Barry Allen may never look at mirrors the same way again after tonight's episode of "The Flash."
"The New Rogues" introduces the Mirror Master, played by Grey Damon, as the latest metahuman to wreak havoc in Central City. As his name suggests, the supervillain relies on mirrors and reflective surfaces to travel between destinations, or trap adversaries in an alternate mirror realm. And when Mirror Master and his girlfriend, the Top, embark on a crime spree, it will take the combined might of the Flash and Jesse Quick to put a stop to this terrible twosome.
Ahead of his series debut, Damon spoke with CBR about redefining the classic DC Comics villain, his character's falling out with Captain Cold, updating the Rogue's costume, and why he believes the Flash might have finally met his match.
CBR: How well versed were you with the Flash and his legacy? Are you a superhero guy?
Grey Damon: Flash was my guy in terms of superheroes. I always made that a goal early on in my career, that I would play some sort of superhero, and Flash was the one I had my sights on. Strangely enough, as time went on and I aged and matured a bit, I enjoyed playing the villains more. This worked out the way it did. I never saw it happening this way. It is cool to be a part of "The Flash" since that was something I was always aiming for.
During filming, I was trying these nuances and ideas for the character. A few days into filming, I got a little anxious. "Maybe I'm pushing this too far and not giving them what they want." I know it's a character they were excited about, so I hit them up and was like, "Guys, am I doing this justice?" They seemed pleased by it, but I guess we'll see.
There have been several incarnations of the Mirror Master in comics, television and cartoons. What research did you do for the part, and how did it influence your performance?
Obviously, there was David Cassidy in the original live-action "Flash" series. That was somebody I looked at because it's always good to go back to the original. I went to comic book stores in Vancouver, and back here in Los Angeles. When I would go to them to do research, the owners had seen in the news that I had booked Mirror Master. They were nice enough to let me look at the old school comic books, the originals. Most comic book store owners have one or two versions of the original Mirror Masters because they are collectors. I did a lot of googling. I watched everything from the "Super Friends" version back in the '60s onwards.
What was your reaction to Mirror Master's colorful comic-book costume and "The Flash" updates it?
So far, I'm in this shiny suit to sort of hint at where we can go with this. You never know how the costume is going to translate. I don't know what they are going to give me. There were talks about me discovering my costume in the show, but right now, my suit hints at it. I have been begging them to give me a real throwback costume. In this world, in this universe, they like to touch on realism as much as they can. They are keeping all the characters believable. I don't know what they will do with my guy yet. I'll get a suit if it makes sense. I think they are careful about that, but I don't think they will keep me in a really nice clothes for long.
Educate viewers on who your Mirror Master is and what brings him into conflict with the Flash in this episode?
Mirror Master is Sam Scudder. He's a really smart guy. The truth is he doesn't have a well-defined past. From the information I could dig up, we don't know a whole lot about Sam Scudder. He's this low-key bank robber and then he gets stuck in this mirror world by accident. There are a variety of versions of Mirror Master. The original one gets stuck in a mirror world by messing with mirrors while stick in prison. He accidentally opens up this mirror realm and develops these powers. Later in the comics, we discover he gets stuck there and he wants to break out.
Our guy may get stuck in the mirror world, but, right now, we realize that when the thing that gave everyone their abilities in "The Flash" exploded, I got a little blow back from that and developed my abilities. I do get stuck in a mirror for a while. Some Average Joe cleaning up the warehouse lets me out by accident.
In terms of why the Flash and I are in conflict, basically our Sam Scudder is always trying to get whatever he thinks he deserves. His life has always been hard to him. Snart (Captain Cold), who is my former business partner, kind of screws me over. In a way, I screw him over, too. Basically, there's always someone standing in the way of either my love life or me trying to make some money, or, in my own eyes, making an honest living. After Snart is out of the picture, Barry Allen comes in and messes things up for me. It doesn't ever work out for this guy, so this is why he becomes such a formidable villain for the Flash. He's getting all boiled up underneath and getting pushed too far. There's always someone getting in the way.
The reason I bring that up is because I wanted to base him off of Narcissus from Greek mythology. With mirrors and everything, Scudder has been a bit of a narcissist. In the old tale, Narcissus' mother was told by the blind seer that Narcissus would have a long life providing he never recognized himself. Then he falls in love with his own reflection. I didn't make Scudder like that, but we had discussions about his vanity. People with this sort of vanity or narcissism tend not to know themselves very well. That was something interesting to pull from.
Flash has bested every Rogue he's faced to date. What makes Mirror Master such a badass challenge for the hero?
In terms of going against Barry Allen, Scudder is kind of untouchable. He's as fast as the Flash, and you'll see what I mean by that. In the Mirror World, he can't be touched. He can now go to and fro after being released. He's a hard villain to catch. He can transfer himself into any kind of reflection. He can move as fast or slow as he wants via this Mirror World. That is the ultimate villain, especially now that we've gone this meta-route. He doesn't need a gun that can just be taken away from him.
With the Top, they are this unstoppable force. The Barry Allen Team really have to use their intellect to figure out, "Crap. How do we get this guy? He's untouchable." In many ways, Scudder has felt like he can never obtain the things he wants. Now, he has this ability to always be reflection-length from people.
At the same time, Scudder can create holograms. He can project force fields. He has all sorts of abilities we haven't even scratched the surface of yet. In this episode, we are going to see how dangerous he really is by putting Barry in very compromising situations.
In the teaser trailer, Mirror Master shoves the Flash into a mirror and traps him behind the glass. How do they pull those visual tricks off on set? Is it all done in post or were there props?
We had this amazing visual effects team where we would sometimes film two mirrors. We would film one mirror that was an actual mirror. Then we would take the mirror away and just have the frame of the mirror. They would switch those images around and do a screen swipe. They basically film two versions and they just move the camera in a specific way, so that it's not seeing certain things. With the other version, they swipe it along through the shot. In the end, we have these two versions, so that there's always this mirror version that we need to use. The second one is this vacant image we can use when we want to throw a guy in a mirror or travel through the mirror. It took a while to do, but I was blown away from some of the things we did in just one day.
The Flash's Rogues frequently recur. It's not one appearance and they permanently disappear. Is that your sense for Mirror Master as well? What kind of conversations did you have with the producers about more Mirror Master?
We talked about Mirror Master coming back. Everybody loves the Rogues and I hope everybody loves Mirror Master. I hope he can fit into that team. In the television world, things can work out. At other times, it's, "We couldn't fit it in." I don't know how far we would get with all the Rogues teaming up. From my understanding, they really want the Mirror Master to be a recurring guy, but, honestly, you just never know.
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.