By Alex Zalben
Tonight on The CW’s “Arrow,” Oliver Queen and his team are put through the “Crucible,” fighting a war on multiple fronts, while still trying to unravel the mystery of new hero Black Canary. In the middle? Oliver’s trusty assistant/hacker Felicity Smoake, played by Emily Bett Rickards. In advance of tonight’s episode, we chatted with Rickards on the phone about what’s up with the Canary, whether there’s a chance for Olicity, and if, maybe, we can see a little something called “Birds of Prey.” Oh, and why Colton Haynes is amazing at Mortal Kombat:
MTV Splashpage: What’s coming up this week for Felicity Smoake?
Emily Bett Rickards: Felicity does a lot of dancing around and covering in this episode… There’s some teasing, and we get to see a lot of Isabelle interaction. And there’s her doing comedic jigs, covering up what they do during their nighttime activities! [Laughs]
MTV: You’re getting to do a ton more action this season, what’s that been like?
Rickards: What it does for Felicity is really make her an equal in the trio, because when she does put herself in danger, which happens quite a bit in season two, it’s only option, and because it’s what she believes is right. So having that is solidifying this is what we do, and having her strength come from that is important. That means action, that means stunts, that means danger, and that means life threatening situations.
MTV: What’s the most ridiculous stunt you’ve been thrown into so far?
Rickards: The one in episode one when Diggle and I are jumping out of that plane. David [Ramsey] and I are literally strapped together. I’m literally attached to David’s stomach and if you’ve ever met David Ramsey, he’s extremely tall, and extremely muscular. He’s huge! He’s a huge man. So I’m strapped to the front of him, and we’re jumping on to these gym mats that’ll probably four feet thick. I’m going face first into these mats. It was just so ridiculous, I had a laugh attack that day. I get them every so often, where I’m weeping. I’m always on the verge of laughing and crying. It was so bad that makeup was coming in to touch up, I’m laughing so hard, I can’t move, David’s attached to me… [Laughs]
MTV: I think I’m getting a sense of this anyway, but what’s your, David, and Stephen Amell’s relationship like off set?
Rickards: They’re both really great guys. I was in LA this weekend, reading the script on the plane, and it’s just really nice to work with people you like, and getting to know them too. It’s homey, going to work. David is just this calm, funny guy, and Stephen has this quirky personality… He’s got a lot of charisma, and very funny. They talk a lot about sports, so I don’t get in on that. [Laughs] I’m not educated in that, but I’m trying to be… They just like to laugh, and there’s nobody out there I dislike, if they like to laugh.
MTV: There’s a lot of Felicity/Oliver shippers out there, but things are going in a different direction this season. You three, including Diggle, are almost a makeshift family.
Rickards: The trio’s relationship does get stronger… We hit so many road-bumps, and we’re getting to know each other better. There’s all these things though. Diggle still has Deadshot out there, and we’ve Black Canary out there, which is throwing the whole team off. And Olivier is back at Queen Consolidated and Isabelle is there. Felicity is having to juggle being an assistant and working at Queen Consolidated. She doesn’t get to have the title, and not do that work. And then she has to fight the demons of Starling City at night with the two of them. And they have to stick together. You get to see them grow, and I don’t think Olicity is going to get lost too much, but there’s room Olicity, and there’s also room for that not to be. Sooo… We’ll see what happens there. [Laughs]
MTV: Could we ever see Felicity and Diggle get together, or would that be too weird?
Rickards: Oh yes, it’s called Dilicity, which is one of my favorite terms ever. I don’t know if that’s in the cards. I think they have a great relationship. It could happen. He’s really supportive. There’s a scene in season one where he has her training, and they’re friends, and have to support each other, too, because Oliver has all of these boundaries that only her and Diggle, they’re the only two that each other can talk to about that.
MTV: I swear I’ll get off of this in a minute, but does every single pairing on the show have some sort of name to it?
Rickards: I think they do, and once one does, all of them start to get out. It’s a chain reaction. But those two are my favorites.
MTV: Okay, back to the show for a sec: what does Canary bring to the mix?
Rickards: It’s having another player in town… An extremely dangerous individual who’s clearly extremely well trained, wherever she came from. The last time we saw someone who had an equivalent to that was Helena, and she created a lot of turmoil for us. And the fact that Canary provided aid for us in the last episode is kind of throws a curveball her way. The trio wonders, should we be worried, or… It creates a whole bunch of questions that are so unanswered. They’re going to have to figure them out, and it creates a lot of work.
MTV: I don’t know if you’re a fan of the comics, but after I saw the last episode with Canary in a clock-tower, I couldn’t help but think we were being set up for Birds of Prey, with Felicity as Oracle. Any chance that’s gonna happen?
Rickards: I don’t know… I’m just getting into the comics a lot more, I bought a whole bunch at Golden Apple. I don’t know if we’re going to get to see Felicity super-hero up. I don’t know anything about that. I’m not against it, but it would have to be earned.
MTV: What else do you want to tease?
Rickards: We have Mr. Barry Allen, Grant Gustin coming on to the show, which should be fun… Felicity and Barry, they match each other’s intellect, and they have to help each other out quite a bit. They’re flirty, fun, and you can look forward to a few more Olicity moments, and a lot more Felicity awkward moments… And some really good island stuff. Really great flashback work.
MTV: Last thing before I let you go, I noticed you were tweeting about playing Zelda…
Rickards: [Laughs] Oh my god, you saw that! Yeah, I’m still really mad, really upset. [Laughs]
MTV: That you can’t get Zelda for Xbox?
Rickards: I just have an Xbox, I don’t want to get a [Wii], and I just… You know… You know?
MTV: Are you a regular gamer?
Rickards: I started playing Xbox years ago, because I lived seven boys who played Left 4 Dead, all the time. In 2010, we all left the house we lived in… I started playing mortal Kombat, I was just playing that with my best friend Fanta. We’re friends with Colton [Haynes], so Colton comes over… Colton is the best Mortal Kombat player I’ve ever seen in my life! Fanta and I were under the impression that we would have to teach Colton to play Mortal Kombat. Colton comes over, and in four hours, I only beat him once! He knew every character… I’m still astonished. We were up until two in the morning playing Mortal Kombat last night, and I only beat him once.
MTV: I don’t know if you’ve played “Batman: Arkham Origins” yet…
Rickards: I just bought it yesterday!
MTV: Okay, mild spoiler, but when you’re walking around, you can see crates marked with “Queen Consolidated” on them.
Rickards: That’s unreal!
MTV: We were speculating that there could be an Arrow game that mixes TV and comics in the same way.
Rickards: That would be awesome…
MTV: Would you want to play as Felicity?
Rickards: I would like to play against myself in a video game, that would be kind of cool. I might want to be Canary or something if I’m playing the game.
“Arrow” is on The CW Wednesday nights at 8PM ET.
Should “Birds of Prey” show up on “Arrow”? Let us know in the comments below or hit us up on Twitter!