Colton Haynes

Arrow's Colton Haynes Opens Up About Year-Ago Exit: 'I Had to Step Back'

More than a year after leaving The CW’s Arrow, and nearly four years after bidding MTV’s Teen Wolf adieu — both unexpected exits occurred midway through the series’ runs — Colton Haynes is opening up about the reasons behind his departures.

“I asked to step away because I cared more about my mental and physical health than my career at the time,” Haynes tells Entertainment Weekly. “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.”

That said, Haynes isn’t ruling out another return to Starling City; since wrapping his “trial” run as a series regular in April 2015, he made an encore appearance midway through Season 4.

“Working for Greg [Berlanti] was the greatest experience of my life, and when he offered me Arrow, it was a new beginning for me,” Haynes says. “I would love to do more. They know I love them. I’d go back in a second.”

Would you like to see Haynes back on Arrow, or even Teen Wolf, in the near future? Drop a comment with your thoughts below.

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55 Comments
  1. Sara says:

    I would love to see him back on Arrow, but I am happy to see him putting his health first.

    • ? says:

      Maybe he can even take some acting lessons! Seriously though, it’s good of him to talk about it at last because something didn’t feel right with his exit from Arrow. Though didn’t everyone already know he was gay or at least bi since like, season 2? Well hopefully he’s feeling more comfortable with being him now. That’s what’s most important.

    • S. Koriagin says:

      Agreed. Arsenal was a good character, and Team Arrow could definitely use the help with the Canaries out of the picture, so I really hope that he’s up for coming back (and that they ask him back.

  2. Jason says:

    Kind of hard to ever lead a show if popularity can cause that kind of anxiety. Maybe movies are better for him

    • O'yaya says:

      how are movies better, if you do a movie you have to do press, and with these huge blockbusters they spend almost the same amount on marketing. it’s in the actors contracts to do like junkets that are like 3 months on the road , just watch the avengers. matter fact CHris Evans just had an article about how much he hates it on star swipe

    • Kate says:

      Where does it say that his anxiety is caused by his popularity? If you suffered from an anxiety disorder, you would know that it’s not just caused by external factors. I’m sure things about the intensity of that job contributed to his anxiety, but this is the kind of thing that is with you always and maybe he just needed to take a little time to deal with it.

  3. "A" says:

    Roy aka Arsenal / Red Arrow should board the Wavered on “Legends of Tomorrow” next season along side Arrow teammates Sara Lance aka White Canary and Ray Palmer aka The Atom.

  4. Anne says:

    Oh, well it would seem that I may have judged him too harshly. I was upset that he screwed over fans twice (acting like Rob Lowe) but if there was a medical issue, that’s totally understandable. I’m glad he took the time off.

  5. kaliber says:

    Not discounting his anxiety, but “terminal anxiety” isn’t what he thinks it is. Terminal anxiety is when someone who is near death feels compelled to get up and/or move around.

    If he meant it as “severe” anxiety, it’s still not the right term. If he were using “terminal” in that sense, he’d be dying from it (i.e., “terminal cancer”).

    All that aside, I wish him the best. I hope that he has a strong support system in place, because it’s hard enough to deal with on your own, and society isn’t really there to help, which can add fuel to the fire.

    I really liked him on Arrow (never saw Teen Wolf), hopefully he can reach a point where he can manage his illness and return to acting in a larger role sometime.

  6. Linda says:

    Good for him for ‘officially’ coming out.

  7. NM says:

    So leaving Teen Wolf (which was 12 episodes a season) for a series that is 23 and would pay more was an anxiety thing? Yeah, okay.
    Sounds like since he lost his “trial job” on Arrow that he hasn’t had much luck with his “talented” career, so breaking out about his “terminal anxiety” is a way to spark it.

  8. Jason says:

    I had suspicions that something like this was going on with him. It’s a shame that it’s hampering his career but good that he can talk about it. The fact that he was able to return for an episode this year is a hopeful sign. Still, it’s probably unlikely that he’ll be committing to any other long-term projects. He’s a very appealing actor and I hope he’s getting the help he needs.

  9. Annapa says:

    Yass colon please come back

  10. Murica! says:

    I don’t think he knows what ‘terminal’ means.

    • John NYC says:

      Probably not, he’s not a medical professional after all and he was giving an interview to an entertainment reporter so he also may have just been dumbing it down for the media type he was interacting with. Rather than parroting verbatim what his physicians wrote on their clinical diagnoses.

    • KatsMom says:

      I read it as sarcasm/hyperbole. “This anxiety is killin’ me!” Is it literally killing him? No. But, it’s crippling and, when it’s most extreme, and he’s having trouble catching his breath and feels a tightening in his chest, etc., he may feel like he’s going to die momentarily.

