THE FLASH PaleyFest Interview: Grant Gustin, Andrew Kreisberg, and More

     March 15, 2015

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For over three decades, PaleyFest has held panel sessions that connect the worldwide community of television fans with the casts and creators of their favorite TV shows. One of the dramas celebrated at this year’s festival was the hit CW series The Flash, and Collider was there to get the scoop on what’s to come for the rest of this season.

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Image via The CW

We’ve compiled a list of 15 things to know about what’s still to come on The Flash, and have also included our exclusive interviews from the red carpet. Be aware that there are some spoilers.

  • Barry Allen will be trying to find out what’s going on with Harrison Wells, who the Reverse Flash really is and why he did what he did, all while keeping the city safe.
  • You’ll get the answers to what happened in Episode 9, and how you were able to see what you saw, very soon, including how it seemed as though Reverse Flash was fighting himself inside that force field.
  • Fans will be very surprised by Eddie Thawne’s arc, over the rest of the season, as things unravel and come to fruition. He knows about the meta-humans now, but still doesn’t know about Barry Allen.
  • Jesse L. Martin loves playing Detective West because he gets to do so much on this show, including actually coming face-to-face with Grodd.
  • Iris West is the Lois Lane of The Flash, not knowing that Barry Allen is The Flash. When she finds out that Barry and her father have been lying to her, there’s going to be a huge sense of betrayal that will change everything.
  • The best versions of the meta-humans have a kernel based in real science. They just try to follow the rules that they establish for themselves, especially with the upcoming time travel episodes.
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    Image via CW

    There are ramifications of time travel, and there is concern that, if certain events change in the past, it will affect who everyone is and what their relationships are with each other. If the past changes, the present could change, as well.

  • They will hint at where Iris’ mother is this season, but they’ll deal with it more directly in subsequent seasons. There is an upcoming episode with a scene where Wells and West discussing that.
  • This first season is focused on Barry Allen. Whether Killer Frost and Vibe are down the line, at any point, that’s not the focus, right now.
  • Someone has been feeding and tending to the meta-humans kept at S.T.A.R. Labs, and you’ll see how that’s been handling in an upcoming episode. They’ll deal with the moral ramifications of these people being judge and jury of the meta-humans before the end of the year.
  • They are currently writing the finale for The Flash, and a lot of the threads coming together are things they decided on when writing the pilot.
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    Image via CW

    Grant Gustin would like to sing on the show again, if they can find a way to justify it without doing a musical episode.

  • EP Andrew Kreisberg says that there is a fairly big Flash storyline from the comics that they’re going to tackle, in the future.
  • They don’t live and die by Easter eggs, but as fans themselves, they love to include them in the show.
  • EP Greg Berlanti says that the hope is to introduce characters, like Wally West or Bart Allen. Since they’ve already been picked up for Season 2, he thinks it could happen next year. But they currently have no plans for Martian Manhunter, at present.

Collider: Have you finished breaking the seasons for both The Flash and Arrow?

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Image via Paley Center for Media

ANDREW KREISBERG: We’re breaking the finales of both shows, right now. We’re getting towards the endgame. We’ve already started doing some of our planning for next year, too, which is what we start to do, around this time of year.

How do you feel about where both shows are ending this season, and did they really stay on track from what you thought they would be, at the beginning?

KREISBERG: We’re very big planners. We always leave room for improvisation and inspiration, but for the most part, we mapped out the seasons, on both shows, for every season that we’ve done. We don’t believe in throwing everything up into the air and figuring it out, as we go. So, things are ending exactly where we thought they were.

How much does what the fans say online actually influence anything with the shows?

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Image via Paley Center for Media

KREISBERG: We really don’t pay that much attention to what people say online. The truth is there are things that we had in the planning stages that, when they come to fruition, people on Twitter go, “Oh, they finally listened to us!” But for the most part, we’re captains of our own fate. We decide for ourselves what we like and what interests us, for the characters and for where we want to see them go. Hopefully, everybody goes along for the ride.

What did you learn from this first season of The Flash that you think will really help with Season 2?

KREISBERG: I don’t know. With Arrow, it took us a lot longer to figure out what the show was, and what a paradigm episode of Arrow looked like. I feel like we got onto The Flash a little faster. I think the biggest learning curve was with the effects, and figuring out what we could do, what we could do well, and what we could do for cost. All of Season 1 was [a test] for Season 2, so that Season 2 can be even bigger, visually.

There have been some great team-ups on the cross-over episodes. Is there anyone you haven’t gotten to pair up yet that you’d love to see interact?

