Some dude walked up to Green Arrow on the street the other day and headbutted him in the face. Obviously, the man has a death wish. But Arrow (Stephen Amell) refused to take the bait because — spoiler alert — a lot of superhero actors aren’t actually their characters.
Amell posted a selfie to his Facebook page November 13 showing himself sporting a bruised and slightly swollen nose. With the photo, he wrote: “Dude came up to me yesterday… Head Butts me hard. Outta nowhere… Then says — ‘I want to fight the Green Arrow.’ Paused, looked at him… shook his hand and said no thank you. Because I’m a father and a husband. Pretty manly if you ask me.” [sic]
While some actors embody their characters so well that it’s almost scary — Ryan Reynolds and Deadpool’s mouths, Robert Downey Jr. and Tony Stark’s egos, Mark Ruffalo and Bruce Banner’s dual concerns with peaceful do-gooding — others really don’t. Amell clearly falls in the latter category, and can anyone really blame him for not wanting to fight some rando on the street?
As fun and oftentimes convincing as superhero content is, that’s really no excuse. Recall that Amell and every other superhero actor out there belongs on the stage, not in the ring, despite their onscreen prowess.
While it’s pretty common for professional fighters — members of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) who practice mixed martial arts, etc. — to get challenged by civilians, it’s a bit of a rarity for people to mix up fiction and reality so badly that they feel the need to headbutt an actor in the face. But perhaps it’s actors such as Reynolds, Downey Jr., and Ruffalo that are to “blame” for an instance such as this.
The actors sell their roles onscreen and then carry that over into the real world. Partly for the enjoyment of fans everywhere, of course, but also because, just maybe, the actors are often cast too well in their roles. Downey Jr. works crowds at ‘Con panels, Tom Hiddleston once showed up dressed like Loki and demanded that everyone kneel before him in his usual Shakespearean manner, and Reynolds worked on a Deadpool adaptation for so long (11 years) that he basically is Deadpool at this point.
But none of this is to say that reality should be ignored. Actors are just that: actors. So, maybe — next time — everyone can leave the fighting in Starling City.