BY ERIC GOLDMAN
Jesse Quick (Violett Beane) was introduced on The Flashearly in Season 2, but a year later, she’s finally fulfilling her comic book destiny, as the character has gained her own speedster powers – and, in this week’s new episode, “The New Rogues,” a costume to go along with them.
I spoke to Beane about Jesse’s transformation, the pros and cons of wearing a supersuit, and Jesse and Barry facing formidable villains like Mirror Master and Captain Cold together. Plus, we chatted about her role on HBO’s excellent The Leftovers last year, and what it was like to work on that acclaimed Damon Lindelof series.
IGN: What was it like for you to be told, “Hey, we’re going for it! She’s getting the powers and she’s getting the costume”?
Violett Beane: Probably one of the greatest things that’s ever happened. I found out about a week before we actually started shooting, so it wasn’t a very long time. They were like, “Hey, so this is going to happen.” And I was like, “Finally!” I think the fans, myself, pretty much everyone, last season we all sort of thought it was going to happen, so when it didn’t, it was kind of a disappointment. Then when I got the call that we were actually finally doing it, I was like, “Okay, this is going to be cool!” This has been a long time coming. I’m very excited.
IGN: As you mentioned, when you got the part, most of us assumed they had to eventually go there with her. But did you know for sure? What kind of indications did they give you when you were first hired?
Beane: When I was first hired, I did not know. I auditioned using mock sides so I didn’t even know who the character was. When I booked it, they were like, “Oh, by the way, you’re Jesse Quick.” I went and got some comic books and studied up a little bit. They had told me that I was Wells’ daughter and I was like, okay, well that doesn’t really carry over, you know what I mean? So it’s sort of like how strict are they going to be with the comic books? I was anticipating the middle of second season was when I was going to become a speedster, but obviously that didn’t happen. They’re pretty down-low and keep things to themselves.
IGN: She helped Barry at the end of the last episode, but this is the first time they’re really goirng to be partnering up. What’s their dynamic like? Is Barry comfortable with this? Does she feel comfortable listening to him take the lead?
Beane: When the promo photos got released I was very excited to see the photos of the two of them together. The suits look really cool. I think the dynamic you’ll see between the two of them… Jesse’s younger and she just got her speed so she is kind of a little bit reckless with it, sort of the way Barry was when he first got his speed or the way anyone is when they first get a power that they don’t know how they can control it or what their capabilities are. You will see Barry sort of teaching her, “Hey, maybe don’t run into things as quickly as you can. Think about things.” That dynamic is going to be really fun to explore.
IGN: We always hear that super hero suits may be cool to see, but are not always comfortable to wear. What was you combination of being thrilled to just have this thing on and what it represents, versus the lack of comfort factor?
Beane: Oh, totally. It’s red leather, right? Super, super cool, super bad ass. Not the most comfortable! In between shots, we always take off the jackets just because those are the most constricting. With the pants, mine are pretty high waisted, so when I sat down I definitely had to unzip it a little bit. A little bit tight, a little bit tight. [Laughs]
IGN: Did Grant have red leather advice for you?
Beane: You know, he gets off a little bit easier. His has a lot of other fabric in it. It has a stretchy bamboo fabric so he’s a little bit easier. Mine is full leather.
IGN: This episode looks like a really big one, because not only is it Jesse suited up for the first time, but you’ve got the introduction of Mirror Master and Top and you’ve got Captain Cold coming back somehow. What can you say about these villains that Jesse in her first real mission is facing?
Beane: It’s pretty crazy that these are the villains she’s going up against, because Mirror Master is insane. His power is amazing. His capabilities are great and I think this duo is going to be next to unstoppable, so it’s going to take all of Jesse and Barry to fight them. I love that Wentworth [Miller] is coming back. I love his character. Captain Cold’s always been a big villain for me, so yeah, this episode I think is going to be a pretty, pretty good one. Those are some heavy villains.
IGN: Wells had his sort of understandable fatherly concerns about his daughter rushing off into danger. But at the end of last episode he gave his blessing, he gave her the costume. Still, is it going to be difficult for him to actually see her going out there now?
Beane: I think it’s a great dynamic between the two of them, and I get it. He’s a very protective father. I don’t think that’s ever really going to go away. But I do think in that last scene in last episode you did see him opening up and allowing her to be the person she needs to be which I thought was really beautiful. I loved that scene. I do think it’s a healthy thing for Wells to let Jesse be the person she needs to be. But I don’t think it’s going to fully go away.
IGN: And meanwhile, it’s an interesting dynamic with Jesse and Wally. On one hand, it seems like there’s a little flirtation there. On the other hand, he’s his speedster jealousy issues, so he’s trying to work on that. What’s it going to be like for him to see her even more kind of taking on the mantle while he’s unable to?
