There’s a new kid in town— Kid Flash that is — and Central City is about to take a deep dive into the mysterious world of Wally West. The Flash introduced one of DC comics well-known characters in its mid-season finale and fans have been waiting with baited breath to see how this story will unfold on the small screen. The show returns to the CW on January 19 at 8pm ET and will undoubtedly be met with high expectations from speedster fans worldwide. But have no fear, this new superhero gig is in the capable hands of Keiynan Lonsdale, who jumped at the chance to take on this role and is expected to tackle the coveted character with ease, and yes, we can’t help but race to see how Joe West’s (Jesse L. Martin) long lost son fits in with the group.
If you need a little refresher on the origin of Wally West, here’s the gist: the character was originally introduced to DC Comics in 1959. He was Barry’s “sidekick” if you will, known to most as Kid Flash. Spoiler alert: he went on to serve as the full-blown Flash for a good chunk of time. Now that you’re in the know, let’s seen what Lonsdale had to say during this exclusive interview with NoWhiteNoise.
The young actor offered up insight into the arrival of Wally and left us with some interesting questions. Will Barry (Grant Gustin) and Wally get along? Is there romance on the horizon for the newest member of the West family? How about super powers, will he get them or not? Between sibling rivalry and Wally’s undeniable need for speed, Team Flash is without a doubt in the running for a shake up. I chatted with Lonsdale about his character competing with his new bro for Joe’s attention, and so much more.
Take a look!
MCKENZIE MORRELL: We were finally introduced to your character on The Flash and Wally West is one of the most beloved characters in the DC universe. With that said, do you feel any added pressure to live up to this character that the comic book community seems to love so much?
KEIYNAN LONSDALE: There’s a little bit of pressure but more so I’m excited to have the opportunity to play such an iconic character. It’s awesome. It’s nothing that I’m putting too much pressure on myself with. But there is a lot of work to it. I guess I want to do the character justice, so yeah.
MM: What kind of backstory have you created for Wally to get a handle on this character?
KL: Well I guess a lot of it is just the fact that he didn’t have his dad around. It’s just been his mom and himself. That’s how I grew up, just me and my mom so I kind of drew from those experiences. I can’t imagine not knowing my dad until I was much much older, how that would affect a young dude. So maybe about that and I kind of just used my experiences and figured out where I wanted him to be.
MM: That’s great perspective to have. Did you watch the show prior to auditioning and were you a fan?
KL: Yes. I was a big fan.
MM: Obviously you’re a series regular now which means we’ll be seeing a lot more of you and Wally on The Flash. Is it safe to say we’re going to dive right in, getting to know your character when it returns?
KL: Yeah, as much as Wally will allow you to get to know him, straight away. He has his walls up pretty high. He keeps to himself so obviously, like you said, we’ll get to see a lot of Wally going forward so more and more, each episode, we’ll see those walls come down. I hope. We’ll see more of Wally’s personality and more of his story. At the moment, it’s been really cool to play.
MM: That’s awesome. We’re looking forward to that. And obviously, there’s a lot of buzz surrounding this because in the comics Kid Flash is Barry’s sidekick but with the new direction of a long lost brother, will that create obstacles between the two of them because Barry had this life that Wally should have had with Iris (Candice Patton) and Joe. Will there be some sibling rivalry?
KL: Definitely. That’s definitely a huge obstacle. Wally is this guy that’s been in this place. He’s already unsure of what he wants with his family and then to know that his — not competition but there’s someone else that’s already in that place. That’s something they’re going to deal with. I think it might be an interesting sibling rivalry and an interesting friendship hopefully, that comes. Them taking down crime together would be awesome so it’ll be cool to see how that will play out.
MM: Now did you ever see any potential for your character to join team Zoom instead of team Flash. That would be a completely different take on the comics.
KL: You never know. That’s the funny thing is that I have no idea who Zoom is or who Zoom really is. A lot of us on set are trying to guess. Who is Zoom, double crossing people. It’s still pretty quiet but who knows. I think it would be exciting to watch either way who will it be.
MM: If and when your character gets his powers, do you think that Cisco is going to be the one who gets to name him?
KL: Yeah, I think that should be how it goes. Although, Wally might take the reins himself. He likes control.
MM: So you know your character has a passion for drag racing. Do you think his need for speed will cause some problems?
