On the next episode of The CW series The Flash, called “Trajectory,” Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) and the team head out for a night on the town to blow off some steam, only to encounter an unexpected speedster (Allison Paige) who is up to no good. When this new speedster, known as Trajectory, starts causing trouble in Central City, naturally Barry is the one who gets blamed for her actions.
During this exclusive phone interview with Collider, actress Allison Paige talked about why Trajectory was such a fun character to play, thinking that she was coming in to play a scientist before she was told just what the role was, how excited her five-year-old nephew is about her playing a superhero, getting to make the character her own, playing rival to The Flash, how welcoming the cast was, and why she enjoys the stunts and special effects.
Collider: This looks like it much be such a fun role to play. How did you come to The Flash? Did you go through a top secret auditioning process?
ALLISON PAIGE: Trajectory is the most fun, and I had so much fun with all of her sass and attitude. If you ask my mother, that’s just me being me. But my agency got me the audition, and then I read for David Rapaport, who is one of the nicest, most amazing humans that I have met. I just thought I was coming in to play a scientist, and I had very little backstory. When I got the role, I was like, “Oh, yeah, I get to have superpowers! That’s bad-ass!”
With as successful as comic book and superhero TV shows and movies are now, who in your life is most excited about you getting to play this character?
PAIGE: My five-year-old nephew and godson Max. When I sent him the first picture of me in the suit, he couldn’t comprehend that it was me. He was so excited because he’s at that age where Spider-Man is his favorite. He loves Captain America, and all fo the superheroes. So, when he got to see his auntie be a superhero, he lost his shit. He couldn’t handle it.
What did you do to prepare for this role? Did they give you comics to help you, or was it more about discovering who this version of the character would be?
PAIGE: I definitely did my research on Trajectory, as far as the comic book version. But the thing I love about The Flash, and the creators and writers, is that they are not afraid to take characters and put their own spin on them, change things, and insert them into worlds they don’t necessarily come from. By doing that, that gave me the confidence and freedom to make Trajectory my own. (Episode director) Glen [Winter] and the writers were all very encouraging and said, “Go and make Trajectory your own.” I obviously knew her motivations and what they wanted from her, but I had a lot of freedom to craft my version of Trajectory, which was super fun.
How cool is it to get to be the first female speedster on the show, and to be a bit of a rival for The Flash?
PAIGE: It was such an honor. I was so excited to be the first female speedster, and also to be a little bit of a challenge for Barry. Superheroes are mainly dudes. Female superheroes shows and movies are popping up more, and I love that. Being a female, we are strong, we can kick ass, and we can hang with the boys. So, I love that these female superheroes are getting more attention and getting more content highlighting them. To be one is awesome!
How nerve-wracking is it to come onto a show like this, that’s already established and where the cast is like a family? Did they do anything to welcome you and make you feel more at home?
PAIGE: Being an actor, when you show up on any show that has been going on for a long time, there is that sense of, “Oh, god, I really hope everybody is nice.” Every single cast member greeted me with a hug. They could not have been more amazing and nice. They made me feel so comfortable, and they did not have any sort of ego. They treated me as if I had been working with them, the entire time. Everyone is so goofy and silly, so there’s no tension or awkwardness. It’s the most fun set and the most amazing cast. They’re just so great!
What was it like, the first time you got to see yourself in the costume and mask, with the whole look?
PAIGE: That was the cherry on the cake for me. You do your prep, as an actor, and you do all of your character work, your background and your story. But, there’s something about putting on that suit that just dropped me in. I was Trajectory. I felt like I could kick ass. I just felt awesome and confident. It was really the last piece of the puzzle for Trajectory, for me.
What can you say about what brings her into the path of The Flash?
PAIGE: All I can really reveal, at this moment, is that my connection with the rest of the team is through my relationship with Caitlin.
What is driving her desire for speed and destruction? Does she have a motive for her actions?
PAIGE: She does have a motive. But what people think is her motive right now, you may come to find that it’s a little bit deeper than how it looks on the surface.
What does Trajectory think of The Flash? Do you think she admires and respects him, or does she think he’s wasting his abilities?
PAIGE: She definitely admires his speed. It’s clearly something that she wants, and now that she has it, she finds him a bit in her way. Even though it’s nice for him to take some of the blame for her actions, I would definitely say there are moments when she’s like, “Come on, let me do my thing! You’re ruining this for me! Get out of here!”
In playing this character, was there anything specific you wanted to do with your physicality and how she carries herself?
PAIGE: For sure. Your chest pops up a bit more [when you put on the suit], and you’re like, “I’m here, and I’m bad-ass.” Trajectory has a lot of sass and attitude, and she likes to bust people’s balls. Being from Pittsburgh, I can relate to that, and I love that element of her.
Is it more fun to get to play a troublemaker versus being the hero? Is it more enjoyable to play a character that doesn’t necessarily have the same moral compass that a hero has to have?
PAIGE: 100%. I love playing roles that stir up trouble. I love being the bad guy and causing a ruckus. I love it. It’s super fun.
Will we get glimpses into who this girl is under the mask?
PAIGE: Yeah, you will definitely get to see that side, for sure. It will help you understand Trajectory deeper, by seeing that.
Do you enjoy getting to do the type of stunts and physical work that comes with a role like this?
PAIGE: I love it! I’ve danced, my whole life. I was a ballerina. So, I love the choreographed, technical side of it. It’s definitely the hardest acting job I’ve done, to date, because of the technicality. You show up on set and Glen [Winter] throws out all of these technical notes and you have to hit them. You have to remember each angle, each beat and each note he gives you, while also saying what you need to say and portraying what you need to portray in that scene. It was super challenging, but an amazing learning experience for me. I loved it! I was like, “Can I do that stunt? What is that guy doing? Can I do that?” And they were like, “No!”
Do you also enjoy dealing with special effects and working with things that aren’t really there, or is it challenging not to look awkward doing stuff like that?
PAIGE: I love it. I feel like I’ve been doing this long enough that it no longer feels awkward. I am an actor and I became an actor to live in a fantasy world and play make believe and live a person’s life that is not my own, so I love it. That’s the fun and the challenge of being an actor.
What was the most fun thing about getting to play this character, and what was the biggest challenge in bringing her to life?
PAIGE: The most fun was being a superhero. How many people get to say, “I got to be a superhero in my career”? Superheroes are so iconic, they’ve been around for forever, and they have an amazing fan case. So, to be a part of this Flash/comics/DC world has been so fun and such an honor. And I would say that the most challenging thing would be all the technical stuff. It was acting and being simple and real, with all of the superhero technicality, and keeping it strong and purposeful.
The Flash airs on Tuesday nights on The CW.