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Arrow is ending after its next season, and as fans learned back in March, the final season will be without star Emily Bett Rickards in tow. The series wrote Rickards' Felicity Smoak out of the drama at the end of Season 7 and, according to Rickards in a recent interview, there are no plans for her to go back on that exit -- even if it made fans a bit upset.
I feel like Felicity has done her time. I don’t know if anybody is going to like what I’m saying, but I feel like Felicity has done her time. We knew this was coming for a while – for over a year – so the whole thing is exactly what we wanted to happen. I trust the writers, and that’s in their hands.
Emily Bett Rickards didn't mince words, so if The CW series didn't film any additional footage they intend to use in Season 8, it's looking likely Felicity won't be appearing in Season 8 of Arrow at all. Rickards told Collider that her exit had been plotted out for a year, which makes it feel as though extra scenes for Season 8 could've been planned that wouldn't have required her appearing on-set again after Season 7.
As far as what Emily Bett Rickards will be up to after Arrow, the actress has a plan. For now, she's planning on staying away from the world of television for a chunk of time in order to get back into one of her other passions, theater.
I think I’m going to take a break for a while, and do a little bit of theater, coming up in New York [Reborning at the SoHo Playhouse from July 5th through August 3rd]. And then, after that, I’m hoping to continue doing theater for a little bit longer. My friends are a bunch of creative geniuses, so no matter what, that’s the way I’m going right now. I’ll never say no to doing TV again. For now, life has changed dramatically, already.
It sounds like Emily Bett Rickards has officially left Arrow behind and is onto other things, until she gets that itch to do television again. It's understandable considering she's spent the better part of a decade on Arrow, so it's not all that surprising she's ready to step into something different and take a breather from the demanding schedule of a television series. As she mentioned, it's just goodbye for now, not necessarily goodbye forever.
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