‘Heels’ Stars Stephen Amell and Alexander Ludwig Tease the DWL’s Global Success in Season 2

‘Heels’ Stars Stephen Amell and Alexander Ludwig Tease the DWL’s Global Success in Season 2

If you’re not a wrestling fan, Heels may well have flown under your radar when its first season debuted in 2021. But even if you don’t have a vested interest in pro wrestling, Heels provides a gripping window into that world that makes it palatable for longtime fans and accessible for newcomers – and that continues in Season 2.

Heels is a TV show set within the dramas of a fictional wrestling league in small-town Georgia, where two brothers channel their personal issues into dramas within the ring – sometimes unscripted. 

The show deftly manages to incorporate the mechanics of the wrestling world and translates them into tense interpersonal dramas and multifaceted characters. Someone may be a Heel (a wrestling term for ‘villain’) in the ring, but whether that necessarily defines who they are outside of it is another story. 

Ahead of the return of Heels on Stan, (and prior to the SAG-AFTRA strike), Lifehacker Australia spoke to stars Stephen Amell (Jack Spade) and Alexander Ludwig (Ace Spade) about where their characters are headed and how Season 2 surpasses the first.

With things ending explosively at the South Georgia State Fair in Season 1, Season 2 picks up with both brothers in a dark place.

“Jack [is] just very, very aware that he’s going down a path that is going to end badly and so he’s trying to get off of it. Simple as that,” Amell said.

“Ace is just a total identity crisis in and out of the ring,” Ludwig added. “You know, he doesn’t know who he is. [In] Season 2, you start to see him find a semblance of who he is and who he knows he can become.”

Image: Starz/Stan

Building upon that, the new season will also see the brothers dealing with their darkest demon – their father’s death by suicide. 

“It’s finally time to pick up the pieces that were left when their dad killed himself. Obviously, we’re aware that it happened in the first season, but the second season does a really nice job, in the early going, of painting the picture of what it did to them,” Amell explained.

Inside the ring this season, Heels begins to explore the potential of the small-town Duffy Wrestling League (DWL) moving into the spotlight.

“You start to see the pathway to the DWL becoming a national promotion, and perhaps a global success,” Ludwig said. 

This direction allowed the new season of Heels to evolve, taking the story in bolder directions, digging further into its characters and taking more liberties with on-screen matches, according to the actors.

“You always feel like you need to one-up your last season, but my argument also would be we one-upped last season in a way that I hadn’t expected,” Ludwig said.

“I should have known this because we have such great writers, but it’s gotten even deeper in terms of your connection to these characters. You will understand why they are the way they are and in doing so you will root for them.”

Image: Stan/Starz

Amell added that Heels encourages its viewers to pay attention because “everything that happens matters.” 

“You know, Jack driving to Florida and punching Charlie Gully in the mouth, it should be a cool thing. ‘Oh, he’s badass,’” Amell explained, referring to an event from the end of Season 1 that saw Jack clock Mike O’Malley’s character in the ring in defence of the DWL name.

“But in the real world, you can’t strike someone on their property. The fact that this becomes such a linchpin of the second season, and the fact that [Jack] has now basically become an indentured servant to Charlie Gully, just goes to show that everything that we do in the show [matters]. There’s no wasted motion. There’s no wasted dialogue. There’s no random story that doesn’t come to fruition.”

“Which is cool because I think that smart TV is good TV,” he added.

We couldn’t agree more.

Heels Season 2 debuts in Australia on Stan on July 28, with new episodes streaming weekly on Fridays. 


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