Brandon Routh plays Ray Palmer on The CW's Arrow, a TV series based on the story of DC Comics character Green Arrow. We talked to Brandon about the show, his holiday plans and what he'll be up to in 2015.
Cambio: Why do you think fans have responded so well to Arrow and it's developed such a following?
Brandon: I think it's a really well done comic-based television show, which there have not been. There has not been one like it because it's much grittier and more real than anything that's come before it, at least anything that's been sustained, I think. The work of the actors is also a large part of that. Stephen Amell does a fantastic job of grounding the show with his presence as Arrow and everyone else helps make the show really work. As well as the action and the stunts being done really well, too.
C: Are you a comic book fan?
B: I've become a little bit more of a comic book fan over the years of being immersed in the world of the characters that I play, but I didn't grow up a comic book fan. (Brandon has acted in four comic book properties, including playing Superman in Superman Returns.) I was more of a fan of fantasy stuff, so Lord of the Rings type [stuff] was where my 'geekdom' lived.
C: How would you describe your character Ray Palmer on Arrow?
B: Ray Palmer is an inventor, a business man, a kind of dreamer. And he's taken over Queen Consolidated, the Arrow queen's company and kind of insinuated himself into the city and a position of power. He's a dreamer and a little bit quirky.
C: What can fans expect coming up from Ray on Arrow?
B: The last we saw him with Felicity, Emily Bett Rickards' character, they had a kiss and he kind of walked away without explanation, so we get a little bit of look into why he abruptly left.
(Brandon with wife, actress Courtney Ford, and their son, Leo James Routh.)
C: You're originally from Iowa. How did you first get into acting?
B: I was going to college at the University of Iowa and just started looking into acting and modeling locally to make money as a poor college student, which lead me to this big convention thing in New York called IMTA. I went there and met an agent and manager for acting and modeling, and that kind of got me out of Iowa on my journey to Los Angeles. The modeling thing never panned out and the acting thing did, thankfully.
C: The holidays are coming up. What are your holiday plans?
B: My family's coming out from Iowa, so they're kind of bringing Christmas to us in a way. We won't get as much snow, but maybe we'll hop up to Big Bear or a couple of the surrounding snowy areas. My son is now a little over 2, and last year we were in Iowa for Christmas and we did a little sledding before he really understood what it was and now he really knows what it is and he says, 'It's not Christmas yet because there's no snow,' so we'll have to show him some snow since we're not going back to Iowa where my parents are. The whole Santa thing is kind of beginning to become something, but it's mostly just all about the snow and he's got an infatuation with Rudolph, because he likes animals.
C: What's your favorite holiday family tradition?
B: My mom, every year, makes something called a tea ring. It's not really my tradition, I just eat them, but she makes them every year it's kind of like a cinnamon roll, but made in a ring. It's a bunch of them made in a ring. They're very good and now I've turned my mom into getting gung-ho on more of a Paleo diet and we don't really do gluten anymore, so we'll have to figure out some way to do it this year which will be interesting...a gluten free tea ring.
C: What's coming up for you in 2015?
B: I have a movie coming out called 400 Days sometime in the early party of the year with another cast member from Arrow, Caity Lotz, and Tom Cavanagh from The Flash. It's a sci-fi, space thriller action movie.
Watch Arrow on Wednesdays at 8/7C on The CW.