Carlos Valdes joked that it’s so difficult to talk about The Flash season three, that his job during press interviews was just to entertain us while answering questions with questions. At the 2016 San Diego Comic Con, Valdes was on his game when it came to avoiding any potential The Flash spoilers. However what he did say is that he’s really enjoying the dramatically altered dynamics between the main characters as a result of this season’s Flashpoint storyline.
Carlos Valdes Interview:
How does the Flashpoint storyline affect Cisco?
Carlos Valdes: “Viewers can expect a completely different version of Cisco to emanate as a result of Flashpoint. We’re talking right out of the gate from episode one. It’s a different world with different people, different relationships and different dynamics that we’re exploring. It’s a lot of fun. I love taking dynamics and flipping them…”
(Tom Cavanagh walks up and briefly joins the interview.)
Tom Cavanagh: “I just walked over to that table and I sang your praises like never before.”
Carlos Valdes: “No kidding? I was just singing your praises!”
Tom Cavanagh: “I was like, ‘There’s no other guy like his talent. Nobody knows how talented he is. He’s one of a kind.'”
Carlos Valdes: “That’s exactly what I was saying about you. Wasn’t I just talking about Tom and how amazing he is? See you later, buddy! (Tom walks away) I hate that guy. I can’t stand him.”
He’s the worst.
Carlos Valdes: (Laughing) “He is the worst. Thank you. Somebody who agrees with me! Everybody is always saying, ‘Oh, Tom’s the best! He’s so smart. He’s so funny.’ He’s an a**hole! Anyway… Yeah, just a different Cisco.”
Will Cisco wear a suit this season?
Carlos Valdes: “I don’t know. I hope so. I really do hope so. There’s definitely a lot more tech that’s happening.”
Do you pick Cisco’s awesome T-shirts?
Carlos Valdes: “Yes, I do. It’s a completely 50/50 dialogue between me and the costume designer, Kate Main. We pull most of our shirts from Threadless.com and I basically look through them and I say, ‘This is a shirt Cisco would wear. This is a shirt Cisco would wear.’ Kate takes them and says, ‘Okay, let’s see if we can get the rights to this shirt or this shirt.’ And then the output is basically what you see. But, this season things might change a little bit. Cisco is on a constant arc of maturing and as a character he grows and develops and matures. I think maybe his clothes will be a reflection of that.”
Are you teasing pleated khakis? Is that what we’re going toward?
Carlos Valdes: “Oh god no! I don’t know who you think this Cisco’s going to be but he’s not going to be like that. Rest assured fans, he’s still going to be a style icon.”
Looking back, what was the funniest on-set moment from season two?
Carlos Valdes: “You know, I think the whole slurping moment with me and Tom – that was completely improvised. It just happened on the spot. We figured it out right before they yelled, ‘Action!’ What came out, came out, and it was just so funny. The dynamic on set was one of absolute hilarity. Yeah, I think that was my favorite one from season two.”
Do you have a lot of opportunity to improv?
Carlos Valdes: “Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you sort of have to fight for it and sort of figure out how to manifest it especially because time is a luxury with TV and they’re expecting you to honor the script. That’s first and foremost the most important thing is honoring what’s on the page and the integrity of what’s going on in the scene. But, alternate versions of what’s in the script – I champion them and encourage them as much as possible. And I’m lucky that I get to be the guy who gets to do them.”
Your Earth-2 counterpoint in season two, how did you approach playing a cooler, scarier version of Cisco?
Carlos Valdes: “Honestly, I knew that I wanted to depart as far as possible from the familiar version of Cisco that everybody was aware of. I knew that the character needed to carry a modicum of threat. You know what I mean? He had to be threatening and dangerous so I don’t know, I just came up with a character that seemed to make sense to me. Like, if Cisco were to go down a dark path, say in high school if he were bullied a lot more and he would react with hostility and sort of go to the dark side, so to speak. I feel like that would be that version of that reality. So keeping the core basically but just kind of deviating.”
How difficult is it to play Cisco having visions?
Carlos Valdes: “You know, the visions – it’s such a funny thing. It’s such a weird thing because like usually when you’re playing a scene or you’re playing with somebody, you have a real person and real dialogue to play off of. You know what I mean? But when you’re doing green screen work or when your direction is you have to be in pain because you’re having this mind-blowing vision happening, it’s kind of weird. It’s kind of bizarre and really hard to just be like, ‘Ahhh, I’m seeing something. It’s hurting me!’ It definitely feels like I have egg on my face sometimes. But, you just have to trust the legitimacy of the circumstances and just go with it.”
Watch the full Carlos Valdes interview:
(Interview by Fred Topel. Article by Rebecca Murray.)