Candice Patton has broken new ground appearing on the CW Network’s “The Flash” as the potential love interest of the show’s superhero lead. It is the latest in a list of impressive credits that include appearances on “The Game,” “Entourage,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “The Young and The Restless.” Her portrayal of the smart, independent, yet family-oriented and vulnerable journalist Iris West on “The Flash” greatly contributed to the program being number one on the CW Network in its first season. Now about to enter its third season, it continues to be a critical and commercial hit for the network.
Candice Patton is one of the stars of the television show ‘The Flash.’ (Courtesy Photo)
Much has been made of the fact that Patton, who is scheduled to appear at Baltimore Comic Con in early September, is the first African-American to play the character of Iris West, who is White in the original comic books. The Iris West character first appeared in DC Comics’ “The Flash” in 1956.
When the non-traditional casting of Patton as West was first announced there were racists comments about her all over social media. Thankfully it did not scare off the holders of the franchise who have cast Kiersey Clemon, another Black woman, to play West in the upcoming movie version of “The Flash.”
Patton was raised in Texas and is now based in LA. However, she spends the bulk of her time in Vancouver Canada where the show is shot. Asked about her experience working so far from home she told AFRO, “Shooting in Vancouver, I feel luckier than other places because we’re in the same time zone as L.A. It’s a two and a half hour flight. It makes it difficult because Canada is a different country so that means every time I’m flying back and forth I have to go through customs. It’s not an easy thing but every job has its difficulties but of all places to shoot, Vancouver is a pretty good one.”
The Flash will begin its third season in October with the highly anticipated Flashpoint arc where Barry Allen aka The Flash, played by Grant Gustin (“Glee”) has reset the timeline so that his mother was never murdered. This also means he never moved in with Iris and her father Joe, played by Jesse L. Martin (“Law and Order”). Hence, his relationship with Iris will be decidedly different from what it has been for the past two seasons. Patton assures us that “No matter where we go, there’s something about Iris that is always the same which is really nice. She is always a fixed point.”
Fans of Iris West also advocate for a broader role for her and more character development. With regard to her own opinion about her character she states, “I definitely have ideas and as a creative person I imagine where my character could end up but I also try and separate myself from that because I have no control over those things. The writers and producers it’s kind of their jobs to take these characters on the journey that they imagine but I am always vocal about what I would like to see for Iris. You know her being a reporter is huge part of who she is and a huge part of who she is in the comics so I am always advocating seeing more of that. I’d love to see her be editor at “Picture News”.”
As for who Iris is as a person, “She has a charm about her that makes people want to speak to her. I think that’s one of her biggest strengths.”