KREISBERG: Well, I really did want to see Detective Lance and Detective West together, which we’re actually doing in an upcoming episode. That’s been really fun. Every time we cross the shows over, it just feels like that feeling you get when you read a comic book where you’re like, “Oh, Batgirl is hanging out with Supergirl.” It’s so much fun to see people together. Anytime we can think of anything, it’s always fun. 

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Image via Paley Center for Media

Grant and Candice, Barry Allen made a declaration of his feelings to Iris that she’s been stewing in for a bit now. Would you, personally, like to see something romantic develop between them, or do you like playing with the anticipation more?

GRANT GUSTIN: I don’t know. A lot of people like the slow burn to the relationships on TV, and in some ways, it’s necessary so that there’s time to deal with the other plotlines, but it can also start to get painful. There are going to be a lot of dynamics for that relationship. It’s going in a fun direction, when we come back. Barry will start to learn more of the exact truth about how Iris feels. But time travel is also being incorporated, so a whole day that takes place on the show, it’s as if it didn’t happen. That’s going to be a big factor for the rest of the season, after this next episode. 

CANDICE PATTON: I enjoy the anticipation of it, just from an audience standpoint. You can’t give it away too soon, or you really don’t have a show. But overall, I would like to see them end up together, in some capacity, because they are such an iconic comic book couple that there’s gotta be a pay-off there for fans.

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Image via Paley Center for Media

Grant, have you been rooting for Iris to find out Barry’s secret?

GUSTIN: I went into the season, wanting most people to know. I think that does get old, even faster than a slow burn relationship. It’s hard to do that schticky, “You don’t know it’s me” thing, especially when you’re face to face in scenes. At some point, she’d put two and two together. So, I was hoping that she would eventually find out, and she will, before the season is over. That changes things.

Candice, how much fun is it to more deeply explore the investigative side of Iris?

PATTON: It gives Iris something to do, other than just being a love interest, and that’s who she is in the comic books. She’s much more than just a love interest. In her own way, she is helping to save the city that she loves. Maybe it’s not working at S.T.A.R. Labs, and maybe it’s not working at the police department, but she has her own way of contributing to figuring out what’s going on in her city. 

If she does figure out what’s going on and uncovers some of those secrets, will she be reluctant to tell Barry, or will she want him to know?

PATTON: Big mouth Iris? No. I think she’s one of those girls who says it like it is. So, anything she finds out, she will confront people with, immediately. 

Danielle, Caitlin Snow has really opened up, since we first met her. How have you enjoyed playing her journey, so far this season?

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Image via Paley Center for Media

DANIELLE PANABAKER: It’s been great. Caitlin started off the season very dark, very sad and a little more closed off. It’s been very fun to get to see her open up and really share her heart with Cisco and Barry and Dr. Wells. 

Now that she’s found Ronnie, she’s also been able to get some closure with that relationship, in a way that she couldn’t before.

PANABAKER: That’s true, yes. Obviously, she’s sad because they can’t be together, but it’s a different kind of sad. She knows that he’s out there. The timing just isn’t right. 

There’s been a really fun chemistry between Barry Allen and Caitlin. Would you like to explore that more deeply?

PANABAKER: I think life is long and they clearly have a chemistry together. We’ll see where it goes. They have a lot to explore. They’re co-workers. That can get a little sticky. So, we’ll see what happens. 

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Image via Paley Center for Media

GUSTIN: I love Danielle Panabaker, and working with Danielle Panabaker. She’s the best. I love that storyline. The karaoke scene was one of my favorite scenes to shoot, and one of the funniest things that’s been on the show. That’s really fun, and I hope we do more of that, in the future. But things really do buckle down, in the later half of the season, and get really serious. They interact plenty, but there’s less of that fun separate storyline stuff. 

Caitlin has had some great moments with both Felicity and Iris. Are you hoping for some more girl time?

PANABAKER: Absolutely! On the one hand, it’s nice being the only girl in S.T.A.R. Labs. I get to boss them around a little bit. But on the other hand, I love it when Felicity comes to town. There was a moment that I actually thing got cut from the cross-overs, where Caitlin says, “It’s so nice to have another woman to talk to!” And it is. It’s great. It’s nice to have that energy. I would love to see more of that. 

Candice, we know that there’s a long history between Barry and Iris, since they grew up together, but we haven’t gotten to see any of that history yet. Will we get any of Iris’ past, at some point?

PATTON: I think so. It won’t happen so much this season, but we are in talks to deal with some of those questions for Season 2, for sure. 

Grant, which storyline are you looking the most forward to seeing the resolution of, what really happened to Barry’s mother, freeing his father or who Dr. Wells really is?

GUSTIN: I don’t know. It’s all connected. When you find information out about one thing, you find information out about all things. All of that will conclude before this season has ended. 

The Flash airs on Tuesday nights on The CW.

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