Beane: Poor Wally just wants to be a speedster! You know, I think sort of towards the end you sort of saw with him and Joe sort of moving past it a little bit and him sort of understanding maybe he’s meant to do something else. Maybe this isn’t his time. So I really do hope that that happens between him and Jesse because their relationship is really sweet right now and I think that they can’t really go anywhere if he’s still jealous and is always thinking, it should have been me. If he gets over that a little bit, I definitely think there will be some #QuickWest in this next episode.
IGN: Is it funny for you to see stuff like that? The show has passionate fans and they really embrace things and have things they want to happen.
Beane: Oh totally. They all have opinions which is amazing and we do it for them. I do see the things people say, and most of it, I’ve been lucky enough for it to all be positive, which is amazing. I am 100% with the fans with West/Allen, best ship ever. I love them. So yeah, I love seeing what everyone has to say and what their theories are, what’s going to happen.
IGN: The Flash is part of this much larger universe that now encompasses four different series. Would you like to see Jesse maybe encounter some of these other characters from the other series and see what that dynamic would be like?
Beane: I would love that. Now that Supergirl’s here, I would love for Jesse to go over there. There’s an amazing photo of Supergirl and Jesse Quick running together from a comic book and I would love for that to actually happen. And also, going over to Arrow would be super fun. Emily [Bett Rickards] and Echo [Kellum] are really good friends of mine and I would love to actually work with them. That would be so fun. So yeah, tell the writers! Violett’s down.
IGN: The Flash goes big on multiple universes, multiple timelines, changing the timeline and it can get pretty complex. For you guys, when you’re thrown a new script, is there a learning figuring out what’s going on now?
Beane: Oh, definitely. Even if you read the scripts you’re still a little confused because there’s so much that we do with the show. Especially, you know, I came in episode 3 [this season], so I didn’t get the scripts for one or two, so when I was shooting I had a lot of questions. Like, “Wait, what is Flashpoint? What is going on? Who is this new guy from Harry Potter?” A lot of questions that had to get answered. We understand for the most part but there definitely are some confusions.
[Editor’s Note: The remainder of the interview goes into spoiler territory for The Leftovers: Season 2]
IGN: I wanted to ask about your work last year on The Leftovers. It’s another case where I’m curious, how much did you know beforehand? I’m thinking about filming that season premiere and how odd it must have been if you didn’t know what was happening, because on one hand, you’re filming these scenes of three normal girls just having fun but then you’ve got to film the weird silence in the car, and them running naked through the woods. Did you have any context for what was going on there?
Beane: No context whatsoever. Here’s the thing with The Leftovers and [Damon] Lindelof… He has these ideas and these things he wants to run with, and they’re brilliant ideas and that’s why he’s made amazing shows like Leftovers and Lost. It does go into these weird places that you don’t expect and I think that’s because he sort of doesn’t expect it either. We had no, no, no, no idea that we were going to become that at the end of the season. It was really fun. Honestly, that show, I didn’t know anything about the industry yet, who I’m supposed to talk to, who I’m supposed to know and not know, so I was just having a blast and didn’t really care and I met a best friend there. I loved that experience and I love the Leftovers.
IGN: What was it like to come back in the season finale and be in this extremely intense scene where you’re not speaking, but Regina [King] is doing so much and you guys have to sort of be this scary, stoic presence? I imagine that was interesting to film.
Beane: Yeah, absolutely. That scene, just our parts, took a week to film, which is insane if you think about it. It’s like, “HBO, you’re crazy!” Every single day we would go back on that roof and they’d be getting the shot from different angles and getting different parts of it. Jasmin Savoy Brown, who plays Evie — she’s the best friend that I met on the set — I don’t know how she didn’t lose it when Regina King was in her face and just emoting so much and being so real and in it. We were a couple feet away, but I was just feeling it as much as Regina was, and Jasmin’s standing there right in front of her and having to hold it together… so yeah, that whole scene was pretty insane.
IGN: Many felt that The Leftovers was very good in its first season, but the second season was just amazing TV – IGN named it the best show of 2015, actually. Was it great for you, especially since it was such a strange experience filming it and not quite understanding the context, to see how well received it was when it aired?
Beane: Oh, totally. I definitely think there were some extremely, extremely powerful scenes in that second season. Namely, Regina King and Carrie Coon together and they’re just going back and forth but they’re so composed and that scene is probably the best scene I’ve ever seen on TV. And yeah, it was though, not understanding what you’re shooting and just hoping it’s going to look good when it finally comes out.
The Flash: “The New Rogues” airs Tuesday, October 25th on the CW.