PaleyFest 2015RecapTV

PaleyFest 2015: The Cast of ‘Arrow’ Dishes on Oliver’s Upcoming Decisions, Felicity’s Evolution and Thea’s Epic Transformation

Nora Dominick ‘17 / Emertainment Monthly Assistant Stage Editor

John Barrowman, Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg, Greg Berlanti, Katie Cassidy, Stephen Amell, Willa Holland, Colton Haynes, Emily Bett Rickards, Paul Blackthorne and David Ramsey at PaleyFest 2015. Photo Credit: Paley Center.

PaleyFest 2015 continued on Saturday March 14th with a star-studded panel by the CW hit series Arrow. The cast stopped by to discuss the back half of season three, their characters progressions and where the show will continue to go from here. Emertainment Monthly has rounded up the top discussion points of the star-studded panel.

Aisha Tyler, a devout Arrow fan and known for her work on The Talk, Whose Line is it Anyway? and Friends, moderated the panel, which featured Stephen Amell, Emily Bett Rickards, Colton Haynes, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Paul Blackthorne, John BarrowmanWilla Holland and creators and writers Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg and Greg Berlanti. The panel began with cast discussing how their characters have changed throughout the shows three year run and what new challenges they face. Stephen Amell talked about how interesting his relationship with Ra’s al Ghul (Matt Nable) has become. He says, “It’s interesting to have a big bad of the year that is now so heavily invested in Oliver staying alive.”

Katie Cassidy, Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards discuss Arrow at PlaeyFest 2015. Photo Credit: Paley Center
Katie Cassidy, Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards discuss Arrow at PaleyFest 2015. Photo Credit: Paley Center.

The loudest cheer of the night did not come when Stephen Amell stepped on stage but rather when Emily Bett Rickards did. Rickards has taken the character of Felicity Smoak from a minor character in season one to a full-fledged, fan-favorite character. Rickards talked about Felicity’s journey and how her story arc has been so interesting to play and how her relationship with Oliver has escalated. She says, “This season definitely shows how she’s been changing over the past two seasons. I don’t want to deal with someone who is giving only half his emotions… She needs that nourishment, support and love. And I think Oliver does want that for her.”

Another female character that has gone through a major character arc is Laurel Lance. Katie Cassidy has taken Laurel from passive public lawyer to kicking butt right alongside The Arrow as the Black Canary. Cassidy could not be more proud of her character’s development. She says past season were harder for Laurel and now that she has become the Black Canary it’s much easier. She says, “She comes out on top all over again in a different way. Fighting with her heart… This is everything I ever wanted or could ask for. Her journey was the right way to go and realistic.”

Andrew Kreisberg, David Ramsey and Paul Blackthorne discuss Arrow at PaleyFest 2015. Photo Credit: Paley Center
Andrew Kreisberg, David Ramsey and Paul Blackthorne discuss Arrow at PaleyFest 2015. Photo Credit: Paley Center.

David Ramsey began to talk about Diggle being a more passive character on Arrow this season now that he has a future wife and a daughter. Ramsey says, “Diggle can have a family and also fight crime at night or in the daytime. Pushing away Felicity and others is what Oliver does. Diggle doesn’t need that. He’s reconciled and accepts his life.”

John Barrowman talked about Malcolm Merlyn’s progression and his biggest regrets. He says Malcolm is a very interesting character and he thinks Malcolm would go back in time in a heartbeat to not kill the man who he believed murdered his wife. He also talked more about Malcolm and his affection towards Thea. He says “It’s a genuine affection for Thea. He shows it weird. Like everyone else they are trying to find out who they are and their role in this world.”

Manu Bennett and Willa Holland in the Arrow episode "The Return." Photo Credit: The CW.
Manu Bennett and Willa Holland in the Arrow episode “The Return.” Photo Credit: The CW.

And of course, an entire Arrow panel cannot go by without the ever pressing question about Oliver and Felicity’s relationship. Stephen took the reins on this question and talked about Oliver finally opening up. He says, “We see a more introspective, vulnerable and somewhat defeated Oliver as we move through the rest of the season… If there’s a time that Oliver gets in the land of the living, the object of his affection would be Felicity.” Looks like Stephen Amell continues to show his love for the “Olicity” couple, especially now that Felicity has been seen sleeping with Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh).

The ladies on Arrow were a hot topic during the PaleyFest panel. The panel concluded with Willa Holland, Katie Cassidy and Emily Bett Rickards discussing playing some of the most powerful and realistic women on television. Holland talked about Thea’s incredible transformation into a true warrior this season. She talks about how amazing it has been to continue to peel back the layers to Thea and expose more to the world. Cassidy and Rickards discuss how both of their characters continue to kick some butt on the show. Rickards reflects on how much she enjoys that Felicity has Laurel in her life. She says, “It’s a sisterly love.”

Arrow airs on Wednesday at 8/9c on the CW.

For LiveStream of other PaleyFest panels this week visit: http://media.paleycenter.org/paleyfest-la-2015.

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