“Arrow” said goodbye to one of the original cast members last week. Thea left Star City with Roy and Nyssa, and it seems she is gone for good. Actress Willa Holland asked to leave, and star Stephen Amell revealed that he supports her decision.
“I know that she wanted to move on with her career. And I totally respect that. And I’m glad that she’s going to get that opportunity,” Amell told TVLine.
The Green Arrow actor explained that after six seasons, he knows that the cast has to be committed to the CW superhero drama. “Quite frankly, the most important thing when you’re doing a show like this and you’re doing 23 episodes [per season] and you’re working long, hard hours, you need to make sure that everyone that’s here wants to be here,” Amell added.
Holland had given producers ample notice that she would not want to renew her contract after “Arrow” Season 6, so the character was given a proper ending. The writers decided to bring Roy (Colton Haynes) back, but instead of riding off into the sunset with her true love, Thea and Roy followed Nyssa (Katrina Law) to destroy the newly-discovered Lazarus Pits that exist all over the world.
Speedy’s exit wasn’t exactly shocking for “Arrow” fans. For the past two seasons, Holland has had a reduced episode count, and her character Thea had retired from being a vigilante. When she was caught in a Season 5 cliffhanger, she was a popular guess when speculating about those who would die. However, it seems the writers didn’t want the Green Arrow to mourn yet another family member, and they will allow Holland the opportunity to reprise her role.
Executive producer Marc Guggenheim told the Hollywood Reporter that the writers are “supportive of her wish to stretch her legs and pursue other creative opportunities. The door is always open for Willa to return if she has a hankering to.”
The actress has not announced what her post-“Arrow” plans include.
“Arrow” still has a handful of original cast members. In addition to Amell, Paul Blackthorne (Lance) and David Ramsey (Diggle) are still regulars on the show. Though Emily Bett Rickards (Felicity) was not a series regular in Season 1, she is generally considered a part of the original team.
More original cast members might return soon. Amell recently posted a photo that hints at the return of Colin Donnell (Tommy).
“Arrow” Season 6 airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. EDT on The CW.