Stephen Amell stars as crime fighting superhero Oliver Queen in the new CW series Arrow this fall, his first time as the lead in a primetime series.
But it's hardly his first television role.
The handsome actor recalls that his very first acting job was on Showtime's Queer as Folk in 2004. He appeared in three episodes as a spinning instructor.
'I had been acting for four months,' Amell tells AfterElton.com. 'I had never gotten a job yet, and I said to my agent, because I was a spinning instructor at the time, I said, ‘If I don’t get this job, I quit,’ figuring that me being a spinning instructor would be totally important. It wasn’t important at all, but I did get the job.'
The next year, he landed his first job as a series regular on the gay-themed supernatural soap Dante's Cove. His character of Adam was seemingly straight during the show's first season which is the only season in which Amell appeared.
'At first it was a horrible experience because we had a terrible director,' he recalls. 'They fired him. They brought on a really great guy. Then the following year they wanted to take the Adam character…he obviously was not straight any more. Then I booked [the movie] Closing the Ring, and I put in that I couldn’t do it. So they cast Jon Fleming. I’m still friends with (series lead) Charlie David.'
Many jobs followed including recurring roles on such series as Beautiful People, Rent-A-Goalie, 'Da King in My Hair, Heartland and Private Practice.
His highest-profile role was as a male prostitute on HBO's Hung, a show that he joined in the third season only to see it canceled before reaching season four. Amell's character was set to expand his client base beyond women.
'One of the things that I liked on Hung, which we didn’t get a chance to explore in the fourth season, was Jason Does Dudes,' he says. 'Male prostitution is part and parcel of the whole thing, and we didn’t get to explore that. But clearly we would have, and I would have been more than comfortable shooting that because it’s HBO, and it would have been real and that would have been that.'