Given that everyone around Iris West is in the know about the many secrets surrounding Central City’s superhuman protector yet determined to keep her in the dark, is a big interpersonal blowout on “The Flash” inevitable? The answer is a great big “Yep,” according to series star Candice Patton.
Patton sat down with the press at WonderCon to offer a glimpse at what lies ahead for Iris as it gets harder and harder for her best friend, her boyfriend and her father to keep the truth about Barry Allen’s alter ego from her, and exactly how she’s going to react when the truth comes out.
It seems like almost everyone in her life is keeping a pretty big secret from Iris. Is Iris going to get some knowledge in the episodes ahead, and how is that going to affect her?
Candice Patton: Everyone’s lying to her. Everyone. It seems like everyone knows who The Flash is, except Iris. I think she will find out sooner than later. I think that can only play for so long. And I think when she finds out, she’s going to be really angry. The most important people in her life have been keeping a secret from her. It’s not any secret — it’s a huge, huge, life-changing secret, and so I think she will be extremely devastated — more so angry, which we haven’t really seen in Iris yet. She’s never been really angry with anyone in her life, so it will be a nice payoff moment for her to finally say to everyone, “It’s not okay for you to have lied to me, and I’m not okay with it.” It’s coming. It’s coming. Eventually, it’s coming.
We saw the positive note, though, in the brief moment that she got to find out that Barry was The Flash, and she seemed very excited before the time-change altered that moment.
Oh, yeah. So much was happening in that moment. I don’t know what she was expecting. I think she was excited, because she finally told Barry how she felt, and so she’s almost about to die and Barry is The Flash. So there’s so much going on in her mind, and I think it was a cool moment. It was very satisfying for me, as Iris, to play that moment. I think that people have been waiting for so long — I think fans were so satisfied to finally have that moment. She hadn’t really answered Barry since episode nine and he told her how he felt, and she kind of left it in the air. And so, to have her finally say to Barry, “I love you, too,” to a certain degree, it’s really, really, it’s a great payoff. And then to have it reversed, it was like, “Ugh.”
It will never be the end. It will never be the end. I don’t believe it will ever be the end for Barry and Iris. They are so iconic. There will always be some sort of relationship between them. I don’t know, I think it’s just the love of a lifetime, and you can’t really — what can you say?
Now that Eddie is reluctantly in on the secret, how does Iris and Eddie’s dynamic change over the next few episodes?
She’s starting to notice that Eddie is acting strange. She knows that Eddie is being a little strange, and she even says to him, “You’ve solved too many cases. You’re doing better than you usually do. Are you working with The Flash, by any chance?” So, she’s starting to figure out that maybe there’s more than meets the eye with Eddie, as well. So, yeah, she will deal with Eddie.
Who would you choose, Candice — between Barry and Eddie?
I was like, “Uh…” That’s a tough question, and I think that’s why it’s so tough to play, because Barry Allen’s the hero of the show, so we all root for Barry Allen. But if you think about Eddie as a character, he’s a great man. He loves Iris. He’s moved her into his apartment. He’s been nothing but kind and gentle to her, since the day that we’ve met Eddie. So, it’s not like he’s a bad guy. So it’s hard to choose. It’s hard to choose. And they’re both good looking. How do you choose?
Is there any other character on the show that you haven’t interacted with a lot that you get to play with toward the end of the season?
Yeah — Wells, Caitlin and Cisco. You’ll see Iris, just in general, move towards that S.T.A.R. Labs family.
Will Iris continue digging into the disappearance of her colleague Mason Bridge, or do you think that’s she’s relieved to have gotten an answer — even though it’s not true — and move on?
I think she believes it to a degree, because Eddie is telling her this. And, again, she believes the men in her life. Foolishly, she believes them. But how could she not? They’ve only ever told her the truth, and they’ve only ever been honest with her. So she believes them at their word. But I think that Iris is smart enough to know that that’s not fitting together quite right. So I think in the back of her mind, she’s going to continue to mull over the fact that something is weird with Mason, and he didn’t just go to Brazil.
The show has had some great guest stars on. Have you had any favorite interactions the past couple of episodes?
I mean, Mark Hamill. It’s Mark Hamill! I’m sorry. Sorry to every other guest star, but Mark Hamill. It’s Mark Hamill. He’s amazing. He has energy for days. We were shooting kind of late into the night, and he could out-energize me, man. I don’t know how he does it. And he’s just a consummate professional, and he’s so entertaining, and he’s so kind with people and fans. It just kind of reminds me that, you know, no matter how big you get, there’s no reason not to be cool. If Mark Hamill’s cool, you should be cool. I think everyone would love to see him back. And he’s not dead, so…
With the crossover episodes happening, can you hint at what Iris’ perception is of this expanding universe, with so many new heroes on the scene?
