Robbie Amell Breaks Down His Return to ‘The Flash’ and the Arrowverse
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 8, Episode 11, of The Flash, “Resurrection.” If you don’t want to be spoiled, go rewatch the first season when Ronnie Raymond was alive.]
Death clearly becomes Robbie Amell. Even before his gig as the deceased Nathan in Prime Video’s terrific Upload, the cousin of Arrow star Stephen Amell was killing it with a series of demises as The Flash‘s Ronnie Raymond. Introduced in Season 1 as Caitlin’s (Danielle Panabaker) structural-engineer bf-turned-husband and offed in the finale when his half of Firestorm was vaporized in the Singularity, Amell has made a handful of return visits—and each one culminated in whatever version of his character he was playing meeting some dead end.
And now he’s back again, only this time, he’s playing Deathstorm—basically, Earth-2’s anti-Ronnie—and causing major chaos. For a bit, we thought the big bad was this fire-meta, but it was revealed at the end of last week’s episode that it was Ronnie’s evil alter and you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Here, Amell explains how he came back to the Arrowverse as the villain last seen (and killed, natch) in Season 2, and hints at what Team Flash could be in for now that evil has come to town.
OK, so talk to me about this, because Deathstorm— I was watching the episode and picking up all of these nods to the “Blackest Night” storyline that DC Comics did a bunch of years back. It was really cool. I got a phone call, and they were like, “Do you wanna come and do this?” And you know, whenever they ask, it’s always a yes. Of course! I’d love to!
Then they were like, “It’s gonna be Deathstorm,” and I was like, “OK…selfishly, that’s way more fun for me.” [Laughs] And I asked them how they were gonna do it, would it be like the last time I came back? I only had a leather jacket then, so am I gonna get something cooler? And they were like, “Well, it’s actually gonna be a lot of CGI.” So while that’s a bummer for me personally, it’s really cool for me when I get to watch the episode.
And what’s his master plan? At first I wasn’t sure, and then I finally got a script to read, and I was like, “Oh, this is pretty cool!” This is not the human version of Deathstorm. He’s more like a monster who’s lonely who wants his bride.
They don’t bring back Stein (Victor Garber), do they? Not for this. But I would love that. And it would would be another reason for coming back, to do something Firestorm-related with Victor, which would just be like a total dream. I haven’t seen him in ages, and it would be so nice to spend some time together.
And actually, I hadn’t seen Grant [series star Gustin] or really the whole cast, so getting to spend some time with them was so great. Talking to Danielle about her family and my family, and then seeing Grant and talking to him about his family. Everybody has families now! It’s so funny, it felt like it had been forever since I had been on the show, but also like the shortest “forever” in the world. Like, it’s been COVID time, you know?
Oh, for sure. And the cool thing is, because they have Allegra (Kayla Compton) and Chester (Brandon McKnight), even Cecile (Danielle Nicolet) on the team now, they have to be told who you are, which gives us these great flashbacks. We get great reminders of who Ronnie was and what he did. Yeah. Did I look young enough in the flashbacks? [Laughs]
That’s the thing. I was like, God, he’s playing himself 10 years younger and hasn’t aged! Oh, stop it! You know what? I’ll just say thank you. [Laughs] I will say though, during the flashback scenes with Danielle, I was looking at her and said, “Oh, man, we’re supposed [to be from] 10 years ago? What?!” [Laughs]
And what is coming next? It’s a multi-episode arc, so if he wants his bride back but doesn’t get that, what kind of wreckage does Deathstorm bring? Well, he feeds off of anguish and pain and all of those things. So you get to see him put the rest of the cast through the wringer. And a lot of my fun on this show is actually in the ADR booth for all of the CG characters and when I’m talking through other characters, having to match their lips and their tone. It was a blast. As far as ways to come back to the show, it was super-cool.
Now…how many times have you died on this show? Oh, God…first time I came back [after the particle accelerator explosion], then the second time in the finale…third time was Earth-2’s Deathstorm. This is four. This is No. 4. Geez. I might have the most deaths on the show. [Laughs]
You’re their Kenny! Now, you have been very busy with all sorts of things, but I need to ask about the “Code 8” sequel, because the first one was so good! The second one is so much better. Jeff [Chan, the director] showed me the first 45 minutes, and there is a scene between Stephen and I—it’s actually the first real scene between us in the sequel—and I already know it’s gonna be my dad’s favorite scene that I’ve ever done. It’s the two of us hating each other for, like, three minutes and, and it’s so fun to watch when you know that we’re related. I’m so proud of him, Jeff and the whole cast and crew. I think we’ve made something really special and I’m so excited for it.
The Flash, Wednesdays, 8/7c, The CW