Meet Stephen Amell: The ambitious 'Hung' upstart
Ministry readers, please meet Stephen Amell: Currently starring as the enterprising young gigolo Jason opposite Thomas Jane on HBO's "Hung," Amell caught our attention for several reasons.
You can probably guess the first.
What you don't know is that this All-American boy is a former spinning instructor and vacuum cleaner salesman from Canada, who parlayed his charm and talent into many TV guest spots, his HBO gig and an upcoming story arc on ABC's "Private Practice." And what else should you know?
Being "Hung" is an art: "I had to get coached on how you make it look like you're having intercourse without having it. There's also the idea that these characters are incredibly well-endowed, so the motion is a little bit different," Amell told us.
"It's comical, and it's not straight back and forth. It's more up and down. If you do it like you normally do it, you'd look like you're doing some stupid dance move."
Humble beginnings: "I sold vacuums, worked at an insurance company. ... I started to teach spinning as a way to get back in shape," Amell said of his time before hitting Hollywood. "My first audition was for 'Mean Girls.' I didn't even have headshots. I [freaked out] in that audition. All I had done at that point was plays in high school."
Same old heavies: So Amell didn't land a part opposite Rachel McAdams and Lindsay Lohan in "Mean Girls," but his spinning day job landed him the part of, well, a spin instructor on the Showtime series "Queer as Folk." From there, he booked plenty of work, but all rather villainous characters, like the role of Jordan Van Der Sloot in Lifetime's "Justice for Natalee Holloway." (And here we were cheering for Josh Duhamel.)
Perhaps his mom would like something a bit warmer for on-screen work?
"I know! I had just played a murderer and a rapist, and a sadistic werewolf [on "The Vampire Diaries"]. My character on 'CSI: Miami' had gotten hit by a bus. The worry was not just to get a job, but get a character that’s a pretty decent guy. I've played a lot of the heavies," he confessed.
"Jason is definitely deep in the ho game, but I think he's a sweet guy."
We'd say the same -- well, the sweet guy part -- of Stephen, who is single and lives in Los Angeles with his chin-up bar and his 5-year-old black Lab, Louie. Check him out on Twitter at @Amellywood.
-- Matt Donnelly
Photo: Stephen Amell as the young "Hung" gigolo Jason. Credit: HBO