You’d have thought that Stephen Amell would have spent a long time reading comics and watching cartoons after being cast as Casey Jones in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows. But Amell has now admitted that his preparation ahead of the blockbuster was actually drastically different, as he revealed that he avoided getting "bogged down in research" so that he could make the role of Casey Jones his own.
Stephen Amell made this admission to me towards the end of last month when I sat down to discuss his work on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows. This isn’t the first time that the Canadian actor has stepped into an iconic role, as he’s been portraying Oliver Queen on Arrow now for four seasons. I asked him how he prepares for his roles, to which he responded:
If you get bogged down in research, in previous performances or expectations of the fans, then you’re doing a performance that feels like nobody made it. So for me, I did an audition tape, it went well. I did a chemistry reading with Megan, it went well. Let’s go and just throw ourselves in the hands of the director, the producers, the effects gurus, of Megan, of the Turtles, of Will, of Laura Linney, and let’s just make a collaborative piece together. I just want to have fun. I want to bring an edge of humor, and not take myself too seriously.
It’s understandable that Stephen Amell had this approach to shooting his role as Casey Jones in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows. Because while Stephen Amell shot pretty much all of his scenes as the character between the months of April and August, the Turtles were fully brought to life during post-production on the film when the special effects team worked their magic.
Obviously Pete Ploszek (Leonardo), Alan Ritchson (Raphael), Noel Fisher (Michelangelo), and Jeremy Howard (Donatello) each gave their characters a personality and charisma through their stop-motion performances. But in order to make them life-sized mutant, ninja Turtles the special effects needed to be extensive.
This meant that Stephen Amell spent most of the shoot acting opposite a tennis ball way above the head of the actor portraying one of the turtles. This is part and parcel of special effects blockbuster cinema, and it made him just one part of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles machine. Albeit a very important cog, as he needed to make sure that his affable personality shone through to give Out Of The Shadows a warmth, heart and humanity. You can check out a clip of my interview with Stephen Amell regarding Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows, below.
Meanwhile you can see Stephen Amell’s performance as Casey Jones in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows from Friday June 3, which just so happens to be only a few days and hours away.