Yeah. I think we haven’t seen too much of her kind of going into other universes, but there is a double-date with Ray and Felicity, and Iris and Eddie — and then there’s Barry as the awkward wheel, as usual. Which is fun. It’s always fun to have the actors from “Arrow” on our show. It just adds a different dynamic… I think they bring a sense of seriousness and darkness to our show, to some degree. And I feel like we bring a bit of lightness to their show. It’s just fun to have that, every once in a while.
And personally I would love to go over to “Arrow.” I don’t know if that will happen, but I think Iris should go be nosey over there.
Doesn’t Iris need some female friends?
She does! I agree with you, she does. Do you know any?
What is it like for you, personally, to work with mostly male actors and kind of be the lone female force in your scenes for a lot of the season?
That’s a good, interesting question. It hasn’t really dawned on me that it’s unusual, but I think it’s important that Iris has a female friend. I think it’s also really indicative to the fact that she never really had a mother. So, I think she naturally gravitates towards being around men, and she feels comfortable with Joe and with Eddie and Barry — that’s who she’s naturally comfortable with. I don’t know that she’s had a lot of female relationships, so it would be interesting to see her kind of finally have a girlfriend and someone to kind of vent to about all these lying men in her life.
As she increasingly becomes a part of S.T.A.R. and what’s going on with them, does she start to develop a relationship with Caitlin? Do they connect on a certain level?
Yeah, I mean it’s not a deep relationship, but I think they definitely have a mutual respect and kind of softness and kindness towards each other, which I think is really great to see on screen.
Have you started getting letters from kids telling you things like, you’ve inspired them become a reporter?
I get a lot of fan mail and if I can ever do an autograph signing like here [at WonderCon] — I try to answer everything that comes to my trailer, because for someone to take the time to write a letter and send it means that they actually watch the show, and they care about the show, and the least I can do is sign something and send it back. So, it’s really great to see people from Germany and Belgium and Turkey and Japan. It’s amazing how international our show is. It never ceases to humble me, so yeah it’s great. It’s really great.
What was your research like going into the show and developing the character on your own take on Iris? Did DC supply you with great “Flash” storylines?
They weren’t adamant that we kind of became comic-book nerds, at all. I mean, Geoff Johns was like, “Listen, you don’t need to read the comics to play this part.” He was like, “We hired you, because you essentially brought something to Iris West that we naturally thought fit.” So just in that, I felt confident playing Iris. But personally, I did decide to read some of the comic books. I still read them to this day. I’m not a comic-book nerd; don’t ask me deep questions. But you know, I have my omnibuses, and I like to read them, between takes on set. I’m reading “Preacher,” which is another comic book. I’m just kind of slowly delving into that comic book world, and I didn’t naturally mean to do that. It’s just the more you do that, the more you realize how brilliant they really are.
Of the comics that you are reading, have you come across any characters that you would love to see debut on the show or interact with?
I’m sure there’s great ones: Heat Wave was one of the ones in the beginning that I was like, “I love Heat Wave. He’s one of my favorite villains.” So for Dominic Purcell to come on and play that, that was pretty cool for me. And Grodd. I want scenes with Grodd.
Did Geoff Johns have any words when you started? Any insight into Iris that was particularly helpful?
No. No. But not in a bad way. I remember, after I booked the show, I got a text message from him, and was like, “I’m so excited we got you as Iris.” And I’m like, “This is Geoff Johns telling me that he was excited that was playing Iris West.” I mean, he knows Iris West. If anyone knows Iris West, he knows Iris West. So for him to be excited that was playing it, I was honored. He was like, “Just keep doing what you’re doing. Just keep doing you.”
Does Iris get to share some scenes with some of the upcoming villains?
Yeah, these are tough questions. Yes, yes. I’ll just leave it at that.
If you had your choice of what Iris gets up to in Season Two, do you have any kind of wish for her?
Fantasy? I want her to find out about her mother. I want the family storyline to be fleshed out. I think it would be interesting to see what happened to her mother? Where did she go? Why has she just been living with Joe for so long? Did Joe tell her the truth about what happened to her mother? And also the question of Wally West I think would be very interesting. Other than that, I think professionally, I want her to continue to be a strong reporter and to work alongside S.T.A.R. Labs and that team of people to kind of take down the bad guys in Central City. I want her to be not so isolated from the rest of the team.
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