The Flash star Teddy Sears on Zoom's past
At long last, The Flash will finally unveil the true story behind Zoom.
As Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) is doggedly determined to face his dark-suited nemesis, viewers will learn exactly what’s been going on with the man who pretended to be The Flash’s mentor in an attempt to steal his speed. As recently revealed, the man Team Flash believed to be Jay Garrick (Teddy Sears) is actually Zoom, otherwise known as Hunter Zolomon. (More on that here.) What’s really going on? And who is the man in the iron mask? EW turned to Sears to get the scoop:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: We’re finally going to learn about Hunter Zolomon’s past. What can you tease of what we’re learning in Tuesday’s episode?
TEDDY SEARS: What’s really exciting about going and looking at Hunter Zolomon’s origin story is that it very closely mirrors the Barry Allen origin story. We’re going to see what happened to Hunter as a child look almost exactly like what happened to Barry when he was a child. One man went one way and one man went the other. The template was set at a very early age for both characters. Hunter goes the opposite way that Barry goes; that’s what I can tease about where it all began, which of course gets into some really exciting stuff when Hunter and Barry begin to interact, because there’s a lot of stuff that bubbles up to the surface for Hunter that he didn’t realize was there.
Will this actually make the audience feel any sympathy toward him? In the promo, it doesn’t seem like he has any regret over what he did. It almost seems like he’s sociopathic.
Oh, you’re absolutely right. He’s 100 percent sociopathic, 100 percent obsessed, very much a megalomaniac, someone who is obsessed with his own power. However, there was a really wonderful scene that I did with Grant where that opportunity for the audience to experience an understanding or a pathos for Hunter exists — at least that’s what we were attempting. Honestly, just as an actor, that began to happen in the shooting of this scene. I think there’s this whole other thing here. We all agreed that that was a really fun to way to go; also one that would make some sense too. I’m personally hopeful that that happens. I don’t think that that needs to happen for the audience to enjoy the face-off between these two from now until the end of the season, but that would certainly add another dimension and make it more rich and interesting. My hope is that it’s there.
What can you say of why Hunter really became Barry’s mentor? Was it purely to steal his speed or did he get a kick out of watching another speedster struggle to take him on?
We’re going to flesh that out. We’re shooting the finale right now. Between what’s about to air and what we’re shooting now, a lot of that will be fleshed out. Without saying too much, Hunter absolutely is there on Earth-1 to steal Barry’s speed; that’s what takes him there. What begins to happen, too, is something that you’ve alluded to that perhaps, like a truth sociopath would, Hunter would begin to enjoy the game; the game that one can play with another human being. If you’re in a sociopathic state, that’s one thing that you get a great kick out of; the hunt, the game, the chase. The seeds are planted for that when he gets there. It’s a two-hander, but we will get into the specifics of that as the rest of the season unfolds.
Did Hunter ever really care for Caitlin at all?
Absolutely. That’s something that Andrew Kreisberg, from the beginning, wanted to hammer into me. While there were games being played on all the other members of S.T.A.R. Labs, what he felt for Caitlin was the real deal. That adds a really interesting dynamic to this moving forward. He essentially is one gigantic liar who has played them all, but he never played her. There are real feelings there. There’s even an under-layer based on where he came from in his life — his origin story — that plays a big part in why he wants her, why he needs her, why he loves her.
Did you always know that Jay was ultimately the bad guy?
I was told when I got the job that this is what they were thinking, so I had this secret I had to keep. It’s funny because you specifically came to mind just the other day, because you were the one person in the early episodes like, “It looks like Jay might be up to no good. There’s just something…” I remember saying to you, “No, as far as I know, Jay is on the level.” That was not entirely true. I couldn’t obviously say what was coming. It was early enough, too, that they told me this in June when we were about to go into production, and then there was not a whiff of it for many months. I really thought maybe they changed their minds, maybe they were going to go get someone else to play Zoom. I was hoping against hope because I was really enjoying being Jay Garrick. I had grown quite attached to him. But then in the episode where Caitlin and I are in the park and I point out my doppelgänger Hunter Zolomon, as soon as I read that, I thought we’re going to follow-through on this plan. That was my first indication that they were making good on what they said we were going to do before we started production. So, I knew. I hoped it wasn’t going to happen, but here we are.
Is there anything you can say about the man in the iron mask and why Hunter has him locked up?
If you’d asked me this question last week — my answer still has to be the same because it’s just such a big reveal; we reveal it in the finale — I had no clue last week. I didn’t know who the guy was. I didn’t even have a clue. Well, of course, now I know because we’re shooting the finale and we’ll get to that stuff next week. All has been revealed to me. I don’t even know what to say because it’s such a fun thing to me being nice and vague and untouched. I can promise that it will be revealed and it will be quite satisfying.
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.