Meet Your Maker - 10 questions with the creator of #Olicity: Marcus Ellis.
I had the opportunity to interview the first person to coin the term “Olicity.” I want to thank Marcus for this lovely interview, and for being the fearless forerunner of the Olicity fandom. It could have been anyone, and I’m glad it was you. -Cammie
1. Who are you? What do you like, what do you do, what is your normal identity outside of being an Olicity superhero by night?
- Well, my name is Marcus Ellis and I’m a 22 year old college student from California currently studying Mass Communications and Journalism at San Francisco State University. I remember when I was younger I always had a passion for writing. English was always one of my favorite subjects. Truth be told, another hobby of mine was television. I watched virtually everything that peaked my interest and still do till this day. So as I got older I realized, why not combine the two things I love the most, both writing and television, and turn that into a job. That’s why I’m currently working on to become a journalist; with a focus more specifically on entertainment media related news like television, movies, and music. A dream job of mine would be working for The Hollywood Reporter or Entertainment Weekly and other publications of that nature.
2. Set the stage for us. What drew you to Arrow? What did you think of the show when you first started? Were you knocked off your feet, mildly entertained, drumming your fingers waiting for someone like Felicity to come along, etc.?
- I think what initially drew me to Arrow was the fact that I was so already obsessed with the CW’s other super hero adaption Smallville (and lets be real, who wasn’t a fan of Tom Welling’s face) and also their interpretation of the Green Arrow character, played by Justin Hartley, which had just went off the air a year prior to the premiere of Arrow. I was excited that the Green Arrow was getting his own series and Stephen was the perfect choice for the role. When the show first premiered, I was immediately hooked. I mean, you can’t just showcase a shirtless, battered, and bruised Stephen Amell and expect me not to come back for more.
3. Take us back to that night. What was going through your mind when you first saw Oliver walk into Felicity’s office? Did you recognize this as the potential long-term love story of the show (as it became), or did you think she was just a one-episode character (as was originally intended)?
- I definitely had a feeling that that wasn’t the last we’d see of Felicity Smoak. I mean, you don’t cast someone as talented and gorgeous as Emily Bett Rickards as a one-off special guest character.. That would’ve been a great loss to us all. They had such great banter and chemistry in that scene. I knew something would eventually happen…it just took three seasons to get there lol.
4. Emily Bett (Felicity Smoak) has said in interviews that she loves the ship name Olicity, and that she wishes she could thank the person who first came up with it. Stephen Amell (Oliver Queen) also came out in support of the name very early on, tweeting on Valentine’s Day during season 1, just a few weeks after the name caught on, to clarify that the name is officially Olicity, and to endorse the spelling you chose (one “L”, not two - establishing that it is a blend of Oliver + Felicity, not Ollie + Felicity, thank god). Do you have words or a gif to describe how you feel about this?
5. Do you remember seeing the ship name “Olicity” being used by fans and eventually the show, cast, etc.? You’ve continued watching the show, but how aware were you of how much the ship had taken off in terms of popularity?
- I remember early on when it really stated to take off and I’m honestly still shocked that I was the first to coin the term. It’s all still so wild to me. It’s such a crazy thing to think of how far it’s come and how popularly it’s used in the media now. And to think I had a little part in making that happen is truly an honor. I watch a lot of shows and support a lot of ships so I just assumed Olicity was going to be canon eventually. I do that with a majority of the shows I watch. If I see two characters that have really great chemistry, it’s hard to not want them to get together. The whole ‘will they-won’t they’ relationships are my favorites. Don’t even get me started on how happy I am about Mindy and Danny, from The Mindy Project.
6. At what point when you were watching the show did you realize that you were right, that Oliver and Felicity are THE pairing for the show? Do you have a favorite scene or moment with them?
