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Emily Bett Rickards (born July 24, 1991)[1] is a Canadian actress. She is known for her role as Felicity Smoak on The CW series Arrow. She also plays the character in spin-off shows, The Flash, Vixen, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl.

Emily Bett Rickards
Emily Bett Rickards HVFFATL2017OTA-ALS-33 (38737522312) (cropped).jpg
Rickards in 2017
Born (1991-07-24) July 24, 1991 (age 27)
OccupationActress
Years active2009–present
Signature
Signature of Emily Bett Rickards.png

Contents

Early life and careerEdit

Rickards was born and raised in British Columbia. Her mother is Dr. Diane Greig, a dream psychotherapist in Vancouver.[2][3][4]

Beginning on her career path at a young age, she introduced herself to musical theatre and dance, with the hope of later introducing herself to more serious acting. She graduated from high school early and attended the Vancouver Film School, completing the Acting Essentials Program. After completing the program, she attended an open call audition, which gained her an agent.[5] She studied at the Alida Vocal Studio in Vancouver.[6] Rickards made her first professional appearance in 2009, starring in the video for the Nickelback single "Never Gonna Be Alone".[7]

CareerEdit

ArrowverseEdit

Rickards breakthrough role came in 2012 with her first television casting, as Felicity Smoak in the CW television series Arrow, which is based on the DC Comics character Green Arrow.[8] Originally signed as a one-episode guest star,[9] positive reaction from her co-star, show-lead Stephen Amell,[10] and from Warner Brothers executive Peter Roth[11][12] as well as a positive response from journalists at preview screenings,[13] led to her being signed on as a recurring star for the rest of show's first season. The success of the character, coupled with positive fan response, saw her signed as a series regular from the second season onwards.[9][14][15] Speaking in 2013 about that decision, Arrow Executive Producer Marc Guggenheim stated "we were very lucky that we cast Emily Rickards, who just lit up the screen."[16] In March 2019, Rickards announced that she would be leaving Arrow at the end of the show's seventh season.[17]

 
Rickards at PaleyFest in 2015

Throughout the series run, Rickards received praise for her performance in the role, often described as the show's 'fan favorite'[18][19][20][21][22][23] or 'breakout'[24][25][26][27] character, with many critics describing the character, and Rickards, as an integral part of the show's success.[24][28][29][30] Notably her delivery of the monologue in the season six episode "We Fall" won her particular praise.[31][32][33][34][35][36] Rickards was nominated for multiple Teen Choice and Leo Awards for the role, and in 2016, her portrayal of the character was placed at number 15 in a list of 50 Favourite Female Characters, in a poll of Hollywood professionals conducted by The Hollywood Reporter.[37]

Rickards also portrayed the character in the spin-off shows to the series (collectively known as the Arrowverse) The Flash,[38] Legends of Tomorrow[39] and Supergirl,[40] as well as providing the voice for the character on animated show Vixen.[41] In 2013, she portrayed Felicity in web-based promotional tie-in series Blood Rush, sponsored by Bose, which also featured the characters of Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) and Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne).[42]

Film workEdit

In early 2012 Rickards filmed a minor role in the film Random Acts of Romance, starring Amanda Tapping[43] and in May filmed a minor role in Flicka: Country Pride, which starred her future Arrow castmate Kacey Rohl.[44] In November she was cast in the Lifetime television movie Romeo Killer: The Chris Porco Story,[45] which was filmed in early 2013. A fictionalized account of the murder and attempted murder of Peter and Joan Porco, respectively, Rickards played the role of Lauren Philips, a fictionalized love-interest of the killer, Chris Porco.

