On October 10, 2012, DC Comics fans witnessed the return of Green Arrow to The CW. Although he previously existed on Smallville, the character finally got a new start heading his own show, Arrow.
Canadian actor Stephen Amell debuted as the lead, bringing a fresh perspective to Green Arrow’s legacy. Since then, audiences continued to tune in to see the latest exploits of Oliver Queen throughout the Arrowverse. However, Stephen is not the only member of his family to bring to life a favorite comic book character.
His cousin, Robbie Amell, joined the DC Comics shared universe in 2015 as a recurring character on The Flash. Playing Ronnie Raymond / Firestorm, he even got the chance to share the screen with his cousin in the episode "Rogue Air". Since their debuts on their respective shows, both actors have become known for their handsome looks, great physiques, and solid acting abilities.
Despite their immense popularity, many fans do not know some of the darker secrets behind these famous cousins. Beyond their time growing up together, these two actors traveled very different paths to their current stardom. Along the way, they have taken dark roles, made life-changing career choices and overcame public controversies.
Here are the 16 Secrets About Robbie And Stephen Amell.
16 Stephen Worked As A Spin Instructor (And Played One On TV)
When first starting out in their acting career, many actors and actresses find themselves taking any part-time jobs to pay the bills. In the case of Stephen Amell, his job translated into his first acting gig.
While diligently working to make a name for himself in Hollywood, Stephen spent his days as a spin instructor. Incidentally, his first acting job on the Showtime series Queer as Folk ended up being a small part of him as a spin instructor. As he seemed like the obvious choice for the role, Amell viewed this potential role as a “final straw” for his acting career.
Stephen told After Elton: "because I was a spinning instructor at the time, I said, ‘If I don’t get this job, I quit.'"
The role lasted for two episodes and officially launched his acting career.
15 Robbie Missed Classed to Be A Child Model
Although his cousin Stephen got his acting start in his twenties, Robbie found his calling at a much younger age. Around age six, Robbie began working in the entertainment industry. He starred in commercials as a child actor for several years. However, along with his acting roles, he was also a child model.
In an interview with People Magazine, he recalled, “When I was a kid, I did a bunch of print work and commercials… It didn’t seem weird to me. I just walked up to my teacher and told her I had to go to my job and walk out of my class… My mom has so many cut-outs from Sears and Hanes.”
In addition to modeling and acting, he also starred in staged productions while in high school. That's one busy guy.
14 Stephen Has Been Married Before
Stephen Amell never shies away from talking about his friends and loved ones.
From his mother to his wife Cassandra and daughter Mavi, he loves to involve his family with his work. In fact, his wife has even traveled with him to Comic Cons and starred in panels with him. Their six-year marriage remains one of the most important parts of Stephen’s life. However, many fans may not know this but Cassandra was not Stephen’s first wife.
Back in 2007, Stephen married Carolyn Lawrence in Toronto.
Very few details have been released about his first marriage over the years. Sadly, the couple did not last. They eventually divorced just three years later in 2010.
Although fans may never know the details of his first marriage, they are happy to know Stephen found love again with his second wife.
13 Their last name wasn't always Amell
When fans hear the last name Amell, they immediately think of two prominent actors in the DC Comics tv world: Robbie and Stephen Amell. Known for their manly appearance and amazing action stunts, the two cousins made a name for themselves in the superhero genre. However, their famous last name changed considerably over the years.
In fact, Amell is not their real last name. According to IMDb, “[The] family's surname, ‘Amell, was spelled ‘Hamel’ several generations back, and originates in France.”
Not only does their surname have history but their family has important ties to the political history in Canada as well.
Their relatives have been the mayors of several cities including Waterloo and Berlin (now known as Kitchener).
In addition, a couple of relatives held distinguished positions as Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and in the Canadian Parliament.
12 Robbie's Family's bankruptcy
In addition to their political links in Canada, Robbie’s familial background connects to one of the most popular stores in Canada: Eaton’s.
Robbie’s maternal step-great-grandfather was actually the grandson of Timothy Eaton, who founded the store back in 1869. Over time, Eaton’s became Canada’s largest department store chain throughout the country. The store became well known for their steadfast policies of selling goods for one agreed-upon price instead of haggling for sales. Also, their store practices and methods became a standard for other chains throughout Canada and beyond.
