Home / News / 1990s Barry Allen John Wesley Shipp Talks About Grant Gustin & The Flash

1990s Barry Allen John Wesley Shipp Talks About Grant Gustin & The Flash

flashshippTwenty-three years ago, CBS premiered a high-budget series based on The Flash that they had so much confidence in, they put it on Thursday nights opposite some of the toughest competition on television. At the time, it was one of the most expensive TV series ever.

Playing Barry Allen in that series was John Wesley Shipp, who many may remember from his many other roles which have included soaps, Dawson’s Creek, and even a short recent run on MTV’s Teen Wolf.

Shipp recently did a guest spot on the “Out Loud and Live!” podcast with J.C. Alvarez, where he looked back on his Flash experience but also looked to the future, as Grant Gustin who, after 22 years of no Flash on TV, finally takes up the red suit.

“The first thing I thought when I saw Grant, I thought he’s aerodynamic,” Shipp said about his reaction to the casting of TV’s new Barry Allen. “That’s the modern sensibility. Back in the 90’s, everything had to be big muscle, but let’s face it: We had to cut down the suit. If you’ll watch, we pared it down as it went on, because it just didn’t make sense. But I thought he’s very aerodynamic, the way he’s built. It’s a good look.”

theflashThe former Flash is also aware of the many connections he and Grant Gustin have. “There are striking similarities between Grant and I. People were complaining. ‘Why is this guy playing a superhero? He just got through playing a villain!’ Well, both my Emmys were as a psychotic would-be rapist and a woman abuser. We were both born in Norfolk, Virginia. How’s that for a coincidence?” Mr. Shipp enthused.

Shipp has encouraged his fans to watch the Barry Allen Arrow episodes if they want to see more of the character and an actual spin-off show. “I wish him all the best. In fact, I’ve said ‘come on. How long have we waited? You want a Flash series? You better get into Arrow and support Grant, because they can say they’re gonna spin off, but you need to give him and them support so the series actually materializes,” he said.

If a Flash series does go, would Mr. Shipp be willing to return to Central City sometime, in a different role?

The Scientist“If it was the right fit. You know what? I’m not holding my breath. In fact, I so wanted my audience not to go in critically judging Grant so that I put a series of things saying that. ‘Let’s get behind him, let’s support him,’ and I stopped, because people began to say ‘well, you need to be on that show, and if you’re not on that show…’ and I said ‘Okay. Now it’s looking like I’m campaigning to be on that show, which I’m not’,” he said. “If that happens and it works, that’s great. And if it doesn’t, that’s great and I wish them well.”

You can listen to the entire [very fascinating] podcast appearance of John Wesley Shipp on “Out Loud and Live!” here.

About Craig Byrne

Craig Byrne began writing about TV on the internet in 1995, and has since had several books published, including the official Smallville companion books. In addition to running KSiteTV, he is webmaster of several spin-off sites, including KryptonSite, GreenArrowTV, SHIELDsite.net, and FlashTVNews.

7 comments

  1. He has to play Jay Garrick. They need to do an adaptation of “Flash of Two Worlds,” and Shipp has to play Jay Garrick. It would make sense, especially since the writers have already established that the new TV Barry is something of a superhero fanboy, just like the earliest Barry Allen Flash comics. It would be perfect.

    • Completely agree! He would kill in the role of Jay Garrick. Or, at least, they should consider him to be Barry’s dad, Henry Allen, who’ll probably be behind bars.

      • I totally agree with you Miguel…Shipp can fit perfectly as Barry’s Dad (A recurring role) where by he’ll be seen in afew episodes (Maybe 5) heard if CW green-lit the series for a 2014/2015 schedule it’ll end up having 13 episodes unless they later change it.

  2. Well, I remember the original Flash series. I just loved it. And, as with other shows we grew up with and then revisited (which I did when I downloaded and re-watched a number of eps), it was like, “O my goodness that’s cheesy!” But I loved the show and that’s what it’s all about. You work with what you have. Maybe what we got then was the best they could do.

    What you have that makes it work, mainly, is your imagination. It was just so cool. But it is funny watching the old Flash zip around in a blur, when he’s sometimes not going much faster than you can if you can sprint, lol.

    As for the new Flash, We’ll see.

  3. Let’s not push the envelope.. The guy says he doesn’t NEED to be on the show. He says he’ll consider it if they ask, and at some point I think they will as they did with the Smallville series where many ex-Superman people were brought in at some point.

    I don’t see him as a regular, maybe a guest appearance would be the choice for him.

  4. I also agree with Miguel.
    He would make a great Henry Allen!

  5. I would prefer to see him play Jay, it would be awesome seeing the 90’s Flash mentor the new guy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*