The Flash star Candice Patton is really happy about what’s in store for Iris West in season four of the comic book-inspired series. When The CW premieres season four on October 10, 2017, it will be with Patton’s Iris in charge of #TeamFlash. Talking about the upcoming season during our roundtable interview at the 2017 San Diego Comic Con, Patton also discussed the lighter tone of season four and why she believes The Flash needs its human characters in addition to its superheroes.
This upcoming season Iris is in charge of Team Flash. How’s she handling that?
Candice Patton: “I think she’s kind of forced into that role. Barry’s gone and so Team Flash has to figure out how to function. Without Barry, without Caitlin, we’re kind of a shell of our former selves and so Iris kind of had to step up and fill in some of the gaps. At the end of season three, Barry said to Iris, ‘Keep moving, keep running, keep going,’ and she took that very seriously. She’s dealing with her sadness and her depression of Barry not being there by focusing on work. She’s a very different Iris than we’ve seen in the past. She’s a little hardened, a little more like a general. She’s going to protect the city and she’s going to do what she’s got to do. It’s a way for her to not focus on Barry not being there.”
How is playing this new version of Iris?
Candice Patton: “It’s great. I think it’s nice to see Iris have agency, having a reason to be in S.T.A.R. Labs and to really have a contribution to the team. For me, it’s so fun to play.”
How does she share the leadership with Barry when he returns? Does she want to remain in a leadership role?
Candice Patton: “I think this season we’ll continue to see her be a leader for Team Flash. I don’t know, we haven’t gotten there yet so I don’t know what the plans are for season four. I’d like her to continue to have a lot of agency at S.T.A.R. Labs. I think the producers have said that that’s their plan. So, I don’t know. We’ll see. I think Barry will be more focused on the ground, doing work on the ground – more of like a coach of a team in S.T.A.R. Labs.”
Does that mean she’s put her earlier career behind her to focus on this, or is there a struggle between the two?
Candice Patton: “I think it’s safe to say for now that the reporter side of Iris is kind of on the back burner. She’s still a reporter, but where we focus our show is her work at S.T.A.R. Labs.”
Where do you want to see Iris go? Do you want her to continue to advance as a reporter?
Candice Patton: “It’s hard to say. I’ve always seen her as a reporter; it’s kind of iconically what she’s known for. I don’t think we’ve ever been able to figure out a way to work that into our show, our formula of the show. Not to say that it won’t be done maybe at the end of the season or into next season. But I think, however, it works whether she’s at Picture News or wherever, I just always wanted to see Iris have agency and be a big contributor to the team. We finally get that, so I’m happy with where she’s headed.”
Is it important to you that even when other characters get superhero suits and powers that she be the grounded, human part of the them?
Candice Patton: “Yes. Also, those suits are hot – they’re really hot. (Laughing) They’re often shooting at 3am in the snow while I’m on the studio lot sipping coffee in heels. I’m not very envious. I mean, I would like to do it for an episode or two. I think it would be really cool to see Iris as a villain. I’d love that, or a superhero. But I think it’s important to have humans on the show, otherwise it becomes a superhero team up like Legends. We’ve already done that, so it’s important to have the Joes and Irises to kind of keep the human element to this very superhuman show.”
Season three got really dark. Do you feel a shift toward lightness in season four?
Candice Patton: “I’m done crying. No, Todd (Helbing) our producer has said many times that that is the darkest we’re ever going to get on our show. We’ve done that. We’re moving forward. We’re going to get so much lighter. This episode we’re shooting now is probably my favorite since the pilot. It’s got that lightness that I think we’ve been missing the last couple of seasons. There’s going to be a lot more humor, a lot more just light material. I think the fans are really going to love it.”
Watch the full Candice Patton The Flash interview: