Victor Garber is having more fun than he ever expected playing a Dr. Martin Stein, a.k.a. one half of the entity Firestorm on The CW’s “The Flash.”
But the 65-year-old film and television veteran is also grateful to share his character’s duties with Robbie Amell, as it allows him to avoid an abundance of grueling stunt work.
“The good news is when we become Firestorm, it’s Robbie. I’ll be in my hotel room and he’ll be running around in the forest at night,” he told TheWrap in an interview about Tuesday’s episode. “I don’t think I’ll be called on to do those kinds of things.”
Garber’s character was melded with Ronnie Raymond (Amell) in a particle accelerator accident, turning them into a fire-controlling meta-human. The two lived out the first half of Season 1 in the same body, Amell’s, but on last week’s episode Firestorm went nuclear and Dr. Stein and Ronnie were finally separated.
Garber is excited to step into his own on Tuesday’s episode “Fallout,” but isn’t necessarily looking forward to doing his own stunts, if it comes down to it.
“Robbie is more equipped to handle the [action-filled stunts]. I did my stunt days on ‘Alias,'” he joked, referring to the 2001-2006 ABC series with Jennifer Garner.
The accomplished actor went on to talk about his character’s chemistry with hero Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), how he hopes to one day visit “Arrow,” and the importance of starring on a series where’s it’s cool to be smart.
TheWrap: How did your role on “The Flash” come about?
Victor Garber: Out of the blue. I worked with Greg Berlanti a few years ago on “Eli Stone” and he contacted me and asked if I was interested in
Are you a comic aficionado?
No. I never read comics really. I know nothing, basically. I am new to this vast and enormous world. It’s so weird at this age to be doing something I’ve never thought I’d be doing.
Have the showrunners eased you into it?
They sent me a script and it was like, “Oh, I’m a meta-human now. I’m conjoined!”
How is working with Robbie Amell?
Robbie, my other half, so to speak. We worked together at another show, so it was a really great reunion … I feel very comfortable with him and he with me … It’s very clear there is a rapport.
Robbie told TheWrap he did an impression of you from “Alias” on last week’s episode – how would you grade him?
I thought he did a really good job … I was very impressed. Other people would do a parody of me, but he was still himself and had kind of a different tone.
Where does Dr. Stein/Firestorm go from here?
My character is trying to get back to his real world and his wife … That’s what intrigues me — how does he adapt to his new life? Will he be tempted to go back if he can? Does he want to continue in that world and, if he does, how does he manage both? … I don’t know where they’re planning to go after the next episode, but that’s what intrigues me.
You and Grant Gustin had good chemistry on last week’s episode, does that continue on Tuesday?
I have little patience with Robbie as a character when we finally are separated, so Grant becomes my ally. Also, he’s interested in what I’m interested in. We have a great scene where he asks my opinion about his situation and his past. There is a discussion about time and about whether it exists. We have that rapport because Grant is a great actor and we had a great time working together. … So, yes, I hope it does continue. Well, I think it will because I’ll be back.
Well, on “Flash” the heroes and villains are more often defined by their intellect — it’s cool to be smart. Is that an important message to viewers?
Very important. When I first saw the premiere of “The Flash” — I haven’t actually watched “Arrow” yet, but it’s on my list of things to do because I’m hoping Dr. Stein has to eventually visit the Arrow — the whole attraction for me was the show’s sense of goodness and heart. It’s human connections and that’s what Greg is about. That’s why the shows work because they resonate with people in ways they aren’t even aware of. I think it’s terribly important, particularly for young people.
“The Flash” episode “Fallout” airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. on The CW.