The Arrowverse has been making an impact quite like anything else on television for a while now, bringing fans four completely different kinds of DC Comics stories week after week. A new interview with David Rapaport, who helped cast some of the Arrowverse's most iconic roles, adds a whole other dimension to how the TV universe came together.
In a recent profile in Entertainment Weekly, Rapaport talked about his prolific career as a casting director for television, including on quite a lot of The CW's programming. The profile breaks down how Rapaport found some of the Arrowverse's leads, beginning with Arrow star Stephen Amell.
“They said to me, ‘We want someone that looks like a superhero and can act,'” Rapaport says of Amell, who was reportedly the first person to read for the role. “I had just cast Stephen [Amell] in a guest spot on 90210, and it was a pretty dramatic role. He had the muscles and that kind of dark mysterious look behind his eyes, so he was the first person I thought of when I read the Arrow script.”
When The Flash was being developed as a backdoor spinoff for Arrow, Rapaport was tasked with finding the opposite of Oliver Queen -- someone who "shouldn't look like a superhero".
“We were looking for someone who was relatable, someone that was an Everyman who was bestowed with superpowers—someone a little bit goofy,” Rapaport revealed. “But every time I met Grant [Gustin], he seemed like this affable, dorky, charming, fun dude. He was the first person I auditioned for the role. We read him opposite [Arrow’s] Emily Bett Rickards, and there was amazing chemistry there.”
A year later, when Supergirl was initially getting off of the ground at CBS, Rapaport and the show's creative team searched for a "Jennifer Lawrence prototype" for the Girl of Steel, something they eventually found in Melissa Benoist.
“There’s a quality about Jennifer Lawrence, an openness, a goofiness. She’s relatable,” Rapaport explained. “I got to know Melissa, and she seemed to encapsulate all these qualities they were looking for."
All these years and several show-spanning crossovers later, it's safe to say that Rapaport's work has paid off in spades.0comments
“The most fun aspect about really focusing on the leads is we really had a chance to tell a story about the troika that we’ve never really been able to do before,” Arrow consulting producer Marc Guggenheim explained prior to last year's "Elseworlds" crossover. “When you have Legends of Tomorrow part of it, and all of the other secondary and supporting characters, the amount of time we had Grant and Stephen and Melissa on screen together was actually pretty minimal in other crossovers compared to this year.”
Supergirl airs Sundays at 8/7c on The CW. Arrow airs Mondays at 9/8c on The CW. The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW.