Is Oliver Ready for Love? 'Arrow' Co-Star Weighs the Odds!
By Philiana Ng
Photo: The CW
It’s no secret Arrow’s Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) hasn’t had the greatest luck in the romance department. Unfortunately for Starling City’s ex-millionaire, The CW hero is about to meet the most dangerous admirer of them all: the vigilante’s self-proclaimed No. 1 fan Carrie Cutter -- the lethal villainess, Cupid -- portrayed by Swedish-born actress Amy Gumenick.
Cupid is the god of love in classic mythology, but the DC Comics character – an enemy of the Arrow and Black Canary (Katie Cassidy) – is a dark twist to the romantic icon who has a, shall we say... intense take on relationships, going so far as to kill. (Beware future suitors!) Considering that she’s infatuated with all facets of the vigilante, Carrie may not be someone anyone from Team Arrow would want to encounter.
In a candid chat ahead of Wednesday's episode, titled "Draw Back Your Bow," Gumenick -- last seen on Supernatural -- spills Arrow secrets with ETonline, from the origins of Carrie's dangerous fascination with the Arrow to the Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) effect!
ETonline: You had one of the coolest introductions in last week's Arrow, which really gave us a preview of what Cupid is like. What's her drive? She seems like a fun character to play!
Amy Gumenick: Oh yeah, so fun! She is a woman in love yet she happens to have extreme strength, physically and emotionally, and will stop at no end to get what she wants -- the Arrow. When reading about Cupid, she's described as a supervillain, and maybe this is me putting my own emotions on [her] but I don’t think she is necessarily a villain who is out to kill and do evil acts. She kills the bad guys and is fighting for what she believes in, what she wants and who she loves. When you look at it that way, she’s not that bad. (Laughs.) She's definitely mentally and emotionally unstable, and her actions are extreme. That's something we can, on a less crazy level, all relate to.
ETonline: How does she determine who she obsesses over? Is there a criteria?
Gumenick: In looking back at the comic books, we see early on in Cupid's past that she has lost many loves and has always felt abandoned – everyone she's ever loved has either been killed or left her or has called her crazy. She's looking for a hero, she's looking for somebody who matches her power mentally, physically and emotionally and she sees that in the Arrow. In her eyes, he's a hero and she wants to live that life with him and help him and do whatever it takes to be with him. She misinterprets certain things as love but maybe not. Maybe she sees something that [the Arrow] doesn't or that the audience doesn't know yet. They bring a lot out in each other and through the beginning of this relationship, we’ll learn a lot about both characters we never knew before.
ETonline: Is the Cupid-Arrow dynamic a one-sided thing?
Gumenick: I find it very interesting that the Arrow is so strong and doesn't have any hesitation getting people in his way out of his way. Stephen [Amell] and I talked a lot on set about the fact that he has a lot of opportunities to get rid of her and he doesn't. Why doesn't he? Why does he allow this game to go on? There's a part of her he’s intrigued by. He sees a little bit of himself in her. In terms of the love story that’s going on in Cupid's head, yes, that is one-sided but there is definitely something being reciprocated and what that is, I don’t think we’re sure yet.
ETonline: Aside from her craziness, is there something Cupid could teach Oliver/Arrow that could prove helpful in future romances?
Gumenick: We've seen Oliver/Arrow struggle with that a few times since the beginning of the series and I don’t think he believes he’s capable of being loved or loving because of this double life he leads. In finding redeemable qualities in Cupid, if there are any, one is when she loves, she loves fully regardless of anything that can stand in their way. It’s interesting they chose now to introduce this character when he and Felicity are going through their turmoil. There is something innately pure and beautiful about the fact that for Cupid, love wins no matter what it takes and she’ll fight all odds to get it. I hope that’s something he’ll take away, that he can be loved and that he can love in return.
ETonline: The teaser even had Cupid asking the Arrow pretty big questions…
Gumenick: A lot of the questions she asks she forces him to ask himself, so it'll be interesting to see where he goes with that.
ETonline: This episode sheds light on the vulnerable state of the Oliver-Felicity relationship, where it could go or not go. What's your take on how Cupid's presence affects Olicity?
Gumenick: She is a mirror to Arrow. He's living in purgatory; he doesn’t know what to do or how to act upon his feelings, and is stopping himself from letting their relationship go to where it obviously wants to go and where we want it to go as fans. Cupid finds a moment of weakness in him and forces him to see that as well, to feel feelings he’s never felt before and think thoughts he's never thought he had to perhaps act on them or continue to [keep] to himself.
ETonline: Fair to say tonight's episode is a twisted romance?
Gumenick: I like twisted romance! It raises the question of what can love do to us. How far will you go for love? What are your limits, or are there any? It’ll be fun to see how it all plays out!