Heroes and Villains Fanfests are typically Arrowverse-centric due to lynchpin Stephen Amell (Oliver Queen), who is usually joined by other stars of The CW’s DC superhero programs.
But this year’s gathering in Atlanta buzzed loudly with the participation of Original Team Arrow (aka OTA to Arrow aficionados). Many consider the chemistry of Oliver Queen, joined by former bodyguard, John Diggle, and IT Girl, Felicity Smoak, to be a strength that has defined Arrow since Season 1, but opportunities to see all three actors who play them in person have been rare.
The excitement began in earnest many weeks before with the announcement that Emily Bett Rickards (Felicity Smoak) would be taking part, following her enormously popular participation in HVFF London last spring. Anticipating high demand, HVFF organizers set up pre-orders for autographs with her, which sold out well in advance. Pre-orders for photo ops with her individually as well as with the three actors together were also made available.
On Saturday morning, October 18th, Arrow fans on the convention floor were treated to a rare sight – Oliver Queen, John Diggle (David Ramsey) and Felicity Smoak all interacting with fans and occasionally with each other at their respective autograph tables. The weekend also coincided with David Ramsey’s birthday, so fans on hand joined together to sing when he arrived.
As expected, Emily’s autograph lines were lengthy, but fans didn’t seem to mind waiting their turn to chat, leave gifts and obtain her signature. Fans packed the floor to attend her solo panel early that afternoon. Later that night, Rickards also attended the Nocking Point Wine Party and was on hand for the reveal of her wine collaboration for Nocking Point’s December wine club shipment – a Sparkling Rosé called Pacific Coast Pink.
Day 2 of HVFF featured a packed house for an Original Team Arrow panel discussion that reflected the camaraderie of the trio. For nearly an hour, they fielded questions, deflected as many spoiler-oriented queries as possible, and teased each other mercilessly. The impromptu fun of seeing the actors interact genuinely and off-script are what makes the panels compulsory for attendees during each HVFF weekend.
Fans who may have missed the fun in Atlanta have two more scheduled opportunities to see the three Arrow stars together – at HVFF San Jose on December 2nd & 3rd as well as January 13th & 14th in Portland early next year.
Photo Credit: Lisa Bell Roden and Heroes and Villains Fanfest
Video Credit: Lisa Bell Roden