There was no doubt I adored Felicity Smoak from the minute Arrow introduced Queen Consolidated's go-to-techie. But it wasn't until ETonline revealed actress Emily Bett Rickards had been upped to series regular for season two, and my Twitter at replies exploded, that I realized just how many people shared my Felicity obsession.
Luckily for us all, Arrow will be serving up a Smoak smorgasbord from this point forward, beginning with tonight's episode, Dodger. To find out what lies ahead, I chatted with Rickards and discovered that there is a downside to aligning with Oliver!
ETonline: Congrats on becoming a series regular. Was this the plan from day one or did you just take a leap of faith knowing the role Felicity played in the comics?
Emily Bett Rickards: When I auditioned for the role, it was for one episode with the possibility of recurring. So I am utterly shocked and so grateful that she's become such a big part of Starling City. She's excitable and awkward and weird and great; I think she's like a little light in the show.
ETonline: I was glad Felicity found out Oliver's secret when she did, because if she went any longer without putting those glaring clues together, I might start to question her intelligence.
Rickards: [laughs] I know. It was time for her to find out. I mean, I don't think Felicity necessarily thought Oliver was The Hood, but, as you saw when she found him in the back of her car, she wasn't super shocked to learn Oliver was Arrow. In fact, she was more shocked by the blood in her car.
ETonline: Obviously the show isn't called "Felicity" -- partly because that show already happened -- but does joining Oliver's team and becoming a series regular mean we'll learn more about your character?
Rickards: We'll get to learn more about her ... slowly. Right now, it's mostly about her getting involved in the layer, but some of her homelife seeps into the story and there are hints about her past.
ETonline: What excites you about tonight's episode, Dodger?
Rickards: It's important to Felicity that Oliver open himself up to the possibility of taking people down that are not on his father's list. I mean, there are bad people in Starling City that his father didn't write down. And it’s important for Felicity to have input on who he will catch -- like The Dodger. He's a jewel thief and she's got a deep connection to museums and art and knows a lot about the jewels that have been stolen.
ETonline: Does that put Felicity in harms way, though?
Rickards: Oh yeah. You'll see Felicity get into some trouble. She and The Huntress get into a bit of a mix-up. Also, tonight, she gets put in a life threatening situation that is nerve-wracking and sooooo not what she signed up for [laughs]. But as she'll learn, it comes with the job!