Danielle Panabaker interview: The Flash, Sky High
With The Flash season 2 out now on DVD and Blu-ray, we chat to Danielle Panabaker aka Caitlin Snow/Killer Frost...
Contains spoilers for The Flash season 2.
I met with Danielle Panabaker in a swanky London hotel to talk about her work as Caitlin Snow in The Flash. This was back in June. Season 2 had finished on TV not long before, and (so everyone told me) scripts for season 3 hadn’t been circulated yet. So there wasn’t much ‘what’s happening next?’ chat to be had.
We still had a good chat, though. Here’s the transcript…
You got to act opposite yourself rather a lot this year. What was that experience like? How do you shoot that?
Exciting. Challenging. You know, logistically… basically what we would do is, for the first half of the day I would do that day’s scenes as Caitlin Snow, and then we’d change me over to Killer Frost and do the second half of the day as Killer Frost. And then the same thing the next day. Half a day as Killer Frost, half a day as Caitlin Snow.
So when you’re doing your afternoon one do you have your morning one playing on a screen, or does someone just read the lines to you?
Sometimes it was with a photo double, so someone who sort of looks like me and is dressed like me. Sometimes it was to just my imagination. And I think sometimes it was to a green screen.
Ah, okay. And how do you get into the mind-set of Earth-2 Caitlin? It must be weird do such a different version of the same person.
It was fun. The timing worked out well, that I had a few days over our Thanksgiving break to prepare myself. And I went back and watched old Batman movies, to see Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman and Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy. I sort of watched them, got some inspiration.
Oh, brilliant! And to any extent do you try and play them as the same person, or is it just ‘this one is Killer Frost and this one’s Caitlin’?
I tried to keep them as separate as possible.
So this universe has Black Canary, Hawkgirl, Vixen, Supergirl, so many great female heroes… how much do you wish Earth-1 Caitlin could get the superpowers and get alongside them?
I, Danielle Panabaker, wish she could have the powers all the time. However, I also… don’t want it to happen very quickly out of the blue. I’m excited for the potential of a transition at some point.
Do you think that might ever happen?
I don’t know. I would love to see it happen, selfishly but we’ll see. Everyone’s starting to getting powers. We’ve got lots of people with powers. You know, The Flash, Vibe, the potential for Kid-Flash, so… we’ll see.
It is good to have a female character there who’s defined by her intelligence, though.
Mhmm. That is her superpower, her brain, in my opinion.
There was a bit of negativity around when Caitlin was kidnapped by Zoom. Because she’s so smart, it felt a bit like making her a victim isn’t the best way to build her character. What’s your take on that and how did you react to that storyline?
I mean, when Zoom takes her to another Earth, she can’t really get back without him. I think it was interesting to see a little bit more of their relationship and to get to see Caitlin interact with Hunter Zoloman as opposed to Jack Garrick.
And how early on did you find out that Jay was Zoom?
I actually knew very early on. One of the producers had mentioned to me, shortly after I think we’d finished season 1, that that was their plan for season 2. So, I was excited that they cast Teddy [Sears], who’s such a talented actor. It was so fun to see him again… we’re lucky to have such talented actors that can do both extremes of a character. The really sort of sweet, innocent Jay in contrast to the dark, manipulative Zoom.
There’s a sense as well, to go back to the kidnapping, that there’s so many geniuses around in this universe, if you had them all around the computer at the same time, none of the problems would last very long.
I don’t know, we had some trouble in the finale. You know when Barry was locked up in the pipeline, we didn’t quite figure out how to stop Zoom without him.
Where would you personally like to see Caitlin go next?
I’m excited for the potential of maybe learning more about her family. That was something that was sort of briefly touched upon at the end of season 2. So I’d love to hear more about her relationship with her mother.
And is there anything you can tell us about season 3? Have you got any scripts yet or anything?
I wish I could, I’m desperate just as everyone else is to know what’s happening in season 3. And to see what it means for all the different characters and their relationships, but I don’t know anything.
Do you think what Barry did in like the last minute of the finale will just erase everything?
That’s what blows my mind. We watched season 1 Barry disappear. So what does that mean? My guess is Caitlin and Cisco probably don’t know each other. At all. And, you know, what is Caitlin’s relationship with any of these people? Does she even know them?
I do look forward to finding out if the main universe as we know it even still exists. Is everyone just still there with no Barry, or does it snap into a totally different thing? It’s gonna blow my mind, I’m sure.
I know, I’m excited.
So, there’s talk of a big four-way crossover next year now that Supergirl’s in The CW fold. Which characters are you looking forward to Caitlin maybe meeting?
