They refer to him as “Detective Pretty Boy” in the pilot episode, but Flash fans may know him by another name: Thawne. If you plan on watching The CW’s The Flash when it debuts tomorrow night, Detective Eddie Thawne is the character you’re going to love to hate. Or possibly hate to love. Yes, the man standing between Barry Allen and Iris West is a lot more likeable than you might expect, in good part due to Rick Cosnett, the talented actor who inhabits the role.
We recently spoke with Rick about what it’s like to be the man in the middle, whether he’ll be giving Barry Allen any speeding tickets and exactly what we should make of that last name.
How would you describe the character of Eddie Thawne?
I really feel like he’s irritatingly awesome. He’s one of those guys where you hate him, but you can’t help falling in love with him at the same time. He’s just so flawless. He’s good at everything, he always gets what he wants, everything he touches turns to gold, he always sweeps in and saves the day… Everything just seems to end up turning out for Eddie, much to poor Barry’s dismay.
I’ve known people like that in life. Eddie’s just so positive and so full of life and energy, and sometimes you just want to kill those people, but you can’t help but like him…so far.
Your character has a very interesting last name. How much did you know about that when you auditioned?
To be honest, when I first auditioned it was pretty secret. We had no script or really anything. They just kept saying to be nice. I think I have a tendency to go creepy or be sort of an a-hole with characters because I think it’s really fun. But it’s kind of genius the way they helped me create Eddie because it just works so well that he’s so golden. He doesn’t have a bad bone in his body.
Of course, I started realizing, “Oh, Eobard Thawne… Eddie Thawne…” It doesn’t take too much to put those two together. That last name’s obviously synonymous with a lot of darkness. A lot of bad. I think that’s going to be the intrigue of the whole thing. To see where these characters go. To see what weird tricks they have coming up. It’s genius, it really is. It’s definitely going to keep people on the edge of their seats.
Were you a comic book fan prior to joining the Flash cast?
I was obsessed with this thing called Thundersub, which no one knows. It was this epic anime where one of the characters was named Rick and so I told all of my friends that it was me. That I acted in it. And they believed me!
I was also quite obsessed with He-Man. The whole idea of discovering your powers and becoming who you truly are… I love that stuff. That’s one of the many reasons why I think The Flash is so fantastic. He was this underdog who is discovering how powerful he really is, and I think we can all relate to that. I think it’s a fantastic message.
So if you could have any super power, what do you think it would be?
I would probably be healing people. I’d love to have the power to change people into what they were always destined to become. So many people throughout their lives, I think, search for that. Either it’s a coming together of their body, mind and soul, or it’s some sort of achieving of all their dreams. What you’re really destined to do. A lot of people don’t get there. I think that would be amazing if magically you’re suddenly everything you always wanted to be and were meant to be.
That’s a pretty different answer. Most people say flight or super strength, but you’re getting all philosophical with it.
I’m getting deep today!
Okay, I have a few more questions but these ones are pretty dumb. I don’t think you’re going to be able to get too philosophical about these next ones.
Okay, you’re playing a cop on a show about the World’s Fastest Man. Do you think it’s possible for someone to get a speeding ticket for running too fast?
That would definitely be something that the Central City Police Department would have a lot of meetings about. I think it might be an awesome point of debate and confusion in the precinct. There is a lot going on in that police department right now! I don’t even know when I sleep with the crime rate in Central City escalating so fast. But I would say yes. I would instigate it.
I’m not saying I’m jealous of Barry at all!
You’ve shared the screen with vampires and now super heroes. Which would you say is more uncomfortable to have to act in… fangs or spandex?
Well, luckily for me I’ve avoided fangs and spandex so far.
Okay, last question. You’re kind of the guy standing in between Barry and Iris on the show. Who should you be more scared of? Barry and his super powers… or the hundreds of fans that will want to see those two together?
The fans. If I know anything, it’s going to be the fans. You know what? I’m all about hate mail. It means I’m doing my job properly.
But at the same time, hopefully they can find a place in their heart for Eddie. I feel like it might be a little bit of an Eddie vs. Barry situation.
There might be some people cheering for Eddie and Iris to end up together.
[Laughs] That was very condescending!
I didn’t mean it to be!
“There might be, like, one or two…”
We’ll have to see how it shakes out!