- I think it was 1x14 when I knew that Olicity was a possibility. Now that she was a part of his inner circle, the people who knew his true identity, meant more interactions between the two characters which also would lead to more development over time. It was inevitable, I suppose. Another one of my favorite Olicity moments was 2x07 where Oliver took Felicity’s hand after she felt guilty he had to choose between killing again or saving her and he replied that since she was in danger and there was no choice to make. That was another big moment for me. It was very intimate and sweet and showed that he cared for her enough to break his own rule. I also loved seeing Oliver’s jealous side show when Barry was in the picture.
7. You’ve mentioned online that season 3 was your favorite season so far (it’s also the highest rated and most controversial). Tell us what worked and didn’t work in the latest season for you. What do you think of the latest developments for Olicity?
- What I loved about season three was all of the development we got, like Felicity and Thea’s transformations into a strong heroes in their own right to the overall evolution of Olicity. I also can’t wait for the writers to explore and expand more on the female friendships in this show because the Thea and Felicity bonding moments in season three were some of my favorites. Honestly, I’m so happy with how far we’ve come with Oliver and Felicity. I think they’re perfect for each other and really complement each other well.
8. Clearly you have great predictive powers when it comes to fandom, so tell us what you see happening with Olicity going forward. What would you like for them in terms of storylines and milestones in season 4? Any cautionary words for them as well?
- I would love to see them go on a real date together, one that doesn’t get interrupted by masked murderers and super-powered revenge seeking villains. Now that they’re officially a couple, I would love to see them learning more from each other, like Oliver teaching her how to defend herself with a little one-on-one action or Felicity sharing her tech skills with him and watching him fail miserably. That would definitely be cute. I also can’t wait to get more backstory from Felicity’s character, maybe even with the introduction of her father who is currently unknown as far as I know. That strained relationship could definitely work well on screen for the pair. Also, you can’t have a productive on-screen relationship without a few hurdles to jump through. Like are the writers ever going to address the fact that Oliver may have a potential child out there in world with the woman he ran into at the coffee shop (the same woman Moira paid off in the 2x20 flashback)? As for cautionary words, I’d just say to always expect the unexpected, because you can never truly know what the writers have up under there sleeves.
9. This year, Olicity won MTV’s ship of the year with around 20 million votes. The term Olicity has been on Coke bottles, trended on social media countless times, won awards, and has been used by everyone from Larry King to Jimmy Kimmel. What do you think is that special factor about them that caused so many people to fall in love with them?
- I think the whole idea that people love to root for the underdogs. Characters with complicated and complex backgrounds who manage to persevere. Couples who, on paper, are polar opposites but somehow manage to make it work. That happens with a lot of shows I watch. People tend to look for things in characters that they wish to see in themselves or already relate to. Whether it be Oliver’s emotional strength and love for familial bonds or even Felicity’s quirkiness and ability to turn something completely innocent into a sexual innuendo. Also, everyone loves a good budding romance and that’s exactly what Olicity is. It was a slow burn, but a burn nonetheless.
10. Like many of us, you describe yourself as just a regular guy who talks a lot about television. Will you be livetweeting Arrow in the fall? Where can fans find you for more Olicity/general TV good stuff?
- Yes, I most definitely will be live-tweeting Arrow, along with many of my other favorite shows. Fall season is my favorite time of year because so many of my favorite shows finally come back as well as new shows I’m sure to become addicted to. This year is such a big year for comic book adaptions, from the CW’s Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow, CBS’s Supergirl, Netflix’s series like Daredevil (season 2) and Jessica Jones (featuring the amazing Krysten Ritter), The Walking Dead spin-off, and even TNT’s upcoming planned pilot for a live-action Teen Titans series. As you can see, I have a lot of free time on my hands. So you can follow me on Twitter, @marcusthough, where I will most likely annoy you with my obsessions with some of my favorite movies, music, and most importantly television shows! You can also follow me on Instagram (@marcusthough) if you like food, beautiful places, inspirational quotes, and the occasional MCM to quench your thirst. I have a Tumblr as well which features lots of beautiful models, celebrities, and more!