The Ma’am in the Mirror: Candice Patton on That Fatal ‘Flash’ Moment
Fans of The Flash know that this season’s second “graphic novel” arc has been a killer showcase for Candice Patton‘s Iris. Ever since Mrs. West-Allen was sucked into the Mirror Dimension by villainous Eva McCulloch (Efrat Dor), we have gotten both captive Iris on one side of reality and Mirror Iris posing as her on the other side. Which means twice the Patton and more chances for the fan favorite to remind us how it’s done. Because this woman is getting in the work!
Just last night, Patton got to really let loose as Mirror Iris. She was cornered by the finally suspicious Barry (Grant Gustin), and went all out to destroy him in a battle royale that ultimately ended in her demise. At the same time, our Iris was discovering more truths about the Mirrorverse and deepening her resolve to get home to her hubby. Both sequences were packed with emotions from all over the spectrum and we were left wondering how this is all going to play out.
In the first part of our two-part chat leading up to next week’s season finale, Patton opens up about the ride this season has been and checking off a certain item from her bucket list.
What a big episode. Had you been told that this new Iris was going to have to die?
Candice Patton: Yeah. I think I initially knew from the beginning that at some point, we’d have to deal with her. Like, she can’t continue in our world, right? I didn’t know how she would go out, but I knew at some point we’d have to [handle] about her.
That fight sequence..that is probably the closest you’ll probably get to play a villain
For sure. I’ve had a lot of bucket-list moments on the show where I’ve gotten to be the hero and now I’m getting to play the villain. So this is really cool for me.
When you got to see the effects, what did you think?
I [actually] haven’t seen it! Our visual-effects guy had sent me a little clip, like “Hey I’m just going to show you what we’re working on.” And so I’ve only seen like a very, very short bit of it, but I hope it turned out well. Our department always been such an incredible job.
How was it training for that fight sequence? Because it was unsettling to see you and Grant going at it like that.
Yeah, but it was also really cool because when will you ever see Barry and Iris have a match-up like that on the show? I was kind of shocked to read how violent and brutal the fight sequence was. I was like, “Are we really doing this on our show?” I mean, I love it. The more gore the better. [Laughs] But I really only got to practice maybe like a day or two before. They came to me like 30 minutes before work and said “This is the sequence, we’re going to show you a bit of it just so you have an understanding of what the fight is, but you’ll have to learn most of it on the day.” And that’s kind of how our stuff works. We’re all working so much that there’s not a lot of time to train and rehearse. So a lot of it is just us doing it on the day and hoping we get it. And also having an incredible stunt department.
I spoke with Grant last week and I asked him how Iris is going to handle the fact that it kind of took him some time to figure this out?
[Laughs] I mean, these are the brightest minds in Central City…maybe even the U.S. Would Candice take it a little personally? Yes. Iris, I don’t know. She’s so forgiving and she loves Barry so much. I think she deep=down knows that her dad, Team Flash, Barry, all of them would do everything they could to try and find her and figure it out. So I don’t know how much blame she can actually place on them, you know?
And it was a mirror version so it wasn’t like just like an imposter.
Right! And I feel like she did a great job of pretending to be Iris, even in a previous episode, using the manipulation of Barry being selfish and making these decisions by himself. She was just really good at pretending to be Iris and using the things that her and Barry know to kind of get at him. She was a master manipulator.
What was that like for you getting to play this version of Iris? Because you were so good at just adding small tweaks to her.
Thank you. I mean, they’re not far off from each other. And I really wanted Mirror Iris to be doing a close-enough version of the Iris we know and love, but with moments where you see that she is sinister and you see that she’s being controlled by this evil person, Eva. So there were really small moments I tried to build in where you could see that, no, this is not our Iris and she does have extremely evil intentions. And I wanted it to kind of build up to the fight where you see that she’d do anything. She will slaughter this person. I wanted it to be a slow build.
And it was interesting because she was more concerned for Mirror Kamilla (Victoria Park), she had actual empathy for her mirror comrade rather than Barry.
Well that was someone she’d spent time with and you saw that she was developing these kinds of human emotions of being attached to people and learning what it’s like to care for people and wanting a normal life. You see that in her final moments where she says like, “I feel alive.” That was what she ended up wanting.
Which was a lovely way to end such a brutal scene. And the great thing about this storyline is, it’s not just you on the one side of the mirror. You still got to play with your co-stars.
Right. When Eric [Wallace, showrunner] had pitched this to me at the beginning of the season, before the season started, he was like, “You’re going to be trapped in the Mirrorverse.” And I was like, “Okay, great! Sounds like my days are gonna be really short. It’s just me in a mirror!” [Laughs] It sounded like the easiest work I’ve done all seasons. And then he was like, “No, wait, there’s a mirror version of you and she’ll be out in the world with everyone else.” But you’re right, it was so nice not being so sequestered. I still got to be with my coworkers and have these beautiful moments.
The Flash, Tuesdays, 8/7c, The CW