Charlotte Ross on Donna Smoak: “I’m The Luckiest Girl In The World” Charlotte Ross on Donna Smoak: “I’m The Luckiest Girl In The World”
Interview with Charlotte Ross who plays Felicity's mother Donna Smoak on The CW's Arrow Charlotte Ross on Donna Smoak: “I’m The Luckiest Girl In The World”

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AR318A_0130bYou mentioned Twitter. Can you talk about how the fans have embraced “Mama Smoak” with so much love?

Honestly, I’m the luckiest girl in the world. I think it’s a testament mainly to the show, how popular the show is… secondly, to Emily, how amazingly popular and beloved she is… the fans created this hashtag #MamaSmoak before I even started shooting my first episode! I said to Emily, “Gosh! What if I was like a killer and I hated people?” [But] they really loved her so much, they wanted to see where she’s from. So I kind of walked into this amazing arena to start with, and then, of course, the icing on the cake is that they wrote this multi-layered rainbow of a role that is sexy, and loud, and funny, and serious, and has been through a lot, and is tough as nails underneath it, and loves her daughter so much, and wants to make it right…. They wrote this amazing character, but I had no idea about the DC Comics fandom of this show, and how loyal and passionate they are, and that they’ve embraced me like this is something that astounds me every day, and I want to say ‘thank you’ to each and every one of them. If I could, I would write a thank you letter to every single one of them. I’m so grateful, and I’m so humbled by it. I’ve been in the business for a long time, and I’ve never seen anything like it.

AR318A_0297bCan you talk about what it’s like to work with Emily Bett Rickards?

We have a chemistry that sometimes you just have naturally with somebody. She is obviously physically beautiful, but she is even more beautiful on the inside. I feel protective and loving to her in real life. She welcomed me with open arms. Before I started working, she texted me and asked if I wanted to have phone conversations and rehearse, and kind of talk about our characters… she’s a very serious actress. She’s all about the work. So we’re giggling on set, we’re laughing, we’re trying new things… we just relish having scenes together. We’ll talk as we’re waiting for the scenes setting up, about real life, as well. I’m trying to help her navigate her real life, and then all of a sudden we’re on set, and we’re doing it as characters. I’m just the luckiest girl in the world to work with Emily, because it doesn’t happen every day that you find somebody that’s also so popular in terms of the fans, but also so grounded. She’s just very real. She’s very grateful, and she’s just generally a really cool guy. We also really love animals, and are big animal activists.

AR318A_0176bDoes Donna have a preference on who is a better match for Felicity, between Oliver and Ray?

Donna doesn’t wear her opinions close to her heart; she has to speak up. [laughs] One of the reasons I love this character. Sometimes, your mom or even a good friend – even if you don’t say anything, they can see it in your eyes and know what you want. I think that Donna does take the time in this episode to grasp Felicity and make her look her in the eyes and get a reality check on where she stands emotionally. Because I, as her mom, want her to follow her heart more than anything else. Not what everybody else says she should or shouldn’t, but down to the core of what her heart really wants.

AR302b_0431bSo, yes. Donna is strong, and loves her daughter, and really wants her to get clear of what that is, and I have a strong opinion on what that should be.

Do you have any theories on where Felicity’s father went off to?

I do, and I can also tell you that in tonight’s episode, I mention him a couple times. We’re obviously peppering some seeds of who he is a little bit more, where he might be, and setting up for a chance that he might be coming and making an appearance on the show.

Does this imply that we can looking forward to seeing Donna a lot more on the show?

I hope so!

Why should people tune in to see Donna’s return in “Public Enemy?”

Well. Arrow’s the best show on television, number one. Number two, there’s going to be a lot going on in this episode that is going to surprise and shock everybody, and I’m coming to town, and I have a lot to tell my daughter about what she needs to do!

“Public Enemy” airs at 8PM TONIGHT on The CW. You can see a gallery of photos from the episode here.

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Craig Byrne

Craig Byrne has been writing about TV on the internet since 1995. He is also the author of several published books, including Smallville: The Visual Guide and the show's Official Companions for Seasons 4-7.