John Wesley Shipp On The Flash’s Lighter Tone


At San Diego Comic-Con, John Wesley Shipp, who will be playing Barry Allen’s wrongfully convicted father on the CW’s The Flash, talks about the relaunch of the character, the series’ lighter tone, and its probable success.

The thing that I like is the balance. The Flash has been somewhat problematic, hasn’t it, in terms of bringing it to the screen. Maybe it has something to do with the gold ears; I don’t know. Is there enough threat? Well, Geoff has solved that with the family. He’s given Barry an edge with what he’s dealing with — my God. He’s got a  compelling reason. Yes, I had the murder of my brother but the set of situations that Geoff has set up for him gives it the gravitas so it frees us up to have the humor without it being completely silly. What I love about the pilot is you’re seeing all of these effects and you’re laughing and wow, it’s a great ride at the amusement park, then suddenly it slips it in. […] We’re going to be sci-fi, there’s going to be heart, there’s going to be serious given circumstances but it’s going ot be a ride at the amusement park and we’ll see if modern sensibility will take to that. Because Gotham‘s going to have the darkness. Constantine‘s going to have the darkness. We’re going to be the fun show and it remains to be seen — that’s the next chapter, isn’t it?

Shipp commended Grant Gustin, who will be playing Barry Allen in this reincarnation, on his portrayal of the character.

I tuned into Arrow when I found out what I would be playing to see the way he worked and what I was delighted to see was absolute sincerity that he brings to the part. There’s no acting. It’s sincerity; he is who he is and when he would talk about his dad, he certainly didn’t know that I was playing the role, but whatever he was drawing on, I couldn’t find the seams. I couldn’t find the acting, which I loved.

Shipp has been associated with DC Comics’s The Flash since 1990, when he appeared in a previous TV series as Barry Allen. Although Shipp’s antics as the red speedster were short-lived, he is happy to be able to have the opportunity to “return to the scene of the crime” as he pointed out.

 It is an incredible opportunity. Of course there was a lot of pain. We were all working so hard. It was kind of good news/bad news: the bad news is, you’re not renewed; the good news is, you’re not renewed. Because relationships broke up, people’s health declined, our guest stars by about the fifth day of an episode were walking around like “I can’t believe you do this every week.” But having put so much heart into something and it doesn’t get the traction you’d hoped, there is pain to that. So to be able to return to that and have healing around that is a blessing, it really is.

The Flash premieres October 7.


Source: Comic Book