Arrow Felicity Learns Oliver Son

Arrow's Emily Bett Rickards Weighs In on Her 'Lighter' (But Crazy!) Season 4, Reacts to 'Dead Felicity' Theory

Coming off a year in which Felicity alternately mourned and felt betrayed by Oliver, Arrow‘s Emily Bett Rickards was promised “lighter, more jovial” times ahead. Season 4 indeed delivered on that, but also so much more.

With the IT whiz-turned-tech titan poised to get blindsided this Wednesday (The CW, 8/7) by the news that fiancé Oliver has a kid out there, TVLine invited Rickards to take stock of her Season 4 storylines to date, tease Felicity’s reaction to the William reveal and wrap her brain around one wild flash-forward grave theory.

TVLINE | Felicity this season has experienced domestic bliss, near-death, paralysis, the return of her long-lost father… and a to-be-broken engagement. Did you know Season 4 would serve up so much drama for her?
Oh my goodness, I could use you for recaps all the time! [Laughs] I think I did know. Although I was promised a happier season — and the writers delivered on that, since Felicity does have a more jovial and positive look at life than she did last year — I wouldn’t have been able to predict we’d pack in so many big life changes for one character in a season. It sort of asks the question, “Does everyone goesArrow through such impactful life changes every single year?” Do you ever just get a year of, “Oh, it was such a lovely year, actually! Thank you so much for asking. I didn’t do anything, nothing happened to me”? And would we enjoy that or not?

TVLINE | Did you have any concerns about Felicity and Oliver going into the season as a happy couple?
I did. Stephen [Amell] and I wanted to keep the relationship real and grounded but also interesting to watch on TV — which is hard to do, because we’re interested in people being “tortured and not together,” or “together but something’s wrong” or “someones keeping a secret.” We do play those things, but Stephen and I really wanted to make it important that when they are together, they are happy, that it is a healthy, communicative relationship, or we show them working toward that. I feel like the real struggle in our day-to-day lives is something we sometimes ignore on television — maybe it’s not interesting to watch, but we can only hope that it is. Although then we just stick a dagger in it and everyone’s happy again. Yea!

TVLINE | Donna (played by Charlotte Ross) has had a greater presence this season. What avenues has that opened up for you as an actress?
I mean, besides just working with Charlotte, because we love to work together, it’s so rewarding as a character to have your mother in a scene with you, to have your mother in your life. Because no matter how old you are, you always feel like a child around your parents. ArrowSometimes you’re giving your mom advice or something like that, but still, they almost have this magical power they can put on you and then you just feel like a “young human” again. It is so awesome for me as an actor and for Felicity to have her mother around, because you get to play different parts. You even get to use different parts of your vocal range, because you talk to your mother so differently than you talk to anybody else. That’s something mothers can always hold onto, even if their kids grow up.

TVLINE | Curtis (Echo Kellum) is also new to the mix this season. What do you think he brings out in Felicity?
First of all, he brings out all of my laughs. I adore him. As opposed to being attracted to each other in an opposites sense, they get to vibe on the same level, which I think is so rewarding for both of them, because they don’t get that from a  lot of people. I like how that can snap each other out of it when they’re not focused, to keep each other on task. And then when they’re too focused, they really care about each other. That is a relationship I’m hoping we can explore a lot more.

TVLINE | You had a chance to act opposite yourself this season. Is it trippy to see the end product on-screen?
It was so much fun to do, and exhausting to do, and rewarding to do…. I couldn’t have asked for anything more, I felt so fulfilled. But seeing it and wanting to be able to do it again, it’s not so much “trippy” arrow-goth-felicitybut being like, “Oh, that’s how that works.” Ali Liebert (Bomb Girls) was my scene partner [alternating as Goth or regular Felicity], and it was so awesome to work a character with another actor I’ve trained with before, to have these beautiful sense of, “We’re molding together these scenes.” Ali’s such an amazing actor, so it was a treat. It was like I was throwing confetti in the air every time we yelled “cut,” it was so much fun.

