Justin Hartley, <EM>Smallville</EM> Justin Hartley, Smallville

Talk about going green! Smallville (8 pm/ET, the CW) gets another shot of sexy superheroics tonight when Justin Hartley's Green Arrow fires back into town for an all-new hour that also introduces the Emerald Archer's future fishnetted paramour, Black Canary (played by newcomer Alaina Huffman). As usual, the hilarious Hartley was all laughs when we talked to him about (barely) suiting up for his triumphant return.

TVGuide.com: So based on the script for tonight's episode, they didn't waste any time amping up the hotness between Oliver and Lois, huh?
Justin Hartley: Oh, yeah! [Laughs]

TVGuide.com: Because every reunion should be done in a towel.
Hartley: Well, I hate to disappoint some people, but that whole towel thing changed a bit. I'm sure some people, including my mother, are thrilled, but it was just a practical thing because of what ensues after [Lois sees Oliver again]. There is never really a time where he could get dressed, so I would have been doing all of these crazy things in a towel. Then we're talking about a Showtime show. [Laughs] High spin-kicks in a towel? Not unless I'm home by myself, you know? [Laughs] No one wants to see that!

TVGuide.com: What brought you back for this episode?
Hartley: My mortgage, man! [Laughs] You know, I was behind, and then.... [Laughs] No, it was the natural progression of the story, I guess. And I wanted to come back.

TVGuide.com: I would imagine you had a blast last season.
Hartley: I did. But you know what? This episode was a lot.... I don't want to say that I enjoyed it more, but it was different. I feel like they trusted me a little bit more. And I think I trusted myself a little more. The first season I did this, it seemed to work, and so I thought, 'OK, I must be doing something right.' That was a load off, you know? Because by the time your first episode airs, you've already shot, like, four or five of them. If you're doing something wrong, you already have one foot in the grave.

TVGuide.com: It probably helps that the fans embraced you, too.
Hartley: Which is great! That's the only thing that matters, right?

TVGuide.com: Especially when someone assumes the mantle of one of these beloved superheroes. If you mess it up, you will hear about it.
Hartley: Exactly. And rightfully so. I'm the same way with things that I'm really passionate about. Like I love baseball, and when you see all these guys you admire and then all of a sudden you find out about things that they have either admitted to or are being accused of, it doesn't sit well. If you've grown up reading about superheroes, you have probably attached yourself to a few that you love. So if someone comes out and butchers that character, I can understand that it's upsetting.

TVGuide.com: Plus, based on comic-book history, Green Arrow just goes with Black Canary. You almost need him to be part of this story.
Hartley: Yeah, you did. She dropped the ball so many times, she really needed me there. [Laughs] No, it's great how they've been bringing different superheroes on, so I'm glad they thought to bring me back for this. I don't know if they needed me there to introduce her — they could have done this a different way.

TVGuide.com: What do you have lined up after this? Or is everyone just chillin' during the strike?
Hartley: Well, I think everyone is just chillin'. It's funny, I shot this episode and I believe it was supposed to air way before now, but because of the strike, it was delayed a bit. I shot this in Vancouver back when the strike was just going down [back in November]. Then after that, I came back to L.A. and it was the holidays, so, you know, you're busy then. But I just did this little Web series with Rosario Dawson, which is great.

TVGuide.com: Is this her online voting initiative?
Hartley: No, no, no. I know what you're talking about, but this is something called Gemini. It's an actual Web series. You have to look it up, it's pretty interesting. All green screen, so that was kind of fun. Plus, working with Rosario is pretty cool, right?

TVGuide.com: So now you've played Aquaman, Green Arrow... any other superheroes you want to tackle?
Hartley: I would like to say no, but I will say to you whatever they want to give me, my friend! [Laughs] You know, there's a bunch of them that are kind of alike. I could play a Flash. You know, dye someone's hair and you have Batman. And then there's the whole Power Rangers thing. That could always come back. [Laughs]

Check out more of this season of Smallville with clips in our Online Video Guide.

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