This past Tuesday’s episode of The Flash, “Run, Iris, Run”, finally saw Iris West-Allen (Candice Patton) step into her husband’s infamous boots to tear up asphalt as a speedster thanks to a new Bus-Meta. The lovely actress behind the purple lightning streaks sat down recently to discuss what it meant to her to suit up as an active superhero this week from a plot perspective as well as another step in her character’s evolution.
“I always thought it would be cool for the fans and for the show for her to suit up for an episode,“ Patton explains. “I never wanted it to be a thing, where Iris became a superhero on The Flash. [The] most important thing about who Iris is, as a character, is that she’s a hero, in her own right, without any superpowers.”
Since the pilot, fans have seen the character undergo a gradual evolution over the past four years, which Candice continues to be in awe of. “She was a young woman when we met her, not sure what she wanted to do with her life or who she wanted to be and marry. Now, she’s this secure married woman and the leader of a team and wants to be a journalist again. [She’s] really grown as a woman, and I almost like that more than seeing Iris all put together since season one.”
However, this latest episode threw in the curve ball of swapping Barry’s powers to Iris, making her a speedster in the field and benching Barry in the Cortex. “It’s a complete role reversal,“ Candice elaborates. “It’s about the team trusting in her and her getting her moment to step out from behind the console to be a leader, in a different way.”
For Iris, it was learning to create a vortex with her arms or induce a tidal wave while running on water. For Candice, behind the scenes, it was a different type of education to convey the illusion of a speedster. “I had to learn how to run in front of a green screen. Your arms are moving, but your legs are not, which is a weird thing. Grant [Gustin], God bless him, was giving me tips like ‘Don’t stand up straight and do it ‘cause you’re gonna look ridiculous. You have to hitch over.’ He was giving me the play by play so that I don’t look like an idiot, onscreen. He’s had four years to perfect that, and I got one episode to just try to make it not look stupid. It was weird and interesting and fun and challenging, all at the same time. It was great! I’m so happy I got to do that. I don’t know that I want to do it, every day.”
As to the suit, Patton had very little input on the final look but was adamant about one accessory. “I did fight for the shoes. I call them the David Bowie shoes. They didn’t want me to have them because they were like ‘I don’t know if it’s safe, or you’ll slide in those.’ I was like ‘Have you seen me walking through S.T.A.R. Labs, in the heels I wear? I can run in a low heel like that.’ They were the coolest shoes I’ve ever seen.”
As for what’s next for Mrs. West, Candice can only suggest motherhood, but jokes: “I’m just trying to get some vacation time. Help a girl out! I think the next step would be to eventually see Barry and Iris have a kid. I don’t know when that could possibly happen, with what they’re trying to do. For me, the bucket list is checked. They could kill me off tomorrow, I feel like I had a good run.”
Catch new episodes of The Flash when it returns from hiatus on April 10th at 8 PM