TVLINE | It may not be for the long-term, it seems, but how did you prepare for the paralysis storyline? [Showrunner] Wendy [Mericle] told me you were excited for the challenge.
I was excited for the challenge, I was excited for change. I’m so expressive with my body, as an actor, as Felicity, that I was worried about getting in a chair and then not being able to use her entire body. But I talked to a woman who had become paralyzed in her 20s in a snowboarding accident, and that conversation was really eye-opening. She was very generous and giving with all of her experience and information. It made me upset that we didn’t have more time to show what [the acclimation] would be like, because that’s not what our show is about. It made me feel apologetic [because] this takes over your life and we were only able to show that in a minute. I liked that Felicity’s mindset — and obviously it would have taken a lot more time [to accept], I cannot stress that enough — was, “This is what my life is now and I’m still going to my goals and dreams come true.” I was proud of her for that, and it was something they promised at the beginning of this season, that Felicity would be lighter, that she is going to be headed in that direction but nothing is going to stop her.

TVLINE | What can you tease about Felicity’s reaction to the news about Oliver’s son William?
I feel like we saw her in the crossover episode react in a certain way, and we’ll see seams of that play into this reality, this timeline that we watch — which is interesting to think about, that we’re not watching all of the timelines all the time and yet they’re happeninnnng! [Laughs] I think we all know Felicity’s heart pretty well, and we know that she tries to be as honest as possible all of the time. I feel like that’s something she respect in her friends and in the people she surrounds herself with, and with that said, when she finds out this information that she would hope to have known, we can probably predict how she is going to react!

arrow-oliver-felicity-limo

TVLINE | How did you find out that Felicity would not be wearing her engagement ring in the flash forward, and what was your reaction?
It literally said in the script, “NO RING,” and I was like, “OK….” Filming that scene, we knew virtually nothing about what it really was about. [Ed. Note: At the time, the identity of the person in the grave was not set in stone.] Your character knows what’s going on but as an actor you don’t, so it was about trying to get as much information from the writers and potentially where this story is headed…. Everything’s going to make sense in the end, but at the same time, I found filming that eighth of a page to be very… I couldn’t stress myself out about it, but I found it difficult. Because I like to know what the authenticity is.

TVLINE | You almost have to play it down the middle….
Yeah, or play both extremes. I think I’m always going to feel like, “Oh, that was a cheat, because if you had known this….” But as for having no ring on, that was a huge question of, “Well, what is their relationship and why are in this car together?” Obviously they’ve stayed in contact without this ring on, so what does that mean for them? What is the weight between them? Is it their relationship, is it the situation they just went through? What are they talking about in this scene?” Because the scene wasn’t about the ring. And yet the ring fills this underlying space in the middle between them.

TVLINE | Have you seen the fan theory that Felicity is in the grave and that Oliver is hallucinating her there in the limo?
No! Oh my God, how cool is that?! Like, not “cool,” but no, I hadn’t even thought of that…. Who do you think is in the grave?

Want more scoop on Arrow, or for any other show? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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62 Comments
  1. Janie says:

    Man, I wish they asked EBR to do more press. This is one of the most thoughtful interviews with a TV actor I’ve read in a long time.

  2. Liz says:

    Thanks for this interview! It’s always so great to read what Emily has to say. She’s always thoughtful and insightful about Felicity. Fantastic. I really hope Felicity doesn’t react the way she did in 4×08 though. I want a more realistic in-character reaction because that didn’t feel like Felicity.

    • Liz says:

      Forgot to add that I’m still totally team Olicity, even after they break-up. <3

    • pem says:

      Agree w/everything you said, particularly about #408. Oliver and Felicity love each other. I’m hoping they can work through/move passed this (horrible) storyline.

      • Lizzie says:

        Me too! It’s a real shame about the baby mama storyline because it had potential to show a lot of character growth but they chose to focus on a stupid lie for the sake of drama and breaking them up. I guess they couldn’t think of another way to break them up because they’re so great together LOL. I’m totally still on board for Olicity to work things out but Felicity will probably need some distance to see whether she can trust Oliver again and that’s totally understandable.

