‘The Flash’ Star Grant Gustin on the Character and Season One

Grant Gustin The Flash Interview and Playing Barry Allen
Grant Gustin at the 2014 San Diego Comic Con (Photo by Richard Chavez/ShowbizJunkies)

One of the fall’s most anticipated new series is The CW’s The Flash starring Grant Gustin as Barry Allen/The Flash. Gustin was introduced as Barry in Arrow, and fans have gotten behind this new take on the comic book character and are anxiously awaiting the series’ premiere on October 7, 2014.

Gustin joined his fellow The Flash co-stars at the San Diego Comic Con to talk up the show during a packed Q&A with fans. He also took part in roundtable interviews to further discuss what we can expect from his take on The Flash.

Grant Gustin The Flash Interview

Are you comfortable with the character at this point?

Grant Gustin: “I am, actually. It was a little daunting when I got the role. It was a little daunting when I got the audition actually. I was excited to have the opportunity and didn’t… I mean, some things you’re like, ‘I have a really good chance at this,’ and I didn’t necessarily think that about this role. But now that I have it I see why they wanted to go in this direction. It’s kind of a different take on The Flash and I’m definitely starting to feel like I’m in the skin and I’m having a lot of fun. The writing is like they’ve already written in my voice so it’s easy enough to just kind of do it. And it’s just the most fun I’ve ever had, so it’s great.”

Glee was a groundbreaking show in one way and The Flash is introducing a couple of gay characters. How do you feel being involved in a show that’s giving visibility to a group that’s underrepresented in superhero projects?

Grant Gustin: “It’s great. This genre, like you said, it hasn’t really been done with this genre so it’s going to be a whole broader spectrum than Glee can bring in for fans. It’s great. I like being a part of it, so it’s fantastic.”

How much research did you end up doing to get into the character?

Grant Gustin: “I started at the beginning at first. I thought I’d go all the way back and then kind of read [it all]. Then I was like, ‘Wait a second, this is impossible. I can’t do all that.’ So I read some of the old stuff but then once I worked my way toward the new 52 series, I’m pretty much just reading that now because it’s the closest to what we’re kind of doing. But at the same time, what we’re doing has not been done in the comics. It’s a very different Barry Allen. A lot of the characters are very different than they are in the comics, but they have the same heart. I mean, I’ve done plenty of the research but Andrew Kreisberg, Geoff Johns and Greg Berlanti are my research. If I need information, I can just talk to them. I don’t have to try to flip through the comics that relates to the episode we’re doing. I just call and have a conversation with them about it.”

What’s been the biggest challenge?

Grant Gustin: “At first, I thought it was going to be the pressure I was going to get from the fans of being the right Flash. But they’ve been just really accepting, I think because of the team mostly. They earned their trust with Arrow and they trust that this is going to be good. But now I think it’s just, honestly, I’m trying to with the shooting schedule we have trying to maintain also being able to train and eat as much as I can. I’m a thin guy and just trying to maintain my body while doing the schedule.”

What sort of training do you have to do?

Grant Gustin: “It’s nothing like Stephen [Amell]. Stephen is out of his mind. He’s out of his mind. I’ve always been pretty active. I grew up dancing so I’ve got a pretty intense dance background which makes it a lot easier to pick up fight choreography and whatnot, and just kind of bring a fluidity to the movement for the role. I’ve always been pretty active and I haven’t had to make any drastic changes. I go to the gym or else I’d be 20 pounds lighter than I even am right now if I didn’t.”

When you pulled on the suit for the first time did you have a moment where you were aware of the character’s importance in the genre’s history and the fact that that suit is not just a costume?

Grant Gustin: “Yeah. And I knew that the suit would be the thing that made this feel right, because it is such an iconic thing. It’s cool that it’s so different from any suit that’s ever existed. The suit was slowly pieced together on me so I never really, in the fittings, I never saw it done or anything so it’s really been this week seeing pictures of me in the suit and everybody having things of me – merchandise of me in the suit – that’s making it feel really cool. It’s going to have its place in history, no matter what else happens with The Flash going forward. We’ve got this version of it and I couldn’t be more honored that I get to be the guy in the suit.”

-By Rebecca Murray

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