Arrow‘s Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards, who played Oliver Queen and Felicity Smoak, hit the main stage at C2E2 2020 to reflect on and celebrate eight seasons of memories, mayhem, and Olicity.
While some convention panels, especially those that are set up with a sort of retrospective view to them, may tend to feel more highbrow and about “the craft” (or suuuuuuuuper cringe-worthy, depending on the amount and types of audience questions), Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards’ Olicity panel at C2E2 (The Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo) was nonstop laughs and good vibes from start to finish.
With seven-plus years of friendship and collaboration under their belt, Amell and Bett Rickards have such a wonderful rapport with each other, not to mention a relaxed in-person chemistry that would make even the best BFFs jealous. During the panel, they constantly finished each other’s sentences, seamlessly picked up where the other left off, and fed off of each other to create some pretty hilarious moments.
From some audience members who had never watched an episode of Arrow in their lives (yes, believe it or not, but there were multiple) to other audience members calling Amell out for his interesting fashion choices, this C2E2 panel may have been mostly audience Q&A, but the Arrow pair made sure it was entertaining for all.
The C2E2 Arrow panel marked the end of an era and the first time these actors participated in a panel since the series finale. It was a true celebration of the show and its legacy (Olicity included), so we wanted to highlight some of the best quotes that came out of it.
The best quotes from the ‘Arrow’ Olicity C2E2 panel
‘I’ve been a creature of habit for the better part of 8 years. I’m feeling a little bit like a man without a country right now.’
Right off the bat, Amell and Bett Rickards discussed just how strange but freeing it is to be able to talk about Arrow in the past tense. The two made it very clear just how much of an impact the show made on their lives and acknowledged how much it has affected those who loved it (and Olicity), but they almost like it all better now that it’s finished. It’s weird for them to be done but very gratifying at the same time.
‘This would’ve been pure hell if I had hated you for 8 years.’
The topic of the two stars’ friendship came up early on in the panel, about how they clicked right away and have grown to have a real appreciation for one another. And then the inevitable “What If” started getting tossed around: “What if they had hated each other? Would Olicity ever have become a thing? Would either of them (or the show) have lasted as long as it did?” As Bett Rickards mentioned, the past seven years would’ve been absolutely miserable for both of them if they had hated each other. She and Amell poked fun at each other and acted like they hated each other, but their love and respect for each other couldn’t help but shine through.
‘I don’t feel like I have any regrets [about ‘Arrow’] because I got to call Superman ‘Clark.”
When asked if there was anything he would’ve liked to have done on the show that the story just never got to, Amell admitted that he doesn’t have any regrets. He then launched into a story about the Crisis crossover where, in one scene, he accidentally addressed Superman as “Clark” and how that was one of the coolest things he ever did. The director asked him if they could get a take where he says “Superman” instead (like it outlined in the script) but Amell just responded “Nope.”
‘When you’ve got a catchphrase, it’s really difficult to not be a caricature. But you just have to lean into it.’
Look, Amell knows just how cheesy his character’s catchphrase is, especially when remixed a bit for the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover. But instead of bristling at the cringe-worthy line, he reflected that the best thing to with it is to lean in. If he delivered that line, in any and all of its forms, with anything less than passion and conviction, it just wouldn’t have worked. (Also, the dude has a superhero catchphrase. Who wouldn’t lean into something like that?)
‘I got a season 8 poster and it was signed by everybody, and that was all that I needed.’
Audiences and fans are always curious about the items and small tokens actors have taken away from their sets, and so the question of “What did you take?” was inevitably posed to Amell and Bett Rickards. While Bett Rickards lamented the fact that she was unable to take a cookie jar that was shaped like a cactus wearing a sombrero (and even fought other crew members for it), Amell’s response had quite a different tone to it.
He mentioned the bow from season 1 and one of his jackets (which have made their appearance at San Diego Comic Con a few times), but also talked about how all props and memorabilia get locked away in storage when a series wraps. So, the only thing he took away from the experience was a poster signed by all of his friends. But instead of being disappointed about it, he spoke of it with such love and satisfaction.
‘For [younger] Emily and Felicity, I’d tell them the same thing: Constantly be more present… and eat more peanut butter.’
One audience member asked what each star would tell their younger selves as well as their younger character selves. Amell simply told both of his “alter egos” to relax. Bett Rickards dug in a bit more and highlighted the benefits of just being present in life and how this sort of mindfulness makes a difference in everything you do. She also circled back to her answer to the previous question of “What do you geek out about?” by doubling down on her love for peanut butter. Even though Felicity is regrettably allergic.
‘I wanted Oliver to have an affair with Supergirl.’
Quite possibly the best moment/exchange of the afternoon occurred after an audience member asked whether there were any characters in the crossovers that the actors wished they could’ve spent more time with. The answer for both actors was pretty clear: Supergirl. We’re just going to let this exchange speak for itself:
Amell: “I wanted Oliver to have an affair with Supergirl.”
Bett Rickards: “I also wanted Oliver to have an affair with Supergirl.”
Amell: “I also wanted Felicity to have an affair with Supergirl… As an aside, I’m dead serious.”
How amazing/hilarious would that have been? Seriously though! (Olicity, who? 😉)
‘Have you ever worn a superhero suit? I have. IT’S AWESOME.’
On many occasions, we hear actors complain about how restricting and uncomfortable their superhero costumes and uniforms can be, so it was really refreshing to hear Amell talk about his with such excitement and fervor. Yes, it may have been tight and uncomfortable a lot of times, but also the simple fact of being able to wear one and say that you’ve worn one (while doing badass things) is no small feat. It’s something many of us would love to experience in our lives but inevitably won’t, so hearing someone with that privilege treat it as such was truly wonderful.
‘Fixing the entire universe.’
Toward the end of the panel, the Arrow actors were asked what they hope their characters legacies are. Bett Rickards discussed hers at the top of the panel, celebrating the impact Felicity has had on girls’ excitement over STEM, so Amell took the reins here and kicked off his answer with the joke above. It was a hilarious, almost-mic drop moment.
He then pivoted and discussed his pride in Oliver’s character arc and journey, as well as his gratitude for being able to take Oliver through all of that. That’s what he hopes Oliver Queen as well as the show will be remembered for.
‘The CW is going to be so mad at us. Oh wait, we’re done.’
This was a no holds barred-kind of conversation between two actors no longer tied to a hit series, a moderator who knows full well what that’s like from first-hand experience (Clare Cramer aka Glory, anyone?), and an audience with so much love for everyone on stage. Bett Rickards swore and Amell was just super sassy the entire time.
If the show would’ve still been going on, the interview may have rubbed a few executives the wrong way (maybe?). But it’s not and it was really refreshing to see these actors finally be able to relax and be themselves without having to constantly be on the hype train.
Though this quote does have a bit of sadness attached to it, it felt more satisfying (and, of course, humorous) than anything. But we guess you just would’ve had to have been there.