Stephen Amell Talks Nudity, Pimps, Hos & 'Hung'
From day one, HBO's Hung has been all about pimps and hos, so it's only fair that I follow last week's chat with Analeigh Tipton (who plays pimp-in-training Sandee) by interviewing Stephen Amell, who plays her best employee slash fiancee, Jason.
The actor first caught my eye as Brady on Vampire Diaries -- and has gone on to star on 90210, CSI and as Joran van der Sloot in Lifetime's Justice For Natalee Holloway, but Hung is the first time he's been given an entire season to fully flesh out (no pun intended) a character. I caught up with Stephen to find out what it was like to see his face plastered on billboards across the country, how he prepared for the wardrobe-light role and how his parents are handling it.
Insider.com: What was it like driving around LA when posters featuring your face and the word "HO" were plastered everywhere?
Stephen Amell: I had no idea that was happening. One day, my phone just started blowing up because people were sending me pictures of the poster all over town. It was awesome! And I love that it's been for a role like this -- something where I'm really getting to build a character.
Insider: It's funny, I feel like the more we learn about Sandee, the more we learn about Jason simply because he's with her.
Stephen: Yeah, that scene with Rebecca threw him for a loop. Seeing her go from sweet to devious with just one glare. I love that because of that, you can't tell if he's smart or devious -- or a little bit of both!
Insider: Everyone just watched a clip with Jason, Sandee and Lenore -- what can you tease about Sunday's new episode?
Stephen: Well, the dynamic between Sandee, Lenore and myself is going to get even more heated now that Lenore's found out I've taken another job. If you think you've seen the full extent of her wrath before, just wait – it gets a lot hairier for them. The bottom line is, Sandee is interested in exploiting me for profit in exactly the same way Lenore and Tonya are, but Sandee and I are engaged. There's no telling how far she will go. I'm waiting for Sandee to meet Tonya, because Tonya freaks out when people push her.
Insider: Analeigh talked about your insane metabolism -- eating pancakes before nude scenes. What do you have to say for yourself, sir?
Stephen: I'd like to thank my mom and dad [laughs]. Look, I don't like the gym, but I run like nobodies business. I do that so I can eat – it's this great back and forth. I enjoy food too much to have it negatively affect my career. So I run, really hard.
Insider: Did you do anything special to get in shape for this role?
Stephen: I actually couldn't run during the series, which was odd – I hurt myself, so I wasn't able to. But at the same time, Jason is supposed to be young and fit but he's not supposed to look like Spartacus. He's supposed to have the body of a busboy in his mid-20s. If I was ever preparing for a role where having an absolutely chiseled body was critical, I'd do things differently – but here, I just wanted to feel good naked.
Insider: Is it weird seeing yourself so exposed on screen?
Stephen: I think it's weirder for my mom, my sister and my friends than it is for me. I know what's coming … although I didn't know the camera went so low a few times [laughs]. I think they're OK with it because it’s TV – if it was a leaked sex tape or something, they might feel differently. But it's HBO. You know how actors always say they'll do nudity if the character calls for it? Well, I'm playing a hooker – I think they get the need.
Hung airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on HBO.