Arrow’s Kirk Acevedo Discusses How He Developed The Ricardo Diaz Character

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To say that Arrow has been able to lay claim to some memorable big bads during its run is an understatement. So far, we’ve been introduced to the likes of Malcolm Merlyn, Deathstroke, Ra’s al Ghul, Damien Darhk and Prometheus, each of whom have challenged and confounded Oliver Queen in different ways.

Season 6, while proving to be a tumultuous experience for the Emerald Archer and his cohorts, saw a change of pace when it came to the chief antagonist. You see, this time around, we had Kirk Acevedo stepping up to the plate as Ricardo Diaz, someone who was easily the most “real world” of the overarching villains we’ve met thus far.

When I had a chance to speak with Acevedo at Motor City Comic Con last weekend, he recalled when he was first approached for the gig:

“Before I even shot anything, [executive producers] Marc Guggenheim and Wendy Mericle called me when they were telling me about the project. They said, ‘alright we don’t want the typical Arrow bad man, loud and over-the-top.’ I would never play it like that anyway.”

That said, the actor then detailed how they went about establishing a more subtle, methodical threat:

“They didn’t tell me what I’m gonna tell you right now, that ‘we want Michael Corleone, Godfather, we want Scarface. Think like the TV show The Liar. Just brooding, simmering.’ That’s my wheelhouse. So, even if they didn’t tell me that, I would’ve played it like that anyway.”

As our conversation proceeded, we discussed what’s likelier to get into the heads of average folk, to which he offered:

“If you’re in a bar, what’s scary? The guy that looks at you and doesn’t say anything, or the guy who ‘he doth protest too much’ and is yelling? The guy who doesn’t say anything and just stares at you is scary.”

Well, I guess Kirk is right in that regard, as Diaz proved to be someone willing to burn his childhood bully alive rather than just give him a black eye. Where “the Dragon” goes from here is anybody’s guess though, so we’ll just have to wait and see if indeed he’ll be able to knock off one of the Big Three when Arrow returns for its seventh season this fall on The CW.

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