After eight seasons of Arrow – 92%, fans still miss Canadian actor Stephen Amell, but they can still see him on Starz’s Heels – 100% series, which premiered last month. Heels It is about two brothers who are dedicated to wrestling and are rivals in a town in Georgia, Jack Spade (Amell) and Ace Spade (Alexander Ludwig).
You may also like: INTERVIEW: Heels | Ring villains you’ll love to hate
Maybe the series is not as popular as it was Arrow in the past eight years, but it had a good reception from the critics, and the performances of the protagonists were highlighted as a strong point of it. Amell, on the other hand, can hardly be forgotten as Oliver Queen / Green Arrow, the DC Comics superhero who he brought to life from 2012 to 2020.
Heels premiered on August 15 only and has not finished its first season, but it has already elicited several comments from fans, and the lead actor read some of these in a new BuzzFeed video titled “Stephen Amell Reads Thirst Tweets” (Stephen Amell reads hot tweets). Although the outlet told him that he could skip the ones that made him uncomfortable, the actor said he would read all of them, and one of the comments he received was:
Stephen Ammel and Alexander Ludwig are on a wrestling show called Heels … God blessed us with exciting wrestling.
And the actor replied:
Absolutely a lot of spandex, a lot of homoeroticism, we used to joke all the time, because during the first season of Arrow, they made me gay porn about it, and the other night I commented to Alexander at dinner that they no longer need to do a gay parody, or Heels gay porn, because I think he’s gay enough already.
Also read: Arrow: Stephen Amell says gay scene was his favorite of the entire series
With this statement the actor makes it clear that they have no problem with the versions of gay porn that were made from Arrow, nor with the fact that his new series is loaded with homoeroticism; He also reaffirms his support for the LGBTQ community, among which he surely has many longtime fans. In a recent interview with actor Michael Rosenbaum on his podcast Inside of you, Amell was questioned about replaying Arrow and this was his answer:
If they had asked me, I don’t know, but they haven’t. I was thinking about this question as I was driving here and … If the opportunity ever arose to do 6 to 8 episodes of Arrow as a limited series on Netflix or HBO Max, or something like that, or on The CW, depending on the case, I think it would be amazing.
The LGBTQ community has begun to gain greater representation in recent years, and the industry’s shift in attitude toward LGBTQ stories and actors is notable; in previous years, heterosexual and cisgender actors were those who played homosexual and trans characters, examples of this are Hilary Swank in Los Muchachos No Lloran – 88%, Jared Leto in The Homeless Club – 94%, and Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl – 69%, among many others. Currently that is seen as unacceptable, not because they want to limit the art of acting as some suggest, but to give more opportunities to members of a community that has been marginalized throughout history.
As for the superhero subgenre, where Amell stood out for several years, we have few examples of LGBTQ representation, in DC we find it in the Supergirl series, in Marvel we will see it in Eternals, and only Deadpool 2 – 85% presented a lesbian couple in 2018. There is still a long way to go, but we cannot deny that little by little the LGBTQ community has gained a space in the entertainment industry, beyond the stereotypical roles of the past.
In other audiovisual products such as animated series we have also seen an evolution, shows such as Steven Universe, Star vs. the forces of evil, She-Ra and the princesses of power and The Owl House are examples of stories with LGBTQ characters that are shown without any shame or dissimulation. Pixar or Disney haven’t done it yet, but recently with Luca – 89% some interpreted the plot as a gay romance.
Don’t leave without reading: LGBTQ representation in Loki was ridiculous, says It’s a Sin and Queer as Folk creator