Gearing up for action

ST Correspondent
Thursday, 4 October 2018

Jessica Parker Kennedy, who plays Nora West-Allen in The Flash, reveals what her fans can expect from the upcoming storylines of the epic DC Comics drama.

The fifth season of the American television series premiered on Colors Infinity on Wednesday. Based on the DC Comics character Barry Allen / Flash, the fifth season of The Flash follows Barry, a crime scene investigator with superhuman speed who fights criminals, including those who have also gained superhuman abilities. Barry has to deal with the consequences of his future daughter’s time traveling. The fast-paced superhero series that follows the adventures of Barry Allen (played by Grant Gustin) also has Jessica Parker Kennedy, playing Nora West-Allen, the daughter of Barry and Iris Allen. Here’s chatting up the actress...

What can you reveal about season five of The Flash?
I can tell you that I’m going to be a big part of the season, which is awesome. I’m a season regular now, which is very exciting for me. What else can I say? Well, if you watched the last episode (of season four), you might’ve noticed something mysterious. I’m very excited to see my dad (Barry Allen, played by Grant Gustin), but I’m not so stoked about my mom (Iris West, played by Candice Patton). There’s something going on there. That dynamic will definitely be explored in season five. 

What do you think of Nora’s relationship with her parents? 
It’s obvious she reveres her father and thinks her father is the coolest, but something is clearly wrong with the relationship between her and her mother. Thankfully, you will find out why early in the season — but there’s conflict there for sure. It’s a bummer because Iris is really trying to be an awesome mom, but I’m just like, “Yeah, whatever mom.” Meanwhile, when it comes to her dad, Nora is obsessed. It’s like, “Dad, dad, dad… You’re the boss!” 

Like father like daughter, right?
Yes! I feel like she’s a fan watching her hero when she looks at her father. She talks fast and she thinks fast, and people who think fast often do things without thinking first. I think she’s impulsive and possibly a bit young for her age. She’s made an obvious and terrible mistake, but I think she’s going to make more throughout the season. It’s going to be fun. 
How much time travel will there be in season five? 
Honestly, I don’t really know. I got an overview of what the season might be, but they are writing as they go along. 

Did you study the mannerisms of Grant Gustin (Barry Allen)  and Candice Patton (Iris Allen) in order to put their gestures and behaviour in your portrayal of Nora?
I didn’t particularly try to do that. I thought it would be too overwhelming to come in and try to manipulate my performance too much. However, what’s been great is that I’ve been getting a lot of feedback where people have been saying, “Wow, you really look like the both of them.” And, “You’re so much like Barry.” Or at least how he used to be when he was klutzy, clumsy, silly, dorky and awkward. That wasn’t my intention. That’s just how I read her to be. That’s how they’ve written her. She has lots of long, run-on sentences and lots of enthusiasm, which hopefully comes across as charming and not annoying.

Pictures of Nora’s superhero suit were released earlier this year. How excited were you for fans to see the iconic costume?
It was incredible to hear the feedback, although the costume was supposed to be a secret. We shot on the street and lots of photos were taken of me in the suit, so they released the images early. 

What went through your mind when you saw yourself in your superhero suit for the very first time? 
When I saw the costume for the first time, I was like, “Oh, yeah. This is neat.” But as soon as I put on the costume for the first time, it was like, “Whoa. Yes! This is really cool.” To be honest, I feel very honoured to be in it. I love it. 

Were you a fan of the show before you signed up to the series?
I knew about The Flash, but I’d never really watched superhero television shows before this. Now I’ve watched a lot of The Flash because I wanted to figure out what was going on in the show. Now that I’m a part of it, it’s such an honour. The fan-base that surrounds the show is incredible. It’s really cool. 

How have The Flash fans reacted to you? 
The fans have been great. For the first time, people on Instagram have been commenting on this and commenting on that — and it’s like, 99.999 per cent fans of The Flash. It’s interesting because I’ve been to Comic-Con a few times with different shows, but I was nervous this year because this is The Flash and it’s a big deal. Grant was on the cover of the bags again, so it was exciting but it was also intimidating. I just want to do a really good job and not let the fans down. Whenever there’s a comic book attached to a television show, I feel like there’s a heightened intensity in fan level — but it’s been really nice. 

The Flash airs every Wednesday at 10 pm on Colors Infinity

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