SDCC 2014: Arrow’s John Barrowman Talks Malcolm/Thea Relationship, Motives and Flashbacks in Season 3

jon barrowman

One of the biggest actors in the geek culture is without doubt, the talented and charming John Barrowman, who played Captain Jack Harkness on Doctor Who and got his own spin-off show, Torchwood. For the past three years, he has played the wicked antagonist, Malcolm Merlyn aka the Dark Archer on CW’s hit show Arrow and this season you will be seeing lots of him as he is now a series regular on the series.

Last Saturday afternoon at San Diego Comic-Con, TVOvermind was able to participate in roundtables with Arrow and we got to ask what Merlyn’s relationship will be like this season with Thea (Willa Holland) and much more. These are the questions we specifically asked at the roundtable.

TVOvermind’s Andy Behbakht: So is Malcolm trying to back to being evil or is he perhaps going to seek for redemption this year?

John Barrowman: I don’t know if Malcolm really cares about redemption. I don’t know if Malcolm really cares about what people think about him. But he does care about Thea. Ironically he does care about Oliver, He does care about Tommy.

To jump back a little bit: The thing that Malcolm is good at – because he’s misunderstood, I don’t see him as a bad guy, right? Malcolm can control and manipulate with his money. He can manipulate with his violence. He can manipulate and control with his destructive techniques. How he lost Tommy through emotion. Tommy became a hero because he loved somebody and wanted to save her. He lost Moira, who he loved, for emotion because she sacrificed herself for Ollie, right? He does not want to lose Thea.

So what does he have to do? He has to find a way to control people emotionally. So that, for me, is how I think it’s going to end this time without giving you too much! [laughs] but I don’t think he wants redemption.

TVO: So there is a dark agenda behind him taking care of Thea?

Barrowman: This is so difficult. It is going to be the most destructive, dysfunctional father/daughter relationship you are ever going to see on television. It’s going to be shocking. It’s going to be amazing. And it’s going to be thrilling. There’s going to be a lot of jaw-dropping moments with this, because it’s not going to be what you expect. Him looking after her. Possibly him loathing her?

TVO: On the subject of flashbacks, will we actually get to see Nanda Parbat in flashbacks or in the present?

Barrowman: I don’t know. We will pick up with Malcolm and Thea where we left off. So her getting into the back of the limo, looking exceptionally hot — it’s kind of creepy to say that about my daughter — in the black leather coat and the boots, that conversation is going to happen.

We haven’t shot any of that yet, so I’m really looking forward to it. I just came back from the UK. I flew in two days ago. Then I drove to my house in Palm Springs. I unpacked my stuff, packed again. Came here. I have all the scripts I have yet to read.

So I’m kind of going in, I know what they’ve told me, but I’m really excited to read them myself and start filming because I’ve been chomping at the bit. I’ve done the Commonwealth Games in the UK, I have launched my album, I have been in Australia doing promotional stuff for the last month and half. So I am ready to get my teeth into Arrow.

Stay tuned for more interviews with the cast and show-runners of Arrow here on TVOvermind!

Arrow kicks off its third season on Wednesday, October 8, 8/7c on The CW.

[Photo via The CW]

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