The technical fail continued all the way through the first part of our interview with David Ramsey, who plays John Diggle on Arrow. Luckily that was okay, because we got a great amount of time with him, longer than anyone else that day. Below is the transcript of that full interview, and it sounds like Diggle is in a pretty good spot in the beginning of season 4. Spoiler alert here, he does tease some upcoming plots, especially with Diggle and Oliver.
So your character is in a mixed race marriage…
He is. I don’t know if you knew that. Given the recent marriage equality ruling, how do you think your character would react?
I think Diggle would be very happy about that. Diggle is a military man, but he’s probably the military guy who’s on the progressive end. He’s a vigilante for christ sakes. It’s interesting because you can probably argue that Diggle has some mixed views. He has probably some very right wing views and he has some very progressive views. He just mowed down the league of assassins with gun fire so he probably believes in capital punishment, which is more of the right. He’s probably very progressive in terms in mixed relationships and transgender rights and things like that. I probably would say he was very happy with what happened federally recently.
How would you say the event of season three transformed Diggle and what was his evolution from season three to season four?
I think season three ended where the team fell back in line allowing Oliver to go off into the sunset with Felicity and I think Diggle was the only one that didn’t let Oliver off the hook. He held his feet to the fire so to speak. Diggle sees Oliver’s actions as a liability. Diggle’s a military guy and if one man hurts the unit the whole unit suffers. That’s Diggle’s POV. Putting Ra’s Al Ghul at the head of the League of Assassins I think Diggle thinks is a mistake. I think trusting Malcolm Merlyn before he trusted his team is a mistake. I think kidnapping Lyla and leaving his child at home I think Diggle sees as a mistake. These things hurt the team I think Diggle sees, not just a personal thing, but they’re not intelligent strategically. I think that’s what Diggle has a problem with . Those sentiments get echoed at the beginning of season four.
Diggle is past being angry. It’s not just about ‘He kidnapped my wife and left my child at home.’ He was pissed, but he says even in that episode that he just understands that this man does things a certain way and that’s fine, he just can’t work with him. It’s that matter of fact for Diggle. It’s going to take some time to mend it. It’s not going to be a catastrophic event that brings these men back together it’s going to be really a meeting of the hearts and a commitment to each other and to the team and to the city that really brings them back together. They will get back together; the bromance will continue. By the time they do mend fences it’s going to be much stronger, they’re going to respect each other a lot more which I think was the missing element to their relationship before.
What relationship or friendship does Diggle have to lean on other than his wife?
He doesn’t and I think he’ll take notice of that as well. Both of them are missing something. Both of these men love each other, yes they do. (that got several laughs from the table) They miss each other. They miss the camaraderie, they miss depending and leaning each other and they’re going to come back around very soon within the season. This isn’t going to drag it out very long because I think the fans want them together, I think people want them together, I think it’s good for the team. It won’t take too long but they have to respect the divide so they have to take their time mending fences.
Personally I like Diggle the way he is, but there’s lots of rumors and fan theories about whether he’ll become a superpowered character (Ramsey said no) or that he’ll becoming another DC comics character, can you talk about any plans this season that will change Diggle a little bit?
Yes, and yes. I can talk about it a little bit and yes he will be changing. There will be changes to Diggle coming very, very soon. It’s no secret that Diggle has needed some concealment since the latter part of season one, and then after he got married clearly and had a child if there’s anyone that needs to protect his identity in the field, it’s Diggle. That’s been no secret and even at the end of season three there’s a little teaser that Oliver put out there that if you’re going to continue to work in the field you’re going to need some concealment. So at the top of season four you’re going to see a very well oiled Team Arrow without Arrow. Diggle’s the de-facto leader that with Black Canary and Speedy and they’re protecting Starling City and they’re all concealed. So you will see something for Diggle.
Will these changes have anything to do with Cove City and the flashbacks in season four?
With Cove City? No, they won’t. Though it’s awesome because they can play with a lot of stuff over there in Flash and time travel and all this stuff. I’m interested, and I don’t know if this is going to happen or not, but I’m interested in the crossovers this year and whether or not the crossovers will deal with some type time paradoxes or not. We’ll see. The immediate costume changes and what you see in the beginning 4.1 will have nothing to do with Cove City.
Diggle and Felicity have always been on their own, how do you think Oliver and Felicity’s relationship is going to affect Diggle and Felicity’s relationship?
That’s very interesting too because you’re going to find out something out in the beginning of 4.01, there’s a bit of a slant in terms of what’s happening in that relationship as well that I’m not privy to say in terms of the Oliver/Felicity relationship. There’s something there. Team Arrow without Arrow at the beginning of 4.01 has for all intensive purposes allowed these two individuals to run off into the sunset and they are operating as far as I’m concerned with Oliver Queen lives in the suburbs and there is no more Arrow. That clearly changes very, very quick because H.I.V.E. comes, Damien Darhk, and we have some very very formidable enemies this season.
Was that fun though, to play with just you and Speedy and Black Canary with you as the head of the organization for a while?
We start shooting on Monday and those scenes are Thursday and Friday and I can’t wait to shoot those scenes. They’re cool. When you read them it just like, “Wow, they really are a well oiled machine.” It’s kind of nice to see that. It’s going to be nice to see why Oliver has to come back because they are very good at what they’re doing. It’s very well written, but I can’t give it away.
There’s so many shows in this same shared universe, you guys are getting to do something brand new, as an actor how is it to play in these multiple sandboxes that overlap.
Multiple sandboxes is a good way of putting it. It’s so much fun. I’m knocking on wood, right? Who will die this season? Hopefully it’s not me. (laughs). It’s great, Legends, Flash, Supergirl, all with Greg Berlanti. It’d be great if the crossovers could involve Supergirl. It’s just fantastic. It’s a Comic Book Renaissance. I could just picture myself, I grew up watching Lou Ferrigno and Bill Bixby, which was awesome in it’s own right. This is unprecedented on television and dare I say Arrow really opened the door up for Gotham and Constantine and Flash and Legends and Supergirl. Arrow was in Smallville’s shadow and no one really expected this to happen. It’s great.
How did you react to all those rumors that were growing with great strength that you were becoming Green Lantern?
When you read the Green Lantern lore, the John Stewart story, as an actor you’re like, aww, it’s like playing Lou Cage, it’s an awesome character. To the writers credit, and they took time to explain this to the press and even explained it to me personally, they taken great strides in making the John Diggle mythos part of the lexicon that you hear John Diggle, you hear John Diggle, you hear John Diggle and they even made him part of the Comic books. They’ve taken great strides in making him part of the landscape of Arrow and that whole universe. They don’t want to give up on that immediately. They’re going to take one big step very very soon in cementing his forever dominance in the comic book land, very soon, because Diggle’s going to be changed forever.
Here is most of the interview on YouTube, starting with the third question. By that time all the technical issues were resolved.