“The Flash” might just become your favorite new show.
The thrilling new series, from executive producers Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg and Geoff Johns, premieres Tuesday night on The CW, and it is one of fall’s best new dramas.
“Glee” alum Grant Gustin stars as Barry Allen, a young CSI assistant in Central City, who ends up with super speed after he is hit by a mysterious bolt of lightning, stemming from an explosion at science research facility S.T.A.R. Labs.
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It’s an uplifting story of an underdog whose inclination in extraordinary circumstances is to do good and help others, as he battles those who are using their own new abilities for their less-than-honorable purposes. Fresh, funny and fit for the family, “The Flash” is one show to tune in for, and Grant told Access Hollywood he can’t wait for television audiences to finally see it, when it premieres on Tuesday at 8/7c on The CW.
On Monday, Grant spoke with Access Hollywood’s Anthony Ramos about embarking on this journey as the lovable and inspiring Barry, how he prepared for the role, and how long it really takes to get into his superhero suit.
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Access Hollywood: How excited are you just in general for people to finally see?
Grant Gustin: Very excited. I was cast as Barry on ‘Arrow’ over a year ago now, so this has been a real slow build for me and we filmed the pilot last March, so we’ve just been waiting and waiting for people to see it.
Access: It’s like giving birth! It’s finally arrived.
Grant: Seriously. Barry was in a coma for nine months, so it really is like having a baby and we really are Ã¢â¬â [we] can’t wait to hear the response now.
Access: Overall, what is it like for you to be a part of something that is so beloved? Obviously DC Comics in general, people are fanatical about it. What has that been like for you?
Grant: It’s fun ’cause, I mean, my first taste of this — of the TV world, with social media and how everything is today — was ‘Glee,’ and they’re really passionate fans and there was kind of like [a] mostly negative response at first to my character [on ‘Glee’] just ’cause of the nature of the character [Editor’s note: Grant played Sebastian Smythe, who pursued the attached Blaine] so I knew what the intensity level was gonna be, ’cause I knew it would probably even surpass the ‘Glee’ fandom because this is Ã¢â¬â I mean, comic book fandom is much broader.
Access: It’s serious.
Grant: Yeah, kids all the way to grown people, retired people, old people, I meanÃ¢â¬Â¦ everyone is comic book fans. So, at first I felt that pressure of really wanting to get it right, really wondering why I even was the guy that got to play this role and then I just kind of put all that away and decided the only way I was going to do a good job was if I had as much fun as possible, brought as many human qualities as possible to Barry and just kind of did my thing.
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Access: What was your preparation like? Were you familiar with the story? Did you have to do a crash course? How did that go?
Grant: During the audition process is when I started reading comics and I started at the beginning, and I was going to read as much as I could and [I] realized that wasn’t going to be easy or probably not even possible, so I stuck to the new 52 series, which is kind of the series that I think is the closest depiction to what our show is gonna look and feel like, but at the same time, what we’re doingÃ¢â¬Â¦ it’s not a Barry or a Flash that’s existed in the comics before. It’s definitely our own take. But, yeah, early on was when I did most of my comic book research and now I’m just kind of — the scripts are the research.
Access: One of the best things about being a superhero is the costumeÃ¢â¬Â¦ What was it like seeing your red suit for the first time?
Grant: The first time I really saw what it was going to be like was a rendering, and it’s pretty close to what it looks like, but it evolved and evolved already, and the first time I had it on me, it was slowly pieced together over the course of like six fittings in LA before we went to Canada and it never looked like the finished suit on me even a little bit. It wasn’t until we were in Canada — we were in prep for the pilot, and we were doing camera tests for the suit and then, after the camera tests, we did my first photo shoot in the suit and then that was really the day I saw the suit finished on me the first time.
Access: What is it made out of?
Grant: It is leather, but then there are also like stretchy materials on the inside of the leg and in places that you need to have give.
Access: So when you show up to work and you and you have to get into it, how long is the process? Is it like, quick, you can just master it?
Grant: It’s not insaneÃ¢â¬Â¦ it feels insane ’cause it’s harder than just putting clothes on. It started at like 40 minutes ’cause the first cowl — the mask that I had, it’s technically a prosthetic. It goes on, they zip it up and they glue it to my face, and I wore that in the pilot and all the way through the episode we just finished filming Ã¢â¬â Episode 8. And now I have a brand new one that we don’t need to glue to me. It looks just the same, but it just has like these pieces that lock [onto] my face, so it’s just slides right on. And now, getting into the suit takes me 10, 15 minutes top.
Access: You’re a pro now! Did you have any say in the designÃ¢â¬Â¦
Grant: I’m really easy going and they tried to give me say at times, but I kind of just let them do their thing.
Access: You have to be happy that you’re not wearing that first red [spandex] running suit that we see you in [in the show’s premiere episode], even though you looked great.
Grant: Oh my God that! Yeah, oh my gosh! I was mortified, but at the same time, I knew that it was right for [the character]. Ã¢â¬Â¦ It was funny and it was Barry. It was endearing that he just didn’t care. He was like, ‘All right, well I guess I’m in this. It is what it is.’
“The Flash” premieres Tuesday night at 8/7c on The CW.
— Jolie Lash and Anthony Ramos
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