Emily Bett Rickards
In 2012, Emily Bett Rickards burst onto the Hollywood scene like a shooting star, leaving the world no choice but to adore her as Arrow’s go to techie Felicity Smoak. Nearly 100 episodes later, the 24-year-old Canadian is still going strong, with the genuine, chameleon-like personality that soared her to TV royal status in the first place. Coming off a jam-packed year full of work and friendship, I caught up with Rickards before the end of 2015, and we chatted about her own adoration for Felicity, as well as her philosophy on life and growing older.
Four seasons on a show is a pretty hefty time. What sticks out to you when you think back on your time on Arrow?
When I look back, it’s very much like a Blooper reel in my head, because of all the things shooting the series has taught me. This has been my longest experience on a set. Developing friendships with our crew for the past four years has been wonderful. I think of moments from season one, like David Ramsey slipping on set one time, because there was something on the floor that apparently looked cool, but then became a hazard after that incident, [laughs].
I think of shooting in the freezing cold, and thinking, yeah this is what I love to do! while wearing a mini-skirt, and stilettos. Or filming in a warehouse that ends up looking like a casino inside. Just the whole magic of it all. Those sort of things stand out to me.
What was it like playing patty in Brooklyn, she’s such a departure from Felicity in all elements.
It was cool, not only because it was a period piece, but because everyone was committed to having the project be as authentic as possible. We were even using old school curlers, wearing six-seven layers under our wardrobe because they wore such extensive undergarments. And of course, cone bras. Every little detail, the set, the lighting. It was such a different and unique experience for me. The part of the film I was in was shot in Montreal. I love Montreal, so I was super excited to be back there, and then to have it turned into Brooklyn for the movie was such a treat.
Arrow fans, and comic book fans in general are very devoted. Sometimes blurring the lines between Character and Actor. How are you and Felicity the most different?
You know, probably the environment of Felicity’s life has to be one of the more distinct elements between us. Felicity is also a couple years older than me, and she’s engaged. It’s hard for me sometimes, not to play the relationship, but to look down and see this rock on my finger while we’re sitting in our cast chairs ready waiting to film. That is just not at all close to my life. For some reason, I feel like that represents a very traditional, beautiful gesture—the ring and the marriage. Not that it wont necessarily happen for me, but as I child I never really pictured my wedding. So we’re different in that sense. Because she would think about that as a child. We hide behind different things, if she were to hide behind her computer, I would hide behind my dog, [laughs]. I do like to think that I’m a little bit more coordinated than she is. I like to think that I don’t always say the wrong thing at the wrong time as often as she can tend to. But to get real, ever since Felicity entered my life, I do that more often than I used to. After a few years you do kind of blend together, and she has definitely made me stronger. Just in the way that she drives her life.
Can I ask you about your love for Scream Queens? I always find it interesting when Actors on shows with devoted fanbases have their own devotions to a series.
That show! Cheers to the writers on that show, because they clearly come to work and get to do whatever they want to do and write what they want. Then it’s delivered perfectly by the actors. I love the show. I didn’t think It was going to be my show. Three episodes in I called up my friend and admitted to them..yeah I like this show. The affair is similar in the sense that as characters, and as people, you wish you said certain things when you look back on something. I think that show does a brilliant job at playing with that idea and with perspective.
Whet can you tell fans about the last scene with your character, while they wait for the series to return in January?
She is sincerely in danger. Felicity is right now completely not on this planet. So, it’s going to be a little bit of a devastation, and it will be interesting on how it’s dealt with. You have to keep in mind how strong she is, and hopefully that strength will prevail and keep her around.
How do you stay in such fantastic shape?
Thank you! I work out a lot. I work out very early in the morning, and every late at night, depending on our shooting schedule. I also have two trainers, Brady Roberts and Thomas Taylor. Brady and I have been working together for two years, and Thomas and I started training this year. I just try to keep really active. I enjoy hot yoga and running. It’s a battle though, because you never feel like you’re in your best shape, that’s the problem. Just recently we shot a 14-hour camera day and I had to work out around six thirty in the morning. The thing is is that, if I hadn’t, that focus of surviving the day, it channels into your work. I think it’s having that relaxation while you focus that makes my relaxation and focus in a scene all the more better. I find that I’m more dialed in, when I’ve had time to build that focus in the morning. It helps with the job! [laughs].
With this issue, 2015 is coming to a close at BELLO MAG. How was your year?
My year has been a huge transition. Which is something that can be expected when you’re in your early 20s. It was full throttle, and now coming to the end of the year, I think just within the past week I might’ve gotten a grasp on it, [laughs]. Overall the year was a success and I’m excited to see what next year brings. I don’t think I necessarily enjoyed 23, then 24 happened in July. Since then,I feel like I’ve rerouted. I wouldn’t call myself together, I don’t think anyone would be quick to say that, [laughs]. However, I definitely feel that being together is something that usually happens in your 30s. I feel like people in their 30s, they may not have it together, but they have balls! Your 20s are years of discovery and action and trial. While your 30s are for execution. I feel like I’m getting pretty good at action and trial, but I haven’t quite hit execution yet, [laughs]. I like to remind myself that it’s all a learning experience at the end of the day.
Photography by Ricky Middlesworth
Hair by Bobby Eliot
Makeup by Agostina
Interview Dio Anthony