Yesterday we had the privilege of interviewing Emily Bett Rickards, one of Arrow’s biggest surprises who plays the breakout character Felicity Smoak on the series. It seems like just yesterday “Arrow IT girl” were sending people to this site; in the time since, Felicity has learned Oliver’s secret about his alter ego and become a part of the crime fighting team… all while maintaining a job at Queen Consolidated.
We’ll be posting some video from this interview this weekend; in the meantime, we’re going to be spreading out the text of the interview over the next three days here at GreenArrowTV. As such, this is Part 1 of a three-part interview; follow @GreenArrowTV on Twitter for more updates when more will be posted.
We’ll be presenting this interview as a Q&A, with our questions posted in bold and Ms. Rickards’ answers in plain text. Enjoy… and before you ask, yes, Emily Bett Rickards is just as cool as Felicity is, if not even cooler.
GREENARROWTV: When you first got the role of Felicity, did you expect it to be a one time only thing?
EMILY BETT RICKARDS: Yeah. That’s exactly what I expected. It said “possibly recurring,” but you never know. It is what it is. You go in for one day, you hope so bad it’s going to be recurring, and when I got the second episode, I was just like “Yeah,” and I felt like, for sure, that was going to be it. And here I am!
What was your reaction when you found out you’d be a series regular for Arrow Season 2?
I was ecstatic. I was extremely thankful. Grateful. Honored. I’m not usually speechless, but I’m pretty speechless about it. I’m very excited. We have such an excellent cast. Our creative team is extraordinary. The story that they go through in the first season, looking at it from bookend to bookend, is just huge. I’m super thankful.
Were you surprised by the instant fan reaction when Felicity first showed up on the show?
I guess I was kind of in shock…. I sort of said “Oh, that’s so nice. They like her. I’m really glad that they like her.” That’s a huge compliment to me, and a huge compliment to our creative and our writing team. I was just, like, so happy about that… and then thanks to the fans and the reaction, they brought me back. That was great for me, and I got to explore Felicity more. That’s what I’m really excited about.
While everyone’s down in the lair, Oliver’s doing shirtless exercises while Felicity is trying to work. How does she ever concentrate?
Concentrate? She just stares at him. She’s like “oh, there you are, shirtless and getting a spray down.” She’s a great multi-tasker. How’s that sound? [laughs]
And how do you, as an actress, concentrate when Stephen is doing that?
I don’t know… he’s obviously extremely good looking, but we’re working, and Stephen and I are friends, and that’s just really fun. I always bug him when he’s got his shirt off. It’s like, “I’m going to have a great day today.” [laughs]
Is it possible at all that Felicity might not be all that she appears to be? Could she be a mole for Malcolm Merlyn, or anything like that?
Oh, gee. Not that I know of, actually, but that would be very interesting, eh? I don’t think so. No. But we do get to see Felicity sort of dissolve her fears a little bit, going out into the field, and that sort of thing. I think that’s something to look forward to.
There’s something coming up with Felicity going undercover [Episode 21, “The Undertaking”]. Can you talk about that?
Yes. She goes undercover, and she looks fine. [laughs] She volunteers to go undercover, which is different from Episode 15… and also different in that she doesn’t have a bomb collar on her neck, but the stakes are even higher, and the danger is even greater. She’s in there trying to keep composed, undercover, surrounded by people that are extremely dangerous.
Why does Felicity stick by Oliver at that time? The synopsis that Diggle and Tommy are mad at him at the moment?
Felicity gets involved in the sense that she wants to have everyone honest with each other and work things out, but she’s not going to judge everyone individually on what happened between them. If it involves her or not, what’s really strong about Felicity is she takes her own view and looks at things very objectively. I think that comes from working with computers, because there’s literally one way. It’s either you do this and it works, or you do this and it doesn’t. She looks at things objectively, and she goes “if this works, and this works,” there’s pros and cons to these situations. I think that’s really powerful about her.
Come back tomorrow and Sunday to read what Emily Bett Rickards has to say about her co-star buddies, Felicity’s mission, Big Belly Burger and more! Our thanks to everyone who made this interview happen. Only five more days until a new episode of Arrow airs on The CW April 24!