Flash Thompson is an angry young man in “The Amazing Spider-Man,” but there’s a pained self-awareness in his eyes that makes the character more than a two-dimensional goon. The part is played by 27-year-old Chris Zylka, who made his screen debut four years ago in an episode of “90210,” and he’s been busy ever since in the tween/family television universe (“10 Things I Hate About You,” “Hannah Montana,” “Zeke & Luther,” “Teen Spirit”) and trying to get blood stains off his beachwear (“Shark Night 3D,” “Piranha 3DD”). We caught the Ohio native to talk about school spirit and a famous wall-crawler.
HC: Flash Thompson has been around since the early days of the Spider-Man comics, but through the years there’s been so many versions and shadings to the character. How would you describe the Flash you found in this script?
CZ: He’s a bit more rough around the edges than you’ve previously seen him. He has a bit more complexity to him than just some bully who picks on kids for the fun of it. He’s in some ways tormenting himself while picking on Peter.
HC: Spider-Man has been everywhere for so long — 50 years in fact — that people come to him from a real variety of routes: Marvel’s comics, the Sam Raimi movies, the old cartoons, the video games, toys, etc. What’s your strongest first impression of the character?
CZ: Like everyone else on the planet, I saw the Raimi films, and fell in love with the story and the character. It’s going to be exciting to see how attached people will get to our version of the story, which is quite different.
HC: There’s so much history — but again contradictory — did you try to dive into all of it or did you decide just to key in on the script?
CZ: Of course, an actor must research. I just got lucky enough that my “lab” got to be a comic book store. As for my process, that’s better left up in my head.
HC: Andrew and Emma have tremendous chemistry on the screen and that makes sense, all thing considered. What was it like working with them? Especially since this film (and their time making it) might be a major moment in their lives?
CZ: They’re both wonderful, giving actors. They’ve proved themselves in depictions of characters for years now. From what I saw on set no one will be disappointed in their choices in this film either.
HC: Did this movie make you miss high school — or did it feel like one of the dreams where you’re in class waiting for a test you didn’t study for?
CZ: Of course not. If you can walk onto the set of a Sony production, let alone the production of “The Amazing Spider-Man,” and miss high school then you should search for another career path.
– Geoff Boucher
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