‘Arrow’ star Emily Bett Rickards weighs in on Felicity’s Jewishness

03.15.15 3 years ago

On Saturday (March 14) afternoon's PaleyFest 2015 purple carpet for The CW's “Arrow” and “The Flash,” I was content to let a dozen other reporters ask Emily Bett Rickards about Felicity Smoak's romantic choices between Oliver Queen and Ray Palmer, about her advanced and evolving hacking skills and about whether things are becoming crowded in the Arrow Cave.

For me, this was the best possible time to ask Rickards about my personal favorite part of Felicity Smoak's backstory, specifically the character's Jewishness, which has been referenced in four or five lines through two seasons, as well as through the character's menorah, which had a place of honor at her workplace desk.

[If you stop to think about it, Felicity has been far more demonstrably Jewish than the characters on ABC's “The Goldbergs.” I find this interesting.]

I was able to chat with Rickards about her increased interest in Felicity's Jewishness, as well as the “Arrow” writer — Beth Schwartz, if you're curious — who has been Judaism Svengali. 

And I'll have to deal with life-long regret that I wasn't able to teach Rickards the hora but, as I insisted, it's a circle dance and an event carpet isn't the ideal space for such things. This is not an opportunity I expect will occur again.

I also spoke with “Arrow” (and “The Flash” and nearly everything else) EP Greg Berlanti about this important issue.

“I personally have always had Jewish characters on pretty much any show I've ever been a part of,” Berlanti said.

Berlanti also noted that he's always assumed that in keeping with Judaism's matrilineal nature, Felicity's mother is Jewish, so pay close attention to Charlotte Ross' performance when she returns later this season.

Check out the full Emily Bett Rickards/Jewish Felicity interview above and stay tuned for my interviews with Berlanti, Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy and most of the other stars of “Arrow” and “The Flash” in the days to come.

After a few weeks away, “Arrow” returns to The CW on March 18.

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