Unfortunately, the chain hit hard times in 1999 leading to their bankruptcy. Sears Canada acquired the remaining Eaton’s stores and eventually converted them to the Sears brand. The legacy of Eaton and his department store remains a fond memory for many Canadians even today.
11 Stephen Initially Hated His Experience on Dante’s Cove
The series Dante’s Cove set itself apart from more typical LGBT programming. The program mixed the drama of soap opera storylines with a supernatural element. Though not well received by critics, the show still managed to take LGBT programming to a different level.
After taking a few small roles after his Queer As Folk debut part, Stephen Amell joined the cast of Dante’s Cove. Even with the series breaking new ground in programming, Stephen did not enjoy being part of the show. However, his displeasure came from working with a bad director. Thankfully, the show recognized he was not a good fit and fired him.
Unfortunately, Stephen did not get a chance to work there for long. After the first season, his character was recast and given to actor Jon Fleming.
10 Robbie Choose Acting Over A Hockey Career
Although Robbie Amell began acting at a very young age, he still lived a pretty normal childhood. The child model still participated in school activities, including sports. Robbie became a very prolific hockey player and loved being involved in the sport. However, after discovering the joy of acting, his priorities shifted drastically.
During his big screen debut in the comedy Cheaper by the Dozen 2, Amell realized his passion for acting outweighed his love of hockey.
In Hello! Magazine, Robbie spoke about the moment acting changed his life: “I played hockey my entire life right up until I booked Cheaper by the Dozen 2. Acting was not something I’d thought about doing. Like most Canadian kids, I had the dream of being a professional hockey player. Then Cheaper by the Dozen 2 happened, and halfway through filming I called my hockey coach and quit.” Wow.
9 Stephen Portrayed A Real-Life Criminal
Over the years, networks have come to learn about the profitability of national and worldwide scandals. From the trial of O.J. Simpson to the capture of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, these riveting stories become the basis for various made-for-tv movies and, on occasion, feature films.
Actor Stephen Amell found himself at the center of one such film several years ago. One of the biggest stories in 2005 revolved around the disappearance of 18-year-old Natalee Holloway in Aruba. The mystery surrounding her case continued for years until the arrest of prime suspect Joran van der Sloot.
In 2009, Lifetime released the film Natalee Holloway to recreate the events leading up to her disappearance. However, a follow-up 2011 film, Justice for Natalee Holloway, expanded on the story to include van der Sloot’s arrest. Stephen Amell took over the role of the wanted criminal from Jacques Strydom in the previous movie.
8 Stephen Rejected The Roles of Spartacus and Christian Grey
It’s hard to imagine anyone else starring in the role of Oliver Queen (aka Green Arrow) on the CW hit series Arrow. Since his start back in 2012, Stephen Amell has led the series to great success and continued popularity for over six years. However, during his quest to fight justice in Starling City, he turned down several roles that could have amplified his stardom considerably.
One of his possible roles included a spot in Spartacus: War of the Damned. According to IMDB, Amell “was considered to take over the role of Spartacus from Andy Whitfield, before Liam McIntyre was chosen to take over the role.”
In addition, Amell almost took on the wildly coveted part of Christian Grey in the Fifty Shades trilogy. Although he was the next choice after actor Charlie Hunnam pulled out of the role, Amell did not feel he would be the right choice and declined.
7 Robbie's Wild Night
Robbie Amell's movie career took off after starring in the film The Duff in 2015. Playing jock Wesley Rush, Amell garnered praise for his individual portrayal and as part of a strong cast. The tightknit group also shared some interested off-screen moments too.
In a weird bonding ritual, Robbie and his co-stars went out to an adult dance club in Atlanta and had a crazy night together.
In an interview with JustJared, he said, “We went to Clermont Lounge in Atlanta, which is an old-person... club... A couple friends of mine who’ve shot in Atlanta told me about it, and I told Mae, and Bianca [Santos], Skyler [Samuels], and Nick [Eversman]... It’s the weirdest place I’ve ever been, but that was so much fun.” Bonded for life!
