Two weeks ago, Heroes & Villain Fan Fest came to the New York/New Jersey area. Sadly, so too did a massive blizzard – no doubt the work of Weather Wizard! Though despite almost 3 feet of snow, the Fan Fest crew and visiting stars banded together and put on an absolutely epic last minute show on Sunday!
Amidst all the madness, I got to meet Teddy Sears and was even granted an interview in between back to back to back autograph sessions and panels. Due to The Flash entering a very pivotal portion of Season 2, I couldn’t ask anything too SPOILER-y. Sure I could have snuck some in, but considering there weren’t many Press Interviews allowed that day, I was just overwhelmingly appreciative to get one at all – let alone one with Teddy Sears!
So instead we talked about his love of comics, on-set antics and how his dream of bringing a superhero to life finally came true!
He might not have been as diehard a comic fan as others, but growing up Teddy collected early editions of Wolverine, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and even Darkwing Duck. So when he entered acting, he definitely wanted to have some type of hero role under his belt. In fact, long before the role of Jay Garrick came up, he auditioned for two other iconic characters – Thor and Captain America. After getting turned down for both, Teddy started to think the chance to play a hero had passed; but then he got called for a secret role on The Flash. At the time, he thought it was just a small supporting role, but after nailing the audition he learned that the role was for Jay Garrick, the Golden Age Flash.
To prepare for the role, Teddy started reading some early Jay Garrick and JSA comics, but the writers were quick to tell him no. Since Jay had been redone in the comics so many times – and since this show was taking its own spin as well – they wanted Teddy to bring his own sense to the character and kind of make him his own. So given that freedom, Teddy decided to call upon his relationship with his younger brothers and add that dynamic to The Flash.
“I personally wanted to bring the sense of a guy who had been around for a very long time, who had seen some things and experienced some things that made him a bit more world weary and experienced. And I wanted to impart that experience and what I learned onto Barry Allen very much in the same way an older brother should guide his younger brother.” – Teddy Sears
I then asked Teddy how Jay and Barry differ in terms of being the Flash; and of course the obvious answer was their costumes. Besides the helmet – that actually is quite hard to keep on sometimes during action sequences – Jay’s costume is much more relaxed than Barry’s and Teddy’s thankful for that. But beyond that their main difference again goes back to ‘experience’.
“Barry’s got a lot to learn. He’s young and is still very much learning his powers and what they mean to him. He’s scared of letting people in or hurting them because he’s had that happen to him in the past. On the contrary Jay – having experience – more doesn’t need to worry about that stuff. So my hope as Jay is to be the one to show Barry all the greatness of his powers; and that there’s a lot of stuff he could do, but didn’t know he could.” – Teddy Sears
Although Barry isn’t the only important relationship Jay has on the show. This season we’ve also seen Jay and Caitlin grow closer. Both have seen and been through some pretty dark things, so when this chance at happiness presents itself, they know they have to give it a try and not overanalyze like others have when presented with a similar opportunity. Though apparently the build up to that first was just as unbearable to the cast and crew as it was to the viewers.
Remember when Cisco exclaimed “Oh dear Lord, just kiss already! Ugh! The thirst is real!”? Well the reason that comment was so spot on for the fans was because that was the exact same feeling everyone on set had.
“The writing was already there, so everyone knew and watched as we started getting closer and closer. And there were many recurring comments along the lines of ‘Oh my God, kiss already!’ Although waiting and setting it all up for the Christmas episode was kind of perfect.” – Teddy Sears
Though that wasn’t the only seemingly real thing on set as Teddy revealed that many of the quips between Carlos Valdes (Cisco) and Tom Cavanagh (Harry Wells) are sometimes added by them. These two are apparently really close friends in real life and are always trying to compete with each other. It seems like mixing work and play isn’t just a theme for The Flash but also onset as well; and that’s one of the reason we love this show and cast/crew so much!
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8pm on The CW and things are sure to heat up quite a bit as the season continues. Again a very special Thank You to Teddy Sears for taking the time to speak with me, and hopefully I’ll get to speak with you again once this season calms down. But until then, welcome to the Panda Pal Family Teddy… or should I say Jay! 😉
Update/Edit: If you’d like a chance to attend Heroes & Villains Fan Fest, it will return to the New York/New Jersey area July 4th weekend. This time there’ll be more fun, more attractions and no snow! For information on how to get tickets and different packages, check out their website before the event sells out.