Interview: Stephen Amell In Justice for Natalee Holloway and HBO’s Hung

On Monday night, Lifetime picks up the case of Natalee Holloway once again with its follow up film, Justice for Natalee Holloway starring Stephen Amell as Joran van der Sloot. Stephen also has a recurring role in the upcoming third season of the HBO hit, Hung, as an up and coming gigolo on the scene. That’s not all Stephen had to talk about in the latest interview with Hollywood the Write Way. The Vampire Diaries also makes for great discussion. Check it out:

Justice for Natalee Holloway

So how much research did you do for this part and would you say this was harder or easier to study when this is such an ongoing case?
Well, in this case it was easier. I did a bunch of research at the beginning. One of the nice parts for me was that if I just went on the web, there was a ton of content. Though before research and before getting the part, the hardest part for me was making sure that I got the accent. I was able to do a bunch of research just by watching him online. Then, when I got to New Orleans a day before shooting, one of the executive producers gave me a massive folder just with news clippings and a Dateline special. After I watched that and after my first day of filming, I got a nice note from Sony that they were happy with the accent and mannerisms…and from that point forward, I stopped studying.

That’s interesting that you bring that up because I was going to ask if any of the executive producers or the writer gave you notes.
Yeah, Judith Verno who is one of the executive producers, she had the folder. I was a little worried because there’s intimidation when you’re doing an accent for the first time. I got a very nice note the day after our first shoot, and we shot a very critical scene on the first day…so once they were happy, I was happy. I’ve seen the film and gone back to look at that scene and I’m happy to say that it doesn’t look like it was shot on the first day. There’s no gap where I got comfortable with the accent, I just locked it in right away.

Of all of the research that you were given and that you did, what would you say you were surprised by the most about the case?
From my perspective, I was just studying Joran…I was most surprised by how interested in being famous he is. Even if he was going after the money, it’s so nonsensical. He just seems so wrapped up in the idea of fame. That was interesting because that explains…you’d like to think a lot of times that there is some kind of grand purpose behind someone when someone when they are doing these awful things. In his case, I don’t think that there was. I think that he was just interested in being famous.

Following the film is the 10 episode docu-series, Vanished with Beth Holloway but are there any missions that you yourself are passionate about?
Not particularly. I volunteer for different things. I’ve done some work for Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans. I used to volunteer for Variety Village in Toronto when I was growing up. Past that, I can’t say that I have a philanthropic passion. I’ve worked with actors and people who have started foundations. Maybe if I get to a point where I can reach a few more people, that would be a great idea. There are causes that are dear to my heart but none that I’ve acted on in such a way. I do think it is very courageous and interesting what Beth Holloway is doing. It’s terrific.

The Vampire Diaries

What was it like shooting on TVD and shooting in Georgia?
I had a great deal of fun on that show. The character i a fictional bad ass so it was a lot of fun. Everyone on the show was very welcoming. The first scene that I had on the show included Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley, Candice Accola, and Michaela McManus. I was sitting in LA on Tuesday when I got a call late in the day telling me that I shoot Vampire Diaries on Thursday. So they parachuted me right in there. That’s a very fun set to be on and it has to be fun because the first two days that I was there, we shot until the sun came up. It was freezing cold but I really enjoyed myself. Also, a couple members of the cast showed me around town and I liked it a lot.

So what was your favorite element of the relationship between Brady and Jules?
Hmm..well we didn’t get to explore it that much but I liked how it was duty first, romance second. They were a couple but they were there to do something and that’s kind of the werewolf way, getting straight to the point. Vampires tend to get bogged down in their relationships and love lives but that’s not the werewolf way. (laughs)

Do you think revenge is easier or harder when vampires and werewolves are involved?
(laughs) Well, I think it’s harder when you’re a werewolf on a show that’s called The Vampire Diaries. But I don’t know, that’s an interesting question. I think when you’re dealing with basic human beings who aren’t supernatural and you can’t survive bullets to the head, it becomes difficult. But as you saw on the show, I shot Candice’s character and Paul’s character…and it did me no good. So I’d say harder.


Congratulations on your role in Hung Season 3! So you’ve started filming?
Thank you! It’s been a great ride for me. I flew back in from Justice for Natalee Holloway on a Monday evening, auditioned for Hung on Wednesday, got cast on Thursday, and started shooting the follow Monday. We’ve been shooting since the last week of February or the first week of March. Right now, we are on episode 8 of 10.

What was the first table read like?
The first table read…I didn’t realize how nerve wrecking it was supposed to be because you are still proving yourself. I just had a great time, I didn’t know what was riding on it. If I had known, I would have been a bit more nervous. It was great though. I had met the creators of the show and Rebecca Creskoff since she was there for my audition. But I had never met the rest of the cast, so it was really neat. Since then, I’ve had a chance to work with almost everyone on the show so far. Shooting an HBO show has been a dream come true and working with this cast has made my days a lot more fun and easier. And because it is a comedy, it was great at the table read to read our lines and get a few laughs out. It was a blast. It’s great, this is a terrific show!

Justice for Natalee Holloway premieres Monday, May 9, 2011 at 8/7c on Lifetime.

Hung returns for Season 3 this summer on HBO.