Stephen Amell Shares Sweet Tribute to Emily Bett Rickards After Announcing She's Leaving Arrow
"She was a co-worker that became a best friend," Stephen Amell said of Emily Bett Rickards
Over the weekend, Rickards, who plays Felicity Smoak on the CW adventure series, announced in a poem on Instagram that she will depart the series after the current seventh season.
“The time has come to talk of many memes. Of bows and arrows and superheroes and Olicity and Queens And why TGA is so damn hot And yes, canaries need more scenes… But wait just one minute before we go and do all that For this makes me out of breath To have this not small chat,” she began, alongside multiple heart emojis.
“Felicity and I are a very tight two But after one through seven we will be saying goodbye to you,” Rickards, 27, continued. “I thank you all for the time we’ve shared The elevators we have climbed The monsters we have faced and scared And The burgers we have dined I will keep her in my heart for always And I hope that you can too Because she would not be alive if it weren’t for all of you 💕 Love, Felicity and Me.”
Although her exit from the show will be a sad goodbye for audiences ahead of the final season 8, Amell, 37, is looking forward to what’s next for her career.
Following her announcement that she would be leaving the show, Amell shared a photo of the duo to social media, where he praised his BFF.
WATCH: ‘Arrow’ Star Emily Bett Rickards Reveals Details on Oliver and Felicity Reunion
“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. Her energy and the vibrancy she gave to Felicity Smoak is only surpassed by what she personally gave to me,” wrote Amell.
“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. EmBett,” he wrote. “We wouldn’t be here without you. I love you. And I cannot wait to see what you do next.”
In a joint statement, executive producers Greg Berlanti and Beth Schwartz voiced their support for Rickards’ decision to leave the show.
“We’ve had the pleasure of working with Emily since Season 1 and in those past seven years she has brought one of TV’s most beloved characters to life,” a statement obtained by TV Line reads. “And 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.”
In his emotional explanation, the Canadian-born actor that has been playing the titular role of Oliver Queen/Green Arrow since 2012, said that being away from his Los Angeles- based family played a major factor in his difficult decision.
“A large part of this decision is because I’m now a father and a husband and a lot of my life and interests don’t really reside in Vancouver anymore and thinking that’s the best thing for me personally and professionally,” Amell explained as he fought back tears.
The actor shared that he initially brought up the idea of stepping away from the show to Berlanti towards the end of the sixth season in May 2018.
“I approached Greg Berlanti and said that I thought both personally and professionally that at the end of my commitment this coming season, it would be the best for me to move on,” he said, adding that when the time came, he wanted to go out with a bang.
“I’ve always been a fan of television shows that not only don’t overstay their welcome but end in a manner that really packs a punch,” Amell continued. “It had always been my hope that we would know when we were going to finish this journey and not limp to the finish line, so to speak.”
After discussing things with Berlanti, Amell said they decided that he would return for a final, 10-episode season 8 run premiering this fall. At this time, no date has been set for its premiere.
Arrow airs Mondays (9 p.m. ET) on CW.