The Flash [Grant Gustin] typically finds himself facing off with one supervillain, occasionally two, but three at once is a true rarity. But when Weather Wizard springs Captain Cold [Wentworth Miller] and Trickster [Mark Hamill] from Iron Heights in order to dish out some payback to the speedster, the fastest man alive may finally find himself falling a half-step behind. Could sheer numbers and villainous teamwork prove to be ruin Flash's Christmas?
Leading the charge is Liam McIntyre's Mark Mardon, aka the Weather Wizard. Best known for the titular role in "Spartacus: Blood and Sand," this is the Aussie actor's fourth crack at the weather-controlling baddie. Ahead of tonight's episode, CBR Spoke with him about the evolution of the meteorological metahuman, storming Central City while developing the initial family of Rogues, and sharing screen time with "Star Wars" legend Mark Hamill.
CBR News: What was your take on the character when he debuted in Season 1, and how has it evolved since then?
Liam McIntyre: It's been interesting. I'm really glad Andrew Kreisberg and Greg Berlanti have gone this way with the character. You read the comic books, and you get into a lot of who he is and a lot of the iterations of the Rogues and his character. He's pretty much a psychopath who kills his own brother to get his special invention and give himself powers. Whereas in this one, they've gone a different way where he's a metahuman and he's acting more out of revenge and out of a family crisis. As an actor, going into a character, that's really cool and gives you a bit more to play with.
When you're a villain, it's very easy to be a dislikable, moustache-twirling villain. My favorite villains, and they did this on "Spartacus," because the actors and the writers do this really well, was create villains that you can't hate. You're like, "I get why he is doing it." You're kind of on board, on some level, even if they're doing stuff to your favorite character that you're not really a fan of. It's been a cool journey, finding out who the Weather Wizard, or Mark Mardon, is, because I don't think he's fully embraced he's the Weather Wizard -- not yet, anyway.
He starts off with this pure vendetta against Joe. Then they switch timelines on you and, suddenly, all you know is, the Flash has turned up out of nowhere to thwart your plans for no reason because you haven't done anything yet. Your agenda shifts, and the Flash becomes Target Number One. This episode is more of a culmination of half a season of plotting how he's going to get back at the Flash for wreking a day.
We haven't seen Mark in a while. What makes now the right time to storm Central City and strike at the Flash?
Mark has been keeping track of the Flash. Mark is no slouch. My favorite part of this episode is, it's like the formative, early years of the Rogues. You get to see some of the power struggles and the challenges they go through this early, when they try and bring a few of the key members together. He's been watching the Flash, the reports, and doing his own little surveillance because Mark has been on the run and on the loose for a while. He's been seeing the damage that's been done to the Flash with the threat of Zoom. The Flash isn't as strong as he once was.
Mark thinks, with these two other strong characters being in the same place, he can break them out together. Between the genius of Snart (Captain Cold) and the chaotic psychopath that is James Jesse (Trickster), he's going to get a culmination of two other accomplices that will give the Flash truly something he can't handle. You'll kick him while he's down, and this is the right time. He's very careful in his decision to take him now, when the Flash, to him at least, is vulnerable.
As you established, Mark doesn't attack alone. What's the dynamic between the Weather Wizard, Captain Cold and the Trickster?
It's electric. It's already one of my favorite episodes that I've done. I haven't seen it yet, but in filming it, there were so many interesting characters and agendas working off each other. The way it comes together is brilliant. Like I said, it's the formative years of the Rogues, where they are starting to be aware of each other and looking at strengths and weaknesses. The Flash is a formidable opponent, and maybe they aren't equipped to do this on their own, so maybe they should team up in different ways. That's just starting to happen.
You get this situation where Mark, who thinks he's timed it right and has the right plan, storms in, releases everyone and is like, "Alright, this is how it's going to be." Then, of course, he realizes the other Rogues may have different plans. He comes up against, "No, this is how it's going to have to be." It's what I think will define the difficult family of the Rogues as they start to come together more and more for the show. Each one of them is really powerful in their own right, and very confident and arrogant, and it doesn't make for very good teamwork. But they are also aware they need to work together to make stuff happen. You always have this wonderful friction between them, and it's on display from the minute they get together in this episode. There's a constant tension, but there's an attempt to work through it. It's kind of wonderful.
In what ways is Mark better prepared for the Flash than in their previous run-ins?
The thing I like about Mark is, he's a smart character. He's not a one-trick pony. He's not the muscle. He's a strong character who really does use his brain as much as his metahuman powers. He's been studying the Flash. Mark has been studying his powers. It's not that Flash has new abilities, but new facets to his abilities than last time Mark saw him. There's things Flash has done that you had never seen before. The Weather Wizard is cool to play. He's pretty formidable. His powers are pretty formidable. What I like the most about this [episode] is, I finally get to use the wand.
On "Spartacus," the battle sequences were brutal, featuring hand-to-hand combat and swordplay. What have you enjoyed about the showdowns on "The Flash," and what can viewers expect from this one?
It's a totally different experience. The first episode I did of "The Flash," I didn't realize "The Flash" and shows of that ilk could do what they were putting on the page. You read it and you're like, "All this stuff is going to happen? Okay. I hope it looks good." Then, having seen that first episode -- even the lightning I send to Joe West in the police station -- to me, looked so exciting and so well done, even just on a technical level. After that, I'm like, "Well, anything you guys tell me to do, I'm down. That's going to look incredible."
In this episode, I get to do a few new tricks and do some pretty big damage. I have quite a showdown with the Flash, so there are some really exciting effects and powers on display. I think it's going to be quite a spectacle.
I noticed that you sported a "Star Wars" t-shirt at a convention earlier this year. What was it working with Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill? Was it a bit of a pinch-me moment?
Yes! For example -- this is the kind of nerd I am -- yesterday, one of my friends was having a "Star Wars" miniature painting day. I would have gone, but I was filming. Look at me. I'm standing next to my "Star Wars" shoes with Mark Hamill's face on one and Darth Vader's face on the other.
The real trick is not to be embarrassing around Mark Hamill, where you're like, "Hi, you're Mark Hamill. I guess you already know that." It's definitely a pinch-me moment. To be able to work with one of your idols when you were a kid -- in the same month that he gets to be part of the biggest franchise on the world, again -- it's just so exciting. And to meet him and be friends with him and get to know him, and to see just how wonderful he is -- he's truly one of the best people. That's nice to know. They always say, "Be careful meeting your heroes. You never know." Happily Mark Hamill is very much a hero, on screen and off. It's nice to know.