Grant Gustin on why The Flash is a 'more willing' superhero than Arrow

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Image Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW

From the moment fans watched Barry Allen get struck by a bolt of lightning on Arrow, they’ve been anxiously awaiting the first details on The Flash. But it wasn’t until Thursday that we got our first full look at the new CW series. And yes, it did feature a cameo from Stephen Amell’s Arrow.

But aside from Amell’s appearance in the pilot, what do we know about the series? We caught up with some of the show’s stars at the CW upfronts, where they previewed their characters, revealed a love triangle, and promised at least one shocking twist. Here’s what we found out:

The pilot picks up with Barry waking up from his coma: “When we pick back up, we’re going to deal with the coma, right out of the coma. So Barry hasn’t really registered much until the pilot is really wrapping up,” star Grant Gustin said. “So I think when we come back from the pilot is when we’re going to kind of see the biggest changes in Barry. Some changes happen throughout the pilot — you see him find the strength — but he’s still very scared of what’s happening. He feels a responsibility to protect everybody, but I think he’s also terrified that this is happening to him.”

Much like Oliver Queen took two seasons to fully achieve his hero status on Arrow, Gustin imagines that Barry’s journey will take some time, though probably not as much as Oliver’s. “It’s going to be a much different type of journey,” he said. “I’m more willing to take on the responsibility of being a hero than Oliver was at first, and as I have Stephen [Amell] in real life to guide me through this, Barry really does have Oliver to go to. Hopefully in the future we can see Oliver guide him.”

As for Barry’s onetime feelings for Felicity, Gustin said it’s “to be determined” whether he still holds a flame for Oliver’s Girl Friday. And that’s where Iris West comes in: “I’m playing Iris West, and she is Barry Allen’s best friend,” Candice Patton told EW. “They are longtime friends, they kind of grew up together, and she is potentially his love interest in the show. She’s in graduate school studying to be a criminal psychologist, so she’ll work in the precinct with her father and Barry throughout the show.”

Although Patton thinks the whole Barry-Felicity situation could make things “spicy” for Iris, there’s another love triangle she might find herself preoccupied with. Enter Detective Eddie Thawne, played by Rick Cosnett. “He is the golden boy,” Cosnett said. “He’s an all-American, really nice guy. Everything sort of goes well for him, and you’re just a little bit irritated by how nice he is, but he doesn’t seem to have any flaws.”

So will Thawne turn out to be a bad guy in disguise? “It’s a mystery,” Cosnett said, before adding that his character’s journey is “going to surprise the hell out of everyone.”

But for now, he’s just the guy everyone — even Barry — wants to be. “I’m really good at my job, and I’m really into saving Central City,” Cosnett said. “The whole thing behind me is that I’m fighting for good in the city, so I’m with Barry on that, even to Barry’s dismay. I’m kind of everything he almost wants to be. But I’m also really lovely and I’m also on his side, but it plays against him so wonderfully because it gives him a great edge around me.”

And about that love triangle: “I think [Barry] wants to like me and he is my friend, but at the same time, there’s this tension between me and Iris that we’re not sure about, and he has tension with Iris as well, so there may or may not be a little bit of a love triangle,” Cosnett teased.

But aside from a love triangle and a superpower or two, there’s something else every superhero needs: A team. Meet Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes) and Cailin Snow (Danielle Panabaker), whom Arrow fans will know as the S.T.A.R. Labs duo who created the Mirakuru cure for Oliver Queen. “The Flash is created through an explosion of a particle accelerator. We’re two of the scientists who were working on the particle accelerator before it exploded and some of the only ones to come back after this whole terrible explosion,” Panabaker said. “[Cisco] is great, very fun, vivacious. And my character’s a bit more serious so we balance each other out really well.”

Also on Team Flash? Detective Joe West  (Jesse L. Martin), the man who raised Barry Allen. As a team, Cisco designs the suit, Caitlin handles technical stuff (and looks out for Barry’s well-being), and West, well, “I just make sure he gets home at night,” Martin said.

Other than that, Martin said he’s most excited for people to see how The Flash is revealed, “how he becomes the superhero that everybody knows.” But for Patton, she promises that the pilot packs a “twist” that will get fans “really excited.”

Watch the full trailer for The Flash below:

The Flash will air Tuesdays this fall at 8 p.m. on The CW.

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