Contains spoilers for The Flash season 2.
Back in June, after the cliffhanger ending to The Flash season 2 had aired, but before shooting had started on The Flash season 3, I sat down with Iris West actress Candice Patton in a fancy London hotel to talk about her work on the show.
We found time to talk about her experience on Adam Wingard’s excellent film The Guest, too. Also, Candice Patton gave one of my favourite ‘what’s your favourite Jason Statham movie?’ answers of all time. Here’s our chat…
So, season 2 ended with Iris declaring her love for Barry…
What was it like to finally have a chance to explore those emotions and let them out?
Yeah, I think it was a long time coming. I think Iris has always had, you know, feelings for Barry. To some degree. Some that she couldn’t really vocalise, and I think being in a relationship with Eddie made it difficult for her to kind of come to terms with the fact that she had feelings for Barry, so… you know, I think it was finally the moment. It was the right time for her to finally concede to the fact that she likes Barry, loves Barry, and wants to be with him.
And over the course of that conversation she kind of inadvertently gave Barry permission to go back in time and ruin everything.
Yeah, I don’t think she knew what she was saying when said it, that he would take it so literally… but yeah, I guess a man’s gotta do what he’s gotta do.
I’m guessing if she knew what he was going to do she might have been slightly more cautious about it?
Yeah… maybe. But I also think she’s such a, you know, loyal, supportive friend – girlfriend, at this point – that I think she would understand his decision to go back. As long as he came back.
When the show starts up again, do you think Iris will still be in the same place? Or has the whole universe just changed?
Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t know much about where we’re going to take season 3. We haven’t started shooting it, I haven’t seen a script. But I think we’re gonna have to deal with the timeline that Barry has now gone to, what that looks like to him. You know, what Iris is like, what Joe is like, what his relationship with the West family is like on that timeline.
And then, hopefully, I hope we get back to the timeline that we’ve been with for the last two seasons to see how things have changed with what he did.
Season 2 was quite a big one for Iris, family-wise. Gaining and losing her mum in such a short space of time. What affect do you think that’s had on her? Is she stronger for having gone through that?
Yeah. I think she grew up not having a mother, so that’s not foreign to her. But, I think the introduction, knowing that her mother wasn’t dead, that she had been alive all this time, and that she had a brother on top of that and that her mother was on drugs… I think all of that was a bit hard for Iris to deal with, but we saw her come to a place where she forgave her mother, accepted Wally into the family, and I think she came out on the other side of that, like you said, a stronger woman. And a woman who’s ready to finally move forward in her life.
I think she was kind of stuck, with Eddie passing away and just living in a somewhat sad place. And so this season was about Iris really making the decision to move forward in her life.
And now, as part of that, you’ve got Keiynan Lonsdale in the cast. And you and Jesse Martin both have such great chemistry with him. Does that come naturally or does it take work to built that up?
Yeah, I screen-tested with Keiynan a year ago, before season 2 started. And so instantly I knew that I had a chemistry with him. And I was really excited about him joining the cast. He’s a sweet kid, I mean he fit right in. So we’re really, really lucky to have him. And our dynamic with him is pretty seamless.
The West family is kind of the heartbeat of the show –
– and so anyone coming into that has to work really well.
Yeah, for sure.
How close are all of you when the cameras stop rolling?
Um, pretty close. In between takes we have a lot of fun. We joke around constantly, we’re quite silly and juvenile. But you know, we shoot long hours so it’s great working with a cast that is light-hearted and doesn’t take itself too seriously.
It took a while to happen, but Iris now knows that Barry is The Flash. This year she became a big part of his team. How refreshing was that? Were you sick of being the one who didn’t know?
I think fans were more sick of it than I was. I enjoyed playing that part of it. I know people don’t really like seeing a woman kind of out of the loop but, you know, it fits into the comic book stereotype, for lack of a better word. You always have the one character who doesn’t know, and finds out. So I think we needed to kind of go down that path season 1, and moved past it. It’s the Lois Lane syndrome. We had to show it for a little bit, and then move beyond it. But yeah, I’m glad that she now knows and she can be a part of Team Flash.
Speaking of things that get a lot of reaction from the fanbase, have you ever felt that Iris and Barry are too sibling-y to be together?
Never. Absolutely never. I mean we’ve never spoken about that in the cast or with the producers. That’s something that other people have created, that doesn’t exist. That’s never been an issue for us on the show. We don’t acknowledge that they’re brother and sister in any sort of way. Especially because I’m black and he’s white, so we share absolutely no DNA. Just to be clear.
So, this year we also got to see Earth-2 Iris, who’s really awesome and gun-toting. Do you think we’ll see more of that? Or there’s kind of a sense that Earth-2 is done and we’re moving onto other things.
Yeah, I hope so. Earth-2 Iris was one of the highlights of this season for me. I don’t know that we’ll go back to Earth-2, I think the plan maybe is just to continue to explore other Earths as go forward. But it would be really cool to go back and visit that version. Just for me, because I loved Iris West on Earth-2.