        • pem says:

          Totally agree again. There was a LOT of character growth potential for both Oliver and Felicity in that kid s/l, but dramaaaaa instead. I feel pretty confident that they can work things out, but I just hope the breakup is handled a little less OOC by Felicity.

      • Sil says:

        Horrible it is. Story line that is. I want to get past it. I choose to focus on Darkh. Don’t care how the others react to it. I -just- don’t-care. I am all for Olicity. All for hardships and ups and downs. The thing about Arrow they have a lot of plots per episode to focus on. That is what I will do.

    • zackkattackk843 says:

      I believe Felicity wasn’t necessarily upset about Ollie having a son, but the fact that he hid it from her even after they had agreed not to keep secrets. That’s what sent her over the edge. She felt betrayed when she found out in the last timeline and I believe she’ll feel the same in this one. But who knows, perhaps she’ll see things a little differently after her injury??

      • Liz says:

        Oh, I know Felicity wasn’t upset that Oliver had a son. She was upset that he was lying about it. But I found her 4×08 reaction kinda over the top, even though I know they did it that way to up the drama of the whole time travel crap. She totally had a right to be upset but I want it dialled down a bit when she finds out for real this time.

        • Rob Watkins says:

          I agree that she overreacted, but the time travel wasn’t crap. That’s pure comic booky fun.

          • Liz says:

            For you maybe but I’m not really interested in time travel. Each to their own.

          • tyranthraxus says:

            Which still feels off in Arrow. THe pure comic booky stuff.

          • Rob Watkins says:

            tyranthraxus, Not really, it’s a show about a vigilante who uses a bow and arrows to fight crime in a world with superpowers and magic. Time travel is hardly what I would call the most comic booky thing. Besides, wasn’t the time travel in The Flash episode of the crossover?

        • John NYC says:

          He’s got this long history of lying to her and keeping secrets from her: her reaction had the energy of all those other times behind it. And exasperation that, bottom line, he HASN’T changed in that regard. Still instinctively the Oliver Knows Best guy from day 1.

  3. Blubber says:

    I just haven’t been feeling Arrow this year. It’s the Flarrowverse show with the least priority at the moment. The combination of the lame villain, the crazed focus on the couple, the mishandling of supporting characters to mostly prop up Ollie’s bad decisions and the very abusive fandom that spews hate at an actress and any of her fans are slowly turning me off. I wish the show would do a hard reboot back to Season 1-2 days. I’m hoping with the whole grave thing, the show delivers something that will really help Oliver grow as a character and a hero.

    • sara says:

      You shouldn’t let fandom drive you off a show. I try calling out anyone who may blur lines between real life and fiction but at some point, it became background noise. Also because of the fact that I’ve seen way more hateful fandoms than this one and that’s including the extreme misogyny in the comic book circles. But I’m curious to know what your other criticism is about. Oliver’s relationships have always been front and center since s1. This season they’ve addressed each and every one of his relationships (with felicity, thea, laurel,diggle, lance) while branching out to supporting characters’ important relationships i.e laurel & sara, diggle & his brother, felicity & her mother, lance & donna, thea & roy. Plus I’m pretty sure Oliver is the only one in this show who actually suffers the consequences of his bad decisions.

    • Rob Watkins says:

      I completely disagree about Darhk. He’s one of the most entertaining characters in the show. Neal McDonough is always a joy to watch.

      • i agree. darhk is deliciously evil. he has so much fun – i love his scenes – his wife, on the other hand, not so much.

        EBR is a treasure. she brings so much to the role of felicity. i do hope that whatever struggle leads them to a “no ring” moment, is surmountable.

        while not the same as season 1&2, i am enjoying this season so far.

      • Sil says:

        Agreed to the nth about Neil McDonough as Darkh.

  4. forouzan says:

    i enjoyed. good questions, good answers. Thanks Matt.

