Ever since Earth-2’s Jesse Quick (Violett Beane) crossed over to Barry Allen’s reality, viewers have been eagerly anticipating her picking up speed. The daughter of Harrison Wells, she was originally held hostage by Zoom until Team Flash rescued her, and since then, fans knew it was just a matter time until she’d adopt a superhero identity of her own.
It was only recently that Jesse displayed any special abilities, though. The dark matter awakened Jesse’s super speed, a power that manifested while she and her father were back home on Earth-2. After returning to Earth-1 to properly test her abilities, Jesse used them to aid Barry against the magnetic might of new foe, Magenta. However, it’s going to take all of Jesse and Barry’s lightning fast reflexes and speed to defeat the latest additions to Flash’s Rogues when Mirror Master and the Top crash the Central City party.
Ahead of tonight’s episode, “The New Rogues,” Beane spoke with CBR about finally blossoming into a speedster, how Jesse compares to Barry, wearing a costume and paying homage to her comic book counterpart.
CBR: Jesse Quick has been MIA since season one. For the episode “Magenta,” how much did the producers spell out in advance or do you just discover everything on your own?
Violett Beane: Absolutely. Pretty much from the beginning, I’ve known little to nothing about my character or where she was going. When I auditioned, I actually didn’t even know it was for Jesse Quick. When I booked it, they were like, “Oh, by the way, this is who you are playing.” I went and got some comics and read as much as I could about her. As far as this season is concerned, I got the call saying, “Hey, we want you back for these episodes.” The next week I got the script sent to me and it was like, “Oh, it’s actually happening.”
The producers have hinted there would be more speedsters. Many assumed that energy blast from the particle accelerator endowed Jesse with powers. What was your reaction when you discovered Jesse was finally going to join those ranks?
Oh my gosh. I’ve been waiting for this since episode five of last season. When I read the comic books, I was like, “This will be great.” It didn’t happen for a whole season. Fan expectations definitely grew. Every episode I hoped that it was finally the time. To be a speedster is so cool.
How did you prepare for the running aspect? Did you hit the track or treadmill?
I probably should hit the treadmill more. It’s pretty self-explanatory, although there were things I was anticipating. Obviously a sprinter has certain techniques to make you go faster. I was working with this stunt guy and I realized things that I hadn’t even thought about as far as technical issues. You keep your hands very flat. I always wondered why Barry looked like that, but he’s trying to go faster. They are flat and closed and there’s aerodynamics involved. I actually did learn a lot about running, which I was certainly anticipating.
In “Magenta,” they test Jesse’s speed, but we never hear the results. In your mind, how fast is Jesse compared to Barry and Wally?
I’m not sure as far as Wally goes, but I definitely think she’s slower than Barry right now. We’ll see what happens in the future. Jesse just got her powers and she’s still learning. I’m excited to see where that goes and how fast she actually could get — possibly as fast as Barry.
Even though she’s still the new speedster on the block, in what ways does Jesse approach being a hero compared to Barry?
Obviously, she’s young and has her powers and wants to help people. I also think that she runs into situations without thinking. In “The New Rogues,” you’re going to see she’s a little reckless.
Wally gets jealous that Jesse has super speed and he doesn’t. Do you feel she would react the same if the situation was reversed?
Poor Wally. He just wants some speed. I get it, though. The same thing happened to both of us. He knows he’s meant to have it. He does feel this jealousy. Hopefully he comes to terms with it because Jesse and Wally like each other. That feeling of him being jealous creates this weird vibe. I do hope he is okay with it, but I understand. If it was the other way around, Jesse would feel the same as well.
Why do you feel Jesse and Wally forged such a strong bond?
As far as the characters go, it makes a lot of sense. They both came into this world, and into Team Flash, at the same time. They were younger and really didn’t know anyone. It makes sense that they found each other. Talking to Andrew Kriesberg and Greg Berlanti a little bit, they weren’t anticipating doing that. They saw the two of us on screen and were like, “Okay, this could maybe work.” It’s interesting how TV works. People see what they’ve filmed and they like it, and that’s how the story changes.
Audiences got a small taste of Jesse, and she did some really amazing things. In what capacity does she pitch in tonight?
You are definitely going to see Barry and Jesse team up. As you’ve seen in the promo, they take on Mirror Master and the Top. You are going to see them using their powers and suiting up, which was really cool.
Let’s talk about that super suit. What was your initial reaction when you put the costume on?
It was absolutely amazing. You dream about it — certainly after all the admiring and looking up the superheroes — and you finally get to put it on. Honestly, it’s been amazing. Hopefully, the fans like it. It’s not really like the comic book version, but I think it looks really nice.
Those leather costumes can be uncomfortable. How was it moving around in the outfit? Was there an adjustment period?
It gets looser the more you wear it. Grant Gustin’s costume hugs his body. Mine was brand new. It definitely takes some wearing to be comfortable. You take the jacket off in between scenes no matter what. It’s so tight and constricting, so when I sit down, I have to unzip the pants. They are pretty tight. And it’s big time hot. When I was filming, it was during Canadian summer, which isn’t that hot. It’s actually beautiful, but it was warm in the sun whenever we shot outside.
Jesse is a full-fledged superhero now. How would you like the show to expand on that in future appearances?
I would love to be part of the team and fight crime. It would be interesting to do that on Earth-2. I love the series and working on it. Every episode I do, I’m always a big fan of.
What elements from the comic books are you hoping they incorporate?
Obviously, the formula being the reason Jesse has speed is an interesting aspect of it. I was pretty sure they weren’t going to carry that over because someone screaming out a formula before they run would look funny on screen. I like the whole Liberty Belle history, but it’s a little complicated for the show. Then again, that’s something our show does a really good job of, is taking certain things from the comic books and paying homage to them.
Starring Grant Gustin as the Scarlet Speedster, “The Flash” airs Tuesdays 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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