The Cast of ‘The Flash’ on Why the Show Has Endured for Fans
Stars of ‘The Flash’ came together at Toronto Comicon
‘The Flash’ is in its final season, and three members of the cast attended the 2023 Toronto Comicon to chat about the show. Carlos Valdes (wearing a Ramon Industries t-shirt), who appeared on the show for seven seasons as tech genius Cisco Ramon/Vibe, Danielle Panabaker, who played Caitlin Snow, Killer Frost, Frost and currently appears as Khione, and Robbie Amell, who guest starred as Ronnie Raymond/Firestorm/Deathstorm, took the stage together at the Racing to the Finish with The Flash Cast panel on the second day of the event.
Why ‘The Flash’ Endures
Moderator Trevor Campbell introduced the session with trivia about the CW show—The Flash holds the Guinness World Records for "Most in-demand superhero TV show" and "Most in-demand action and adventure TV show". Considering the show has lasted nine seasons, this shouldn’t be a surprise. The show is the longest-running Arrowverse show and its conclusion seems to be signaling the end of the franchise.
When asked directly about the show’s long shelf-life, Valdes mentioned an interaction with a fan who said that one of the things they love about the show is how relatable the characters are. Valdes reiterated that aspect of the show as well, saying “one of the reasons I loved working with the actors on that show, especially these two [referring to Panabaker and Amell] is they bring such an authenticity and a relatability and just like a naturalism to these roles, that really just makes it refreshing. And it makes it feel like it's not just in a comic book, but it's… these are people that you know, or that, you know, you can really relate to on a personal level. So, I think that's something, that's really special about ‘The Flash’ and maybe, I think, one of the keys to its success.”
Panabaker agreed, suggesting that the show has a ‘real heart’ and that the relationships among the cast inform the relationships on screen. The camaraderie among the three cast members was obvious on stage with an effortless casualness on display, so the audience certainly agreed with Panabaker’s point.
When Panabaker was later asked by an audience member which of the many characters that she’s played on ‘The Flash’ was most like her, she admitted that it was Caitlin, though Robbie Amell did joke that her personality depended on the time of day—Panabaker doubled-down explaining that when she’s hangry, she’s a lot more like Frost.
The Quirks of Making a Superhero Show
While the CW’s VFX may not always hold up, the special effects have evolved enough to make superpowers look believable. On set, however, the experience of filming these superhero scenes is hardly as delightful to witness.
A lot of Robbie Amell’s scenes involved his character flying off into the air. Initially, the crew would try and rig him up, but they realized they could cut a lot of work if they filmed a quick jump and then VFX could take over. The three actors were in splits as they recalled how Amell would film these scenes. Valdes demonstrated for the audience to much laughter.
Basically, every time Ronnie Raymond took flight, Amell would jump a foot in the air, land, and run out of frame. But, because Ronnie was flying, the rest of the actors were directed to follow the ‘imaginary Firestorm’ in the air. Watching the demonstration of how the trio would execute this had the audience guffawing.
Amell also shared the story of his wife, fellow actor Italia Ricci, who starred in another Arrowverse show, ‘Supergirl.’ Ricci appeared as Siobhan Smythe/Silver Banshee in the crossover episode “World’s Finest.” She watched Grant Gustin and Melissa Benoist take off running and flying as The Flash and Supergirl respectively and was completely underwhelmed. Amell said “and she's like…I know they don't have superpowers. But this is it? This is it?”
Amell continued: “You know, you find out very quickly that you cannot be self-conscious about it. You just have to trust that people, like Danielle [who has directed several episodes of ‘The Flash’] when she's directing, our visual effects supervisors, our editors, that they are going to take care of you and make sure that it looks cool. And the nice thing about shooting a show like ‘The Flash’ is it's ‘The Flash’, it's not some, you know, backyard independent production. Like, this is going to be… should look pretty cool.”
Panabaker added: “Someone else is invested in getting this right.”
What’s Next for the Cast of ‘The Flash’
At the time of the Toronto Comicon, ‘The Flash’ had wrapped two weeks before. So Panabaker said that she had no new jobs lined up, but is looking for her next gig. Amell did mention that Panabaker has been spending a lot of time directing. In fact, Panabaker directed a special episode in the final season of ‘The Flash’—the episode that features the return of Oliver Queen/Arrow (Stephen Amell). The episode will also feature David Ramsey, who starred as John Diggle/Spartan on ‘Arrow’, and has appeared across almost every show in the Arrowverse. Panabaker talked about the episode a little saying: “It is sort of the conclusion of the Arrowverse in a lot of different ways. There's some incredible moments particularly with Stephen and David that I was really excited to get to tell that story. So, I'm excited for that episode. I'm really proud of it.”
Amell hasn’t been part of ‘The Flash’ for years, though he has appeared in 13 episodes over eight seasons, so he’s been working on a number of other projects in the interim.
There was a lot of excitement about Valdes’ next project—he’s starring in Hulu’s romantic comedy series, ‘Up Here’, alongside Mae Whitman. “It's about two people who fall in love in 1999. And in order to sustain their connection and their relationship they have to learn how to deal with the many voices in their heads that are always talking at them and you know, they're basically their defense mechanisms. And it's also a musical.”
Valdes was also asked by an audience member whether he would feature in the final season of ‘The Flash’ in any way, but Valdes could not answer that. There remains speculation that he will appear in the final season—he’s a beloved member of the original cast, and there are plenty of guest returns expected, so it would be a shame if Cisco was left out.
The session was hilarious and informative and exactly what the packed audience needed as we say goodbye to ‘The Flash.’
About the Creator
When not dreaming of a one-way trip to Coruscant, I'm usually staring at a blank page, hoping my articles write themselves.
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