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Stephen Amell: Arrow 'Wouldn't Be Here' Without Emily Bett Rickards

Arrow 150th Episode Documentary

Two days after Emily Bett Rickards announced she’ll be leaving Arrow, the man behind Oliver Queen has opened up about his co-star’s forthcoming departure.

In a heartfelt Instagram post on Monday, Stephen Amell praised the “energy and vibrancy” that Rickards has brought to her Arrow alter ego, adding that he and Rickards developed a special bond while working on the show.

“For me, August 3rd, 2012 is the most important day in the history of our show. It was the first day I worked with Emily,” Amell wrote. “Her energy and the vibrancy she gave to Felicity Smoak is only surpassed by what she personally gave to me. She was a co-worker that became a best friend. So on the first day of our last episode together, I’d like everyone to know how deeply I appreciate the past seven years. We wouldn’t be here without you. I love you. And I cannot wait to see what you do next.”

Rickards revealed on March 30 that she’ll be leaving The CW’s flagship superhero drama at the end of its in-progress seventh season. “Felicity and I are a very tight two, but after [seasons] one through seven we will be saying goodbye to you,” she shared in an Instagram post.

Following the actress’ announcement, Arrow executive producers Greg Berlanti and Beth Schwartz released a joint statement in support of her decision, which read in part, “Although we’re heartbroken to see both Emily and Felicity leave the show, we’re completely supportive of Emily and her future endeavors. She will always have a family at Arrow.”

Schwartz later confirmed to TVLine that Rickards’ (and thus Felicity’s) exit will be “addressed at the end of this season,” though she could not comment on whether Rickards would eventually be back for Arrow‘s series finale.

As previously reported, Arrow will conclude with a 10-episode Season 8. The final season’s abbreviated run means the series will wrap up shortly after this fall’s “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover with The Flash and Supergirl (and possibly Legends of Tomorrow). CW President Mark Pedowitz hinted at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour in January that the special event will take “some big swings.”

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