The Flash's Teddy Sears Talks Bringing Jay Garrick To Life in Live Action

(Photo: CW/WB)

With Jay Garrick making his first live-action appearance on The CW's The Flash yesterday, it's no surprise that fans are champing at the bit to find out what's next for the Golden Age Flash.

Actor Teddy Sears has the challenge of playing a character with deep ties to World War II in the readers' imagination and remaining true to much of his character, while presumably changing some of that backstory to suit the world of The CW's The Flash.

Sears joined a group of reporters at The CW earlier this week to discuss his first full appearance in next week's episode and some of what he's excited about in the upcoming season.

What is it like taking on the first time we've seen Jay Garrick in a live-action show?

It's thrilling, but I didn't anticipate how thrilling it was going to be when I said yes. Besides the sort of obvious stuff, that suddenly I'm eight years old, running around in the backyard playing superheroes with my friends -- that's sort of a given that that would happen -- but what I didn't anticipate was sort of how important it felt when I was doing it. It's weird and hokey and maybe very actor-y, but there was something very important that began happening, especially and most specifically, putting on that helmet.

There's a scene where I'm reunited with the helmet for the first time and I remember shooting it. There was a real awe and reverence for seeing this thing, and that was absolutely not acted at all. There really was such substance in that sort of moment, so I just keep coming back to this feeling of, wow, it just feels really important. And I can't sum it up any better than that, I guess.

Your costume has a retro quality that really plays well on screen while still looking modern and cool. Tell me the experience of making it work.

That was really fun. I wasn't sure what they were going to do, because when you look at the 1940s, when he was introduced, I feel like you see -- was it an old football jersey that he puts on? -- [it was] very red and very yellow going up. I wasn't sure how they were going to handle it.

So they have successfully modernized it with this really sort of cool, almost motorcycle jacket sort of aesthetic. The jacket's wonderful. Listen, it's all good -- the pants, the boots -- but it's really the helmet. The helmet sort of caps the whole thing off. And I love what they did to the helmet too. If you look at the helmet, and we'll certainly have enough opportunities to, it's been around. It's beaten up. It's got the dings. It's got a wonderful patina to it. It's seen its share of battles.

So the detail that the team put into those little things, to make it, I guess to have it arrive with a story and a history and a past, that's really what made it work for me. And as far as me making it work, they just took my measurements, man! And it just fit.

You've played a lot of lawyers, doctors, guys who wear three-piece suits. What's it like moving headlong into being an action hero?

It's very exciting, just in that it's a character that is no longer in the courtroom or wearing a lab coat or something. It's been a nice sort of progression. But yeah, this guy has a uniform like a handful of other characters I've played.

How does it feel? I don't know. It feels wonderful. It feels like such a tremendous honor to try to try to fill this guy out and give him a real third dimension. And that aspect of a third dimension, I think is maybe a little bit different than playing the foil in a three-piece suit on a law show or something, someone who can tend to be two dimensional. I think that the goal is to make this guy a 100% human being who has a past, who has a history and conflicting feelings and all sort of the things that make humans so wonderful to watch and so complex to watch.

But yeah, that's an interesting point. It is another sort of get-up off a different nature, but this one means a whole lot more this time, to me.

Last season, Barry was juggling three father figures. Is Jay going to step into that role, too?

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I like the older brother analogy, versus father. That is a very different dynamic. There's certainly going to be some overlap but there's some things that you only talk to another sibling about that you wouldn't maybe feel comfortable talking to a dad about.

And I really like Grant as a person. It's hard not to like Grant but for Jay and Barry, that translates. There's a real desire to be around him which is also fun to play with.