John Wesley Shipp’s Barry Allen never went away — he just grew up. Shipp, who appears on The CW’s “The Flash” as both Henry Allen and Jay Garrick, revealed that he thinks of Jay as an older version of the character he played in the 1990s show of the same name.
“I figured Jay is my version of Barry, 25 years later, essentially. So I went back and I watched a couple of episodes of the 1990-91 version to kind of remind myself what I did,” Shipp told ComicBook.com. “[Jay] is much more reminiscent of my Barry Allen from 25 years ago than my Henry Allen. I went back and I was amazed how much attitude my Barry Allen had in some situations. I went back and I picked up that thread and I brought it forward 25 years, and tried to weave it in. I think that’s fun for the audience, too — that they will see elements of my Barry Allen in my Jay Garrick.”
He went on to discuss his own personal relationship with Grant Gustin, considering that he has changed roles so dramatically within the context of the show. “When Grant and I were running lines and I was being Jay, he just put his head down and started laughing,” he recalled. “I said ‘What’s up?’ and he said ‘It is so cool watching you play this.'”
Speaking to CBR News, he also relayed Jay’s relationship with the much younger Barry Allen. “Jay — as the original speedster and as an older man — tends to think of himself as the guardian of the plain, the guardian of the Speed Force,” he explained. “And here’s this new speedster in town, who’s younger, who’s more impulsive, who’s rash, who maybe reminds Jay of how he was at the outset. He’s looking, and he’s watching very carefully to see how this kid — and I say kid, because that’s the way Jay views him — is going to carry on the tradition. Is he going to mess it up? What mistakes is he going to make that Jay was tempted to make, or perhaps did make? Where Henry Allen was that place that little boy Barry could come when he needed to be vulnerable, Jay is the person that reminds Barry that — if you want to be a superhero — it’s big boy rules, and that’s very different in temperature and in the relationship between the two.”
Starring Grant Gustin as the Scarlet Speedster, “The Flash” premieres Tuesday, October 4 at 8 pm ET/PT on The CW. The series also stars Jesse L. Martin, Tom Cavanagh, Carlos Valdes, Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Keiynan Lonsdale and more.
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