THE FLASH: Mark Hamill and Andrew Kreisberg Preview the Return of The Trickster | Give Me My Remote

THE FLASH: Mark Hamill and Andrew Kreisberg Preview the Return of The Trickster

March 31, 2015 by  

TrickstersTHE FLASH is no stranger to paying homage to the CBS 1990 series — after all the Barry Allen of that show was played John Wesley Shipp, who plays Barry’s father in The CW freshman hit — and in tonight’s episode, “Tricksters,” the series is bringing on Mark Hamill to reprise his role as The Trickster/James Jesse, when a new Trickster pops up and starts creating trouble.

“Just the idea of being asked to play a part decades later,” Hamill joked to reporters after a screening of the hour. “That never happens.”

For Hamill, the decision to appear on The CW’s take was an easy one.

“I’m a fan,” he shared. “I loved the comics when I was a kid, and I watched the original series before [from CBS’ THE FLASH creators] Danny Bilson and Paul De Meo, who I should mention. And [current THE FLASH] casting director April Webster — I don’t know whose idea it was — called me and got in touch with me, and asked me to come over to see if I wanted to do something on the show. If it weren’t for Danny Bilson and Paul DeMeo, I’m sure I wouldn’t be here at all…but, of course, when this version came on, my daughter Chelsea is a fan, and I watched it from the very first episode. In fact, I even thought, since they were doing Weather Wizard, and various other Rogues Gallery characters, I wondered if they were going to do the Trickster. And then I got a call from my business people saying, ‘They want you to do THE FLASH.’ And I was thinking, a colleague of John Wesley Shipp’s, a professor, something age-appropriate; I’m not getting back into that one-piece jumpsuit, spandex deal. So I said, ‘Who do they want me to play?’ And when they said, ‘The Trickster,’ I just couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t figure out how that could be, unless it was some sort of weird time travel episode. I was very skeptical. But then I called [THE FLASH showrunner] Andrew [Kreisberg], and the one thing that impressed me about the show is how smart the writing is. It has the fantasy elements, the comic book elements, but it’s really strong in character; the backstory of the father wrongly accused — from the very first episode, that’s a really strong hold on the audience. And you get to know so much about the personal life of these characters. So I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when they had the ingenious idea of having Devon Graye play a new Trickster, with me, appealing to — all these villains have unyielding egos. And it worked! When I read the script, I was like, ‘Who is that punk getting all my stuff?!’ I reacted just like I was in character, because he does get to do all the cool Trickster things with the parachute bombs and whatnot.”

“This time,” Kreisberg added.

And the new Trickster has earned Hamill’s seal of approval.

“I’m so enamored with this young actor, Devon Graye,” Hamill said. “I think he’s so vulnerable. When I was on set, I did the EPK just before we did our [big] scene…I had seen Devon working, and I thought he was very, very good, but there was a take where he…was so real. It was astonishing how troubled a kid this was. I’m just doing this crazy comic book guy, it’s not tethered to reality in my mind — he brought it so close to home in terms of how emotionally damaged he was. I’ll tell you, it just moved me beyond works. And I felt badly, because in the [EPK], I went on and on about comic books, and I didn’t mention Devon at all. And I’m so sorry, because I think the world of him, and as far as I’m concerned, he’s a worthy successor…he’s just tremendous. As is all the cast. The one thing that struck me is how happy everyone seems to be. They all get along; it’s a happy set. And having been on sets where people aren’t quite as happy, it makes a world of difference. I only got to work with Grant [Gustin (Barry)] and Jesse [L. Martin (Joe)] and Candice [Patton (Iris)], so Danielle [Panabaker (Caitlin)], and Carlos [Valdes (Cisco)], and Tom [Cavanagh (Wells)] — and Rick [Cosnett (Eddie)] was in the mayor scene. And by the way, the mayor was played by Vito D’Ambrosio, who was one of the original cops in the ’90s FLASH…What great sense of continuity. I’m very pleased and honored they would think of me at all.”

The hour also features a few callbacks to Hamill’s original run as The Trickster, much to the delight of the team who works on the show.

“It’s not just me who loved the old show,” Kreisberg said. “There were so many people who work on the show who were so excited to do that. There were a couple of [callbacks] in the script — and I didn’t really need to go back and rewatch those old episodes, but we all did, and we found a bunch [of things to include].[We use the same warehouse] where James Jesse was holed up in the original show. I’ve always been a fan of Vito’s, not only from THE FLASH, but THE UNTOUCHABLES is one of my favorite movies…they made the old Trickster suit to put on the mannequin…I think, as always with these things, we try to be more than a show about easter eggs. But again, being so blessed to have Mark come back, I think this is the way in which you’ve never seen the Trickster, if you have watched the old show. The challenge of this episode was it had to feel like a legitimate sequel to the old series, but also feel like an episode of our FLASH.”

And, naturally, the show will find a way to have Hamill and Shipp interact again.

“I knew there was no point in doing this if we didn’t have Mark and John in a scene together,” Kreisberg acknowledged. “Early on, when we were constructing the story, we said the Trickster should kidnap Henry, because it’s a great way to satisfy both the fan in all of us, and getting to see the two of them act together. And you want Barry to care about the Trickster — he took his dad.”

“He’s a tremendous actor,” Hamill praised. “Both of them are rocks. John Wesley on the original series — really underrated, he’s such a good actor. Well, he’s not underrated, he has a mantle full of Emmys. And then, of course, Grant, he’s tremendous. So likable, so natural, so perfect for this character. Flash was always much more sunny and upbeat versus the other characters. And you couldn’t do better than that to have a foundation to build a series on. And Jesse Martin, come on. That guy’s just money in the bank. That guy’s done more episodes of LAW AND ORDER than Lucille Ball did of I LOVE LUCY!”

Related:

THE FLASH: Jesse L. Martin on Geeking Out Over ‘Tricksters’ Guest Mark Hamill
THE FLASH: Grant Gustin, Danielle Panabaker, and Carlos Valdes on Wells’ Secrets
THE FLASH Post-Mortem: Andrew Kreisberg, Tom Cavanagh, and Candice Patton on the Insane ‘Out of Time’ Fallout
THE FLASH: Grant Gustin Teases a Bump in Barry’s Plans

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