KL: Definitely. It’s a dangerous thing. You might get to see how that plays out but I think that will be really cool to watch.
MM: People watching are already invested in your character and we only just caught a glimpse of it. Will there be any romance for Wally? A lot of people want to know if you’ll cross paths with Linda Park who in the comics obviously is his girlfriend.
KL: I hope so. It’s always fun to see that side of a character. At this stage, I have no idea but it’d be really cool to go down that path.
MM: We hope so. Now you’re also part of the Divergent family. Would you say you’re a fan of sci-fi or is there a particular genre that you’re really drawn to?
KL: Yeah I’m a fan of scifi. I’ve always loved watching action and sci-fi because it kind of makes you feel like anything is possible. I think that’s always a cool thing to feel like you can do anything. It’s a really cool and inspiring thing. Other than Divergent, things have been a little dark. Those kind of films are fun.
MM: What are some of your nerdy pleasures? Are you a big fan of any franchise?
KL: I became a huge fan of The Flash season one. I became a huge nerd. I tell them now — I tried to be cool at first but now I’m like “I’m a huge fan of this show.” Growing up I loved Pokemon and Dragon Ball Z and Yugi-oh. That was my thing. I had the cards and played the computer games and watched the shows. That’s my childhood.
MM: That’s great. No you probably have the ultimate nerd cred, being on the show you once loved so much.
KL: Yeah it’s been awesome.
MM: Who have you enjoyed working with the most, so far on The Flash set? Were you intimidated coming into an already established show?
KL: Yeah, it can be intimidating walking on to any project that has any pre existing dynamic. The same thing happened with Insurgent or the show I worked on back in Australia. I always come in in the second film or the second season. But it’s cool, I was welcomed really well and I met most people, everyone from the cast on the first day so it was awesome. Everyone is so kind and friendly. It was a great environment.
MM: That’s great to hear. I think it’s safe to say besides the family dynamic that they’re going to explore when the show returns, Wally West has a larger role to play. Can you offer the audience anything for your character that’s coming up, to tease us for when the show returns?
KL: I get some really emotional and heart pulling family moments with Wally. And also, he puts himself in some dangerous situations.
MM: Uh-oh. Now, I’m sure you’re super busy on the projects that you’re working on but on your down time, what are some shows, other than The Flash, that you enjoy watching?
KL: At the moment, even though I’ve seen every episode, I watch a lot of Family Guy because I don’t have to think and it’s just hilarious. I also love House of Cards. But I’ve finished season three so I’m just waiting. I watch a lot of TV actually. I’m on Netflix a lot. If I’m not doing that I’m trying to make music or something.
MM: If you could possess any super power what would it be?
KL: I just had a dream that I had super powers. I just woke up from a dream earlier. I had a bunch of different powers in that but one was — I think I could kind of fly. I was almost flying in the dream. I want it to be like that in real life. It would totally be to fly because who wouldn’t want to fly.
MM: You’d miss all the traffic. I’d be down for that.
KL: But you have to hope no one else could fly otherwise they’d create traffic.
MM: [Laughs] Definitely! To conclude, you recently released your EP and for free nonetheless, can you tell us about your musical style and if you have anything else coming up for us?
KL: I guess it’s alternative R&B. I’ve been really inspired by Frank Ocean, The Weekend, Michael Jackson was always my guy. I just put up a new song. I write a lot. Sometimes more so than others when I have time. Schedules can make things harder. I’m hoping I can keep doing that. I really want to work with other creative people and other writers and producers and see what I can do. Probably in 2016 I’ll maybe even do some live performances.
MM: Any chance for like a Flash themed song based off your time spent there?
KL: I have no idea. I’m pretty sure everyone in the cast can sing so they should do it at some point.
MM: There should be a musical episode. We’ll put that out in the world and see if that happens.
KL: Yeah. You know what, I just watched a youtube I think of Carlos, Tom Cavanagh and Grant, put up a youtube video, a Christmas singing video. They pretended to play trumpets. It’s really funny. Check that out.
MM: I definitely will have to. That sounds awesome. I think that’s all the questions I have for you. I’m really excited to see more of your character and the stuff that’s coming up. Thank you again for joining me.
KL: Thank you.
The Flash returns Tuesday, Jan. 19 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.