Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) makes his debut Tuesday night on the CW’s “The Flash” and the iconic DC super-villain — at first known as Leonard Snart — promises to be every bit the thorn in Barry Allen’s (Grant Gustin) side as comic fans might imagine.
“It’s not fun for Barry,” Gustin told TheWrap and other press on-set in Vancouver. “Like, it’s fun for Snart and that’s the whole thing that’s driving him. It’s like ‘oh, what’s this new challenge?’ It’s kind of re-energizing [to him] trying to take his game to the next level.”
“But for Barry, I think it’s kind of just a pain in the ass. This guy won’t go away. There are bigger things Barry is trying to focus on.”
Miller certainly embodies the part on Tuesday’s episode — with his ice-cold shades and his ferocious freeze gun — but the actor was actually completely unfamiliar with the character earlier this year.
“I had not heard of Captain Cold before, but I had heard of [executive producer Greg Berlanti], had a lot of respect for what he’s achieved in this business,” Miller explained. “I saw the pilot, which I thought was really strong, and thought this was something I want to be a part of.”
It would be the “Prison Break” veteran’s first recurring TV role since wrapping on the well-received Fox series in 2009, but the actor resisted any urges to over prepare. Instead of purchasing back issues of “The Flash” at his local comic shop, he deferred to the talented showrunners who wooed him in the first place.
“I went online and I Googled a few images and some of them I responded to and some of them I did not and then I thought, let me take my cue from, from what the writers have planned,” Miller said. “I got the sense early on that there was a willingness to respect what’s come before, but also an interest in reinventing and giving things a fresh spin, so I thought, let me take the character from the pages of the script, specifically.
“What I responded to was this very powerful guy, who I think has been at the top of his game for a long time and maybe he’s gotten a little bored, a little complacent and then all of a sudden this extremely worthy adversary shows up and suddenly the game‘s interesting again.,” he continued. “He has it out for The Flash, but on some level there’s also an appreciation and a certain degree of respect.”
Unlike each previous villain The Flash has faced, Captain Cold isn’t a meta-human. He wasn’t granted unbelievable powers during the pilot’s particle accelerator accident — he’s just a mostly bad and completely resourceful guy.
“I’m not strictly evil,” Miller explained. “That there are shades of gray that speak to the human side of Snart … it’s my hope that given time, we have a chance to explore some of those things.”
If Central City’s quick-footed protector isn’t slowed by a fresh, frozen menace like Captain Cold, perhaps a blossoming love triangle with “Arrow’s” Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and Iris (Candice Patton) will stop Barry in his tracks. Tuesday’s cross-over episode puts Barry and Felicity on a double-date with Iris and her boyfriend Eddie (Rick Cosnett) and the cast agrees awkwardness will most certainly ensue.
“Felicity brings out a lot more of his awkwardness,” Gustin explained. “[He reverts] back to the original Barry when she’s around just because she makes him all nervous.”
“There is a trivia night at Jitters and Iris is very adamant that Barry invite Felicity to that and it is fun to watch them squirm with each other,” Patton said, describing the date.
“It’s so awkward,” Cosnett added . “It’s Felicity, Barry, Iris and I. From the get go, it’s just a mess. Some people are sweating, some people are flirting.”
“The Flash” airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.