Today is June 1st...only 24 days 'till Arccon. As part of our Arccon Countdown we've got a special "In the Spotlight" today. It's about one of the guests of Arccon and I certainly can't wait to meet him. He played Roy "Arsenal" Harper in "Arrow" and Jackson Whittemore in "TeenWolf". And because of his openness about his lifelong struggle against anxiety, I look forward to meeting him even more.( I myself have been struggling with anxiety for most of my life) This week Colton Haynes has got a special place in our spotlight!
In this article I will mostly focus on Colton's role of Roy Harper, because I'm a big fan of "Arrow" and Arccon is coming up.I will also talk about TeenWolf a little bit ( I've been bingewatching the first season over the last 48 hours). And since it relates to me on a personal level I will also talk a little bit about Colton's recent tweets about his struggle with anxiety. But first of all:
Who is Colton Haynes?
Colton was born in Andale, Kansas on July 13th, 1988. He and his 5 siblings grew up on a farm and he describes his parents and his childhood as "free-spirited", this in contrast to the very conservative and religious life in the state of Kansas. Colton spent a lot of his early life moving around and he lived in many different states( like: New Mexico, Texas, Florida and Arkansas). He attended (High) school in three different states, but eventually graduated from Samuel Clemens High School in Schertz, Texas.
At the age of 15, Colton began a modelling career in New York. He modelled for Abercrombie&Fitch and for Ralph Lauren (among others). Through this modeling career, Colton realised he wanted to pursue an acting career and he moved to Los Angeles. He had some guest roles in tv series like CSI: Miami and The Hills and he even had a small uncredited role in Transformers. Haynes also auditioned for the role of Edward Cullen in Twilight, but didn't get it (the role went to Robert Pattinson). After appearances in tv movies and series (like: "Look", "The Gates", "Always and Forever", "Pushing Daisies") his big break came in 2011, when he landed the role of Jackson Whittemore in MTV's "TeenWolf". He left the show after two seasons and got the part of Roy Harper/Arsenal in "Arrow". At the end of season 3 Haynes suddenly left the show. In the same year Colton appeared in the movie "San Andreas". This was his first big screen role. He made a short comeback as Roy in season 4 of "Arrow" and as far as rumours go he will make another (and hopefully longer) comeback ) in season 5 of the popular show, when it returns later this year.
So let's talk some Arrow.(Some spoilers ahead) Just in case you're reading this and you don't know what the show's about...Arrow revolves around Oliver Queen a spoiled billionaire's son and playboy. He get's shipwrecked on an island when his father's yacht gets caught by a storm. His father doesn't survive. After five years he returns to his home, to find his city is overrun by criminals. To clean his city he decides to become Arrow, a hooded vigilante armed with a bow. At first no one, but his bodyguard John Diggle, knows that Oliver is the Arrow. Oliver decides to open a club and sets up headquarters in the basement. We first run into Roy, when he tries to steal Thea Queen's purse. Thea is Oliver's sister and at this point she has no idea, her brother is the Arrow. The police chases Roy down and arrest him. During interrogation he tells the police, he needed the money because his mother is addicted to a drug named "Vertigo". Because of this Thea decides not to press charges. Eventually Thea and Roy grow closer, they start dating and Thea offers Roy a job at her brother's club. At some point Roy gets kidnapped and the Arrow saves his life. From this point on, Roy is determined to find the Arrow and follow in his footsteps. He starts patrolling the streets wearing a red hoodie and doing so he wants to prevent the drug called Vertigo to destroy more family lives. This causes him to get arrested a lot for police obstruction. Eventually Oliver confronts Roy as the Arrow and asks him to be he his eyes and ears on the street, Roy accepts this offer. After Roy gets injected with a drug called Mirakuru (a japanese serum that enhances his powers, but also makes him agressive and violent) the Arrow decides to train him, to control his increased power. This seems to work at first, but the Mirakuru gets a grip on Roy's personality more and more. When the Arrow and Roy get into a fight and Roy starts beating the hell out of him, Oliver takes off the hood and reveals his true identity. He tries to convince Roy to use his love for Thea to control his anger and after this officiallly introduces him to team Arrow. However, after Thea breaks up with Roy, the Mirakuru takes over and drives him crazy. Roy goes on a rampage through the city and he tries to kill Thea. Before he can do so Oliver captures him and he keeps him in an induced coma untill they find a cure for the Mirakuru. After Roy is injected with a counter serum , created by S.T.A.R. Labs, Roy turns back to normal and over time he grows into the Green Arrow's sidekick: Arsenal. At the end of the third season Roy pretends to be the Green Arrow to prevent Oliver from being unmasked.After he is arrested and thrown into jail, he fakes his own death and goes into hiding. In season four Roy returns for a short while, when Thea is dying from the effects of the Lazarus pit. He still loves her a lot, but he has to go back into hiding to prevent Oliver's cover to be broken.
