EXCLUSIVE: ARROW Star Emily Bett Rickards On Becoming Felicity Smoak
Earlier today, we chatted with Emily Bett Rickards, who plays the wonderful and geeky Felicity Smoak on Arrow. In the chat, we discuss her audition process, the possibility of joining Oliver's operation, wanting some action and much more after the jump!
Shortly before the news broke that Emily Bett Rickards would be promoted to series regular on Arrow, we got to have a lovely chat with her and talked about plenty of things, including who her character's name originally was during her audition, her relationship with the cast, how she became Felicity Smoak and what might be in store for her in the future! Check out the full interview below.
ComicBookMovie: Congrats on getting a second season! What’s the atmosphere with the cast been like following this news?
Oh wow…everyone is really, really excited and going ‘HOORAH! And WHOO’, that’s pretty much the atmosphere. [laughs]. Yeah, everyone’s really excited and grateful. You know, we got the go-ahead and its good news for everyone.
CBM: Your character – Felicity – is very smart and very up-to-date with technology. Once you found out you got the role, how’d you prepare for it?
Well, when I found out I got the role I wasn’t aware that I was auditioning for Felicity Smoak. It was under the name of Karen Beecher who comes from Teen Titans, if I’m not mistaken. When I found out she was nerdy and super-smart, getting to know her and getting to know her character was looking into the DC Comics world and channeling that sort-of awkward ability that I think is ingrated in every one thing and finding her little ticks and buttons and knowing how her brain works systematically.
CBM: In this week’s episode, Felicity will attempt to save Oliver’s life and seemingly find out his nightly routine. How will this affect her?
How does this affect her? Well I think when she finds out that Oliver is who he is, she’s minorly shocked but everything makes sense. So everything Oliver has done or brought to her to do, all these jobs, just start to make sense. Everything becomes clearer. I think that affected her a lot. Also, she’s put into ‘Survival Mode’, she and Diggle have to save Oliver. So that’s it. That’s huge. And then she starts to understand who Oliver really is without his biggest mascot. He still has barriers up, but we can look forward to seeing them getting to know each other better now.
CBM: A lot of fans are hoping that Felicity Smoak becomes involved with Oliver’s operation. If this happens, do you hope for some action scenes?
I would love some action scenes, yes. I think that would be super-fun. I don’t know if Felicity would be so co-ordinated but I think it would scare her and challenge her, and put her in really hilarious situations.
CBM: Do you have a personal favorite episode so far?
Fourteen was really fun for me, and I have to say I also really enjoyed twelve, where one of my favorite days working on set was doing the scene with Stephen at the end of 12 with the notebook with the director Wendy [Stanzler] and I get to work with Eagle [Egilsson] on episode 15 which is really, well they’re all really great episodes.
CBM: Arrow has started to cast a ton of great actors. Have you ever been starstruck on set?
It’s funny because I get to know some before I actually meet them. I met John Barrowman the other day and I hadn’t met him but I knew he was around set and that was really exciting for me. Obviously, I work with Stephen [Amell] and Colin [Salmon] which I am good friends with and they’re amazing people to work with and Jess [De Gouw] who plays ‘The Huntress’ who I became really good friends with. It’s great to have such brilliant, lovely, talented individuals to work with. I’ve become quite lucky.
CBM: So the cast has grown a strong, tight relationship with each other?
Yes! I would say so. We all have our own lives outside the show as well, but it’s nice to know we all support each other a lot with anything that comes through the ‘Arrow family’, if you will.
CBM: In your first few episodes, the fans really gave your character a positive response and found her really relatable. Did you expect this kind of feedback?
I didn’t expect the feedback to be so huge! I’m very grateful and I’m flattered and so is Felicity, but I find her relatable. When I auditioned for her, like we were saying, she’s the person who has the aspect of wanting to be accepted and wanting to belong and you know she’s dorky, and kind of weird, and says the wrong things at the wrong time but shakes it off and tries to keep going. I think we all can relate to that, saying the wrong thing and trying to back our way out of it.
CBM: Are any of Felicity’s ‘awkward moments’ improvised?
Stephen and I really sometimes do a little bit of improvisation in scenes, and Stephen gives it a little bit of ad-lib sometimes and I think the fun for me is being an actor and looking at chunks of dialogue and looking to see where I can make certain beats more awkward, or even less awkward that I hope I can do and keep doing and getting good feedback for it.
CBM: Are you tech-saavy like your character or are you somewhat clueless when it comes to that?
I am on the fence with that one. My brother was always tech-saavy and I gave my stuff to him. I’m nowhere near as good as technology as he is but I did set up my speaker system this week so I was pretty excited about that. [laughs] I’m nowhere as good as Felicity though, I can’t hack into anything for sure…
CBM: As an actress, what have you taken away from your experience on Arrow so far?
It’s been…ah…it’s priceless to me. I can’t even put words to it. I’ve learned so much and the people I get to work with are talented and great people. Just having the opportunity to work with more material has been such a dream come true and I just want to keep doing it forever and ever.
CBM: If you had the chance, which superhero would you play in a feature film?
Wow, Oh man that’s hard…I don’t know, but I would want to fly. I can’t really specify a specific hero but I would want to fly or be a shapeshifter.
To me, it seems like she'd be a fine fit for Miss Martian. What do you think of Emily being promoted? Are you looking forward to tomorrow night's episode of Arrow, 'The Odyssey'? Sound off with your thoughts.
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