Former Arrow actor reveals struggles with anxiety and sexuality
Colton Haynes spent three years as Roy Harper on Arrow, first as a love interest for Thea Queen and eventually as a full-fledged member of Team Arrow. But Haynes chose to leave his superhero persona behind and walked away from Arrow at the end of Season Three.
Now the reclusive actor has opened up to Entertainment Weekly about why he left Arrow (and his popular role on MTV’s Teen Wolf), as well as other parts of his life. Here’s what Haynes had to say about his Arrow departure:
“I asked to step away because I cared more about my mental and physical health than my career at the time. I’ve had terminal anxiety my entire life. Physically ill, fainting. I’m 27 years old, and I have an ulcer. I had to step back.”
Haynes also responded to the long-standing rumors concerning his sexuality, confirming for the first time that he is indeed gay. In January, Haynes made news when we responded to a Tumblr user who made a comment about his “secret gay past.” Haynes replied with, “Was it a secret?” Here’s what he says about the incident now:
I didn’t feel like I owed anyone anything.
“It was a complete shock. I wasn’t ready to be back in the headlines. I should have made a comment or a statement, but I just wasn’t ready. I didn’t feel like I owed anyone anything. I think in due time, everyone has to make those decisions when they’re ready, and I wasn’t yet. But I felt like I was letting people down by not coming forward with the rest of what I should have said.”
In fact, part of the reason Haynes didn’t come forward was because he was in rehab for his anxiety issues and was in and out of the hospital for the next few months. Part of that anxiety came from having to keep his sexuality a secret:
“People want you to be that GQ image that you put out, but people don’t realize what it’s like to act 24 hours a day. I’d go home and I was still acting. People who are so judgmental about those who are gay or different don’t realize that acting 24 hours a day is the most exhausting thing in the world.”
Haynes did make a return appearance earlier this season on Arrow, and fortunately for fans, he’s definitely open to returning again. In fact, he now considers Arrow creator Greg Berlanti a close friend and mentor:
“Working for Greg was the greatest experience of my life, and when he offered me Arrow, it was a new beginning for me. I would love to do more. They know I love them. I’d go back in a second.”
For more from Colton Haynes, check out the full interview at EW.com, or pick up this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly.