In an interview with SciFi Now, Executive Producer Andrew Kreisberg admitted they’ve taken a lot of liberties with the character.
“The comic-book version of him, the Count Werner von Vertigo… when your last name is Vertigo of course you’re going to grow up to be a supervillain who uses vertigo as a weapon. That concept just doesn’t exist in our world, and we’ve never been shy about saying that we’ve taken all of our cues from Chris Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, and how he took somebody like Ra’s al Ghul, played by Liam Neeson, who was immortal in the comics and presented a realistic take on how he could be immortal, by having a frontman who could be killed and allowing him to survive.
“We thought of Count Vertigo sort of the same way, with Seth Gabel from Fringe and Dirty Sexy Money who’s terrifyingly awesome in the part. First of all, how he gets the nickname ‘the Count’ is kind of fun and spooky, but also how he is able to create this vertigo effect without using certain superpowered means. And that’s what’s fun for us….Count Vertigo is our first real, complete overhaul. We’re really excited about it.”
Update: One of our brother sites, CraveOnline, interviewed Gabel himself about his part, we’ve included it below.
CO: We’re excited to see you on “Arrow.” When are we going to meet Vertigo?
SG: I think it’s around January 23. I don’t know the exact date for sure but I’m pretty sure it’s the end of January.
CO:It’s been so exciting to see how “Arrow” interprets all the characters like Huntress and Deathstroke. How is their Vertigo similar or different than what we’ve read in the comics?
SG:It’s a definite adaptation. Count Vertigo in the comic book I believe is Eastern European. In this I play definitely American of some kind, but the adaptation of him being a count, it’s more of a nickname for this street thug drug kingpin who’s selling a drug known as Vertigo on the streets of Starling City. So instead of having a super power, my super power is actually manifested in the drug that I’ve gotten people hooked on.
CO:What does the drug give you the power to do?
SG:It gives people the feeling like they’re walking on air, but that’s if you take it orally. If you inject it into your body, it has very different kinds of effects. That is extremely dangerous and a huge threat to Starling City and needs to be stopped.
CO:Do you have some cool action?
SG:Yeah, there’s a lot of cool action. The fight choreographers I had worked with before on “Fringe” so I was very comfortable with them. They do incredible work and it was a pleasure to be a part of it.
CO:That cast seems like in less than a season, they’ve really got it down. How did they welcome you in as an episodic cast member?
SG:It’s interesting as an episodic cast member because when I started out, most times when you join the cast just for one episode to start especially, no one really gets close to you because they don’t want to get close to someone who’s going to all of a sudden be gone. So usually people aren’t very warm to you and you’re kind of there to do your job and then you leave. But this cast was very welcoming. It helped a lot that I had been working in Vancouver on “Fringe” and there were a lot of familiar faces there, so I think people could vouch that I wasn’t crazy or desperate in some way. I think everyone was just very comfortable to chat and I felt like I got along with everyone.
CO:Are we going to see more of Count Vertigo?
SG:I hope so. It’s definitely possible. It’s the most fun I had playing a part in a really long time so I’m longing for it to continue.
Arrow stars Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen, Colin Donnell as Tommy, Willa Holland as Thea Queen, with Susanna Thompson as Moira Queen and Paul Blackthorne as Detective Quentin Lance. The show returns on Wednesday January 16 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
(Photo Credit: Nikki Nelson/ WENN)