Candice Pat­ton on keep­ing up with The Flash.

SFX - - Contents - Words by Joseph McCabe

Launch­ing the Sil­ver Age of comics along­side su­per- speed­ster beau Barry Allen in 1956, few lead­ing ladies have had the longevity of Iris West. That’s a fact not lost on Candice Pat­ton, the fresh- faced actress who plays the beloved comic book char­ac­ter in TV adap­ta­tion The Flash. When SFX first meets Pat­ton dur­ing a break in shoot­ing the hit show, she wel­comes us with a smile that gen­er­ates just as much light­ning as a cer­tain par­ti­cle ac­cel­er­a­tor ex­plo­sion. And af­ter we men­tion we’ve met her char­ac­ter’s co- cre­ator, the late comic artist Carmine In­fantino, her eyes widen and her hand races to her mouth as though we’ve demon­strated su­per­pow­ers of our own. Pat­ton her­self has lit­tle need for such pow­ers, hav­ing al­ready ap­peared in 20 dif­fer­ent TV shows and movies by the age of 26. But of all the roles she’s played, it’s the woman be­hind The Fastest Man Alive who most closely matches her own fer­vour for life… Oc­cu­pa­tion: Ac­tor Born: 24 J une 1 988 From: Jack­son, Mis­sis­sippi

G reat­est H its: The Young And The Rest­less, En­tourage, Cas­tle, He­roes, One Tree Hill, CSI: Miami, The Flash

Ran­dom Fact: She was scouted for a CBS Soap Star Con­test while still at col­lege. As a blog­ger, Iris has come to rep­re­sent fans of The Flash…

That’s the per­fect de­scrip­tion of what Iris rep­re­sents. In episode six, the vil­lain Girder even refers to Iris as a fan­girl. She’s such a fan of The Flash, and she’s a blog­ger. I can see how that speaks to the fan who tweets and blogs about our show. Iris is just so pas­sion­ate. She is a fan­girl, and that’s fun to play. It’s great to see her have some­thing she can be proud of wak­ing up and do­ing ev­ery morn­ing. It’s great to see Iris find her pas­sion. Are you a fan of science fic­tion or fan­tasy?

Yeah, of course. I’m not gonna say that I’m a huge sci- fi nerd. I know there are peo­ple who can to­tally out- nerd me. [ Laughs.] But I love shows like Buffy The Vam­pire Slayer. I was a huge Lost fan. I love any­thing that deals with time travel. I’m a big nerd for that kind of stuff. I’m ex­cited to maybe get to do that on our show. I look up to ac­tresses like Zoe Sal­dana. I want to be in movies like Star Trek and Guardians Of The Galaxy. I want to play Storm one day. Th­ese are all things that I’ve dreamed of do­ing. So to be on a show like The Flash… When this au­di­tion came in, I was like, “I want this so bad.” What was your re­ac­tion upon first see­ing Grant Gustin in his Flash cos­tume?

“Are you” — ex­ple­tive — “kid­ding me?!” Be­cause we’d been work­ing on the show and had ideas about what the Flash suit was gonna look like, but I’d only seen him as Grant. Then to see him in the suit… I had an Iris mo­ment where I was kind of geek­ing out. I was like, “Oh my God, I’m stand­ing next to The Flash! This is the coolest thing ever!” When I’m shoot­ing scenes with Grant in the suit it feels very dif­fer­ent than when I’m shoot­ing scenes with him as Barry. There’s some­thing very sexy and ex­cit­ing about be­ing next to The Flash. In real life, would you be drawn to­wards Barry or The Flash?

I prob­a­bly would be more in­trigued with Barry, to be hon­est. I’m not re­ally into the show- stop­ping kind of guy. I think Iris is too, and that’s why she’s at­tracted to the Flash. The Flash is al­most a height­ened ver­sion of Barry, with the con­fi­dence he seems to lack at this point in his life. She’s at­tracted to both of them. She just doesn’t know that it’s both of them. Should Iris learn Barry’s se­cret sooner rather than later?

Yeah, only be­cause I see Iris as such a smart and as­sertive young woman. It’s only a mat­ter of time be­fore she puts two and two to­gether. Un­less Barry, the STAR Labs team, and her fa­ther Joe can do a great job of cov­er­ing his tracks. But I’d love to get to a point where Iris is in the know and starts to help more in her own way. It’ll come down the line. You can’t give away too much too soon or you’ll have nowhere to go. If you were a metahu­man, what would be your power of choice?

I guess it would be to be in­vis­i­ble. To dis­ap­pear when I needed to. I have a ten­dency to stick my foot in my mouth, and think, “I’d love to not be here right now!” [ Laughs.] We’ve seen that Iris knows how to throw a punch. Would you like to see her get more in­volved in the show’s phys­i­cal ac­tion? That’s some­thing fans can re­late to — we can al­ways dream about be­ing The Flash, but we can ac­tu­ally be Iris West. We can ac­tu­ally be brave in our lives with­out su­per­pow­ers. That’s some­thing I love about her: she of­fers a re­al­ity peo­ple watch­ing can iden­tify with. Some of the show’s other char­ac­ters have metahu­man al­ter egos in the comics. But would you pre­fer to see Iris re­main hu­man? Yes and no. Yes, be­cause I think it’s im­por­tant to the show. Joe West and I are im­por­tant to the show be­cause we ground it in re­al­ity, and you need that. But I’m not gonna lie — I’d love to have su­per pow­ers. I don’t know that we’ll ever do that, but it would be nice to have a suit made of… some kind of leath­ery ma­te­rial. [ Laughs.]

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