Do you think Earth-1 Iris could ever become more like her, shooting criminals all the time and stuff?
Who knows! I mean we often see her with a gun on the show even though she is not a cop of any sort. Um, I think it’s been about three times she’s wielded a gun on the show. I guess that comes with the territory of having a dad that’s a cop.
In terms of Iris for season 3, it feels like she knows where she is with her career now, her family life is good, she’s involved with Team Flash. It’s almost like her love life is the only thing that needs fixing at the moment.
Yeah, I mean, but we’ve seen her grow so much since season 1, where she was a barista at a coffee shop, and then she had an online blog, and now she works at Picture News, and she’s finally got her family situation in order in terms of making peace with her mother and finding a brother, so yeah, I think now she’s moving into the last part of life, which is trying to make the romance thing work.
And hopefully it will.
So, there’s been talk already about a four-way crossover next year now that Supergirl is on The CW as well. Are there any characters that you’d really like Iris to meet?
I think it would be cool to see Iris kind of venture over into the Supergirl world. I don’t know how that would work. I don’t know how, logistically, we could make that happen. But I think if there is any show that would be right for Iris, I think it would be over there.
Yeah, you can really see her fitting into the newsroom-y dynamic they have over there.
This year you had Kevin Smith coming in for a guest episode. What was he like?
Amazing. I mean Kevin was a fan of The Flash comic, he was a fan of our show. So he was really passionate and excited to be there, which kind of made all of us really excited. He gave our show an energy and excitement that I think we hadn’t had for a little bit. And he definitely put his Kevin Smith stamp on that episode, I think the fans really, really enjoyed that one.
And you got to be another version of Iris again there. The Speedforce version of her. What was that one like?
It was weird. It was super weird. The Speedforce Iris was probably one of the more difficult things that I’ve done. But, again, it’s just fun and exciting and challenging to be on a show where you can play different versions of the same character, so… it’s cool. I hope we get to see Speedforce Iris again.
That would be cool. Speedforce Joe was kind of creepy, though.
Yeah, he was a little creepy. Yeah. Yeah.
So, you’ve had Kevin Smith. Who are your favourite film directors and who would you have on the show if you could have anyone?
I’d love to have David Nutter come back. He shot our pilot. He did the Red Wedding episode of Game Of Thrones. He’s incredible. He’s very hard to get but I would sell all of my possessions to have him come back on our show. [Laughs] Yeah.
Please don’t do that.
Yeah, I probably shouldn’t do that. But that’s how much I love David Nutter. He is incredible.
I watched the pilot again when the season 1 DVDs came out, and it’s amazing how much it just is the show.
Yeah, that pilot set the tone for our show. There’s so much energy and lightness and excitement in that episode, and it’s still one of my favourite episodes that we’ve done.
Just before I have to go: you were in The Guest. Great film.
I haven’t seen it. But yeah… good to know. People always say that, like, ‘you were in The Guest! It’s so good!’ I’m like, ‘I’ll have to watch that someday!’ [Laughs]
It’s so great. Dan Stevens is just terrific in it.
So what was the experience like of working on it?
It was very short and brief, I mean I’m not in that movie very long. It was the last thing I think I shot before I booked The Flash. Um, it was a great experience. I had no idea what I was really shooting, but it seems to be really well received. And even [DC Comics legend, DC TV producer DC movie universe overseer] Geoff Johns messaged me a couple of months ago, he was like, ‘me and my wife are watching The Guest and you’re in it, this is such a good film’, and I’m like, ‘okay, great!’ So yeah, people really like that film. I’ll have to give it a go.
Speaking of Geoff Johns, he’s now got the DC movies job as well.
And he deserves it. Geoff Johns, beyond being incredibly talented at what he does, he is one of the nicest human beings I have ever had the pleasure of working with, so he deserves everything that he gets. Yeah.
I’m now looking forward to seeing what their movie version of The Flash is going to be like. Because when they said it wasn’t going to be Grant Gustin, I was like, ‘no, it can’t happen!’ But now I’m like, ‘if it’s gonna be Geoff Johns… maybe…’
That’s the thing. Geoff Johns, he loves the comics. He knows these characters. And The Flash is his favourite comic. So, I think if anyone is going to ensure that that’s a great film, that it’s going to do the fans justice, Geoff Johns will make sure of that.
And just before I go, I’m gonna put you on the spot with our traditional Den Of Geek closing question: what’s your favourite Jason Statham movie?
[Truly as if this is an alien concept] Jason… Statham… movie?
I don’t know a Jason Statham movie. Can you name some and then I’ll tell you?
Err, he was in Lock Stock, he was in Crank, he was in Spy –
– I’m gonna go with Spy because that’s the most recent thing I’ve seen. And we were just talking about that movie last night. Um, Spy.
That’s a good movie.
Candice Patton, thank you very much!
The Flash season 2 is out now on DVD and Blu-ray.