Arrow's executive producers have already talked about bringing Dr. Barry Allen aka The Flash to life on their hit CW show this second season, and obviously diehard comic book fans had a lot to say about who should embody this new Starling City resident from the announcement. But for Andrew Kreisberg, the character really began to take a better, stronger shape when they saw Grant Gustin's audition.
"As we were writing these episodes, we cast Grant in the middle of it, and it was interesting because Grant, just like Stephen ironically was the first person we saw say the lines. We met with a lot of other talented people and not just talented people but good guys, and it was funny that each one of us-- Geoff and Greg and I-- were working on different scenes, and we all came together and said 'We're all writing Grant.' It was just him, just the same way it was Stephen," Kreisberg said when LA TV Insider Examiner was on set with him in Vancouver*.
"Barry's such a different character from Oliver...episodes eight and nine-- I just handed in nine-- it's been really interesting to write those because you literally have those characters in the same show, and in some ways it's actually made it easier because you can actually say 'Well, that's something Oliver would say; that's not something Barry would say.'"
The character of Dr. Barry Allen is a fanboy in the comics, and Kreisberg confirmed he will be the same in Arrow. He enters Starling City with stars in his eyes (not to be too punny) and strikes up a friendship with Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) partially because he's excited that she knows the vigilante.
""Barry has a very easy relationship with Felicity because Barry is a forensic scientist, and he's young, and he's a little bit socially awkward like she is, so there's a lot of fun with that. In a way it's been fun sort of getting the voice...He says to Felicity 'The vigilante saved you; what's he like!?'" Kreisberg said, noting that part of his story has a "be careful what you wish for vibe."
"Barry's probably the kind of character that collects comic books...And when you look at the Justice League, there are all of these Gods...and then there's Dr. Barry Allen. That's part of why it appeals to Greg and to Geoff and to me and also why it's a really good fit in the world of Arrow. While obviously we're introducing some fantasical things, we want to keep the show as grounded and realistic as possible."
Arrow returns to The CW on October 8 2013.
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* Travel and accommodations provided by WBTV.