Arrow's Emily Bett Rickards Reveals Surprising Connection Between 'Olicity' and 'Bennifer'
The fan-loved actress opens up about the future of her character's romantic relationship with Oliver (Stephen Amell)
No matter the many life or death scenarios in which Arrow actress Emily Bett Rickards (aka Felicity Smoak) finds herself on the hit CW show, Rickards takes comfort in the fact that as one half of fan favorite TV couple “Olicity,” things between her character and Stephen Amell‘s (Oliver Queen/Arrow) will never have a completely happy ending.
“I don’t feel like Olicity is going to be happily ever after,” she tells PEOPLE. “Because of the city, there’s no happily anything in Starling but, I have high hopes for them as long as they stay communicative. I really believe that’s what they’re doing right now. They have this deep connection and that’s what they’re working toward and what we’re trying to put on television.” And not that Rickards wouldn’t love to see her Felicity find true happiness, it’s just that it doesn’t make for the most exciting storytelling.
“It’s interesting to see what ignites attention in a TV show,” she says. “We love tortured love, we love Scandal, we love that intangible connection that we desire. So Stephen and I have really made a point for Felicity and Oliver to be this couple that is communicating and healthy but also, we’re hoping that it’s going to stay interesting to watch because there’s this Starling life that we want to project, then there’s trying to keep people intrigued. The business side I guess.”
With regard to the pressure and delight involved in being part of a “celebrity” couple, Rickards says she enjoys thinking about the one true connection which all blended name couples share and the one which inspired them all: “Bennifer,” aka the first blended name of the former power couple that was Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez.
“I really like having this idea that we’re all connected to ‘Bennifer,’ originally created in the 90s, and we all now instead of giving [blended names] to real people, we give it to characters on television,” Rickards says with a laugh. “And characters on television are generally and mostly of the time better than people in real life so we all have a little Bennifer inside of us. Why not spread it around some more?”
All joking aside, Rickards knows people are rooting for her character and relishes the support she receives from fans, whether the feedback is good or bad.
“I love this artistic realm that we’re allowed to share. Fan art I find so amazing that people feel that connected to the character and want to describe it in their own medium, I think that is so cool,” she says. “I really love the cross-show thing. “[Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. star] Chloe Bennett and I are friends. We’re in totally different universes but have a similar, if not the same or battling fandoms. I find that really cool because everyone is down to either berate or applaud us for being friends, which is so much fun. It’s playful and awesome.”
Speaking of playful, if Rickards were in charge, she has some specific thoughts about Felicity’s arc, along with a few character re-introductions.
“I would like Arsenal (played by Colton Haynes) to come back, I would like Mr. Terrific (played by Echo Kellum) to arrive,” she says. “I would like Felicity to get a code name. I would like the Loft to have artwork in it.
She also has an idea for Felicity and Laurel/Black Canary – played by Katie Cassidy – to “have a hang out at Laurel’s house.”
“Because they’re friends. We’re always debating and adding things Katie and I, because their friendship is solidified, they’re not just people who work together, so I’d like that to happen, I wonder if it will,” says Rickards.
Fans can only hope it does and, while we’re on the subject of hoping for more, think positive thoughts for another item on Rickards’ to-do list.
“I really want to do comedy,”says the actress, who also appears in the Oscar-nominated film Brooklyn. “There was a long time as an actress, especially being in Vancouver and knowing nothing about the industry, the notion was I want to do it all. And I do still feel that way but there’s a large part of me that decided last year that I really love comedy. I don’t want to limit myself to just that but there’s a part of me that thinks I’d be just fine doing comedy for the rest of my life and that’s something I didn’t know that that was something I was going to have a drive to single out.”