"That would be bizarre," Routh laughed when asked what it would be like if - in an ever expanding DC universe on TV - Atom and Superman ever met. "There'd probably be some inside jokes and winks at the camera. But that would be cool. It's such a bizarre thing already for me to be playing this character, and for some people to only be known for playing this character. People young enough who haven't seen Superman Returns are like, 'Oh, that guy's the Atom. What!?! He played Superman!?' I mean, I get that all the time from people who are fans of Chuck. They see me on Chuck, and their buddies are like, 'Yeah, he was Superman too,' and they're like, 'What!?' That's a cool thing for me, because it means that I'm not just defined by one character. Even if that is the one thing I'm known for, hallelujah! That's an amazing thing too. So, I don't know. Anything's possible. That'd be a trip."
Ray Vs Oliver
Oliver's been fairly preoccupied during the second half of Arrow's third season, and now is set to be even more so, which has created space for some new heroes to emerge in Starling City...or Star City, as Routh emphasizes, it should be called.
Ray Palmer and Oliver Queen are two very different men, and it's fairly safe to assume that those distinctions will carry through to their alter-egos.
"I think the difference, one, is how Ray sees the world versus how Oliver sees the world," Routh said. "We obviously have very different pasts and paths to get to where they are now. I can't speak for Oliver I guess, but I'd say that Ray is a 'glass half full' type of guy."
Ray and Oliver's mutual friend, comrade-in-arms (well in computer hacking, anyway), and on again, off again love interest Felicity Smoak seems to be more invested in her dynamic with Ray at the moment. "There may be something she appreciates about hanging out with someone that's of the [more optimistic] ilk," Routh said.
"And he's like her," the actor continued. "The tech talk and cracking jokes and more of a free-wheeling nature. She has to decide whether she wants to dip her toe back into that, helping somebody, like possibly be in a position where they're putting themselves at risk, or say, 'No, I'm done with this stuff.' So that's her decision to make, but I don't make it easy on her. I keep badgering about it, kind of like everything that Ray does. He's very insistent -- hopefully in a charming way."
Both Routh and Emily Bett Rickards (who plays Felicity) have added some some comedic flavor to a series that can otherwise get - in the words of executive producer Andrew Kreisberg - a bit soapy.
"As far as the levity and lightness, that was what [producers] Marc Guggenheim and Andrew Kreisberg really wanted to do with the character," Routh said. "I'm saying their awesome words, and I'm so grateful that the writers have given me great stuff. It's a joy for me to be able to come and crack jokes and have that high energy every day."
What Would Atom Make of Canary