  5. sara says:

    Insightful answers. When you know your character, it shows on screen. Thanks for the interview!
    ps: can we please stop with this ghost theory when the EPs shot it down right after 4×10 aired?

  6. Stormie says:

    Emily is so smart and puts the motivation of her character across so well. She’s truly so talented and a joy to watch. Oliver and Felicity have been through so much and in my opinion worse than some kid. Will it be a rocky road sure but I have faith in them.

  7. luca cavallaro says:

    always love her interview i hope she does more

  8. luca cavallaro says:

    i also have hopes for olicity as a couple

  9. Trish says:

    Awesome interview, Matt. I’ve been waiting and wondering when we’d get an interview from Emily since all of this began. Great questions. I think I’ve figured out who is in the grave. But I do wonder if the show will chicken out and have it be a non core cast member? That would be disappointing. I’m looking forward to seeing Stephen and Emily play out these Oliver and Felicity scenes surrounding this lie. I’m not fond of this plot, it’s just weird to me. But I suppose we shall see how it unfolds. Also, I’m amused by those that think it’s still Felicity in the grave. A ghost? Really? OK. LOL

  10. Arrowfan3 says:

    Yay for Arrow interviews! Emily Bett RIckards is such a wonderful actress and human being! I love how much she loves Felicity and Olicity! Love everything she said about Felicity, Donna, Curtis, and Olicity! So hopeful and wonderful! Olicity are soulmates! Love Emily Bett Rickards so much for this interview! Thank you so very much for giving us this interview! Emily Bett Rickards interviews are the best! Only thing better would be a joint Emily Bett Rickards and Stephen Amell interview! It would be amazing if someone could make a joint Emily Bett Rickards and Stephen Amell interview happen! But still so appreciative of this interview!

  11. Demi says:

    Thanks for the interview, love her eloquent and thoughtful reply. I like that she put so much effort into the paralysis storyline and also talked to someone going through it. I really wish they could have shown more but this is Arrow and am grateful they handled it a bit better than I expected. As for the child storyline, logic doesn’t work when reasoning the fact that Oliver didn’t tell Felicity so I am ready to move on from it to whatever the next step is but I hope no one justify Oliver’s excuse again and Felicity is given the opportunity to feel whatever she wants to feel regarding this lie.

  12. Andrew Hass says:

    I wondering if Felicity and Oliver are still together but maybe she gave back the engagement ring because they need to fix things between them first after she finds out about Oliver’s son.

    • Hopeful says:

      Or maybe they’re doing it as a way to deter attention. If they were really separated would they really travel in the same limousine without the others? Due to her condition I’m sure Diggle would look after her

  13. A says:

    I love this interview with Emily! It’s extremely thoughtful, I’d love to see more interviews with her.

  14. peter says:

    for olicity fans the most important thing is that they are both in the same car together
    not in the best of termas it seems but there

    • wonderwall says:

      Well… For Felicity/Olicity fans the most important thing is that she’s in the car because it means she doesn’t die :p At least, that’s where I’m at! I love Felicity/Oliver more as individuals than I love the couple (And I really love them as a couple) :)

    • Liz says:

      Excellent point, Peter! The fact that they’re still there for each other in that limo just shows there is still love there. They’re just gonna have a bit of a bumpy ride first. But the limo scene says a lot more than Felicity not wearing her ring.

  15. Luvsumtv says:

    Great interview. Emily Bett always has great articulated answers.

  16. Michele says:

    Great interview, Matt! Emily is so eloquent and well spoken, is always a delight to read her interviews! She knows her character and Olicity relationship really well!

  17. James D says:

    nice interview Matt Thanks. I adore Emily she is clearly very dedicated to her craft. It’s too bad she is wasted on a character I find insufferable.

  18. Mary says:

    Awesome interview. I loved her thoughts on the paralysis and how she thinks there should be some more focus on it. I agree with her. Also, I laughed at the hallucination theory. Come on, everyone knows that’s the kind of things certain haters spread around because they are still in denial. Felicity is not going anywhere. The EPs already talk about her father returning in season 5.

