The Flash's Natalie Dreyfuss unpacks how Sue Dearbon is more than 'arm candy'
The Flash showrunner Eric Wallace definitely wasn’t lying when he previously told EW that Sue Dearbon “might not be the woman that Ralph is expecting.” That was very much the case when Ralph (Hartley Sawyer) came face to face with Sue Dearbon (Natalie Dreyfuss) on the CW superhero drama this week.
After months of searching, Ralph finally found Sue in Tuesday night’s episode “A Girl Named Sue,” and in the most unlikeliest place: diving out of an apartment right before a bomb went off and saving Ralph from the blast. The duo — who eventually get married in the comics — had chemistry from the moment they met, and it only grew as Ralph helped Sue find evidence she could use against her murderous and arms dealing ex-boyfriend John Loring, from whom she’s been running this entire time.
Their investigation eventually led them to a safety deposit box containing a very expensive-looking diamond — which Sue promptly stole before locking Ralph in the vault. It turns out the socialite hasn’t been on the run. She’s actually a cat burglar and manipulated Ralph into helping her acquire the diamond, which is connected to season 6B’s (a.k.a. “Graphic Novel #2”) over-arching Black Hole mystery. Following a fight with Black Hole’s assassin Ultarviolet, she absconded with the jewel, much to Ralph’s disappointment.
Turning Sue Dearbon into a cat burglar is a major departure from DC Comics canon. In the comics, Ralph meets Sue after crashing her debutante ball under the pretext of chasing jewelry thieves. To be sure, Dreyfuss was very surprised when she found out about the twist.
“It was kept pretty secret from me,” Dreyfuss told EW in an interview for this week’s installment of SiriusXM’s Superhero Insider. “It was kind of like I was landing on the plane and they were like, ‘Hey, we’re going to the leather store,’ and I was like, ‘What do you mean? I have like a cool jacket?’ And we built a suit and it was so cool to get to wear the catsuit.”
That being said, she loved the twist because it was clear that the writers wanted Sue to be her own character. “They don’t want her to just be like Hartley’s arm candy. They want her to be more than Ralph’s love interest, which is really cool,” said Dreyfuss.
Making Sue a cat burglar also allowed Dreyfuss to use a skill from her childhood. “I was a ballerina growing up so it’s fun for me to be able to jump in and do some of the [fight] choreography,” she said. “I was sitting sort of on the sidelines [watching the choreography] and I was like, ‘Hey, I can do that.’ And they were like, ‘Really?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, I can see it, I can do it.’ And so they were really excited that I was able to jump in and do a lot of it myself, which was cool.”
Now that the cat burglar is out of the bag, the question is, how much of Ralph and Sue’s obvious connection was real and how much of it was fake?
“I think that’s going to come in and out of the unfolding of the season — what’s going on with this girl? There’s a lot to who Sue [is], she’s got a lot of layers. So I feel like that’s kind of coming out more and more each episode: What’s her motive here and what is their relationship really? And I think the fun thing about playing a character like that is that the audience will never really know how much I’m messing with them,” she said.
If there’s one thing we don’t have to question, though, it’s Dreyfuss and Sawyer’s crackling on-screen dynamic, which Dreyfuss says was there from the moment she walked in for the chemistry read.
“I walked into the chemistry read and I saw Hartley and I was like, ‘Well, hi, we’re old friends.’ So we had this really like easy chemistry because we’d been friends for 10 years,” she said. “The biggest thing was just like the comfort level of messing with him. You know, I know him, and I was already just ready to mess with him and the producers were like, ‘Yes, we love this,’ and he trusts me and it’s comfortable. So it was really fun.”
We’ll get to see more of that natural chemistry as The Flash digs even deeper into the mystery of Sue this season.
To hear our chat with Dreyfuss, listen to Superhero Insider this Friday on SiriusXM on-demand.
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 7 p.m. on The CW.