In the next episode of The CW series The Flash, called “Fast Lane,” Iris (Candice Patton) is concerned for Wally’s (Keiynan Lonsdale) safety, after finding out about his drag racing hobby. When he refuses to stop, she makes a bold move that puts her in danger, bringing Wally face-to-face with The Flash (Grant Gustin).
During this exclusive phone interview with Collider, actor Keiynan Lonsdale talked about how excited he is to be a part of The Flash, that his brothers are big fans of the show, getting to meet the cast, feeling an immediate connection with Candice Patton, Wally’s emotional struggle, why there could soon be a positive change among the Wests, getting to interact with The Flash and work with Grant Gustin in costume, and how he can’t wait to see what the Kid Flash costume design will look like.
Collider: Congrats on joining the show! You must be having so much fun playing Wally West.
KEIYNAN LONSDALE: Yeah, definitely! I had auditioned a really long time ago, so I was really ready to get to work and start the adventure.
When you were auditioning for the show, did you know, from the beginning, which role you were auditioning for, or was it all very top secret?
LONSDALE: I knew that it was for Wally West, or Kid Flash, but on the sides that I was given, it was a different name. But, what I didn’t know was that I would be Joe’s son and Iris’ brother. I wasn’t aware of that. That was kept a secret from me, which was exciting. It was a cool audition process because I originally auditioned for Legends of Tomorrow. That’s how it all came about.
Was it helpful to get to do a final audition with Candice Patton to see if you guys had an immediate connection with each other?
LONSDALE: Yeah, it was really cool. I had been watching Season 1, at the time, so I had been seeing her on my screen. And then, I got to the audition and she was there, bringing out the tears. It was all very intimidating, but I definitely felt a connection. I felt like we could be family. It was great that she was the first person out of the cast that I got to meet ‘cause that definitely made it feel familiar when we got to work together.
With as popular as comic book and superhero TV shows and movies are right now, who in your own life was most excited about you joining the DC universe as this character?
LONSDALE: Me! My brothers back home get really passionate about it. This is their favorite show. I have a lot of brothers and three or four of them love The Flash. One of my brothers, the other day, was like, “Hey, man, hope you’re doing well. It’s so cool that you’re on my favorite TV show. But if you ever talk to Joe West like that again, I’ll have to sort you out.”
What was the first day on set like for you? Were you very intimidated about joining a show like this, or did everybody really embrace you being there?
LONSDALE: I was, for sure, intimidated by it. But as soon as I got there, everyone seemed really excited to have me on board. It was very personable, and there was a good welcome from the cast and crew. Maybe it’s because the crew is Canadian that everyone was so kind. I’d heard really good things about the cast, so when I got there and met everyone, it was wonderful.
What can you say about this next episode, “Fast Lane,” and where things are at for Wally West right now?
LONSDALE: You’re going to see Wally struggling with the fact that Francine just passed away. He’s still not wanting to let down his guard, which puts up a big wall between him and Iris and Joe. And then, you’ll also get to see more of the drag racing, which I think people will enjoy. And finally, Wally interacts with The Flash, which is super awesome.
What do you think it will take for the Wests to make some positive progress towards mending fences and establishing a relationship together?
LONSDALE: I actually think this episode will do a lot to facilitate that change. They’re going to go through a lot together, as a family, in this episode. That should definitely have a big effect on how Wally feels about them. Hopefully, he’ll be able to accept them the way that they accept him. That’s how it is with family. You have to go through tough experiences and go through some battles, in order to be stronger together.
We’ve seen Wally be pretty secretive and closed off about his life and the fact that he has this pretty dangerous hobby of street racing. Is he proud of being a street racer, or is it something he’s done just because he has to do it?
LONSDALE: He’s definitely proud of the fact that he’s a street racer. He loves it, and he’s not cool with having people tell him what to do, especially people who have just come into his life. He doesn’t feel that Iris, especially, has the right to try to control him.
What’s it like to shoot scenes with Grant Gustin, when he’s dressed up in the full Flash costume? Is that always a pinch-me moment?
LONSDALE: Totally! You definitely feel like you’re on the show, at that point, and that you’re creating a comic book world and bringing it to life. It’s also interesting watching Grant because he transforms when that suit is on him. Other times, it’s just funny. It makes a good laugh when he has the suit on because anything you say while the suit is on is hilarious. So, it’s entertaining, either way.
That must make you want to get into a costume yourself.
LONSDALE: Yeah! The first time I saw him in it, I was just like, “I wonder what Wally costume is going to be like.” I’m waiting to see what the design will be. Hopefully, I’ll get to find out soon!
The Flash airs on Tuesday nights on The CW.