‘Arrow’ Star Charlotte Ross Teases Donna’s “Hidden Past Decisions,” Her Bond With Rickards & Season Five Details

Nora Dominick ’17/ Emertainment Monthly Co-Executive Stage Editor

Arrow star Charlotte Ross has become a major player in season four of the hit The CW show. Tonight’s penultimate episode may be Donna’s biggest episode yet as she shares her first scenes with ex-husband Noah Kuttler (Tom Amandes).

In terms of tonight’s big reunion between Donna, Noah and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards), Ross teases that Donna isn’t all smiles when it comes to seeing Noah. “Donna hasn’t seen her daughter’s father for many, many years and there are a lot of hurt feelings, unsaid issues and volatile feelings that have been suppressed for many years and when Donna finds out that Felicity has not only seen her father but is talking regularly with him to utilize his help with some major Team Arrow work issues – well, that’s a lot for Donna to swallow.”

Ross has been eagerly waiting for her first scenes opposite Amandes, “I’ve been yearning to have scenes with Tom [Amandes] since the day he was cast because I knew the writers would come up with some really interesting, juicy things to play. The dynamic is just too exciting to ignore.” She speaks very highly of Amandes, who played a major role in last week’s episode “Monument Point.” She says, “Tom is a lovely man and when I first met him I laughed and said ‘I apologize, in advance, if I’m really mean to you while playing Donna’ Tom is, obviously, a very wonderful experienced actor and we were both very excited to have scenes together and relished one particular scene that we have in tonight’s episode that reveals a lot of what truly happened, which led to the dissipation of our relationship, our parting from each other and my becoming a single mom.”

Ross gave Emertainment Monthly a sneak peek at some of the secrets that will come to light between the trio tonight. She says, “Having Felicity and my ex in the same room was very intense and wonderfully layered and textured and very high-stakes to play so, as an actress, that’s the kind of stuff we yearn for so, I had a blast. But, in this episode, things are revealed about Donna’s hidden past decisions that have never been revealed. They lead Donna to have to explain to her daughter why she made the choices that she made and the risk of coming clean with her daughter after all these years is one that could, potentially, lead to a very strained relationship with her daughter if they even remain to have one at all…”

Charlotte Ross and Emily Bett Rickards. Photo Credit: Charlotte Ross
Charlotte Ross and Emily Bett Rickards. Photo Credit: Charlotte Ross

Felicity and Donna’s relationship has grown so much since the first time Donna was introduced in season three. A lot of the amazing moments Felicity and Donna share on Arrow come down to the unmatchable bond Ross and Rickards. “I think I’ve been saying since the day I met Emily that I am deeply grateful for the intrinsic connection that we have. Sometimes you just can’t put a finger on that sort of thing and now that time has passed and we’ve been working together since 2014 it only added to the layered texture that we have when we do scenes together.” It definitely shows to the audience. Throughout the entirety of season four of Arrow, Ross and Rickards thrive on making their small moments feel monumental in episodes and tonight’s episode has some incredible scenes from the duo once again.

Ross says, now that her and Rickards have grown closer off-screen, their scenes hold more meaning. “We love, love, love working together and now I’ve met her real mom and Emily has met my real son and sees my life as a single mom and there are so many parallels and things that we both, on a personal level, understand about each other’s lives that sometimes we just slip into our scenes with such a natural comfortableness. That level of raw truthfulness is something that I think is deeply revealing and certainly beautiful to play and I hope the fans can see that.”

Shifting gears, Donna also has another significant person in her life, Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne). The couple took a big step in their relationship last week when Donna told Quentin those magical three words, “I love you.” It has been a beautiful character arc to witness as Donna begins to open up and find the love she has been searching for. Ross says that she has loved growing her character alongside Blackthorne. She says, “I think Donna had pretty much given up on love and finding a man with true depth of character before she met Quentin so at this point anyway, she is madly in love with him and is grateful every day that he’s in her life and, at this point, they are 100 hundred percent committed to each other and wanting to make it work. Paul and I are both eager to see where this relationship will go.”

Another big event Donna has been involved in is helping Quentin cope with the sudden and unexpected loss of Laurel (Katie Cassidy). It was hinted at last week that Donna has been the rock for Quentin to lean on following his daughter’s death. Ross explains, “Donna has slowly and unintentionally become a bit of his moral compass which, as we know, was a large part Laurel brought to his life. I hope Donna is helping him more in the loss of his beautiful daughter as it’s been a huge tragedy for everyone in Star City.”

Looking at the overall scope of being on Arrow, Ross says the fans support has been truly gratifying. “I’ve said from the moment I joined the show how hugely grateful I am for the fan support. There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not in awe at the vocal and abundant support that the fans have shown for my character and support of my characters’ interactions with everyone on the show particularly with Emily, Stephen [Amell] and Paul.” Ross continues, “I wish I could meet every single fan just to give them a big hug and tell them that I support and believe in them as much as they support and believe in me.”

Tom Amandes, Charlotte Ross and Emily Bett Rickards in the Arrow episode "Lost in the Flood." Photo Credit: Dean Buscher/The CW
Tom Amandes, Charlotte Ross and Emily Bett Rickards in the Arrow episode “Lost in the Flood.” Photo Credit: Dean Buscher/The CW

As for Arrow season five, Ross says there is no immediate plan to bring her back. She exclusively tells Emertainment Monthly, “I’ve relished every moment playing Donna since season 3 when I was lucky enough to start being a part of this show but, we have no agreement in place for me to continue further. Things can, obviously, change but as of right now, I have no plans to return for season five…” Ross hears all the fan support for having her continue on with the character and she says it does help to know that fans want to see more of Donna. “On a personal level, I’m definitely not ready to walk away from this character and particularly, everyone in the cast and crew that I love so much as they have truly become my family so…time will tell…”

Catch Charlotte Ross in the penultimate season four episode of Arrow tonight at 8/7c on The CW.

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