'Arrow' Season 2: Stephen Amell on Oliver's journey and why no Felicity dating yet

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"Arrow" Season 2 is bringing us a whole new Oliver Queen -- a man who wants to be a hero instead of just a vigilante. But what does that mean, really? The show's star, Stephen Amell, previews the new Oliver -- along with his possible relationship with Felicity -- in this interview.

Some of the answers may surprise you.

Warning: There are some minor "Arrow" spoilers ahead. Proceed with caution.

How would you describe Oliver Queen this in Season 2?

Stephen Amell: First of all, he's much more open to advice. Second of all, he's damaged and he's hurting -- which is not dissimilar from last year -- but he's trying to work on it as opposed to just masking it over with anger and revenge and all the things that he was doing last year. He's hurting, but he's letting himself feel that pain. And that's the first step to making yourself better.

There's also more joy and a sense of accomplishment when he's able to do something good as the vigilante -- or as the CEO of Queen Consolidated or as a son and a brother and friend. So there's a lot more happy moments. Which is important.

What will be Oliver's biggest challenges?

Stephen Amell: Being the CEO and trying to save Queen Consolidated is a very real thing. And he's trying to do it, a) with no real business knowledge and b) with another job that takes up a lot of his time. So that's a big challenge for him.

He's making a declaration in the season premiere that he's not going to be killing anybody. It's a good thing to say, but it's a really, really difficult thing to actually do. If you're interacting with someone who's trying to kill you -- and you're using non-lethal force -- then even if you win, that person is always going to be around. One of the good things about using lethal force, is you don't have to worry about them being a threat once everything is done. We can't just bury a character -- literally. We have to carry their story all the way through. Are they in jail? Did I let them go? What's going on? It's creating a universe that's really, really full of bad dudes.

Could Oliver handle the situation if he absolutely had to kill someone now?

Stephen Amell: It totally depends on the situation. I can say that we do address something exactly like that towards the end of our first nine episodes.

Will Roy be teaming up with the Arrow soon?

Stephen Amell: That's a huge point of focus for us in our first 9 episodes that he is now -- I guess if you want to get technical about it, he's a member of the team.

He's here. Oliver sees a lot of potential in him, but the big problem from his perspective -- and something that we address in a very aggressive manner towards the end of the first 9 episodes -- is the closer Roy gets to the vigilante, the more danger that causes for Thea. Because if we learned anything so far, it's that proximity to the vigilante is not a good thing. It puts you in life or death situations ... As long as Thea and Roy are an item, that's always going to be looming.

Do you see Oliver and Felicity getting together at some point?

Stephen Amell: We have been moving closer to that this year because they're spending so much time together. And also because of a) Felicity has really come into her own in terms of offering her opinions. And maybe more importantly, Oliver has become much more open to listening to other people's opinions. So as that relationship gets more dynamic, Oliver starts to see her in a different way. And maybe more of a romantic way.

But there's a good reason why Oliver hasn't had a serious relationship yet -- with anybody -- since he got back from the island, and we address that towards the back half of our first 9 episodes -- specifically as it pertains to Felicity.

In the island flashbacks, we are meeting some new bad guys. What will we be learning about them?

Stephen Amell: We'll meet them soon. They have their leader that we meet in episode 6. We get a look at the "man behind the curtain," so to speak. They're obviously after something. It's interesting, because it introduces some really intriguing new characters into our storyline -- including somebody that we actually called by name in episode 12 last year.

It's the gentleman whose life I saved.

"Arrow" airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.

Photo/Video credit: The CW