Candice Patton's Iris West is ditching brewing up java at Jitters to pound the pavement as a freshly minted reporter in "The Flash."
Iris had been pulling double duty, making cappuccinos for Central City's caffeine addicts by day and hitting the keyboard at night, documenting The Red Streak. On Tuesday on The CW, however, she's finally getting paid for her passion when she's hired by Central City Picture News. And, AccessHollywood.com has an exclusive sneak peek at just how crunchy her new coworker, Mason Bridge ("General Hospital's" Roger Howard), is when he meets the newest reporter recruit.
In a new interview, Candice told Access about Iris' big career development. She also explained why she thinks Iris hasn't been able to talk to Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) about his love confession in "The Flash's" Christmas episode last year.
AccessHollywood.com: What did you think when you read the script and found out Iris is getting a new gig?
Candice Patton: Obviously, I was personally excited because I think we all kind of know Iris West and her relationship with Central City Picture News in the comics, so it's kind of fun to see that happen so soon on our show, and she's kind of been working her way to become this great reporter and it's finally great to see her step into that. It was fun being on that set for the first time.
Access: Do you think she's going to have coffee withdrawal in her new job?
Candice: No, for some reason Jitters never really makes its way out of the picture. People are always stopping in at Jitters. We're always taking little coffee breaks over there, so no, there's no way Iris would ever give up Jitters coffee.
Access: Tell us a little bit about what are we going to find at Central City Picture News – what it looks like and the makeup of it.
Candice: It's big, it's bustling. It's a really important paper in Central City and I think Iris is just kind of shocked and overjoyed that she got this job at the paper and so she's nervous, obviously, because she's kind of been blogging and she doesn’t really know what it's like to work at a legitimate newspaper. … She's, as usual, confident and excited and she's met with some resistance because her editor is really only interested in her relationship with The Flash. He's kind of brought her in to get more stories about The Flash and Iris just really wants to write great pieces about all sorts of things that are going on in Central City, not just The Flash, so she kind of feels as though, her only position there is because of The Flash. And she also meets Mason Bridge, who's a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist at the paper and he's less than happy to have Iris around. I think he just assumes that she's a blogger and she's just like everyone else who's getting on the Internet and writing their thoughts and feelings, so he doesn't really take her too seriously in the beginning. … You see in the episode [on Tuesday] that Iris is really trying to prove to Mason that she is worth her weight. And she does that very quickly.
Access: Roger Howarth (who plays Mason) ran a newspaper before on one of his last shows.
Candice: Oh really? That's so great! No wonder he's so good.
Access: He ran The Sun on 'One Life To Live.' What's it been like working with him and having him up there?
Candice: He's amazing. He's so amazing. He's actually a close personal friend of Jesse's [L. Martin] so it was fun [having] him on set. He just kind of fit right in. We've been doing this for months now and we're pretty welcoming with everyone, but with Roger, it just seemed like he's been here since Day 1, so it's fun. I actually love having him on the show and especially at Picture News.
Access: As things progress, are we going to see you two going out on your own investigations and stories you're following?
Candice: I think that's where we're sort of headed. Mostly it's Mason trying to make me a better reporter in the beginning and kind of trying to stretch my skills as a journalist. He just kind of challenges Iris in a way that she's never been challenged before and it gets her thinking and gets her being even more inquisitive than we already know her to be.
Access: You mentioned her skills. What kind of skills do you think she had before she got this new job? She was blogging on her own.
Candice: I think she was always extremely inquisitive and curious about things going on around her and especially about her city. She's very passionate about Central City and I think she gets that from her dad, having seen her dad protect the city she's grown up in and now she has a relationship to some degree with The Flash, who does nothing but want to protect the city that she lives in. ... I think Iris, in her own way, wants to be a part of that. This is her way and so she started doing this blog, which is the only thing she kind of knew how to do, and it was kind of something she was doing for class, for graduate school, and it just became something that she really loved and she found that she had a knack for. So, I'm excited to see that evolve. I don't really want her to be a great reporter right away. I kind of want to see her kind of work for it and hustle for it.
Access: The Eddie factor -- [he] no longer seems to be after The Flash after last week's episode. Is that something that they can maybe bond over at home in their apartment?
Candice: I don't know if they bond over it, but it's definitely a point of tension that has probably significantly been reduced. So Eddie and Iris are moving in together and there are a lot of changes just going on in her life in general. She's moved out. Barry has moved back in [with her dad]. She's never lived with anyone really, but things between them are going really well -- as well as to be expected. Obviously, there was the whole Barry bombshell and Iris is still dealing with that, but for the most part, things with her and Eddie are looking good.
Access: So -- Barry. Why do you think she can't talk about what Barry said in the Christmas episode?
Candice: I think it's just – it's one of those things where, when you've known someone for so long and you haven't really seen it coming or maybe you have, but it's buried so deep in your subconscious that once it's been kind of scratched at, it changes the way you view the relationship and the way that you view the world around you. … I think for Iris, it's just kind of so jarring that she doesn’t really know how to deal with it or what to say or how she even feels about it. Grant has said it before… now Iris is the one who's awkward and has to kind of deal with these feelings that have been placed on her. Barry kind of has a sense of relief. Even if Iris doesn't love him back, at least he's kind of said how he feels. Iris is now in a difficult position of loving Eddie, but also having to deal with the fact that her best friend loves her and how does she feel about that, really. So, it's difficult.
Access: Do you think we'll get more exploration of that as the episodes roll out here?
Candice: Oh, of course. I don't see why not. … I know a lot of fans were hoping with Episode 10 that we would kind of quickly jump back into that storyline and resolve it, but it's not that easy and I don't think it's ever that easy in real life. I think it's going to take some time for us to see what's really going to happen with Barry and Iris.
"The Flash" continues on Tuesday at 8/7c on The CW.
-- Jolie Lash