Stephen Amell became instantly famous when the first poster for Arrow was released by the CW. There he was, brooding and shirtless. You couldn’t pick up an issue of Entertainment Weekly for weeks without seeing his abs somewhere on their pages.
Then Arrow premiered in fall of 2012 and Stephen Amell earned cred for more than just displaying the results of his workout routine. He brings depth and darkness to Oliver Queen, a character who is complex and shadowy as the night. Arrow’s ratings took off and Stephen Amell was vetted as a TV star.
Stephen Amell, however, is one of the rare TV stars who doesn’t shy away from fame. In fact, he wields his fame like Ollie wields his bow and arrow, shooting straight, without fear. Amell grabs the spotlight and focuses it on things that are important to him, including family and charitable causes. He has a huge online following, especially on Facebook, where he has sincere interactions with his fans.
I started out as a fan of Arrow, and became an admirer of Stephen Amell (Captain, to his fans) after following him on Facebook. Here’s what I’ve learned about this larger than life actor.
1. He’s Canadian
Stephen Amell was born and raised in Ontario, Canada. He should feel right at home during those long nights filming Arrow, because the TV show shoots in British Columbia, mostly in Vancouver. Although he’s Canadian, he knows a good bit about American history, as he demonstrated on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. (Skip to 4:50 and you’ll see what I mean.)
2. He’s a Philanthropist
In 2012, Stephen Amell’s mother was fighting cancer. Sometime during her chemotherapy, Stephen and his mother took a selfie, with him flipping the bird. At the time, he didn’t realize there was a charity called F**k Cancer. According to an interview in The Hollywood Reporter, the charity contacted him after he posted that picture on his social media accounts. He then helped them launch a campaign through Represent. They sold t-shirts with a picture of his face, sporting his trademark Post-It Note, to raise money for cancer research. The goal was to raise $10,000. They raised nearly $1 million. (As you can imagine, the F bomb is dropped a few times in the following video. It’s all for charity, people.)
3. He’s Owns a Winery
(I almost called Stephen a wine-trepreneur, but I can’t stand word mash-ups.) On a trip to see the Blue Jays play in Oakland, Captain Amell and his friend, Andrew Harding, took a detour into wine country that inspired them to open their own winery. Nocking Point Wines became a reality in 2013. Since then, Amell and Harding made a documentary about their wine education, titled Dudes Being Dudes in Wine Country. The film takes them into up-and-coming wine regions, where they learn more about wine and the people who make it.
4. He’s an Advocate for Marriage Equality
A year ago Stephen made a stir when he posted on his Facebook page that people had to “grit their teeth and suffer through an Olympic games marred by homophobia.” He frequently discusses marriage equality at fan conventions, and praises The CW and Arrow for having gay characters, without making it a big deal. Then in December 2014, Advocate chose him as one of “This Year’s Coolest Straight People in Entertainment.” He responded on Facebook.
5. He’s Sinceriously
Captain Amell has another campaign that has two parts. The first part was to sell t-shirts with his own word, sinceriously, to raise money for Stand for the Silent, an anti-bulling campaign, and Paws and Stripes, a nonprofit shelter that trains shelter dogs to assist veterans diagnosed with PTSD and/or TBI. Amell and his fans knocked it out of the park again. The goal was to sell 1,000 shirts. Represent sold 31,000.
The second part of the sinceriously campaign is to spread the word so far and so wide that the Oxford English Dictionary will declare it an official word.
Stephen Amell’s Facebook page is like one big, long party. He frequently posts video Q&A. He replies to fan comments. Plus, he hosts Meme Monday and Fan Art Friday every week. His fans flood his page with wonderful (and hilarious) images. Above all, he uses it to make friends all over the world. That’s what I know about Stephen Amell.
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