When Arrow premiered earlier this month to higher ratings than last year and prepping for a crossover with The Flash, we knew we were in for something epic. Now, John Barrowman has stopped by The Hollywood Reporter to tease what his character, series villain Malcolm Merlyn, is planning now that he's joined the series as a regular.
On Merlyn's relationship after training with his daughter (and protagonist Oliver Queen's half sister), Thea Queen:
"It's made them a great deal closer. In fact, you can see that when she is now calling him "Dad," rather than last [season] when she didn't want anything do with him. The time they have been training in Corto Maltese for the last five or so months has really changed their relationship and strengthened their relationship. What the viewers are going to be interested when they watch is, why is he doing this? That's all I'll say. Why is he doing it?"
On seeing Ollie as a son:
"He does love Thea, no doubt about that, but he absolutely also loves Ollie as a son. And he's said that multiple times. But that doesn't mean that he's not going to fight Oliver. That doesn't mean that he's going to agree all the time. Again, the relationships are going to grow and you're going to see different sides to them but always with that agenda at hand."
On Merlyn's Ruthlessness:
"What I've grown to like about him, the thing that's developed is his emotional connection to people. I've also liked playing his straightforward ruthlessness. It's very matter-of-fact with Malcolm. 'Do you have to die?' 'You have to die.' That's it. Done deal. No ifs, ands or buts. That's the way it is and that's how it's going to be. If you're in my way, then I have to get you out of my way and that's what I like about him. He's very clean-cut and dry like that. There's no wavering. There's no 'Should I do this?' No. Done. Deal with it afterwards. That's what I love about him, because that makes him exciting."
On manipulating Ollie as he balances his hero persona and his public life:
"Malcolm will play into that but again, you will have to wait and see whether it's to help Oliver from figuring it out or whether it's to deter him from figuring it out so Malcolm can control him. There a double-edged sword there and there's a dynamic that has yet to be played, if it is to be played at all. But Oliver is on this discovery path and do you think Malcolm's not going to use that to his advantage?"
On fighting with Ollie over Thea:
"I don't know how to answer that one yet because Oliver doesn't know that Malcolm has been involved, and I don't want to tell you yet if he will discover that. But if that were to come, of course, Oliver is not going to be happy. And if he never finds out, what he doesn't know isn't going to hurt him."
Barrowman closed the interview by teasing "Malcolm will confront somebody he never thought he would confront."
Catch Arrow when it airs Wednesdays at 8 pm EST on The CW. Watch a Merlyn-focused clip below: