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“Arrow’s” Emily Bett Rickards Discusses Felicity’s Optimism, Paralysis and Missing Ring

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This season of “Arrow” has seen nothing but ups and downs for each of its main characters, but Felicity has arguably gone through the most changes, which Emily Bett Rickardsweighs in on during a recent interview about her character.

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When speaking with TVLine this week, Rickards was asked about Felicity’s journey in “Arrow’s” fourth season, specifically how Felicity has been able to stay so positive, despite her life being completely turned upside down. One could say that out of every character on “Arrow” this season, Felicity has gone through the most trouble and transformation. It’s been a refreshing change, since in season’s past, Felicity has been more of a support to Oliver (Stephen Amell) and less of standalone character.

When the season opened, Felicity was already in a new place as a character. She had left Star City with Oliver and had relocated to Ivy City where she, for the most part, was living a normal life. She was also the CEO of Palmer Tech, which was a huge responsibility for her to take on, especially since she couldn’t run the company in person. If those two challenges weren’t enough for Felicity to face this season, she also saw the return of her father, Noah Kuttler (Tom Amandes), who turned out to be a supervillain, and after being severly wounded by Damien Darhk’s hit squad, became paralyzed from the waist down.

Interestingly, none of these set backs stopped Felicity from moving forward in her life, and despite being in a wheelchair and having to adjust to living her life differently, she was able to run Palmer Tech and remain as a strong part of Team Arrow. She even scored a code name this season, a.k.a. Overwatch.

When asked about Felicity’s ability to stay optimistic this season, Rickards said, “I liked that Felicity’s mindset 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.”

When asked what she thought about Felicity being put into a wheelchair, Rickards said, “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.”

Rickards also answered a few questions about Felicity and Oliver’s relationship, and how learning about William could affect them moving forward. “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.” On finding out about William, Rickard’s said, “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!”

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Lastly, TVLine asked Rickards about Felicity’s missing engagement ring in the funeral flash forward. To be honest, I didn’t notice she was missing her ring, which really casts some shade on what might happen when Felicity finds out about William in next week’s episode, “Taken.” Rickards commented that, “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. 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.”

“Arrow” airs Wednesdays on The CW at 8 p.m.