‘The Flash’ star Grant Gustin slides into superhero role for CW series

Oct. 07, 2014 | 5:00 a.m.
apphoto people grant gustin 1 The Flash star Grant Gustin slides into superhero role for CW series

Grant Gustin stars as Barry Allen, a young man who gets struck by lightning and becomes the fastest person alive in "The Flash." (Cate Cameron/The CW)

apphoto people grant gustin The Flash star Grant Gustin slides into superhero role for CW series

Grant Gustin stars as Barry Allen, a young man who gets struck by lightning and becomes the fastest person alive in "The Flash." (Cate Cameron/The CW)

la ca 0905 the flash 120 The Flash star Grant Gustin slides into superhero role for CW series

Grant Gustin stars as Barry Allen, a young man who gets struck by lightning and becomes the fastest person alive in "The Flash." (Jack Rowand/The CW)

la ca 0905 the flash 124 The Flash star Grant Gustin slides into superhero role for CW series

Grant Gustin stars as Barry Allen, a young man who gets struck by lightning and becomes the fastest person alive in "The Flash." (Jack Rowand/The CW)

apphoto people grant gustin 3 The Flash star Grant Gustin slides into superhero role for CW series

Grant Gustin stars as Barry Allen, a young man who gets struck by lightning and becomes the fastest person alive in "The Flash." (Jack Rowand/The CW)

apphoto people grant gustin 2 The Flash star Grant Gustin slides into superhero role for CW series

Grant Gustin stars as Barry Allen, a young man who gets struck by lightning and becomes the fastest person alive in "The Flash." (Diyah Pera/The CW)

la ca 0905 the flash 119 The Flash star Grant Gustin slides into superhero role for CW series

Grant Gustin stars as Barry Allen, a young man who gets struck by lightning and becomes the fastest person alive in "The Flash." (Jack Rowand/The CW)

la ca 0905 the flash 115 The Flash star Grant Gustin slides into superhero role for CW series

Grant Gustin as Barry Allen and Candice Patton as Iris West in "The Flash." (Jack Rowand/The CW)

la ca 0905 the flash 117 The Flash star Grant Gustin slides into superhero role for CW series

Grant Gustin as Barry Allen and Candice Patton as Iris West in "The Flash." (Jack Rowand/The CW)

mct life hby comics 4 mct The Flash star Grant Gustin slides into superhero role for CW series

Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh, left,) wants to help Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) understand his super-speed. (Warner Bros. Worldwide Television)

apphoto people grant gustin1 The Flash star Grant Gustin slides into superhero role for CW series

Grant Gustin attends the Audi and Derek Lam Emmy Week Kick-Off in Los Angeles in 2012. (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

As a child in Norfolk, Va., actor Grant Gustin had an all-consuming obsession with a certain DC Comics superhero — just not the one he’ll be playing this fall when “The Flash” comes to television with his own series.

“I went everywhere in Superman pajamas I had amped up with red rain boots and red Fruit of the Loom underwear I wore on the outside,” Gustin said during a recent phone interview. “That lasted for a couple of years. I had baby sitters quit because they didn’t want to be seen in public with me.”

Although his passion for the Man of Steel hasn’t subsided — he even had the words “Superman, I love him” tattooed on his arm a few years ago — he’s developing a rival fondness for the fastest man alive since bringing him to the screen on episodes of the CW’s hit series “Arrow” last season.

“I was shellshocked at first with the intense schedule, but now I’m in the character’s skin,” Gustin said. “Just yesterday, I was on the treadmill, in front of a green screen, in the suit. It was a full day of running.”

Grant Gustin stars as Barry Allen, a young man who gets struck by lightning and becomes the fastest person alive in "The Flash." (Jack Rowand/The CW)

Grant Gustin stars as Barry Allen, who becomes the fastest person alive in “The Flash.” (Jack Rowand/The CW)

Premiering tonight, “The Flash,” adapted by Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg from the DC Entertainment comic book, chronicles the adventures of Barry Allen, a nice-guy forensic scientist who gains superhuman speed after a mishap involving a particle accelerator explosion and a lightning bolt.

