The Saturday of DragonCon, Atlanta's premiere pop culture convention, CW's The Flash's Candice Patton (Iris West) had a media-exclusive interview with members of the press to answer questions about the upcoming season of the hit CW show.
ComicBook.com was invited to attend the event, and the panel ranged from questions about race representation to her future relationships, and even some silliness along the way.
The press junket started with a question about Iris's relationship with the mysterious Mama West.
Patton hesitated and wondered what she could tell us. "Mama West has been absent from Iris' life for a very long time. She was told one thing and something else entirely happened and was gone for a completely different reason and that comes to shock to Iris."
Patton again talked about Iris' role in the second season and the rumors circulating how she ascended in the hierarchy and elaborated a bit more about that. "Yeah, I get Google Alerts about that. Things like 'Iris West: New STAR Labs leader' and it's just like oh, God [laughs]. No, she's not going to be the new Wells of STAR Labs." She explains more that her relationship with Barry is still very much important and how that plays into her new role. "She's the one of the few people that can really talk to Barry and rally people when they need to be rallied. There's a part early on in season two when she needs to do that...and get STAR Labs back in their footing. That's her role as a leader in that sense."
She also mentioned how we'll see Iris step more into her role as a reporter more as the season progresses.
Which led to the next question about now that Iris is on Team Flash how her role as a reporter will be affected. "It's nice that Iris is finally in the know and there's no secrets being held from her." Patton mentioned that Iris will use her assets as a reporter to aid Team Flash as well, but since being integrated, things will become more dangerous for Irish as well. "She's going to find herself in tough and dangerous situations, but it's nice to have somebody like the Flash who is looking out for you when you're reporting some dangerous stuff."
A question was then asked if there are any scenes where Iris saves the day. "There are several which I've shot already, which is cool." Patton discussed several moments where Iris displayed some kick-ass moments in the first season such as knocking out Peek-A-Boo and the Clock King. "There's more of that in season 2."
She was asked if she has had more fun doing more of her own stunt work. "Yeah, it's never too heavy because our contracts say we can't do certain things. I cannot take credit [for everything], I wish I could, but [my stunt double] makes me look great."
Patton was then asked how she gets into character and stated that it's fairly easy at this point because she's done her for some time already. "I live with her every day, which is nice. It's not something I have to go work and think about." Early on though, things were a bit different. "When things first started, I went back reading the comic books and wanted to know what was so beloved about Barry Allen and what was beloved about Iris West and their relationship." She also gave praise to both Grant Gustin and Jesse Martin and how they "make it so easy."
Iris dealing and grieving over Eddie's death is something that is mentioned in the new season, but not something that will be really shown. "Obviously she's devastated. She loved Eddie until the last moment. We pick up season 2 and it's six months later, so she's had time to grieve, so it's not something we see Iris deal with. She's sort of putting her life back together and moving forward. In terms of her relationship with Barry and how that will evolve, I think we all know Patty Spivot is coming on so there's some relationship going on there." Patton wasn't clear on details on Iris' romantic future in the meantime, though. "I don't know if she'll have a love interest this season."
She was then asked if she was aware of the popularity of the Barry/Iris "shippers" and how she has an almost "Britney Spears type of army".
"You know, I'm unaware of most of it and try to stay off of it and reading comments. You just learn as any public figure to not engage in that type of stuff," she replied. As far as West/Allen fans, it comes down to people really wanting to respect that...it's a story, none of this is real, and so we should all be having fun, right? Everybody should be light-hearted and kind about it. I think [fans] are just passionate and you can't fault them for that."
A question was then asked about how Patton felt about social media's treatment of Iris in the past season and how she reacted to fans online. "Yeah, that's tricky. This is my first big show and a show that also has a huge social media following, which has a lot of polarizing opinions. When you choose to be on Twitter or Facebook or Instagram, I'm fully aware I'm going to be the target of all sorts of love, hate, and somewhere in between. It can be quite frustrating and to be completely honest, it was very frustrating in the beginning to feel like people didn't understand your character, or wasn't rooting for your character, or whatever. Time goes on and you stop giving a crap. I don't care if you don't like my character. I care about doing a good job. I don't write the show, so all I can do the best with what is written. It's the same with any character. Villains aren't loved all the time, but nobody cares and you do what's written and do the best you can with that."
"I know that with fandom-any fandom on TV-there's a sense of divisiveness and that's frustrating. I do not control that unfortunately. It's hard because you want people attached to your show, but there's this thing with the Internet where you can use your favorite TV show to bully." Patton then mentioned how he has always tries to be as positive as possible and tries to not say anything negative on the Internet or to bring another person down. "There's no reason to do that."
Then, the topic came up about what Patton thinks about being an inspiration to young girls and women of color. "It means a lot to me. This is why I do conventions, to meet the fans who are inspired. It's great to see a young black girl come up to me and so excited that I'm Iris West." She continued with how her representation is important to her fans. "Whether Geoff Johns or Andrew Kreisberg knows this, but casting me has made a lot of difference in people's lives and that's important."
A question was asked about if she can tell us anything about her relationship with Jay Garrick. "Yeah, I don't have that close of a relationship with him. I see him often in STAR Labs so it's more of a working relationship."
Patton again confirmed she'll be featured in STAR Labs more and was then asked how her relationship with Caitlin will grow as the show is seen as a "boy's club". "Yeah, I think it's hard when you only have two [main] female characters on the show." She namedropped Patty Spivot and Linda Park returning but her relationship with Caitlin hasn't gone into depth just yet. "One thing they do share in common is..." then Patton stopped and realized she was about to give a spoiler. "I promised myself I wouldn't say anything." She laughed for a bit and continued that there will be more female relationships this season, specifically Iris West and Linda Park. "They will have a friendship that is prevalent in season two, which I'm excited about."
Wally West was brought up and Patton was asked what sort of interactions the two will have. "I don't know," she replied. "There are no scripts out about that yet. He doesn't start shooting until October." Patton also didn't know if Wally will be gay in the show as his current incarnation in the comics is homosexual.
Somebody had asked she ever had her "mind blown" by all the plot twists in the first season. Patton recalled flipping pages one time then throwing her script across the room. She gave the examples of episodes 15 and 16, where Barry goes back in time, but has to correct the timestream to save Iris.
She was then asked if Iris will cross over into any of the shows like Arrow or the upcoming Legends. "Not that I know of...but I would die to do that!" That led into if Iris, now being part of Team Flash, will she be in on the secret of Arrow's secret identity. "I don't know, that would be an interesting story. There are no plans for that though...yet."
With Iris being an official journalist now, the question was raised about whether her duties and journalistic integrity will be challenged later in the season, especially with dealing with the Flash's secret identity. "I am sure at some point Iris will have to face the conflict of knowing who the Flash is and writing about him. I don't know when that will happen, but I think that will make for an interesting storyline." She also mentioned that Iris is loyal to her family and Barry is family.
On the rumor that Wells isn't dead and could come back, Patton stated that anybody could come back. "Nobody is really ever dead...there's so much I wish I could tell you. It would make my life so much easier if I could just be 'so...'." That led into whether or not the showrunners keep the actors in the loop of future storylines. "Yes, and no. There is a lot that they do tell us, but I'm a lot less interested in wanting to know what will happen." She did say that there are a few things that they tell them "far, far in advance".
Last question was if Iris was affected by the particle accelerator, what powers would she likely to have. Patton had to think about that, but said something with her eyes such as laser blasts or something to that effect.
The Flash returns for its second season October 6th on the CW!