Throughout the six seasons of The Flash on The CW, fans have watched Iris West go from being an investigative reporter to a key leader in the STAR Labs team of meta humans fighting crime in Central City. And while she's been a key force in guiding her husband Barry Allen and their allies, she's also had her own heroic moments in the series, including a key episode where she was imbued with the Speed Force and forced to fill in for Barry. But this moment came as a major shock to actress Candice Patton.
During a discussion with TV Guide, Patton revealed that executive producer Geoff Johns flat out told her that Iris would never get superpowers on The Flash. So when it actually happened, it was a surprise.
"[I was] a little shocked because I remember very early on in the show, I'd asked [executive producer and The Flash comic book writer] Geoff Johns, 'Do you think I'll ever suit up?' and he was like, 'No, you'll never suit up,'" Patton said.
The actress said she made peace with being one of the few humans without superpowers in the series, eager to showcase Iris' abilities despite the lack of super speed, but then she was surprised to learn of the show's plans for her in the episode "Run, Iris, Run."
"When they decided to do it in Season 4, I was shocked but also really excited just to kind of do something different, be more physical, be more active, be more of the hero on the show."
Iris has played an integral role on Team Flash throughout the series, enjoying an increased role in the latter seasons as she's taken on more responsibilities at STAR Labs. Showrunner Eric Wallace explained it was always a part of the plan to give Iris more prominence.
"Whenever we can, the intention is to pepper in what makes Iris West-Allen and not define her by her marriage to a man. I love marriage. It's great, but that's not how people should be defined," said Wallace. "One of the most important things for me when I took over as showrunner of The Flash was to really make sure that Iris Allen-West was an equal character with equal time and equal stories to her male counterpart, Barry Allen — to establish equality, not just as a wife and a spouse. No, no, no. As a reporter, and as an individual with her own interests and her own stories, and, even more importantly, to show the independence of a working African American woman and bringing all of that out."
New episodes of The Flash air Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW.