October 30, 2013 7:30am PT by Philiana Ng
'Arrow': Emily Bett Rickards on 'Confident' Felicity, Tolerating Isabel and Fun With Flash
[Warning: Some spoilers ahead.]
Felicity Smoak has come a long way since she was first introduced as Queen Consolidated's trusty tech genius on Arrow.
Now working alongside Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) and Diggle (David Ramsey), both in the boardroom and in the Arrow cave, the M.I.T. grad has gone through her fair share of battles. One of her current obstacles comes in the form of the mysterious Isabel Rochev (Summer Glau), a new partner at Queen Consolidated, whose motivations -- at the moment at least -- are unclear.
Emily Bett Rickards, who plays Felicity, talks to The Hollywood Reporter about the "cutthroat" Isabel, whether Felicity will befriend her new colleague, learning more about her alter ego's history and more.
Felicity gets to become more ingrained in both the Queen Consolidated as well as Arrow worlds this season. How has it been balancing both?
It's really interesting because Felicity gets more time at Queen Consolidated as Oliver's assistant as she does undercover. From both of the things, she's getting a lot more confidence and she has this power behind her that she didn't have in the first season. I think that comes from having a purpose and being close with Oliver. It's only going to continue to escalate. It is really fun for me because she just gets stronger. She stands her ground. That is really interesting, although she has still got her awkward quirks which are not going away.
How are the dynamics between Felicity and Oliver different when they're in the boardroom versus in the Arrow cave?
Oliver disappeared for five months and when Diggle and Felicity got him back from the island, it was a time when they really needed him back. To have gone to go get him, there's a little bit of that feeling of "You can't leave again." There's more equality. And [Oliver and Felicity] have known each other for a longer [period of time] and they've been through a lot the first season. They stay close and they're always in high stakes and in dangerous situations. Although Oliver has these secrets and these other masks -- and I think that's frustrating for Felicity -- she is working through them and trying to keep her head straight on how to maintain that Oliver still has a life, Diggle still has a life and she still has a life.
Now Isabel is in the picture at Queen Consolidated. How has her presence affected Felicity?
Having another woman who's really extremely strong, and on top of that she's cutthroat -- there's no bullshit with Isabel -- it creates more work at Queen Consolidated and Isabel doesn't know that they're vigilante-ing downstairs in the Glades. Felicity has to do her job as an assistant at Queen Consolidated. Not only is she tracking down villains in Starling City and trying to save the city with Oliver, she's filling out papers and dealing with clients. (Laughs.) Having Isabel there as a new partner, there are changes happening in the company that Felicity wasn't prepared for. Felicity says when Oliver gives her the title of assistant: "I didn't go to school for secretarial arts." (Laughs.) She just gets more work and Isabel's tough. She's a tough broad.
Are they enemies or are they friends?
I think Isabel's a hard person to get along with because she's very business-y. I say that with respect, and I think Felicity does respect her because she is very snappy and quick and makes decisions fast. But they're not going to be friends. (Laughs.) (Glau told THR that there may be a hint of jealousy on Felicity's part. To read the full chat, click here.)
How much more of Felicity's past and family history will be uncovered?
I don't know what her concrete story is going to turn out to be and who's going to come into the picture. I personally am so thrilled if we get to see a family member because it'll just round her out a little more. She won't get lost in the "Olicity" moments. Felicity can't survive off of "Olicity" moments. She's gotta have more than that.
Is there a chance that we could follow Felicity home this season?
That's something I've said. I would really like to see her apartment, and that's because I know she wouldn't like my apartment, because it's too crazy. I feel like her's would be crisp and clean, kind of like how she did the Foundry with that white light. I don't know. There's no set for it and I haven't really heard anything. I think that got out there because I said how I'd wanted it to be. (Laughs.) But I did see that [executive producer] Marc [Guggenheim] tweeted about [Felicity's] parents and that's really important to me that one of those two things happen.
Diggle has Deadshot and Arrow has his list of enemies. Do you think Felicity could have her own adversary?
You know, I don't think she can. When Felicity was brought into this superhero/criminal-like realm, she didn't have someone like Deadshot. She'd never been in a life-or-death or kill situation. The only way I can see that happening is maybe a revenge sort of thing but she doesn't strike me as wanting revenge. She just wants justice. I think she feels really deeply through other people. She's got a really high emotional IQ and I think she gets everybody's adversaries, if that makes sense.
Several of your co-stars have spoken highly of your scenes with Grant Gustin as Flash.
They're really fun, they're really flirty and they're really smart. Both of them are extremely intelligent characters and I think the audience will enjoy that. Grant is a great actor. We had a great time filming and I think that will show on-camera too.
It'll be fun to see her match up with someone who has the same intellect as her.
Exactly. I said that to [executive producer] Andrew Kreisberg and Marc. It's really interesting to act with someone who's like literally as smart as Felicity because I know very few people who are as genius as Felicity is, and to have somebody understand that I tracked so-and-so through traffic cameras and blah blah blah blah blah, it's like "You know how to do that too! Great!" Whereas Oliver's like, "Get me to Point B because whatever you did to get from Point A to B is your job so forget about it." (Laughs.)
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.