SAN DIEGO - "I really hope your show doesn't suck, because I really want to like it."

That's the phrase Stephen Amell heard a lot last year at San Diego Comic-Con, where he promoted the first season of CW superhero show "Arrow." "People want a successful comic book series show on television," he told HitFix at the Con this year.

Thankfully, people are singing a different tune as he prepares for the premiere of season 2.

"The amount of gratitude this year... it's like the whole comic-con is a series of high fives."

The series left off on a dark note, with Arrow-slash-Oliver-Queen's best friend Tommy dying. Amell said that he expects that event will cast a whole new emotion on his character, to last the season and the series. "It's going to trigger everything that happens in Season 2," he said, that Arrow will aim to be a better version of himself, "more virtuous."

Amell may as well have been trying to become a better person in-between seasons, sure, but as for his bodacious bod, that's a different story. The actor told us that he gained 25 lbs. after Season One was over, and he made the realization less than a month before his July 10 shooting started this month.

"I could not anticipate what a grind of shooting 22 episodes was gonna be like. I was spent. It was just will and guile and spit and gum," he said. For Season 2, now, he knows what to expect. And he managed to get back to "fighting weight."

One culprit? "Beer."

Watch the full interview to learn more about Amell's down time, about his character and what else to expect from season 2 of "Arrow."

Season 2 of "Arrow" premieres on Oct. 9.