“The Flash” is back and possibly better than ever. At least according to Grant Gustin. The Virginia native who plays the titular superhero — aka Barry Allen — promises this season will go back to a lighter note. “Last year we moved away from humor and I think that will be the darkest thing that we will do with the show,”he says. “We are going to have lots of fun and we’ll return to comedy, especially as the season continues.”
Barry is also more mature now, Gustin notes. “He’ll continue to mature and work with his team and be less hard-headed,”he says. “With Speed Force, Barry is controlling everything better. And mentally he’s stronger.”
Ahead of the CW series' season premiere — airing October 10 at 8 p.m. — we chatted with the 27-year-old about the Flash’s new suit, avoiding his own stunts and racing with fans.
Last season was darker. Could you feel that energy on set?
Sure. It's difficult every day for nine months and whatever you do you tend to take it home somehow. Because the content is so dark, as an actor, you live through your work. I had a lot of days of bad sleep last year.
How will that compare with this season? Can we expect more a mixture of action and humor?
Our writers have said from the beginning that “The Flash” is based on the three H’s: heart, humor and heroism, in that order. This season definitely has the potential to be our best season, because we really stick to comedy without leaving the heart of things, and the relationships. There will be a lot of Barry and Iris this season, there's a lot more to Barry and Joe this season, so we’re going back to basics and having fun with the show.
And it doesn’t hurt that the Flash has a new suit.
It’s closer to what we’ve seen in the comics. He still doesn’t have the yellow boots, but he has a yellow or goldish accent around the boot, they’ve also made the red brighter.
One thing that is funny is that, surely many fans will notice if they come to visit the set, the Flash emblem is just Velcro, and it moves all the time and falls then sometimes we have to stop or repeat a take because you can see the Velcro.
Do you do a lot of your own stunts?
Well, I try, you know, but they don’t let me do anything dangerous. I've done some semi-fun stuff. During the first two [seasons], which were the most fun, I was allowed to wear the harness. There was a very cool pull that threw me on to the floor where I fell standing. It was a lot of fun to do, I got up about six feet off the floor, it was fun.
Do you find it difficult, then, to be a superhero?
For me, from the beginning of “The Flash “until now, it has always been about the work, preparing myself to do the best I can and have fun. My life has definitely changed —being Flash for the last three years has kept me very busy. Now I live in Canada and talk to pretty people, most of the time and it’s part of the job and it will continue.
So if some fans are in Canada, what’s the best way to approach you? Do people usually crack a joke?
Yes, I've heard the same jokes many times. They're always speed jokes. [Laughs] People ask me to run with them and the truth is that, since the series began, I've only ran a competition with three people, two people from the staff and with a friend, and I ran with them because I was sure that I would beat them.
You think they let you win just because you're the Flash?
Maybe, but I think I could have still won them anyway. [Laughs]