‘Arrow’ Interview: Grant Gustin and EPs Discuss What it Took to Bring the Flash to Oliver’s World

  • Dec 4, 2013
  • Buddy TV

In the Arrow Season 2 two-part midseason finale, fans will get to meet an entirely new kind of super hero in the form of the Flash (aka mild-mannered Barry Allen). BuddyTV was able to take part in a special screening of the midseason finale, followed by a Q&A with Executive Producers Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg, DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns and Grant Gustin (who plays Barry/the Flash).

Preview of Episode 2.08 “The Scientist”

Andrew Kreisberg: Barry comes to Starling City because there is an unexplained robbery at Queen Consolidated, and Barry is very interested in the unexplained for reasons that we will find out in the course of these two episodes. He’s sort of the opposite of Oliver in a lot of ways. Barry is outgoing and funny and a little bit unsure of himself, and smart and sort of a squeaky wheel. And the contrast between Stephen and Grant is both comical and fun and [it] has been really great to watch. 

What Grant Gustin brings to the Flash character

Geoff Johns: He’s earnest. Grant is an actor who’s brought more to Barry Allen than I think we’ve seen before, especially seeing him in the days when [Barry is] taking his first steps. He’s got that heart, he’s got humor, he’s got compassion. Barry was always a nice guy – he’s the guy that stops and makes sure that everyone’s all right and then keeps going, and Grant embodies that. He’s the perfect Flash.  

Greg Berlanti: The tricky thing about casting this role is you’re trying to hit a moving target, in that if we were just creating a character that nobody had any kind of preconceived idea of it would be a lot easier. But [for] this we knew the character that we were trying to honor and the spirit of the kind of character we were trying to bring to the show. Then we went into casting and we didn’t even have a pilot script, we had sides. So basically off of these sides we were just looking for someone who was the essence of the character. In addition, you’re looking for someone who fits into the Arrow universe we have, but still can really potentially have the promise of their own universe and their own show. 

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And had we not found Grant, I’m not sure we would have done the character. We looked at everybody. [It was] certainly the largest search I’ve ever been a part of for a TV show and he just was the part and suddenly it didn’t become about age, it didn’t become about any of those other things. If I were a kid and I wanted to see the living embodiment of the Flash, this is who I would want to see do it. So that’s our real hope with these episodes is that, when people watch them – even before he becomes the Flash – that they connect with him in the way that we did. 

Grant Gustin on the character of Barry Allen/the Flash

Grant Gustin: I immediately thought he was fun and endearing and I hadn’t done anything like that. I had of fun with that throughout the audition process. He’s fun to play, he’s likeable. I would be his friend. I haven’t had the opportunity to play a character that I would actually enjoy spending time with so that’s nice. 

Gustin on what he’s looking forward to the most in playing the Flash

Grant Gustin: [I’m] mostly looking forward to getting the pilot script and seeing how Barry is going to handle this happening to him. Because he’s not just excited, it’s scary. That’s what I loved about the character in the audition process – it’s not just like he loves super heroes and he’s a fanboy and he’s like, “I’m going to be one!” It’s kind of terrifying a little bit.

The Flash workout routine

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Grant Gustin: I think my workout routine is much different than what [Stephen Amell] did and what he still does, just because our body types are so different. But it’s a lot of working out for hours at a time. Right now it’s about running, I’ve been putting in some time with an Olympic running trainer. 

Check out a clip below to see Barry Allen having a total fanboy moment with Felicity over the vigilante (aka Arrow). 

What do you think of the introduction of the Flash into the Arrow universe?

Arrow airs on Wednesday nights at 8pm on CW. 

(Image courtesy of CW)

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