An appropriate moniker — and costume — soon follow.

What sets the series apart from, say, “Arrow” and some of the other new comic-book-inspired series — “Gotham” on Fox, and “Constantine” on NBC — is an overall brighter tone and a gleeful embrace of the source material. For instance, eventually Flash will face off against a super-intelligent, telepathic gorilla named Grodd.

“Everything with ‘The Flash’ is a lot closer to the comic book version a lot sooner than audiences would expect it,” Gustin said. “I haven’t fought Gorilla Grodd yet, but we’re going to continue to see sprinkles of the character throughout the first half of the season.”

Gustin’s own Hollywood ascent has been particularly rapid. In just three years, the 24-year-old has gone from performing onstage in the Broadway touring company of “West Side Story” to recurring roles on teen-minded series such as “90210” and “Glee,” and landing his own starring role as a comic-book icon.

It was not a trajectory he would have easily imagined.

“When I first got the audition, I was surprised they even wanted to see me, to be honest,” he said. “Because of my age and I’m not stereotypical superhero build.”

Then again, Allen isn’t a stereotypical superhero.

“Barry has always kind of been a loner,” Gustin said. “He’s a little awkward, and I don’t think these powers are going to change the social aspects of him.”

When the series begins, Allen’s father, Henry (John Wesley Shipp), is in prison, serving time for the mysterious death of his wife, Barry’s mother. Allen is determined to exonerate him of the crime, even while wrestling with his newfound abilities.

“This whole first season is focusing on Barry trying to solve his mother’s murder and trying to free his dad from prison while trying to figure out his powers and his friendships and love life,” Gustin said.

Grant Gustin stars as Barry Allen, a young man who gets struck by lightning and becomes the fastest person alive in "The Flash." (Jack Rowand/The CW)

Grant Gustin stars as Barry Allen in “The Flash.” (Jack Rowand/The CW)

Shipp’s casting is in part a nod to the Flash’s own television history — fans might recall that Shipp starred in an earlier “Flash” series, which aired for just one season on CBS in 1990.

“We needed to find the complete opposite of our Arrow,” says Kreisberg, who also serves as show runner for “The Flash,” “someone bright-eyed and accessible with a great sense of humor, while also having the inner strength to believably play a superhero. If we hadn’t found Grant, we might not have done the spinoff at all.”

Gustin said he’s enjoyed his time on the show’s Vancouver set so far — playing a superhero does have certain advantages.

“The purest joy in the world is to put vinyl on the bottom of my shoes and to enter and exit frame; I slide in,” Gustin said. “It never gets old. I keep trying to slide further, and they beg me, ‘Just slide 3 feet and stop.’ “

— Patrick Kevin Day | @LATHeroComplex

RECENT AND RELATED

A promo image for "The Flash." (Warner Bros. Television)

“The Flash.” (Warner Bros. Television)

 

‘The Flash: Future’s End’: Venditti, Jensen on Wally West’s fate

‘The Flash’: Trailer spotlights Grant Gustin’s heroic turn

‘The Flash’ will zip all over the CW in October

‘Gotham’: Robin Lord Taylor on becoming the Penguin

‘Gotham’ trailer: Jim Gordon meets young Bruce Wayne

‘The Flash’: Grant Gustin shows off full costume

‘Gotham’ posters: See Jim Gordon, Catwoman, Alfred, Penguin

‘Arrow’ Season 3 trailer spotlights Oliver and Felicity, Brandon Routh

New ‘Arrow’ season will bring ‘game changing characters’

 

 

 

 

 

Comments


2 Responses to ‘The Flash’ star Grant Gustin slides into superhero role for CW series

  1. Claus Talon says:

    I'm going to give it a try for a little while to see how it develops in spite of my dislike for the alterations to the established canon. I was entertained but not overly impressed nor exicted about it-BUT I'll give it a chance, probably because they're actually connecting the DC universe together through the crossover(s?). Long overdue. Love the inclusion Of J.W.Shipp. Hoping they'll bring more of the DC universe into this.

  2. Rebecca Vickers says:

    I hope you ok Grant Gustin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Close
E-mail It
Powered by ShareThis