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

Heels Stephen Amell Alexander Ludwig
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Starz

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.

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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