How Is Stephen Amell’s ‘Heels’ Character Like ‘Arrow’s Oliver Queen?

Heels Stephen Amell Alexander Ludwig

Stephen Amell headlining a drama set in the world of professional wrestling won’t surprise those who know him well: The former Arrow star is a lifelong fan of the entertainment-sport spectacle—he’s even suited up in several big-time matches himself. When a 2018 bout left him with a hip fracture, he promised his wife he’d give it up.

But then his stint as a superhero ended in early 2020, and he couldn’t resist the dual-identity role of Heels Jack Spade, head of, and performer in, the struggling Duffy Wrestling League. 

“Like Oliver Queen, who becomes someone else when he’s the Green Arrow, Jack is a very soft-spoken Southern gentleman, but in the ring, he’s this bombastic, mean, bad guy,” explains Amell. In wrestling-speak, he’s a “heel.”

With the help of operations manager Willie Day (Mary McCormack), Jack’s goal is to turn Duffy, based in rural Georgia, into a national brand. But that may spark sibling rivalry. His younger brother, Ace (Vikings Alexander Ludwig), also a wrestler, seems to have it easy by simply playing a “face”—a good guy the audience roots for—while Jack scripts all the matches.

“Will Jack embrace Ace as a partner, or will he hold Ace back from his true calling of worldwide fame?” says exec producer and actor Mike O’Malley, who recurs as rival league owner Charlie Gully. 

There certainly will be no holding back Amell. Despite injuring his back his first day shooting a match, he’s confident he’ll end up doing 98 percent of his own stunts. As he says, “It’s a blast.”

Heels, Summer, Starz