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Meet Iris West: An Interview with The Flash's Candice Patton

Meet Iris West: An Interview with The Flash's Candice...

By Tim Beedle Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

What’s it like sharing the screen with a super hero? Most of probably couldn’t answer that, but Candice Patton can. As Iris West on The Flash, the latest DC Comics action adventure to land on The CW, Candice is both a best friend and potential love interest for our hero. But don’t think for a moment she’s merely arm candy. Iris is intelligent, driven and curious, particularly about Central City’s new masked hero.

Candice recently spoke with us about her new role, offering her thoughts on love triangles, her favorite super hero [spoiler: it’s not the Flash] and what she would do if she were the one with super speed.

So did you ever think you’d be hanging out with a super hero for a living?

No, I never… I mean, I think if you’re an actor you dream of doing some kind of super hero movie or show. But you don’t think it could ever some true, so this is kind of crazy.

I had a dream last night for the first time about the Flash. So I’ve started dreaming about Flash, which is really kind of cool.

Were you Iris in the dream?

No, I wasn’t. I was Candice in the dream. I’m going to have to piece it together for myself. But this was the first time I realized, oh, I’m dreaming about the Flash. I’m bringing my work life into my dream life, and I’m not mad about that. It was actually really cool.

How would you describe the character of Iris West?

In our show, she’s Barry Allen’s childhood best friend and pseudo sister. Where the show picks up, she’s getting her degree and thinking about becoming a reporter. But instead she starts this blog because there’s this red streak that keeps showing up in town and saving people. For the first time, there’s something that’s capturing her attention. She’s really passionate about it—finding out who this red streak is and why he does what he does.

Barry is probably Iris’s best friend on the show. What would you do if you found out your best friend had super powers?

Oh, I would take advantage of that for sure. I’ve got a best friend that’s got super powers? Yeah, depending on what the super power is…

Actually, I don’t even think it matters what the super power is. I’m totally taking advantage of that.

You wouldn’t question it?

No, it’s like having a friend with a discount at your favorite store.

Iris is in something of a love triangle with Barry and Eddie. I know actors tend to draw from experience, so have you ever been in a love triangle?

No, I have not been in a love triangle. Thankfully. It’s very messy. Just playing it on TV, it’s very complicated, and I don’t know who has time for that, but Candice Patton does not. No, I like to keep it simple.

Do you think having super speed would help if you ever were?

Oh yeah, because you could literally be all over the place. You could go from one person—

This is terrible that I’m even thinking about this!

No, no, I’m totally pushing you in that direction.

[Laughs] I know! You’re a terrible person!

You mentioned earlier that your character eventually starts blogging about the events in Central City. If you had time for something like that, what would you blog about?

I’d probably blog about set life since that’s kind of what consumes me right now. Behind the scenes of what it’s like working on a TV show. [Ed. note: Candice wasn’t kidding! Look for her photo blog from the set of The Flash next week here on DCComics.com.]

So who’s your favorite DC super hero?

Batman for sure.

I noticed you tweeted about Gotham the other night.

Yeah, I don’t know if you watched it, but I was really, really pleased with Gotham. I was trying to get the pilot ahead of time, but we never made it happen. So I finally watched it during the premiere, and I was just kind of geeking out with everyone else.

It sounds like you’re at least a bit of a super hero fan, if not a comic book fan. Would you say that’s true?

Yeah, it’s very true. I have an older brother, and that’s my only sibling, so growing up if I wanted to play, I usually had to do the things he wanted to do. It was a lot of Ninja Turtles, Mortal Kombat, Batman… He was a huge Batman and Superman fan, so I was constantly watching the movies and cartoons with him. So I didn’t really grow up reading comic books, but I was very familiar in terms of Batman and Superman on screen.

So, Batman’s your favorite DC super hero. Who is your favorite real life super hero?

I think right now I’d have to say Hillary Clinton. You know how Emma Watson just gave that great speech about gender equality? I went back and watched a similar speech that Hillary Clinton gave in Beijing back in 1999. For a woman to be saying that in ’99 and we’re still kind of struggling with those issues. It really was profound to me how ahead of her time she is and what a strong, strong woman she is. So I think Hillary would probably be my super hero.

Okay, one last question. If you had Barry’s speed, what’s the first thing you would do with it?

I would probably run back to Texas. It’s hard because we’re shooting in Vancouver, so on the days that we do have off, I struggle with wanting to go back to LA to see my friends or back to Texas to see my family, but we’re working such long hours that it makes it hard. So if I had Barry’s super power, I would definitely go see friends and family.

But I don’t think I get frequent flyer miles with that.

You wouldn’t, but you also wouldn’t have to worry about checking luggage.

That is very true.


The Flash premieres on The CW on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 8 p.m. (7 p.m. CST).