Stephen Amell Praises Departing ‘Arrow’ Co-Star Emily Bett Rickards: ‘We Wouldn’t Be Here Without You’

Rickards announced her exit from the CW superhero show ahead of its eighth and final season

“Arrow” star Stephen Amell praised his co-star, Emily Bett Rickards, on Monday following news that she would not be returning for the show’s eighth and final season.

“For me… August 3rd, 2012 is the most important day in the history of our show,” Amell wrote in an Instagram post. “It was the first day I worked with Emily. Her energy and the vibrancy she gave to Felicity Smoak is only surpassed by what she personally gave to me.

Rickards, who has portrayed Felicity Smoak on the show since its debut in 2012, shocked fans over the weekend when she announced that she would be departing the long-running superhero show ahead of its 10-episode final season.

“She was a co-worker that became a best friend,” Amell continued. “So on the first day of our last episode together, I’d like everyone to know how deeply I appreciate the past seven years. We wouldn’t be here without you. I love you. And I cannot wait to see what you do next.”

Executive producers Greg Berlanti and Beth Schwartz issued their own statement regarding Rickards’ departure shortly after her announcement.

“We’ve had the pleasure of working with Emily since season one and in those past seven years she has brought one of TV’s most beloved characters to life,” the duo said. “And although we’re heartbroken to see both Emily and Felicity leave the show, we’re completely supportive of Emily and her future endeavors. She will always have a family at ‘Arrow.'”