6 Stephen Was Attacked And Injured By A Fan
In exchange for fame and wealth, many celebrities suffer some of the darker results of their popularity. As Stephen Amell became more famous because of Arrow, he continued to expand his fan base. However, one fan, in particular, became way too overzealous when he met the star in person.
ComicBook.com reported that Stephen was assaulted in his off time. He recalled, “I can’t believe it took five years for this to happen, but I was out in a bar in Syracuse having a really good time watching the UFC fights. Some dude taps me on the shoulder. I turn around and he goes ‘wham’ - head-butts me right in the face… I was like, ‘What are you doing?’ He was like, ‘I want to fight the Green Arrow.’”
Stephen later shared the story on Facebook along with a picture of his bruises.
5 Stephen Can Never Star in The DCEU... Although He Wants To
DC Comics has dominated in the entertainment industry for years, Between the features films and ongoing tv shows, their world of legendary superheroes continues to entertain fans everywhere. However, their big and small screen worlds exist with no crossovers. Though established characters exist in the TV shows, their big screen debuts take place with new backstories and actors.
Such was the case when the Flash debuted in feature films with actor Ezra Miller instead of The Flash tv star Grant Gustin. Unfortunately, the divide also dashes the hopes of Stephen Amell to ever star in a DC Extended Universe film.
Though he wanted to appear in the movies, his character will never get the chance. Not only do the worlds not cross over but Oliver Queen doesn’t even exist in the film world. Sorry, Stephen.
4 Robbie Wants to Play Batman
For ten episodes, Robbie Amell played one half of the character Firestorm. He continued the role of Ronnie Raymond until the character passed in 2017. Though his time with DC Comics came to an end, his desire to still be involved in the superhero world continues.
In 2013, Robbie shared with Access Online that he would love to take on the role of Batman and make a cameo appearance on Arrow. Several years later, he expressed his interest in Terry McGinnis in a live-action Batman Beyond movie but realized his dream may never happen.
In an article on IGN, Robbie admitted, "I think the problem is because they have Batman going on right now, they won’t make the Batman Beyond movie until I’m too old to be Terry McGinnis. By then I’ll probably be the old, crusty Batman.”
Check out this fan art with Amell in the role. Nice!
3 Stephen's Social Media Troubles
Like many stars with a notable social media presence, occasions arise when their comments and commentary tend to rub people the wrong way. In the case of Stephen Amell, his opinions have landed him in hot water several times.
In 2015, Stephen shared his views on the arrest of 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed for allegedly bringing a fake bomb to his school. Stephen posted this statement on his Twitter account: “Stereotyping Texas isn't any better than stereotyping Ahmed… Just so we're clear."
Stephen immediately received backlash for his comments and eventually apologized for his remarks. He even admitted to breaking his own rule about commenting on real-life events. He then took a social media hiatus, temporarily leaving his account on Facebook and Twitter until the controversy died down.
2 Stephen's Mother's Struggling Health
Although most fans only know Stephen Amell for his crime-fighting skills through the Arrowverse, he has received attention fame for his philanthropic interests as well. Amell became known for being an avid supporter of the F— Cancer. His campaigning even included custom t-shirts depicting this image with the “F— Cancer” slogan on his forehead.
His interested in the charity ties back to his love for his family.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the Arrow star said, "My mom was going through chemotherapy in April of 2012 and she and I just took a photo outside of a bar in Toronto when I was visiting. I was just giving the middle finger to the camera — representing 'f— cancer. At the time, I didn't know there was a charity called F— Cancer. They got in touch via Twitter and we've been working together ever since."
1 Their crowdfunded movie
Though the onscreen team-ups of the Amell cousins was limited in the Arrowverse, the two stars will have another chance to work together very soon. Their upcoming movie Code 8 began production in 2017 and will include both Robbie and Stephen as part of the cast. However, in the early stages of its development, the movie got a much needed financial boost for crowdfunding. A
fter releasing a 10-minute teaser for the film, the actors launched an Indiegogo campaign to fund the film. With an initial goal of $200,000, the campaign hit its target in 48 hours. After the month-long campaign concluded, they raised a total of $1,500,000. Backers of the campaign also received additional perks including producing credits, merchandise, and digital copies of the teaser and final full-length version.
Do you have any other trivia to share about Robbie and Stephen Amell? Let us know in the comments.