Stephen Amell Reveals He Had COVID-19, Says He Worried About Halting Production of Heels

The "anxiety came from the idea that I would be letting hundreds of people down," said the actor of his diagnosis

Stephen Amell
Stephen Amell. Photo: Phillip Faraone/WireImage

Stephen Amell is opening up about his experience with the novel coronavirus.

The actor appeared on Tuesday's episode of Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum, where he revealed that he had recently tested positive for COVID-19 and struggled with the "mental side" of battling the illness.

During the podcast — which marked Amell's first major interview since he suffered a panic attack on the same show nine months ago — the 39-year-old explained that he was worried about getting the coronavirus because it would mean halting the production of his upcoming Starz drama Heels.

"I'm a retired superhero, but take one last thing from me," Amell said. "If I've had any anxiety, I know that we speak about this sometimes on the pod and, obviously you know, I had a panic attack on your podcast. Take it from a guy whose only sense of anxiety and panic has been the concept of contracting COVID."

While Amell "never worried about the lethal aspect" of getting sick from COVID-19, he said his "anxiety came from the idea that I would be letting hundreds of people down."

"When I got the positive test, for me it became holy f—k," he explained. "I just destroyed this show because I'm No. 1 on the call sheet and I work every day more or less."

"I'm in my head going, 's—t, they're going to have to shut down the production. We're not yet done with the first block of two episodes. Did I just ruin this?' " he recalled thinking.

The actor revealed that at the time of the Oct. 20 recording of the podcast, he had tested positive for COVID-19 two weeks prior and was now cleared to go back to work.

Stephen Amell MTV Movie Awards

He noted that he was already self-isolating when he first felt symptoms of COVID-19 because another person on the Heels set had previously tested positive.

"I woke up and it was the strangest thing. My f—king right ear was plugged and I was hot and cold," he explained of his symptoms.

Amell also added that he constantly felt "super dizzy," lost his appetite and dropped 15 lbs. during his fight with the illness.

Still, Amell said he feels "incredibly fortunate" that he works in an industry that can safely handle COVID-19 outbreaks.

"Again, thank you very much to Starz for being so supportive and what they did over the past three weeks, the show shut down for one day. What they were able to do is mind boggling, quite frankly," Amell said. "It just goes to show that they were prepared for it, but not everyone has the luxury of taking two weeks off."

The actor added that he understands how lucky he is to "have a job waiting for [him] on the other side," should he have had to go into isolation.

The Arrow star also urged people to continue being safe and smart about the virus.

"I have actively, actively, actively tried to avoid contracting this virus. And guess what? I f—king got it anyway, so be smart," he said. "If you're being smart, stay smart. And if you're not, you're just dragging this s—t on longer for everybody else."

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.

Related Articles