The Flash's Teddy Sears breaks down world weary hero Jay Garrick
Barry Allen is no longer the only Flash in Central City.
At the close of The Flash premiere, Jay Garrick (Teddy Sears) revealed himself to Team Flash with a dire warning of Zoom’s arrival. The other Flash will have his work cut out for him, though, since Barry (Grant Gustin) isn’t quick to trust newcomers. EW caught up with Sears to get the scoop on the Crimson Comet:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What can you tell us about Jay Garrick?
TEDDY SEARS: My take on Jay is he’s a guy who’s been around. He’s been in some battles. He’s definitely world weary. Jay has seen his fair share of fights. He’s experienced his fair share of the best and worst of what it means to be a speedster — all the good it can do, all the enemies that one can make. I think being a battle-tested guy, he has more of a handle on what it means to have these powers, whereas you have Barry very much still struggling with questions of identity and how close should he let someone into his heart? There’s a nice duality set up there.
How does Jay feel about seeing somebody else take on the mantle of The Flash?
I thought it could be the obvious of, “Oh no, somebody as fast as me or faster? We can’t have that!” But when we meet Jay and we see him in episode 2 where he announces that Zoom stole his speed, he’s very much a civilian walking around Earth-One trying to make heads and tails or what to do next. In episode 3, he begins to talk about his struggles with this new reality for him. I don’t think there’s any hint of anything on the bad side. I really think he needs the assistance of a speedster in Barry Allen to take down another speedster in Zoom so Jay can get his speed back and get back home.
He’s actually been watching Barry for six months. Why did he come forward now?
His explanation, which I have to take at face value, is it’s taken him that long to cobble together who’s who amongst the team at S.T.A.R. Labs. The writers are keeping quite a bit behind the curtain, but I talk to [executive producer] Andrew Kreisberg all the time and he says, “Listen, this is how long it took you and that’s that.” It’s funny, they had me peeking out with the camera taking kind of a creepy photo of Barry. It turns out, it’s so he can figure out who the major players are and announce himself at this time.
What does Barry and Jay’s dynamic look like when they first meet?
Barry is very hesitant to accept anyone into his life to begin with, but mainly he’s hesitant to accept the words of a stranger without having them be vetted first. He’s very much been burned from his experience with Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) in season 1. He’s not sure who he wants to let in. When Jay Garrick walks in off the street and says, “This is who I am, this is what’s coming for you,” he is understandably dubious of the whole thing. Barry does not want to trust Jay. He puts him through a number of tests, for lack of a better word, to make sure that Jay is who he says he is. The kicker, of course, is the mention of the silver kettle helmet that flew through the singularity at the end of season 1. Over all the tests and all the things that Barry puts Jay through, the one thing that convinces Barry that Jay is who he says he is is the presence of this helmet and the story that goes behind it.
Do you have a sense of what Jay’s life was like back on Earth-Two?
Yeah. This is a tiny tease for [episode] 3, but he begins to speak more about getting his powers, what that was like, what that meant for him personally and professionally. My sense from that is that Jay Garrick was a scientist, a practicing successful scientist, chemist, physicist, and suddenly he gained these abilities, which allowed him to do the work he was setting out to do as a scientist that much faster. It was incredibly gratifying for him. He could help people in a way as a speedster exponentially than he ever could as a lowly scientist. Now that he finds himself without his speed, he begins to lament how things were and struggling with, “What do I do now? Who am I without my speed?”
Back on Earth-Two, everyone knew who The Flash was. Did Jay ever lose anyone close to him because of that?
Gosh, that’s such a good question and my answer is that I don’t know. I would love for that to be fleshed out and answered. In episode 3, Jay is telling his story about how he got to be who he is, it does come up that he doesn’t have a wife or a partner back home on Earth-Two and his reason is that he hasn’t had time, but I don’t know if that’s the truth. I played it like it’s the truth. Unlike the comic books where he’s married to Joan, I believe Andrew and the team have modernized it and they’re not going by that mythology necessarily.
What can you tease of Jay’s interaction with Zoom in the past?
Zoom is Jay Garrick’s mortal enemy. Jay has been hunting Zoom ever since he gained his powers. I don’t know the backstory, and maybe that’s more a Flash mythology question about how that rivalry came to be. Jay has been attempting to bring down Zoom ever he’s had the speed, because Zoom is another speedster, so they match each other. It’s always a brutal battle, a lot of them Jay doesn’t win. It’s complicated. It seems to be something that Jay needs to accomplish eradicating Zoom for him to feel safe and feel like he’s made the best use of his abilities.
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.