  19. Fosho says:

    This woman is so amazing. I love her character. I know we are in the end of season mandatory angst portion of the year but I have so much faith in Olicity. I hope we get so many great more scenes with them and original team Arrow

  20. I love reading interviews with Emily, she always has such an insight into her character and what is going on in the overall story. I like that she has a protection hat on when it comes to Felicity and wants life-like situations to be expressed even though Felicity is a fictional person. It speaks volumes to the actor themselves how they are as a person and not just someone that shows up to work and read lines.

    Hoping for a semi-positive reaction to the revealing of the unknown child. I’ve had a debate with friends on Twitter that in the promo pictures for 4×15 in the lair, it looks like Felicity is not wearing her ring.

  21. 88Aladdin says:

    Great interview! I do love hearing EBR’s perspective on Felicity and her struggles. I especially like that she took the extra step to at least try to make the wheelchair experience seem realistic. She’s right that Arrow isn’t the type of show to give such a storyline the time and attention it deserves, but kudos to her for at least trying to be honest in how it was portrayed. I adore Felicity so much and would be so sad if she ever left the show. She brings some much-needed lightness to a show that loves to wallow in its own depression.

  22. So glad Arrow popped the cork on it NOT being Felicity in the grave. I never thought the show would be dumb enough to kill her, but it certainly was valuable peace of mind. So thanks for that, CW. As for Oliver and Felicity surviving the secret, of course they can. It’s not like Oliver cheated on her to have this kid or he shot her or anything. They’ll need time and they’ll need to talk and figure things out, but in the end, I think they’ll come back together stronger and hopefully this will be the last time Oliver keeps a dumb secret for no reason. Oh, and LOVE seeing Emily Rickards doing interviews. I do wish we’d have seen them during the paralysis thing (it as weird to have all the men commenting on that story but not her) and when her father showed up. But this is a great step in the right direction. hope we hear lots more from Emily Rickards in the future.

  23. Thanks for the interview, Matt. I appreciate that you went back to Felicity’s episode with Goth Felicity because I’ve wanted to hear what Emily thought about the process. I also enjoyed reading about how she prepared for Felicity’s paralysis. I can’t say I’m looking forward to the breakup but I’m looking forward to seeing how Oliver and Felicity work their way back to being together again.

  24. brenna says:

    Thanks for the great interview. EBR is awesome and she and SA are wonderful at portraying a fun and close relationship. Except for the secret son storyline season four has been great.

  25. Jane says:

    she sounds so smart. love the way she talks about felicity, great depth and interesting. it’s such a shame she rarely do interview, her pov gave lot of insight to her character.

  26. Joey Padron says:

    Great interview with Emily. Excited to see new Arrow episode this week!

  27. Geeta says:

    I don’t think that this would break them up they have being through too much together for that to happen. I still hope they keep them together. After all Felicity is the heart and backbone of Arrow and they have built up her character with Oliver so it would be a big mistake to break them up now.

  28. kath says:

    Thanks, that was a very interesting interview. Lots of things I wondered about.
    So Felicity values honesty, huh? Cue the drums of doom.

  29. Chanel number 2 says:

    i like her but Felicity sucks

  30. cogrady53 says:

    Great interview and I was really interested to hear Ali Liebert worked with her on the double Felicity episode. Sounds a lot like listening to Tatiana Maslaney talk about how she works with her clone acting partner Kathryn Alexandre on Orphan Black. I’m no actor but it must really help to have another person to work with rather than a tennis ball on a stick! Ali Liebert is heading to Legends of Tomorrow I believe so I guess she’s in with the Greg Berlanti crew!

  31. Gail says:

    We know how Felicity reacted when she figure out for herself that Ollie had a son. I can’t imagine her reaction would be any less negative when it is just comes out. However this time the child is in danger and she will know she needs to help save the child. Any angry or possible break up will wait until after the child is rescued. She is not going to understand why Ollie kept it a secret from her since so many other people already know. The whole story really doesn’t make sense other than as a reason for them to break them up. I wonder if Ollie will tell her they broke up in the alternate timeline when she found out.