I have liked Roy Harper's character from the start. At first he seems to be up to no good, but he turns out to be a real hero. I especially like the way he sacrifises himself to keep Oliver out of jail. I think Arsenal is a great character and I hope that the rumours are true and Roy will return to Team Arrow in Season 5 of the show.
Colton Haynes is also known for his role of Jackson Whittemore in the immensly popular MTV series: "TeenWolf". With Arccon coming up I decided to watch an episode of the show earlier this week, to check out Colton as Jackson. This resulted in me binge watching the first season over the last 48 hours. I like it! And although Jackson is quite a jackass in the first season, I still like him. Jackson is the captain of the Lacrosse team at Beacon Hills High School. He is a textbook jock and is used to being the best in everything. Untill his teammate Scott McCall(an average student and sportsman) steals the show at practice and takes the spotlight. Jackson has a hard time handling this fact and suspects Scott of taking some sort of super steroids. What Jackson doesn't know is that Scott has been bitten by an Alpha Werewolf, that turned this perfectly normal teenager into a werewolf himself. Scott has a hard time dealing with the changes and trying to keep this a secret from everyone (but his best friend Stiles). During the first season Jackson is a real pain in the ass, while he is trying to figure out Scott's secret. And when he does find out , he tells Scott he wants to be like him and blackmails him . Like I said Jackson is a jackass, but a likeable one, because once in a while he drops his cover and you see he actually has a good heart. I can't wait to finish this article and start on Season 2. Colton played the role of Jackson for 2 seasons, before he left the show to go and play Roy in Arrow.
Personal life and anxiety
As said before Colton left Arrow out of the blue at the end of season 3, leaving a lot of people puzzled. Roy seemed to be a fan favourite, so why would he leave the show. Just recently Colton explained he had to step back, because of his struggle with terminal anxiety for most of his life. He explains his anxiety makes him phisically ill and he stepped back, because he had to put his mental and physical health above his career at that moment. He has been very open, about his anxiety problems over the last few months and I think that is very admireable. I myself have been struggling with anxiety for a big part of my life. My anxiety problems consist of hypochondria, mysophobia and panick attacks (among other things) I know how hard it is to try and lead a normal life, while being afraid all the time. I read an article about Colton and he explains he had the feeling he had to act all day long. Not only on set, but all day long. And believe me: I know how that feels. I've been a real star in keeping up appearances for a big part of my life. I was always clowning around on the outside, while being terrified of becoming ill on the inside. Nowadays I still fight this battle everyday, but people close to me know of my problems and support me every step of the way. I take little steps every day and I know I can fight this. There has been more focus on the consequences of anxiety disorder on someones life over the last years, but a whole lot off people still don't understand how crippling this fear really is.Just because you can't see I'm sick, doesn't mean it isn't there.
Just a few weeks ago Colton also revealed he is gay and in a weird way that is still frowned upon in big parts of the world (and also in big parts of America). Because of this people go out of their way to keep their sexuality a secret. In Colton's case this has been a big part of his anxiety problems. It's great to see that Colton is finally ready to open up about himself and in doing so he says he is happier than he has ever been. Go Colton! As I said I know how it is to live in fear and facing it is one of the most difficult things to do, especially when you're a public person like Colton Haynes , I imagine. On the other hand by telling his story Colton reaches a big part of the world and I hope this can create just a little bit more understanding for this silent disease.
This being said, I am really looking forward to meeting Colton in Brussels later this month. Not just because I love Arrow, but also because of his great personality in his life off screen.