Why The Flash's Candice Patton loved Mirror-Iris' two brutal fights with Barry
Mirror-Iris is dead. Long live the real Iris.
In this week's episode of The Flash, Candice Patton's Mirrorverse-created doppelgänger burst into many broken pieces of glass following a gnarly fight with Barry (Grant Gustin). At first, Mirror-Iris was fully committed to crippling Barry and helping her creator Eva McCulloch (Efrat Dor) escape from her prismatic prison, but Mirror-Iris' time in the real world had also changed her and she realized she wanted to be truly alive. That secret and rebellious desire bubbled to the surface during her bout with Barry and started to override Eva's will. So Eva killed her minion before stepping through the portal she had created, leaving the real Iris trapped in the Mirrorverse.
Below, EW chats with Patton about her wild ride as Mirror-Iris, the bruising fights she's had with Barry in the most recent episodes, and more.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: This was a big episode for you. How did you react when you first read the script?
CANDICE PATTON: I was just shocked at first of all was a fight seeing how kind of gruesome it was. I didn't know that it would go that far with it. But I was really excited because I love fighting and choreography and the fact that we would get to see Iris had this fight with Barry, which in any other circumstance, I don't know that we'd ever get that kind of fight between the two of them. I was really stoked. I just thought this was going to be, you know, a really special episode.
What was it like to shoot that fight with Grant?
Well a lot of it was shot with our stunt doubles. So I would be fighting alongside Grant’s stunt double, he would be fighting alongside my son double just for safety, first of all. Then the shots where you see us both in one shot together, we would shoot together. It was cool to work with Grant in that way. Usually we do a lot of emotional stuff together, and so it was nice to kind of have this exchange physically that we don’t often get to do as actors on the show. So, it was really neat.
I mean, you guys also had a pretty bruising emotional fight in the previous episode. What was it like to shoot that and take this couple in that direction?
Yeah. It was interesting to play, you know, me normally playing the Iris that we know and love, but to play her manipulating Barry and obviously trying to emotionally and kind of take advantage of him. It was very odd for me to be so pointed and direct and angry at him, something that I usually don't have to portray. So it was a bit of a challenge to kind of fully go there and let it all out.
How did you approach playing Mirror-Iris? Did you think of her as another character?
Initially in talking to Eric I was like, “How close are they? Like how, how much of a replica is she?” He was like, “They’re 98 percent identity.” So, I didn't want it to be too obvious how different they are, and I wanted to build in these moments that you see that she's further and further being manipulated by Eva and becoming more evil and more evil and more evil — like she's growing into this iteration of near-Iris. I wanted these moments where you would slowly see her kind of sinister side. I just wanted that to kind of build. A lot of it was in the writing.
I wanted her clothing to be a little bit different than Iris’. Iris, you know, as the seasons have progressed, she's become a little more conservative, she works for a newspaper. I imagined Mirror-Iris going into her closet and being like, “This is a hot dress. Why didn't you wear this anymore?” So I kind of wanted to like physically embody a different version of Iris again. And those are just a couple of ways that I approached it.
Did you find yourself having to consciously not go with your first instinct and react in a way that you normally would?
Yeah. A lot of the way I play Iris is she is so sensitive [and] has such a high emotional IQ. Mirror-Iris does, too, but the difference is she will use that to her advantage to manipulate other people. So the way they would react to things is just a little bit differently, and she’s not as soft and empathetic to others. So, I wanted to show a little bit of that.
Were you aware that this arc was heading toward a place where Mirror-Iris realized her secret desire was to be alive?
It was kind of a surprise to me. It didn't throw me too much. It didn't really throw a wrench into any of the previous work I'd done, but it wasn't something that I had been playing with for all of those previous episodes. But when I read it, it, it made sense. You know, she was spending more and more time in the real world and this real-life with this husband and these people, and even her relationship with Mirror Kamilla, forming a bond and a friendship. You see this person naturally kind of have this Pinocchio moment of like, “I want to be real. I want to have a real-life.” And so I really loved the way it ended with her, that we got to see this human emotion from this character we've kind of grown to hate. We almost empathize with her and feel bad for her even though we know she's so terrible.
I thought there was something tragically ironic about her finally feeling alive right before she dies. How did it feel to play that death scene?
Well, it’s not her first time, if you’ll remember Savitar killed me many, many, many times [in season 3], so I’ve had a little practice dying. But yeah, it’s a fun thing to play and it’s nice when you’re playing a character that’s dying and we feel like they’ve had a proper send-off, and they’ve had a full circle evolution. So, it was a good one for me.
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.