Candice Patton Says "The Flash's" Iris West is No Damsel In Distress

Iris West may not have super-speed like the Flash, but actress Candice Patton says that won't keep her character from racing straight into the action.

During a presentation of the pilot for "The Flash" at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills, Patton told CBR News exclusively that the TV incarnation of Iris will by no means be in need of constant rescue from her costumed ally.

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As a crusading blogger, Patton says, Iris will be doing her part to unravel the mysteries behind the rise of dangerous metahuman criminals in Central City -- and the actress will be carefully navigating the delicate relationship between Iris and her longtime best friend Barry Allen (Grant Gustin).

CBR News: Now that the show is really underway, tell me about building that will they/won't they rapport between Iris and Barry with Grant as your scene partner -- striking sparks but not going too far too soon.

Candice Patton: It's definitely a fine balance, and we're playing with it in every episode. And what we really want is to establish the long-term relationship that has been there with Barry and Iris, which is that they're kind of brother and sister and they're best friends before any kind of romantic thing could occur, right? So we really just want the family bond to be there, and I think you see that in every episode.

And how about building a relationship with your TV dad, Jesse L. Martin?

Yeah, it's great. The thing is our cast, really and honestly, we hang out with each other when we're not working, so it makes it that much easier to go to set and play those family relationships. With Jesse, it's easy. It's so easy.

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We know the old fashioned type of hero's girlfriend -- tell me how Iris is not the damsel in distress, especially as she's been evolving in the first several episodes.

Yeah -- what I'm really learning and loving about Iris is she's super-smart, she's super-curious and she's very brave. And those are things that I love in women, and those are things that I strive to be myself, so it's really fun to play that with Iris. Our writers are striving for that with every episode with her, that she's not stupid and she's not naïve -- she's the opposite of all of those things.

So you get your share of the action? Not just romantic subplots, but you're front and center in the action storylines as well?

Yeah, that's the thing about Iris -- she's super-curious, right? So she's always on her blog and she's always connecting with other people in the city to find out who these meta-humans are and who "the streak" is, so she's constantly willing to put herself in danger. She causes conflict with Barry and her father, but, you know, when a woman wants something... [Laughs]

And what's been fun about playing scenes with your perfect TV boyfriend Eddie Thawne?

Aw, he's so great! Rick Cosnett, he's great and he's killing it, and I think there'll be more and more for him. I'm excited to see that.

And he might not really be Mr. Perfect, based on his last name. Have you looked into that aspect of the character's background?

I really like being surprised! I like reading every episode and figuring it out with everyone else. So we'll see!

"The Flash" debuts October 7 on The CW.

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