'Arrow' producers talk Barry Allen and the Flash in 'The Scientist'

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The time has come for "Arrow" to introduce Barry Allen, aka the Flash, in "The Scientist." But who is this Barry Allen kid? "Arrow" producers Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg and Geoff Johns, along with actor Grant Gustin, offered a preview of Barry and the Flash to reporters.

Here are some of the highlights.

How does Barry get to Starling City in the first place?

Andrew Kreisberg: "Barry comes to Starling City because there is an unexplained robbery at Queen Consolidated. And Barry is very interested in the unexplained, for various reasons that we will find out over the course of these two episodes."

Who is this guy?

Grant Gustin: "I immediately thought he was really funny and endearing and I hadn't done anything like that. And I had a lot of fun with that throughout the audition process ... He's fun to play. He's likable. I would be his friend. I haven't actually had the chance to play a character that I would enjoy spending time with. So that's nice."

Kreisberg: "He's sort of the opposite of Oliver in a lot of ways. Barry is outgoing and funny and a little bit unsure of himself and smart and sort of a squeaky wheel. The contrast between Stephen and Grant is both comical and fun and has been really great to watch."

What is Barry's connection with Felicity like?

Kreisberg: "Barry and Felicity are so similar. They're both sort of uncomfortable in their own skins and both very likable and personable -- it seemed like they would just both sort of instantly hit it off, which would just complicate things for Oliver."

How will the "Arrow" character of Barry Allen compare to previous TV incarnations of the Flash?

Gustin: "I haven't seen anyone else portray the Flash, which was really fun about this once they got excited about me. I'm a superhero fan -- I was a big Superman fan growing up. So to even have the opportunity to audition for his blew my mind. And for them to get excited about this, it was really cool. But I wasn't trying to be any Flash that I knew about or had seen, because I really didn't have that much knowledge in that category. So it was just kind of fun for them to get my random take on Barry Allen."

Greg Berlanti
: "We'd really always seen him as a little bit younger. And the thing that was important to us was that he should really be a contrast to Oliver and to Stephen. Stephen is more of the traditional, square-jawed hero. And that works for him, because he needs all that. One of the things about the Flash is he's a random guy who gets struck by lightning. He needs the bolt of lightning to be a hero in a way Stephen doesn't need the bolt of lightning."

Geoff Johns: "He's earnest, I mean Grant as an actor. He's brought more to Barry Allen than I think we've seen before. We're seeing him in the days where he's taking his first steps. He's got heart, he's got humor. Barry was always a nice guy -- he's the guy that stops and asks if everything is all right. And Grant embodies that. He's a perfect Flash."

Why Grant Gustin for this part?

Berlanti: "We were looking for someone who embodies the essence of the character. And we were looking for someone who fits into the 'Arrow' universe that we have and can still potentially have their own universe and their own show."

"Had we not found Grant, I'm not sure we would have done the character ... And he just was the part. It suddenly didn't become about age. It didn't become about any of those other things, other than, 'Wow. If I were a kid, and I got to watch the living embodiment of the Flash, this is who I'd want to see do it.' So that's our hope with these episodes, that when people watch them -- even before he's become the Flash -- that they connect with him in the way we did."


The "Arrow" episode, "The Scientist," airs Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 8 p.m. on The CW.

Photo/Video credit: The CW