Jesse L. Martin Interview: ‘The Flash’ Season 3 and a New Version of Joe West

The Flash star Jesse L Martin
Jesse L. Martin from ‘The Flash’ at Comic Con 2016 (Photo © Richard Chavez / Showbiz Junkies)

Expect a completely different Joe West in season three of The CW’s The Flash. Barry’s triggering of a new timeline means Joe, played by Jesse L. Martin, and the rest of #TeamFlash are at new places in their personal and professional lives as we pick up the popular comic book-inspired series. Sitting down to chat at the 2016 San Diego Comic Con, Williams didn’t reveal any spoilers but he did talk about Joe’s relationships with Barry, Iris, Wally, and the CCPD, and whether there’s a possibility this version of Joe will also be a singer.

The Flash season three will premiere on October 4, 2016.

Jesse L. Martin Interview:

Is Joe still a cop in Flashpoint?

Jesse L. Martin: “I’m totally still a cop in Flashpoint but literally personality altered. His idea of what good cop work is is completely altered. His relationship with Barry (Grant Gustin) is almost completely opposite. Some of the characters that Joe knew as part of #TeamFlash he doesn’t even know. He’s well aware of Kid Flash, but not so well aware of who Kid Flash might be. So, yeah, things are absolutely completely different. I’ve never been on a show or even seen a show where you’re playing one character and then suddenly season three you’re a different person all together.”

Do you like it?

Jesse L. Martin: “I do. I like it a lot. It’s yet to be seen how far this goes. […]I don’t know where it’s all going to end.”

Is the West family a strong unit?

Jesse L. Martin: “We are a unit…not so strong. Something happened between Joe and Iris (Candice Patton), and Iris is having a really hard time dealing with the family in general – or at least with Joe. So, things are a little rocky for the West family starting off.”

What will Joe’s relationship be like with Harrison Wells?

Jesse L. Martin: “We don’t know yet because we haven’t met him yet. I have no idea what it’s going to be like. My guess is there’s probably going to be a completely different Harrison and Joe’s still not going to like him for some reason. That’s my guess. No matter which Earth Harrison shows up, Joe’s still going to be like, ‘I don’t know about that dude.’ You know what I mean?”

Barry’s the only one who still retains memories from the other timeline and he’s happy about being back with his mom and dad. But do you think he will be missing Joe and the West family?

Jesse L. Martin: “My guess is yeah, that’s going to come into play. He will see, first of all, the fact that there’s a different dynamic between Joe and Iris. That will probably affect him in a real way. The same thing with the relationships between Joe and #TeamFlash, and the interpersonal relationships between the guys in S.T.A.R. Labs. Like, all those things are completely different. In order for us to fight crime, fight the metas – if you will – we do have to be a team and what we find out in the beginning is that team is completely off. So, that’s going to be something that is obviously going to move Barry to try to get things back together again. Whether he does that through going back into time or he does it with the strength of his own character right there in the present, we don’t know yet.”

Is it hard as an actor to keep being thrown new versions of Joe?

Jesse L. Martin: “No. That’s actually the coolest thing ever. I’ve never been on a show where you suddenly get to be a completely different character but the same person. That’s incredible. I love it.”

You said Joe isn’t completely sure about Kid Flash. Is he seeing him first-hand or just hearing stories?

Jesse L. Martin: “CCPD is well aware there’s a Flash out there; he fights crime and he actually helps us. But, the dynamic between CCPD and The Flash is completely different. We don’t necessarily have a relationship with Kid Flash. We just know that he’s out there fighting on our behalf. But the CCPD is not officially involved so much. He’s almost like a vigilante hero.”

What’s it like on the set when you have one of your castmates show up and they get to wear their suit for the first time?

Jesse L. Martin: “I’m insanely jealous. Joe’s got his outfit and that’s it. That’s my ‘suit.’ But the first time I saw Keiynan (Lonsdale) I was kind of just blown away. I was like, ‘How cool is that?’ The metas and the villains, the first time I saw Zoom I was like, ‘That’s really scary.’ I’m not a kid but if I’m a little kid and I’m watching this show and I see that guy with that mask and mouth thing, I’d be scared of that I think. I thought it was cool at the same time, but it’s really kind of scary.”

Are you going to be doing any singing as the new Joe?

Jesse L. Martin: “They haven’t mentioned it yet, but that doesn’t mean we’re not doing it. People really dug the whole idea of Earth-2 Joe being a singer, so I got a feeling that’s going to resurface. I don’t know if it’s Earth-2 Joe resurfacing but somebody who can sing resurfacing. Maybe all of us resurfacing as singers. I mean, we’ve got the perfect construct for it because if a meta shows up…I mean, there’s metas in the DC world that have everything to do with music, right, and manipulation, so who knows? But they haven’t told us. I’m just guessing. I know fans want it.”

Watch the full Jesse L. Martin interview:

(Interview by Fred Topel. Article by Rebecca Murray.)