Spending hours a day for weeks fighting, kicking and lifting himself with rubber bands, Stephen Amell has come to a conclusion. "There's no faking it for this show," he says.
The 31-year-old Canadian, who stars as the mysterious superhero in "Arrow" (8 p.m. EDT Wednesday, CW), portrays playboy Oliver Queen, who is stranded on an island alone and then returns to civilization with revenge in mind.
The evildoers who murdered his father and left Oliver for dead will pay. Each episode will flash back to a time when Oliver was on the island and then bounce back to the present, when Oliver is engaging in a secret agenda as an arrow-slinging vigilante.
"Arrow" is a reimagining of the DC Comics superhero Green Arrow. In the same vein as "Smallville," "Arrow" will not directly recognize Oliver Queen as a superhero and will never refer to his alter-ego as Green Arrow.
As a result of his stress, Oliver is a character full of rage, "and that's something we deal with starting with the second episode," Amell says. "There's a lot to explore there."
In the comic books, Green Arrow isn't nearly as angry. He has been a member of the Justice League of America and can be a whimsical and even egocentric sort. His self-confidence is one of his strongest straits.
Amell loves the fighting sequences and does his own stunts -- for the most part. "There were about three scenes in the pilot (episode) that I didn't do," he says. "If I hurt myself in any way, they'd have to scratch (the episode) and redo everything. They didn't want to risk that."
Producers are fully aware of the risks.
"It is a little frightening when your star is doing a quarter of his stunts because there's no second string, so it's a little daring, but it's one of the things I think makes the show incredibly unique and a lot of fun," says producer Greg Berlanti.
After years of doing cameos and landing a part on HBO's comedy-drama "Hung," Amell was eager to take his career up to leading man.
When the script for "Arrow" came to his manager, Amell got a call from him, telling him that this particular project was exactly what he always wanted to do -- the physicality of a role along with a character of depth.
"I remember him calling me and saying, 'This one is important. You really want to do your best and get this,' " Amell said.
Of course, that made Amell think to himself, "OK. Now I know I'm not going to get the part."
Other highlights for the week of Oct. 7-13 (listings subject to change; check local listings):
-- "Big Rich Texas" (8 p.m., Style). A "Real Housewives" spin, but set at a Texas country club, the women of the group brace for a change -- for instance, a mother who stays out too late and shops like crazy while her grown daughter assumes the "mother" role in their relationship.
-- "Johnny Cash: Song By Song" (8 p.m., Ovation). In this six-part series, artists such as Ben Folds, Grace Potter and Shooter Jennings talk about the legacy of Johnny Cash's music and the impact it had on their lives.
-- "Curiosity" (9 p.m., Discovery Channel). In this premiere, experts crash a full-size passenger plane in the desert near the U.S.-Mexico border to test theories about plane design and passengers' chances of surviving.
-- "Gossip Girl" (9 p.m., CW). The final season begins: Georgina helps Dan with his tell-all book while Nate's feud with the mysterious "Gossip Girl" ignites.
-- "Secret Service Files: Protecting The President" (8 p.m., National Geographic Channel). Secret Service agents talk about what it takes to, well, protect a president.
-- "Ink Master" (10 p.m., Spike TV). Another season of this competition series takes shape with 16 new contestants vying for a $100,000 prize.
-- "Nashville" (10 p.m., ABC). A veteran country-music star (Connie Britton) and a younger upstart (Hayden Panettiere) clash in this new soap set in Music City (and shot on location there, too).
-- "Chicago Fire" (10 p.m., NBC). Set at Firehouse 51, this new drama looks at the men and women working under dangerous conditions every day. The opener deals with a death at the firehouse and lots of finger-pointing.
-- "Beauty and the Beast" (9 p.m., CW). It's not exactly a fairy tale or even a charming animated movie. But there is a pretty woman who falls for a handsome guy with a scar and a bad temper in this new drama.
-- "Vice-Presidential Debate" (9 p.m., various networks). Joe Biden and Paul Ryan discuss domestic and foreign affairs during this round in Danville, Ky.
-- "Fearfest" (10 p.m., AMC). The 19-day marathon of ghoulish flicks has writer/director Kevin Smith as host.
-- "The Seven Year Hitch" (8 p.m., Hallmark Movie Channel). Two best friends get married by accident, which, of course, happens so often in this country. Natalie Hall and Darin Brooks star.