In March 2014, Rickards was cast in the sequel to Cowgirls 'n Angels, entitled Cowgirls 'n Angels: Dakota's Summer, as Kristen Rose, the sister of the film's protagonist, Dakota, portrayed by Haley Ramm. The film premiered at the 2014 Dallas International Film Festival.[46]

2015 saw Rickards in a supporting role in the Oscar nominated film Brooklyn.[47] Rickards auditioned for the role with director John Crowley via a Skype call from her agents office. Her scenes were filmed in Montreal, and speaking about the filming experience she noted "Everyone was so artistic and so meticulous about being respectful of the era and the story, that I’m not surprised with the turnout of how beautiful and well crafted the film is".[48]

Rickards was cast in the movie Slumber in 2016, alongside Darby Stanchfield and Meaghan Rath. Filming took place in Los Angeles in May 2016.[49] In the same year she was cast in Aisha Tyler's feature film directorial debut, Axis.[50] The film premiered at the 2017 Sarasota Film Festival and went on win the prize for Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking (Feature Film) at the 2017 Newport Beach Film Festival.[51][52] 2016 also saw Rickards co-starring, alongside Josh Dallas and Tom Cavanagh in the super-hero themed short film Sidekick, directed by Arrowverse alum Jeff Cassidy.[53] Cassidy was keen for Rickards to take the role of Emma/The Princess, but was initially concerned she looked too young for the role of "rundown, blue collar, life’s been beaten out of her, mother". However, following consultation with make-up artist Tina Teoli, he was convinced that they could age her appropriately for the role.[54]

In 2017 she starred alongside Jana Winternitz and Matthew Glave in the Michael Gallagher directed comedy film Funny Story.[55] filmed over fifteen days[56] in Los Angeles, and on location at Topanga Canyon and Big Sur.[57] The film premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival in January 2018,[58] where it was runner-up in the festival's 'Beyond' programme.[59] Speaking about casting the role, director Gallagher stated: "We needed an actress who could speak volumes without saying a word. The kind of actor whose heart shines through their eyes. Emily Bett Rickards has these qualities."[60] Rickards performance as Kim received particular praise from festival critics[61] described as "impressively toe(ing) the line between blustery self-regard and the vulnerability it hides",[62] "exploring a broad spectrum of emotions" and being able to "hone in on the inherent conflict within Kimberly".[63] The film went on to win the Stolman Audience Award for Best American Indie at the 2018 Sonoma International Film Festival[64] and in the same year won the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at the Vero Beach Wine and Film Festival,[65] Best Feature Film at the Santorini Film Festival[66] and the Grand Jury prize at the Barcelona Film Festival.[67] The film premiered in the UK in October 2018, at the Southampton International Film Festival, where Rickards was nominated in the Leading Actress in A Feature category.[68] The film premiered on a limited theatrical release on May 24, 2019 and became available for digital downward from the same date.[69]

In May 2019, Rickards joined the cast of independent movie We Need to Talk,[70] co-starring James Maslow, and written and directed by Todd Wolfe. The film began filming in June 2019.[71]

Stage and other workEdit

In early 2016, Rickards filmed the role of narrator Genevieve Kreme for the Canadian web-series Paramormal Solutions, which was launched online in April of the same year.[72] In June, she appeared in an episode of the fifth season of IFC comedy Comedy Bang! Bang!.[73]

In May 2018 Rickards announced she would be playing the lead role in a production of Zayd Dohrn's Reborning for Reality Curve Theatre Group, at the Annex Theatre in Vancouver.[74] The production premiered on June 20, 2018.[75] The play was well-received, with Katie Gartlan-Close, of Vancouver Presents, describing Rickards as doing "a pheonomenal job carrying this show" giving a "nuanced portrayal of Kelly"[76] and Jerry Wasserman of the Vancouver Sun commenting "Rickards gives us a painfully powerful Kelly" and that "her physical and emotional descent into madness is impressive".[77] In April 2019, Rickards announced she would be reprising the role of Kelly, alongside castmates Lori Triolo and Paul Piaskowski, in Reality Curve's off-Broadway production of Reborning at New York's SoHo Playhouse, in July and August of the same year.[78][79]

In September 2018 an audiobook of The Wicked Ones, a story written by Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman and originally published as part of the Ghosts of the Shadow Market anthology, a companion book to Clare's The Mortal Instruments series, was released by Simon and Schuster for digital download, narrated by Rickards.[80]

PhilanthropyEdit

In 2016, Rickards launched a T-shirt campaign in support of the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) through the crowd funding merchandise site Represent.com, with all proceeds going to the charity.[81]

During season four of Arrow, Rickards character Felicity Smoak is paralyzed from the waist down following a shooting incident, and later regains the ability to walk through the use of a prototype microchip, in the episode "Taken". Rickards filmed a Public Service Announcement in conjunction with the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation advocating for advancements in the treatment of spinal injuries, released on the air date of the episode.[82]

