Robbie Amell who’s playing Ronnie Raymond and Victor Garber who’s playing Martin Stein discuss Firestorm on The Flash, their different characters, when they’ll both be appearing on the series together and what the future holds for a possible Firestorm spin-off on The CW.
What has that familiarity lent so far to the unique relationship between Ronnie Raymond and Martin Stein?
Amell: We didn’t have to get to know each other. Our first episode together, we’re supposed to have been battling for control mentally against each other for over a year now, so there would be a familiarity — and we already had that. We went out for dinner before we shot anything together, in Vancouver — we saw each other at the table read, and went out to dinner that night, and got to catch back up. It was nice to come in knowing and having a friend, and having fun.
Garber: There’s an immediate trust, that you can just throw the ball, and they’ll bat it back. That’swhat acting mostly is. It’s just listening and responding, and Robbie is really good at that.
Amell: What did you say? [Laughs]
Garber: It makes the whole process easier and more fun.
What’s the dynamic like between the two characters? In the comics, there’s usually a lot of banter back and forth, often to humorous effect — how does it play out on the show?
Amell: We haven’t gotten to do too many scenes like that yet, but from what we’ve shot, there’s definitely a frustration with each other. We spend a lot [of time] in my head, battling for control. You spend a year that close to somebody, you need some time apart, so I think a little bit of the humor comes from us wanting nothing to do with each other, and being brought back together and having to team up to help out Flash. I’m really excited for future episodes, where we will get to have a little more fun together.
Garber: In my second episode, we come together knowing that we have a responsibility, and we both take that seriously. Frustration happens at first — where I just say, “You’re an idiot, I just want to get out of here” — but then, as things progress, we realize that we have a responsibility, and we both accept that. From there on, of course, there will be banter and conflicts, which is what makes it fun.
Also on the panel, we saw the clearest view yet of the Firestorm costume.
Amell: It’s got a lot of evolution to go through. It will definitely evolve. Right now, it just happens to be the wardrobe I was wearing when the splicer gets put on. The splicer is really the only piece of the costume that I think will be consistent, and that’ll be a staple. I think the rest of it is interchangeable.
Garber: They’re going to have more money next season, so they’ll change it. [Laughs]
Sort of on that note — obviously, both of these shows have been very successful for The CW, and there’s acknowledged talks of further spinoffs. Firestorm has had his own comic several times in the past, has his own name value — do you have any indication of a future life for the two of you together beyond “The Flash”?
Garber: Honestly, we really don’t. Like Greg [Berlanti] was saying, there’s a lot of talking going on, and I’m sure that we’re part of that, but we’re not privy to any of that.
Amell: They don’t tell us crap. You guys will probably know before we do.
Garber: Really, I think all will be revealed at the same time, and it will come as a surprise to all of us.
Amell: I was the first person that told Stephen “Arrow” got picked up, because I happened to see it on Deadline. I called him, and he was like, “What are you talking about?” He had already booked it, they shot the pilot, but the announcement it got picked up, I saw it, I called him — and then his phone started ringing. Sometimes it goes out to the trades before the closest people to it.
How soon will viewers see both of you together on “The Flash”?
Amell: You’ll see us in February. The show comes back — I think it airs five episodes straight without a break, and you’ll see us a couple times in there. The episodes are really great for both of our characters, and our combined character. It’s really a back story. One of them is called “The Nuclear Man,” I believe.