Since Linda Park's first appearance on The Flash, Malese Jow has become one of the fans' favorite guest stars -- something that was taken to the next level last week when we got a very Linda-centric episode as she it was revealed that Barry's ex-girlfriend had a powerful, villainous Earth-2 counterpart in Doctor Light.
Tonight, Jow gets to play both sides of the coin as both the damsel in distress and the kick-ass woman whose idea of being bait is apparently to kick the crap out of the hero and stand face to face with the interdimensional mass murderer who sent her doppelgänger over.
Jow spoke with ComicBook.com about tonight's episode, the future of her relationship with that other Flash and more.
This week is interesting because you get to be the very comic book-y damsel in distress for the first time. How do you put a spin on that to make it a little more fun to play?
Oh, goodness. Yeah, I can honestly say I’d never really played the damsel in distress as far as dealing with an action superhero/Prince Charming scenario, so it was pretty fun.
Leading up to that, she really didn’t have the damsel in distress angle because we’re talking about Linda here.
She just gets thrust into this world she didn’t even know existed. In terms of metahumans and seeing her doppelgänger, it kind of goes from zero to 100. She actually steps up to the plate and shows her quality of being the strong woman we knew she was. She rises to the occasion and gets thrust into Team Flash and wanting to do anything she can to get them to capture Zoom.
At what point did they come to you and tell you that they wanted you to play a super villain?
It was actually very last-minute. Some people assume I’ve known this whole time and I actually didn’t. I was in the dark right up until we really started filming and I got to try on the costume.
I knew over the summer that they wanted to incorporate me again into Season Two — and I ended up coming in for a fitting where I didn’t really try on clothes, but they ended up measuring my entire body from head to toe. It’s like, “Well, this is weird and different.” I thought I’d be trying on cute Linda clothes.
But then a few weeks later, Andrew Kreisberg finally gave me the call that I’d been waiting for because I knew something was up. And he was like, “Well, her it is: You’re going to be Doctor Light.” And he proceeded to tell me about Earth-2 and my mind was just blown.
Is there something you tried to put into the Doctor Light version to make her recognizably Linda?
Well, yeah. That whole scenario to me is just a dream come true, to be honest. I’ve always wanted the challenge of playing two different characters but still, you know, myself. But you’re right: they are the same person and I did want to differentiate them but keep their same innate qualities, which I think is strength and confidence.
I think Linda being on Earth-1 and Doctor Light being on Earth-2, they just got caught up in different situations and different life paths. So like I was saying innately they’re the same person but as we can see with Doctor Light, maybe she just got wrapped up with the wrong crowd and of course she’s under Zoom’s thumb and a little more vulnerable and timid than Linda, as opposed to being an outwardly confident, well-rounded woman.
Linda, up to this point, has had a lot of humor, but this week looks kind of dark. Are you able to incorporate some of the bubbly personality that has defined your take on her up to this point?
Yeah. Like we saw in part one of this two-part episode thing that we’re doing, definitely Episode One was darker for Linda. It went from zero to 100. She saw her Editor-in-Chief get murdered right in front of her and she found out about the metahumans and the doppelgängers. But next episode, for sure it lightens up and you will see Linda being more of Linda again. It was awesome getting to work with Team Flash, which includes Tom, Danielle, Carlos, Jesse. I got to work with Candice more, and it was great having scenes with them. We get a training montage and it was very lighthearted, which is what I love about the show.
You’ve worked with Barry quite a lot so far. In the comics, there’s a different Flash that’s in Linda’s life. Are you excited to see what’s next for you now that it looks like Wally’s arrival is imminent?
Oh, definitely. I feel like the potential for storylines is endless. I know a lot of fans are very excited that he’s coming on board and knowing that Linda already exists in this world, it’s definitely an interaction that they are dying to see. I would be completely up for it. I think it would be awesome, and it’s an iconic relationship so it would be cool. I’m not opposed to it!
You are the person who has done the most to bring Linda to the wider, non-comics audience. Do you think any relationship that happens is always a little bit different because there’s so much of you in this character now?
Everyone behind the scenes on The Flash are so good, and they are just killing it right now. So yeah, they put their own twist on these comics, but it still works. They’re staying true to it. I try to keep Linda’s spunk and confidence and strength, while they’re also deviating from the comics with making Doctor Light Linda Park and all that. It still works. It’s still that character to the core but just a little different. I trust Andrew and Greg and they’re so good at what they do that I know she’s in good hands.
Earth-2 Linda didn’t die, and she’s in the pipeline. Is that something you hope to explore a bit more down the line?
Oh, of course. And like we established in this last episode, Doctor Light isn’t a super villain. She’s actually very vulnerable and she’s kind of a victim in this situation. She’s under his thumb and she just wants to honestly wipe her hands of it and disappear. I think if she could get rid of this bad-girl, villain front that she’s got going on, she would in a second.
So she’s definitely not a killer and I would love to explore the depths of her and who she is as a character.
Is there something fun about playing that dynamic — that the version of Linda who has actual, physical power is vulnerable, whereas the human version is more confident?
Exactly. Yeah, I think that just shows that they’re the same, yet very different, and it goes back to the whole life path thing that I was talking about. I feel like they both got involved in different situations that molded them differently. At their core they are the same. I think Doctor Light has that confidence in there somewhere. Obviously, she has to be. She is a villain, so she has to have confidence to some extent. She’s confident in her bank-robbing skills, but maybe not so much in life and as a person.