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Ar­row’s Felic­ity Smoak tells us why it’s not all about the glasses...

SFX - - Front page - Words by Nick Setch­field Por­trait by Benn y Had­dad

Felic­ity Smoak is the ul­ti­mate break­out character. An ap­pear­ance in Ar­row’s de­but sea­son was des­tined to be a one- shot deal un­til the power of viewer love pro­moted her to the show’s front­line. Now a key player in Oliver Queen’s vigilante task­force, the tim­o­rous tech- queen in­jects the smarts and the snark, bring­ing light to the Star­ling City bowman’s grim cru­sade. The role’s a break­out for her al­ter ego, too. Un­til Felic­ity, the clos­est Emily Bett Rickards brushed against fame was a turn as a small­town bride in a Nick­el­back video. Now she earns the kind of fan de­vo­tion re­served for the high­est Tum­blr deities. In London to pro­mote Ar­row’s new sea­son, she proves to be a bag of mis­chief when SFX catches up with her. “Fe- li- ci- ty Smoak,” she sings, as we hit record. Is that the of­fi­cial Felic­ity Smoak song? “No, but it is the of­fi­cial Felic­ity Smoak jingle…”

Did you sense Felic­ity’s po­ten­tial right away? I just thought she was great. Just a great lit­tle treat. At that time I didn’t have a con­sis­tent job as an ac­tor. I’d never had one. This is a to­tal dream. I still feel like somebody’s go­ing to wake me up. You can’t ex­pect some­thing like that. You can’t ex­pect somebody to ex­pect some­thing like that [ laughs]!

She’s been em­braced by the fans. Do you ever check out the on­line love or is that dan­ger­ous? I never Google my­self. That’s weird. Some­one told me “You should Google!” and I was like “That makes me want to puke.” I don’t want to do that. I can barely look at my year­books! I think it’s cool, though. I mean, they re­ally like her; I don’t know that they re­ally like me! I’m glad that Felic­ity is just so re­lat­able in that sense. She’s kind of the au­di­ence’s per­spec­tive, even from sea­son one. She grows with the au­di­ence, grows into ac­cept­ing what she’s do­ing. I think the au­di­ence gets to see that and hope­fully feel that – that’s the goal. You guys need to feel it!

“This is a dream. I still feel like somebody’s go­ing to wake me up”

It’s all about the feels. It’s all about the feels. Which is a new term I’ve learned since do­ing this show. And shipping. I didn’t know what shipping was. I was like “Wait, Costco does that? Fed- Ex?” There’s Olic­ity [ fan fic­tion in­volv­ing Oliver and Felic­ity]. And you should check… what is it… Olig­gle?

Il­le­gal? It’s le­gal ev­ery­where I’m from. Fifty states and Canada.

Are the glasses key to your per­for­mance? Did you have to find the right pair of specs to find the character? For the au­di­tion I used my glasses, and then they based Felic­ity’s off of my glasses. I had to get new glasses for my­self be­cause I now as­so­ciate those with Felic­ity so much that they aren’t me any more.

Do you get recog­nised with­out them, or is it a Clark Kent deal? I’m very sur­prised when peo­ple recog­nise me. I do not re­ally dress like Felic­ity. I re­mem­ber walk­ing out on set in the first sea­son and David Ram­sey was sit­ting out­side the trail­ers. I was wear­ing a black leather jacket and black, black, black, black, black, and he was like “Hi, I’m… Oh my god!” He didn’t even recog­nise me!

Is that your se­cret biker chick side? Yes, I’m so dark and mys­te­ri­ous. [ Whis­pers into dic­ta­phone] So dark and mys­te­ri­ous. Mys­te­ri­ous. Mys­te­ri­ous. I just want to make sure that’s in there.

Ar­row’s a show that’s big on flash­backs. What would Felic­ity’s flash­backs to five years ago be? School. MIT. I think they’d prob­a­bly in­volve the lacrosse player that she dated – which is weird, be­cause you’d never think she’d date a lacrosse player. I al­ways thought that was weird in the script. We’d prob­a­bly see her tak­ing a re­ally bad trip on pot brown­ies. That would be a good one. The party where she ac­ci­den­tally took pot brown­ies be­cause she thought they were real brown­ies. Are th­ese rom­com flash­backs? Sit­com? I don’t know. If you were to go back to her child­hood I don’t think it was as funny. That’s prob­a­bly why she’s hid­ing be­hind the screen, right?

You’re lucky on Ar­row – you get all the fun­nies. I do get the fun­nies. And does that feel like a gift? Oh yeah. That’s a golden ticket, ev­ery time, be­cause they don’t go to any­body else… thank god, be­cause I want them!

Be­cause I’m self­ish. And hum­ble. And so mys­te­ri­ous.

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