Candice Patton | THE FLASH

PrintE-mail Written by Andrew Pollard

Ever since The CW debuted The Flash, Candice Patton’s Iris West has been one of the most interesting and intriguing characters in the show. A comic book character who actually goes on to become the wife of the Scarlet Speedster, Iris has certainly had an up and down time of it in the two seasons of the TV series to date. With Season 2 of The Flash released on Blu-ray and DVD later this month, we were lucky enough to grab some time with Candice to discuss the progression of Iris over the past two seasons and what lies ahead for her.

STARBURST: Now that you’ve had a second year of playing Iris West, how much more comfortable do you feel in that role now?

Candice Patton: Yeah, there’s something about playing a character for two seasons that helps you relax and it makes it easier to come to work now that you have that under your belt. But the thing about this show is that there’s always multiple arcs, different timelines, and the Speedforce, so I never know what they’re going to throw at me. So that’s also really exciting, being able to play different versions of her.

And the character of Iris has certainly progressed a lot since the first season. Some people maybe saw her as a little whiny and needy in Season 1, but Season 2 saw her more confident and standing up as a prominent member of Team Flash. How has that been for you to play her a little differently in this most recent season?

That’s a personal opinion. I’ve never found her whiny or anything. That’s something that certain fans took issue with. They have a hard time watching women grow on television. They want to see them be perfect from Day 1. We’re very complex individuals, we make mistakes, we struggle to grow up, and I think that’s just all that we’ve been seeing in Iris. There’s been a lot of development in her becoming a stronger woman, so Season 2 is just a display of her kind of slowly coming into her own.

Could that maybe be something that could also be said about watching male characters grow, too?

Sure, yeah. But I can only speak for myself, being a woman and playing a female character. You find often that it’s difficult for people to want to watch women struggle and be a little bit messy.

With you playing a character that has comic book roots, and given how fans can be very precious at times, how have you found it dealing with ever-passionate comic book fans?

Fine. I mean, I don’t really engage in a lot of opinions of other people, but I think overall the experience for all of us on the show has been quite receptive. They’ve responded really well, and I don’t think we’d be going in to our third season if they hated it, so we’ve been really lucky.

You’ve obviously shared a lot of screen time with Jesse L. Martin [The Flash’s Joe West, father of Iris] over the two seasons, but there’s now been a new addition to the West family in the form of Keiynan Lonsdale’s Wally West. How enjoyable was it to have another addition to the family?

Great! Keiynan’s such a great addition to our show. Wally West is such an iconic character in the comics, and so I’m excited to hopefully see the development of that character. Wally has been such a great addition to the West family. I think it’s given Iris another great family member to kind of play off of.

One of the highlights of Season 2 for many fans was the Kevin Smith-directed episode, The Runaway Dinosaur, in which you were given a lot to sink your teeth in to. How was it working with Kevin?

Great. He’s a fan of the Flash comic books and a fan of our show, so any time we can have someone on our show who’s excited and passionate to be there, it makes us passionate and excited. So I think that was extremely evident in the final product that he turned out, that we were all having a really, really good time.

Being so heavily involved with this show now, have you noticed a change in other projects that you’ve been approached for? Have people offered you more Iris-esque roles?

People forget that we’re shooting ten months out of the year, so that leaves very little time to do other things. The projects that I’ve been offered, a lot of them are great. It’s just that with Iris, there’s so little time to do other things. So I’m definitely looking forward to a point in my career when I can expand and do something different. When that opportunity comes, I want to make sure it’s the right project.

Is that almost a sort of double-edged sword to the success of the show? Because it’s so popular, it means that you guys work so hard but have very little time for any other projects…

We’ve only been shooting two seasons, and we’re now going in to our third season, so I’m still in the honeymoon stage of this show, and I think I will be for a very long time. It’s a great place to go to work, we have fun, we’re all challenged and excited for every storyline that we’re given. So for now it doesn’t seem cumbersome to be working ten months a year on the show. I mean, it’s definitely hard work and we get tired, but as of now I’m very happy doing the show and focussing on The Flash. There will be a point where I obviously, as an artist and an actor, that you want to expand and do other things creatively.

By the time Season 2 came to an end, Iris had become a vital cog in the Team Flash machine and had finally hooked-up with Barry. Then everything was thrown up in the air by the very final moments of the season. Where can we expect to find Iris in Season 3, or is that still being kept under wraps for now?

Yeah, we’re all really in the dark for next season. I haven’t seen a script. I know very little. We start in about a month [this interview actually took place back in July], so I assume I’ll be seeing stuff soon. It’ll be interesting to see when and if Barry comes back to the original timeline, how all of his relationships have changed. That’s the thing with time travel. You can’t time travel without changing something. So I think it’ll be fun to figure out what the writers have in store for all of us in terms of the changed dynamic with our relationships with Barry.

From your point of view as an actress, in terms of something to sink your teeth in to, what direction would you like to see the character take?

You know, I’m still hoping to see more from Iris at Central City Picture News, to see her career develop there, and also to see more storylines where she helps Team Flash, in the way that she does kind of in the comic book with Picture News and Iris being such a big part of that. I’m wondering if there’s kind of a way to tie that in to our show.

As a show, The Flash brilliantly balances the huge special effects and the strong core of relationships at its foundations. What’s it like to work with the likes of a Jesse L. Martin or a Grant Gustin on a daily basis? It seems like it’s a really tight group that you guys have there...

Yeah, I’m lucky that most of my work involves Jesse Martin or Grant Gustin – both incredible actors. With Grant being so young, it’s quite incredible to watch him work. For me, especially the scenes with those two actors, it’s incredibly, incredibly simple and easy and a joy to shoot. We’re able to sit down and have the conversation, but we don’t really say too much about it. Again, that’s a testament to their artistry. It just makes my job a billion times easier.

And once The Flash is in your rearview mirror, what’s you dream projects to be doing in the future?

I have a really big heart for independent features. That’s something that I really hope that I can do once The Flash is done. I really want to do some really profound, gritty indie work.

Season 2 of The Flash is available on Blu-ray and DVD from September 12th.


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