  32. Lisa says:

    Excellent interview and Emily really understands her character! I love it! And I love that she talked to a girl who was paralyzed to understand what they go through so she could make Felicity’s paralysis more real. Great job!

  33. Evan says:

    I love that thought and care she puts into her character and her relationships. I’m forever grateful Emily got the role, she has done amazing things. I am excited, sad, terrified and giddy about what is to come.

  34. Felicity will understand…i hope the story will end up ollicity together I love them they are perfect for ecah other…writer pls be nice to them..

  35. DonnaMama says:

    Maybe she won’t be too angry maybe she will take a bit of her own advice the advice she gave her mother last week. The lie was to protect. Cut Captain Lance some slack. Then mama Smoak stating that Oliver and Felicity have something very special, I wonder if Felicity will remember that conversation!

  36. Caleb says:

    My theory: Felicity is believed by the city to be in the grave with Hive having “killed” Felicity and actually succeeding in killing William or her mother. (Her reaction shows that the death was someone important to her, but Oliver’s reaction at the grave doesn’t match with Felicity, even if they are no longer together.) In order to avoid being a target, Felicity takes on the name DINAH LANCE (as an homage to a murdered police captain?) and hides in plain view while working with the team in her usual role, but avoiding them in their daily lives to maintain her identity from being discovered.

    Her ability to walk is regained by a miracle of Palmer’s technology and Curtis’ mad skills and it has the added benefit of making her body stronger and more resilient. Felicity, in the guise of Dinah Lance, will become Black Canary, who is finally ready to hit the streets and be a catalyst for change instead of the technical/mission support role that she embraced for so long. Meanwhile, Laurel becomes District Attorney and recognizes that she can better serve the city in that role, though she is always an ally to the team.

    It’s just a theory and I know it has almost zero chance of happening that way, but that’s what I’d like to see. Thoughts?

  37. Clara says:

    Thank you so much for that interview! Love to learn more about Emily’s view on things & her alter ego Felicity Smoak!! Also love to follow Emily’s journey as an actress, she just stands apart from all the rest for me.

  38. BeckyBoo says:

    This is a wonderful interview, thanks for asking about lots of things I’ve been hoping to hear Emily’s thoughts on. She always sounds very eloquent and thoughtful when she talks about her character, you can tell how much thought and care goes into her work, and into the Oliver / Felicity connection, and it comes across on screen.

    Also, loved hearing her thoughts on the paralysis storyline. I was disappointed the show blew through the recovery / acceptance stage so quickly, but it’s heart-warming to hear how much effort Emily put into portraying it as well she could, with the material she was given.

    Looking forward, at least the Baby Mama lie is going to be out soon, so it can start being dealt with. I think we all know it is a contrived storyline that doesn’t actually make logical sense, that was only dreamed up because they couldn’t find an organic way to break up Oliver and Felicity.

    They’re almost a victim of their own success, they wrote the relationship so beautifully, they can’t find a way to break them up without lobbing an unnecessary illogical grenade into the mix. Felicity will rightfully be livid, and heartbroken, and it will be painful to watch for a time as no doubt there will be anger and some harsh words. But this too shall pass, and Oliver and Felicity will find their way back to each other.

  39. Claire says:

    Loved the interview, she and David Ramsey are always so insightful. You can tell they really know their characters. She needs to do more of these. Thank you for this!

  40. MZ says:

    Her interview is as boring as the character she plays

  41. Deem says:

    Great interview! she know every inch of Felicity, how make her better to us watch. I hate that storyline but after what they went through, i’m sure they’ll make it as a couple such as partners on crime…

  42. Elvie says:

    Please let Felicity come back to Oliver and be together again, Felcity should understand…

  43. Stephen says:

    If Oliver & felicity do not get back together after
    all the will they won’t they questions what is the point of them going off into the sun at the end of season 3 if this is the end of them being a couple I will not be watching anymore & I have watched it from the very start of it