In February 2019, Vancouver Film School announced the 'Emily Bett Rickards Acting Scholarship', a partnership between the school and Rickards, to fund a full scholarship for both of the school's acting programmes, as well as additional partial funding of $250,000 for other students. Rickards will also select the recipients.[83]

FilmographyEdit

FilmEdit

Year Title Role Notes
2012 Bacon and Eggs Dite Short film
2012 Flicka: Country Pride Mary Malone Direct-to-video
2012 Random Acts of Romance Young wife
2014 Cowgirls 'n Angels: Dakota's Summer Kristen Rose
2015 Normal Doors Meg Short film
2015 Brooklyn Patty McGuire
2016 Sidekick Emma / The Princess Short film
2017 Axis Caitlin Voice
2018 Funny Story Kim
2018 Slumber Stevens aka The Clinic (post-production)
2019 We Need to Talk Amber[84] (filming)[70]

TelevisionEdit

Year Title Role Notes
2012–2019 Arrow Felicity Smoak / Overwatch Recurring role (season 1)
Main role (season 2–7)
2013 Romeo Killer: The Chris Porco Story Lauren Phillps Television film
2014–2017 The Flash Felicity Smoak Recurring role, 8 episodes
2016–2017 Legends of Tomorrow Recurring role, 4 episodes
2016 Comedy Bang! Bang! Becky Simmons Episode: "Joe Jonas Wears a Maroon and Gold Letterman Jacket with White Sneakers"
2016 Superhero Fight Club 2.0 Felicity Smoak Short promo video
2016 Whose Line Is It Anyway? Herself Episode: "Emily Bett Rickards"
2017 Supergirl Felicity Smoak Episode: "Crisis on Earth X, Part 1"

WebEdit

Year Title Role Notes
2013 Soldiers of the Apocalypse Fourty Main role, 8 episodes
2013 Arrow: Blood Rush Felicity Smoak Main role, 6 episodes
2015 Very Mallory Herself (voice) Episode: "Emily Bett Rickards"
2015–2016 Vixen Felicity Smoak (voice) 2 episodes
2016 Paranormal Solutions Inc. Genevieve Kreme 8 episodes

Music videoEdit

Year Song title Role Artist
2009 "Never Gonna Be Alone" Woman Nickelback

StageEdit

Year Title Role Venue Refs
2018 Reborning Kelly Annex Theatre, Vancouver [74]
2019 SoHo Playhouse, New York [78]

DiscographyEdit

Year Title Role Author Notes
2018 The Wicked Ones Narrator Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman Released for digital download in September 2018.
Part of The Mortal Instruments series.

Awards and nominationsEdit

FilmEdit

Year Nominated work Award Category Result Refs
2018 Funny Story Southampton International Film Festival Leading Actress in a Feature Nominated [68]

TelevisionEdit

Year Nominated work Award Category Result Refs
2013 Arrow UBCP/ACTRA Awards Best Newcomer Nominated [85]
2014 Arrow Leo Awards Best Lead Performance by a Female in a Dramatic Series Nominated [86]
Teen Choice Awards Female Breakout Star Nominated [87]
2015 The Flash Leo Awards Best Guest Performance by a Female in a Dramatic Series Nominated [88]
Arrow Best Lead Performance by a Female in a Dramatic Series Nominated
MTV Fandom Awards Ship of the Year (with Stephen Amell) Won [89]
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress - Fantasy/Sci-Fi Nominated [90]
Choice TV Liplock (with Stephen Amell) Nominated
2016 Arrow Leo Awards Best Lead Performance by a Female in a Dramatic Series Nominated [91]
MTV Fandom Awards Ship of the Year (with Stephen Amell) Won [92]
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress - Fantasy/Sci-Fi Nominated [93]
Choice TV Liplock (with Stephen Amell) Nominated
2017 Arrow Leo Awards Best Lead Performance by a Female in a Dramatic Series Nominated [94]
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress - Action Nominated [95]
2018 Arrow Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress - Action Nominated [96]
Choice TV Ship (with Stephen Amell) Nominated
2019 Arrow Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress - Action Pending [97]

ReferencesEdit

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