  11. TVLine Fan Girl says:

    I would really like to see him back on Arrow. He was great with Thea (Ok, I’m also a season behind, so I don’t know much about his 1 episode return this season). I also though that he was great foil for Oliver.

  12. Annapa says:

    Yass colton please come back

  13. Television says:

    Thats cool and all and he is a good actor. But if he seriously has these issues, maybe he should choose a different career. I cant imagine one single thing about being an actor that wouldnt cause his anxiety to be bad.

    • John NYC says:

      Being critically judged for who you are as a person as well as your physical appearance. Every. Single. Day. ?

      Can get to some people.

  14. Joey Padron says:

    Glad he open up about his health problems. Proud of him for sharing his story. Glad he’s getting better now. Hope he can come back to Arrow again in season 5!

  15. Ben says:

    I would really love it if he could come back part time (not as a series regular) to be Thea’s partner. He was great in that role and I think they could manage it without him being Arsenal (or only suiting up very occasionally because there is a need).

    But as someone who suffers from mental health issues, it definitely does need to come first, plus I’m very pleased to see him opening up about it.

  16. I am glad to see him putting his health first, that is more important and a lot of stars wouldn’t do that. I am also glad that he is talking about it. It will help others out there who may suffer from these issues.

    That being said. I would always be happy to see him back on Arrow, but only if he is mentally and physically up to it.

  17. jrex says:

    Oddly this TVLine report doesn’t mention a critical detail, the official acknowledgement in the EW article that Colton is gay. Congrats Colton!

    • Tim says:

      Yeah, that’s weird, especially since being closeted probably didn’t help with all of his anxiety issues.

    • Sara says:

      While it is fantastic that Colton “officially” came out to the public, even in his quote about it, he didn’t seem to think it was a big deal. He was out to everyone in his professional career and his friends and family. This article is about why he said he left Arrow. His being gay wasn’t a part of that, his anxiety disorder was the main reason.

  18. Goldenvibefan says:

    Dang that sucks. Glad to see him putting health first! Hopefully we’ll see him flipping on our screens as roy harper on season 2 of legends of tomorrow!! :D

  19. Gregory Abbey says:

    I watch it on Netflix, so haven’t gotten to the point where he left yet, so definitely want to see him return!!!!!

  20. Dave says:

    Someone should teach ole Roy the meaning of the word “terminal”.

  21. Wendi says:

    I would love to see Colton back on Arrow but only if it’s what he wants. Kudos to him for taking care of himself.

  22. Kate Tibbs says:

    Y’all talking about terminal in the medical diagnosis sense. Severe anxiety is disabling and debilitating – it can literally stop you in your tracks and can become a hurdle that’s too difficult to get passed – that’s what he was getting at. Wishing him all the best in his future endeavors.

  23. Phoebe says:

    Has he ever stopped to consider that acting or modelling may NOT be the best careers for someone who suffers from ‘severe’ anxiety? A more ‘low key’ profession where he is not in the public eye might suit him better.

  24. If he’s mentally and physically capable of returning, Roy Harper is an important character, and having him back would only be a good thing. So absolutely. As long as a regular adds to a show, keep him/her. I’m also hoping they get Laurel back because that’s a loss to the show.

  25. irene hernandez says:

    Yes i would!!! Wouldnt have it any other way!

  26. mike says:

    more Roy would be good

  27. Guest says:

    I agree that he needs to be looking into another profession. If you anxiety is so severe that he had to quit 2 shows midway through, he’s going to start looking unreliable and it’s clear that these are not jobs he can handle.

  28. Jacki says:

    Love to see Colton back on Arrow. I want him to be healthy though. To young must take care if himself. I didn’t and it can’t be reversed. Prayers to Colton on whatever he decides to do.

  29. Debby Schiffman says:

    I am a big fan of Arrow and really enjoyed the character Colton played. Hope he returns. I am a 61 yr old woman and still do not understand why people care so much about a persons sexual orientation. My daughter in law is Bisexual. I remember when my son told me and I was like, so what, she is with you now and loves you. There are so many more important issues in the world today. Glad Colton had this freeing experience.

  30. kath says:

    I’m glad to know that it was his decision to step back and not the show firing him. Like the guy on Bones, I guess.
    I will him all the best.

  31. Lauren says:

    I would love to see him back on Arrow, but I am happy to see him putting his health first.

  32. Jo says:

    He needed to be on new season teen wolf too bad

  33. Kavinash says:

    I would love for him to be in both arrow and teen wolf

  34. Kiley says:

    I would love for him to return! It’s not the same without him!