One of more recent additions to The CW‘s ever-growing pantheon of DC Comics-based superheroes, Firestorm, joined the Flash and Arrow in taking down the Reverse-Flash in last week’s episode of “The Flash.” This week, Robbie Amell returns to Central City, where he’ll discover that Barry Allen’s (Grant Gustin) personal hero’s journey will continue to impact his own life, in ways he never would have — or could have — expected.
Ahead of tonight’s massive finale, Amell spoke with CBR News about what he’s learned of the consequences of time travel, Firestorm’s evolving powers and why his ability to change matter came this close to making it to air in the finale. We also discuss him walking down the aisle with Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker), and Ronnie’s absence from the trailer for upcoming spinoff, “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” which just so happens to star Firestorm’s literal other half, Prof. Stein (Victor Garber). Plus, Amell opens up about his current project “Nine Lives,” and reveals a few items on his action hero bucket list.
CBR News: In “Fallout,” Ronnie and Prof. Stein left Central City to learn about their abilities. In what ways do you feel they had a better handle on their powers when you returned to deal with Reverse-Flash?
Robbie Amell: In the finale, you were going to see a scene where Caitlin and I are talking. I tell her, we do have a better handle on our powers, [and] I show her a new trick. They introduced matter manipulation in the finale — but the finale was also thirty minutes too long, because it’s such a huge, incredible episode, [the scene] was one of the things that could go. You won’t see it, but originally I turn a thermometer into a flower for her. It was a very sweet scene that showed some matter manipulation. Maybe they will release it on the DVD/Blu-ray set.
While we were away, we’ve just become more comfortable with our abilities. At the end of the other episode, when we flew away, as long as we accepted the transformation and we were both on board, it went a lot smoother. In the finale, there was going to be a scene when we turn into Firestorm. We literally step towards each other and turn into him. There isn’t any difficulty. And, now, we get to do matter manipulation — but nobody gets to see it yet.
You and your cousin, Stephen Amell, have been aching to work together. How much fun was it, finally sharing some screen time as Firestorm and Arrow?
It was a blast. It was too short-lived in my opinion. It was something they had told me about midway through the season. Andrew [Kreisberg] and Greg [Berlanti] called me and were like, “We’re working on it. We’re going to figure out how.” Then, of course, they told Stephen first. I saw him at a convention and he was like, “Oh yeah. By the way, this is happening. Blah, blah, blah.” He’s the one who had to break it to me. It was a really special moment. Last year, we got to share Amell Wednesdays for “Arrow” and “The Tomorrow People.” It was such an incredible experience. It’s rare for two friends to be sharing a night, let alone two family members. Getting to be on the same show, teaming up for a big showdown, was something I’ll never forget.
How epic did it feel to have Flash, Arrow and Firestorm together? Was there a bit of a Justice League vibe happening?
It was fucking awesome. The only shitty thing was, the paparazzi got pictures of it. We were doing a night shoot out front of S.T.A.R. Labs. The paparazzi walk around the corner and snap photos. Grant [Gustin] goes, “Really? We couldn’t have done anything about this?” Word got back to Berlanti. It was a Friday night. By the time Saturday morning rolled around, all those pictures were online. So, they cut together as fast as they could some professional images and quick little video clips. It looks cooler when they’ve added their visual effects rather than just some paparazzi shots.
It definitely felt huge. “Flash” is such an unbelievable show, and “Arrow” is so special. “Arrow” is the “Iron Man.” It started everything and to be a part of both of those, it felt like our mini-Avengers. Our mini-Justice League. I think we were a few team members short.
Firestorm was in the air quite a bit that episode. What were some of the wirework challenges this time around?
There weren’t that many. A lot of it is a digital double. Anytime I’m flying over the city, it’s a digital double. Anytime I’m at a semi-reasonable height over the ground, it’s going to be me. They will lift me about 30 feet off the ground in a harness. It’s a decelerator — it starts off dropping at full speed of my body weight and gravity. Then, it slows down as I get close to the ground, close enough that it looks like I’m hitting the breaks with my fire.
In tonight’s finale, what does the Ronnie/Caitlin reunion look like?
It’s nice. I haven’t got to play Ronnie much on this show. For the first few episodes, it was this schizophrenic guy who was going through a lot of problems. Then I got to play a little bit of Ronnie, and then I was mostly Firestorm, dealing with Stein. It’s good to be back on the show and getting to spend some time with Danielle, who plays Caitlin, and is so fantastic. And, maybe there are some wedding bells in the finale.
Not only that, but — all I can tell you is, not everyone walks away from the finale. I was reading the script on the airplane, and I started to get teared-up. There are some really great father/son moments with Barry and Joe [Jesse L. Martin], and Barry and his real father. This is really Grant’s episode, and he carries it so unbelievably well.
At one point in the teaser trailer, Stein warns, “One different decision, no matter how big or small, impacts everything that follows. Nothing would be as it is today.” What kind of consequence does Barry’s time travel trip have on Ronnie?
I can’t say anything about that. It has consequences for everyone.
Dr. Wells still poses a threat in the present. How much action do we see from Firestorm?
I don’t turn into Firestorm once in this episode. The only time I was going to turn into him was to do the matter manipulation.
As far as my character goes, it’s really a Ronnie/Caitlin episode, which was nice. It’s Flash versus Reverse-Flash. You have your hero and your villain going at each other one-on-one.
The “Legends of Tomorrow” promo features Firestorm and Prof. Stein, but Ronnie is notably absent. How much of that is explained in “The Flash” finale as opposed to the series?
You think more would be explained in the finale, but it’s not. I can’t tell you anything about “Legends of Tomorrow” other than it’s going to be incredible. I can tell you that I will be in Season Two of “The Flash.”
On top of “The Flash,” you have currently been filming “Nine Lives” in Montreal. How is the humor different than your recent movie, “The Duff?”
It’s way different. One of the biggest differences is, I’m playing the straight man in “Nine Lives.” A lot of the humor comes from Kevin Spacey being a cat, and just the situational humor. I’m playing a guy who is probably going through some heavier problems for a comedy.
Shooting it has been an absolute blast so far. Barry Sonnenfeld, who directed “Get Shorty,” which was one of my favorite movies, and the “Men in Black” trilogy, is an absolute genius. Kevin Spacey is the most intimidating, smartest man in the room, but he couldn’t be a nicer guy. Jennifer Garner has been amazing. It’s been special so far, and we’re only on week three.
One of the biggest helpers coming from “Flash” is all the green screen work. Because we are shooting these big rooftop scenes where we can’t actually shoot on a rooftop, we have these huge soundstages, covered in green screen. It’s nice coming from the sci-fi background.
You’ve expressed a desire to do action movies. Is there a particular franchise you would like to be a part of?
How much time do you have? I love being of the DC Universe on television. I would obviously love to do a DC or Marvel movie. Of course, it would be tough because I’m already playing a superhero, [but] history paints a different picture with Chris Evans playing Johnny Storm and Captain America. It would be nice to do something like that.
There are other amazing franchises out there. Anything Tom Cruise has done — in the past, I’ve loved his action movies that don’t take themselves too seriously. I grew up on “Power Rangers” and “Dragon Ball Z.” I’m a giant kid. Anything like that would be a dream come true.
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