Teddy Sears is ready to change the world of "The Flash" -- forever. The veteran actor ("Masters of Sex," "666 Park Avenue") showed up briefly at the very end of the second season premiere as an alternate universe speedster named Jay Garrick, warning series star Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) that incredible danger was coming to his world.
But that's just the beginning of the changes Garrick -- and Sears -- is bringing to the show, as MTV News found out when we hopped on the phone in advance of this week's episode. The jovial, engaging Sears discussed the differences in two guys both named The Flash, his secret history playing Batman -- and how shippers of Snowbarry (that would be Caitlin Snow and Barry Allen) might not want to ring wedding bells just yet.
MTV News: Big, burning question first: how do you keep the helmet on your head?
Teddy Sears: [Laughs] It’s been getting the greatest attention! I’ll say, it’s a work in progress. We have what’s called the Hero Helmet... The heavy, the real deal, the one that we use for close-ups. And then we have a bunch of others for fighting that look exactly like the Hero Helmet, but a little lighter: plastic, rubber, etc.
We’re still not 100% dialed in. You’re going to see a lot of fighting in episode two between myself and Sand Demon, and that was our first crack at putting the helmet in some real, live-action fighting. It wasn’t without its challenges, but the props department, they have it pretty dialed in.
Listen, we’ll circle back and we’ll talk again for the next time, because I think there’s going to make some tweaks. But I will say this: the helmet they use predominantly, it’s heavy. It’s a real, heavy helmet that they have beaten up, that they’ve given a really beautiful weathered look. The helmet tells the story of the battles that Jay Garrick’s been in prior to arriving on Earth One.
MTV: Certainly the implication is that Jay has far more experience than Barry does, when it comes to those battles... I know a lot of this is up to FX, but is there a difference in fighting style between Barry’s Flash and your Flash?
Sears: That’s a really good question. It’s sort of a two-hander... On the one hand, yeah I think you’re right. One is a difference in age, one is a difference in experience. And FX is definitely going to have their hand in keeping distinct their two fighting styles.
But on the other hand, these are two human beings who punch like people, kick like people, run like people. So it’s a yes, and no.
But Barry being younger, you know how when you’re younger you have so much more enthusiasm, sort of leaping out of your skin to go and fight? I think one thing Jay brings to Barry is a sense of, "You need to discipline yourself. You need to focus what you can do. You need to hone these things you can do. And I’m here to teach you things you didn’t know you could do."
Things that Barry doesn’t even realize he could do, or was capable of doing here on Earth One. Which is another sort of cool thing that speaks to trading methods. That’s really fun. Definitely sort of a coach, mentor/mentee relationship.
MTV: It’s interesting to hear you say that, since I know you've discussed before that Jay isn't really a fourth father figure for Barry, as much as an older brother. And not that Barry’s had the smoothest rides with all of his father figures, but older brothers -- being one myself, I can speak to this -- definitely implies an occasional adversarial relationship.
Sears: Fathers and sons will lock horns invariably at some point in their lives, but brothers do it probably more consistently, and in a way that a father and a son could never do. When you’re close in age, within a decade or younger, you’re absolutely sharing the same experience, you’re sharing the same generational experiences -- even if you come from a different Earth.
You’re still close enough in age where you can relate to the other person like they’re someone you want to hang out with. It’s not someone father-to-son that you need to discipline, so much as someone who you see perhaps making the same mistakes you did or -- I have two younger brothers personally -- "Hey, I figured this out and I would love to impart this to you guys, whether you want to hear it or not."
And that of course is the second part. I mean sometimes, the younger brother just does not care, and needs to figure it out for himself. So there’s an interesting dynamic that we start to see develop in this upcoming episode.
MTV: The first experience that Barry had with Earth Two, with Atom-Smasher in the previous episode, was... Not great. I wouldn’t say he was evil per say, but it really wasn’t them hanging out and trading different Earth stories, either. Is Jay Garrick in line with Atom Smasher, or is he more purely good?
Sears: Jay Garrick is purely good. Yeah, he’s just a victim of having his speed stolen by Zoom, which we’ll get into in episode two, and finds himself here on Earth One, and is looking to get home. But by and large is looking to defeat his arch-nemesis Zoom, which he simply cannot do without Barry’s help.
MTV: Talking about another arch nemesis, at the end of the last season there was certainly a tease that Jay has mixed it up a bit with Eobard Thawne. Is that something we’re going to be getting into?
Sears: I don’t know if I’m even privy to that! Yeah, that’s the truth of it. I haven’t been let behind the curtains.
MTV: I saw you were joking on Twitter with Nick D’Agosto about him being on "Gotham" and you being on "The Flash." So, any chance we’re going to see Michael Sheen as Zoom?
Sears: Michael Sheen would be a phenomenal Zoom! For a guy who has such depth as an actor, and can really chew up the scenery... He really would be a fantastic Zoom. I just want to see him in head-to-toe black. Wasn’t he in "Underworld" once upon a time?
MTV: He was!
Sears: And he had this sort of sinister character running around in all black. I gotta see that again.
MTV: This actually isn’t your first experience as a superhero... You played Batman and Blind Justice years ago on the "Late Show," right?
Sears: [Laughs] That was a lesson in trying to keep a straight face as the camera rolled. Anything that Letterman was doing -- especially these clips -- we’re just goofy, and silly, and off the wall, and it’s completely my sense of humor as well.
So probably the biggest thing was just poking fun at. It wasn’t even poking fun at a genre. The next "Batman" was about to come out, this was actually the first one with Christian Bale, and there was this idea of, well Batman has no powers, he just has this suit. There was a sketch that never aired where Batman gets mugged on the street, and this mugger realizes, "Oh this guy’s Batman. Oh wait, he can’t actually do anything to me. He’s just wearing a suit, you know. I guess he has a utility belt." Anyway, it didn’t make it to air, but it was a good swing.
MTV: Looking forward, other than Barry of course, who else are you looking forward to mixing it up with the most?
Sears: Jay and Caitlin begin to spend a little more time together. There’s sort of an instant comfort there between the two. You know, Caitlin’s just lost her husband of eleven minutes, I don’t know how many minutes, but it wasn’t that long. And Jay is a stranger in a strange land.
And it was just something that these two have that’s going to be explored. So these two characters will spend a little more time together, certainly in episode three. I don’t think I’m in episode four, but you’ll begin to see a real camaraderie begin to blossom -- and then we’ll see what the writers have in store. I actually have not been behind the curtain there either.
MTV: Have you guys come up with a ship name already?
Sears: No, we haven’t! I’m curious to see what the fans come up with -- and then I will embrace whatever, like I have a choice.
MTV: Probably not Snowjay. That sounds a little dirty.
Sears: [Laughs] We’ll see. Especially if the writers take it down that path. I’m sure we’ll have our pick of fun ship names.