I think Kara [Zor-El, aka Supergirl]. I think the two girls would be good friends.
With all these different universe and timelines and stuff, do you think we’ll ever get to see Caitlin and Ronnie back together and not evil?
I don’t know, that was my pitch! If things are different, you know that Flash has gone back in time and changed everything, maybe they’re happily married! Wouldn’t that be fantastic?
Yeah. And I don’t think they’re going straight back to more X-Files, so maybe Robbie Amell is free right now…
Yeah. Any time we can get Robbie back on the show, we would love to have him.
So, this year you had Kevin Smith come in and directed an episode.
I was just wondering who are your favourite filmmakers, and if you could have anyone to come in and do an episode?
Filmmakers? He passed away recently, but Mike Nichols was someone I always wanted to work with. We were just talking to Victor [Garber] about Titanic, which it’s crazy that it’s been twenty years almost, but James Cameron is incredibly iconic and a visionary. I… what did I see? Oh that movie Creed that just came out this year. Or Damien Chazelle who directed Whiplash. I think there’s some really interesting directors out there.
I was noodling around on Twitter this morning, just to see what kind of questions people message to you, and I couldn’t even comprehend how much stuff you get about shipping. The number of people messaging you about ‘SnowBarry’.
Do you get fed up of people messaging and asking if they’re ever going to get together and stuff like that?
I appreciate the fans’ passion for the show. Hopefully we have many years to play out many storylines.
It’s weird, I think the women in shows get sent that kind of thing a lot more than the men.
I think we do. I think Candice [Patton] and I can both relate to what that experience is like.
Just a random one: Sky High was, in a way, your warm up for The Flash back in the day. And it’s a big favourite of ours at Den Of Geek. What are your memories of making that movie?
I have so many strong memories. I mean that was one of my first big jobs. I loved being a part of it. It was a dream job. I mean, I worked with Lynda Carter. I worked with Kelly Preston. Kurt Russell. Um, some insane comedians. Dave Foley. Kevin McDonald. Jim Rash. The list of incredible actors…
And that’s just to speak of the adult cast. To look at that young cast, Michael Angrano, Nick Braun, I’m still friendly with them. And they have insane careers right now, I was just watching Nick on the plane in How To Be Single. And he’s so good in it. And Mary Elizabeth [Winstead] is killing it. I actually have seen her occasionally in Vancouver. It’s ironic that so much shoots there.
I just have the warmest, most positive memories from that movie.
I’m still surprised they never made another one.
I know! I’m disappointed too.
Was it ever, ever, ever talked about, do you know?
Not, I mean, never to me. I think we would have loved to, I think Disney was sort of going through some changes at the time.
And just before I go, I want to mention one of my favourite moments from The Flash. The karaoke sequence.
Me too, that’s one of my favourites as well.
Me and my friends who watch The Flash still use the Gif of Caitlin being hungover the next morning.
Oh, yeah. Or “I’d yell but I’m afraid I’d throw up”, or other ones. I think it’s cute when she’s walking down the hall and she’s like, “oh God, I remember that”.
How fun was that episode to film?
So fun. I wish we had more of that. I love the interpersonal relationships between all the characters.
And I think it says so much about Caitlin and Cisco, as well, that they’d try and come up with a way for Barry to get drunk.
I know! I mean, look, they’re twenty-something-year-olds. They’re still real people.
Yeah I hope we get to see them cut loose some more. Although, if they don’t know each other next year, maybe we won’t…
What if they go on a Tinder date? What if two of them go on a Tinder date or something like that? That would be funny.
It really would! It would blow my mind all over again.
And just one more thing. I’m gonna ask you our traditional Den Of Geek closing question: what’s your favourite Jason Statham movie?
My favourite Jason Statham movie? What are my options? Give me some options!
Err, so he was in Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels.
Didn’t see that.
He was in Crank.
Didn’t see that.
He was in Transporter.
Didn’t see that. I’m failing the test miserably!
You are, you are. He was in Spy last year, which was really funny.
Didn’t see that.
Okay, you lose.
I’m sorry. I feel like I failed you.
It’s fine, it’s fine. You get some people who love him and some who –
I know who he is! If I were to look him up on IMDB I could come up with a favourite.
Was he in Layer Cake? I remember that. Matthew Vaughn. Another interesting filmmaker that I really like. But I don’t think he was in that.
No, Daniel Craig was in that.
That’s right. Do not tell Jason Statham that I said my favourite movie of his was Layer Cake.
Danielle Panabaker, thank you very much!
The Flash season 2 is out on DVD and Blu-ray from Monday the 12th of September.