and Mia, especially with the way this season is going to start out. A lot of the conflict with him is having to deal with doing the right thing even though the person they’re in conflict with is the person who’s closest to him in his life and trying to do the right thing and trying to be that hero when there’s so much strong conflict with the person we’re fighting.

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With Mia, it’s trying to play well with others. For so much of her life, she’s been a loner and she’s been someone who does what she wants to do and a lot of times, that just doesn’t work. It’s hard to adjust to that and learn how to work with a team when people are constantly going against each other.

Speaking of Connor and Mia, they seemed pretty close last season, at least until she found out who he is. How is their relationship this season?

The conflict is still from a place of love. It’s just hurt and trust. We’re definitely going to see more of that in this season, but it’s also coupled with the conflict of who’s going to take the lead on these missions, who’s the one who’s going to pull the team together, and a lot of that plays out in these first few episodes.

(Katie Yu/The CW)

They formed this team, but nobody knows who should be in charge of it. It’s just us trying to figure out where everyone fits, especially when JJ comes into the mix. It’s going to be a love-hate thing and we’re going to feel that conflict throughout this season.

Speaking of love, is there potential for romance this season?

I think there is. We shall see where this relationship goes. That’s the thing. There wouldn’t be as much conflict if there wasn’t a lot of love there and a lot of history, so it’s trying to fight through that and the conflicting ideas. And also Mia is someone who’s very, very closed off, just in general, so even admitting feelings for someone is hard for her to do. In a way, it’s a lot of yelling because they care.

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We got bits and pieces about the estrangement between Connor and JJ last season through conversations between Connor and Mia. How would you describe how their relationship has changed and how often they say each other?

The relationships is so complicated just because of the different paths each brother has taken. There’s still a lot of love between them. You feel that from Connor just as much as JJ, especially in this season.

JJ, you’ll find this out, doesn’t blame Connor for anything that’s happened in his life or where he is. If anything, Connor blames himself for where JJ is now, but there’s a lot of love there, but it’s difficult because each person thinks they’re right or they found the right path. You’re going to see a lot of conflict between JJ and Connor, but it’s all going to be because for the longest time, we were each other’s best friends.

(Sergei Bachlakov/The CW)

In a lot of ways, it’s mirroring [Diggle] and his brother’s relationship in earlier seasons, so you’re going to get some of that.

Let’s hope it doesn’t end the same way.

I know.

Arrow, Tuesdays, 9/8c, The CW