The DC Comics villain Rag Doll first made his appearance in the comic books back in the 1940’s, with a more popular version being best known in Gail Simone’s Secret Six comic book series.
Tonight, the character comes to live action for the first time with America’s Got Talent twisting sensation Troy James in the role.
We spoke with Mr. James last week to learn more about his guest role on the episode which is called “All Doll’d Up.”
“It was a blast,” he said of what it was like to play a villain whose abilities are actually possessed by the actor himself. “It actually just felt like an extension of myself as normal, if I were an evil supervillain who didn’t care about other people.”
“As you know, it looks like a three piece suit, but it’s actually a onesie,” James told us about the Rag Doll costume we see in the episode. “But it is super comfortable. It feels like a comfy pair of pajamas. I really give thanks to Kate Main for creating that for me. For me, it’s a Troy-proof suit. I say that because I’ve ripped so many pairs of pants! But this was a fantastic costume, and the mask was awesome! I love the hair. I like that it kind of does stay true to the comics with the red hair and white mask. It looks scary,” he enthused.
“Rag Doll is a unique supervillain in the sense that he doesn’t have super-strength or super-speed; he’s just unusually flexible,” James explained. “It’s not a typical super power. And going along with that, he doesn’t have a motivation to be the strongest meta in the world or to be the richest. He’s a psychopath, actually. In this episode, you get to see why Rag Doll is the way he is. He does have some family issues. But as a villain, he seeks to cause the most emotional harm. He does not commit crimes just for the sake of committing crimes; he does it to really hurt whoever his victim is, emotionally.”
While we usually see Rag Doll with a mask on, we will see Troy himself without it at one point of the episode — if you pay close attention. “There’s a sneak peek of me without the mask, but you need to have an eagle eye to spot that out,” he teased, offering that it’s easier to play a character like Rag Doll with a mask on.
“It’s much easier to put on a costume or put on a mask and not be yourself, and perform. I’m so self conscious about myself,” he explained.
Last summer, James made a memorable appearance on America’s Got Talent — and he almost didn’t do it, despite his friends and family assuring him that he’d be fine.
“I didn’t have a mask. I had no costume. I had to talk on stage in front of all those people. And famous people! I’m getting nervous just thinking about it,” he recalled. “Luckily, it went over really well, though.”
And now, after appearing on such series as The Strain, The Flash has been Troy’s first superhero show appearance. “It’s interesting to see the behind the scenes or the mechanics of how exactly they make Flash, Flash. It was also my first time in Vancouver, so I got to do a lot of sight-seeing… it was just really great being there, being on set… and everyone was so nice. We got up to a few antics, a few hijinks if you will, using my flexibility… me, Grant, Hartley Sawyer… Elongated Man and Rag Doll, we’re kind of similar in a way, so we bonded,” he said of the experience. James had been fan of The Flash before getting this role, but hadn’t totally been caught up to Season 5. “But after being there, and seeing how cool they were, I want to catch up and get up to speed, if I can make a silly joke like that,” he punned.
Troy James had a particularly fun anecdote to share about working with Grant. “He didn’t know that I could do what I could do when I got to set,” he recalled. “So, right before we got to ‘Action,’ I got to my location and then just collapsed, and it’s the part where I had already kidnapped him, and he’s immobile, and he sees it and he just bursts out laughing. I had a lot of fun creeping around him on the set. He took a bunch of cool behind the scenes pictures that maybe you’ll see after the episode airs,” he teased.
Finally, does Troy James have any advice for young fans who might see him or the characters that he plays on screen?
“Be yourself, because there’s no one else like you out there. Only you can be you. You never know who’s watching, and who could give you a chance.”
Troy James can be found online as “TwistyTroy.” The Flash airs tonight (November 13) at 8PM ET/PT on The CW. See some photos from the episode below!
The Flash -- "All Doll'd Up" -- Image Number: FLA505a_0087b2.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Jessica Parker Kennedy as Nora/XS, Candice Patton as Iris West - Allen and Grant Gustin as Barry Allen/The Flash -- Photo: Robert Falconer/The CW -- ÃÂ© 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved
The Flash: Speaking With Tom Cavanagh Before Tonight’s Finale
Tom Cavanagh discusses his return as the Reverse Flash in the series finale of the Flash airing March 24
Tom Cavanagh was a part of The Flash from the start, first playing Harrison Wells-but-actually-the Reverse Flash, and then giving us a myriad of Wells throughout the multiverse. He’s also proven himself to be a fantastic director, helming multiple episodes of The Flash as well as fellow CW superhero staple Superman & Lois. Tonight, he’s back in front of the camera, playing Barry’s arch enemy once again.
FlashTVNews spoke with Tom Cavanagh in the days leading to tonight’s finale, and here are some highlights of that conversation:
How did it feel to be back? “I think the emotions are probably very different for somebody like myself or Carlos Valdes who decided to leave after Season 6; myself with the knowledge that [I have] this parachute of the fact that I play the Reverse Flash and he’s gonna come in every four or five months and blow up Central City and try and kill the Flash. It was a tremendous situation for me, because that’s exactly how it played out. I got to come back, and see my friends, and put on the suit, and enjoy that. It was just a grand circumstance anytime out to see the crew and the cast and put on that suit.”
On the importance of bringing the Reverse Flash back for the series finale: “It was understood that when we got to the series finale, that we have to include the Joker to the Batman; or in this case, Reverse Flash to The Flash.”
Would he like to play Reverse Flash again? “Reverse Flash, for me, was just a joy to play, as an antagonist or arch-enemy. There’s charisma to that character, and I delighted in. I would suit up again in a heartbeat.”
Cavanagh has pitch for a return on a possible Reverse Flash spinoff project. “Here’s my pitch: What if Reverse Flash, with all his villainy, fell for a civilian and then suddenly that complicated his agenda? Where would he go with his paramour, and how would it affect him? Would he then be able to carry through on his designs of destroying Barry? The reason we didn’t do that on The Flash was because you’d need to call that show Reverse Flash. We’ve got The Flash, which I wholeheartedly support. That being said, I think there’s room in the multiverse now that The Flash is over for us to explore that. And so, that’s my pitch for a Reverse Flash spinoff.”
Is Eobard afraid of any of the other speedsters? “Heck no, and that will be readily apparent in the finale.”
Was it fun to play Eobard insulting Eddie and Hunter Zolomon in the finale? “Poor Teddy Sears. Poor Rick Cosnett. Grand humans, all. And then, they roll on camera and it’s just, like, me taking shots. Teddy would quote them back to me a month later and I’d ask ‘who said that?’ ‘You said it!’ It’s so fast and furious, that I can’t keep track sometimes. I have to say, there’s one descriptor for those guys: It’s ‘tolerant’.”
Any final words for the fans who have followed the series for nine years? “I think it’s great that you bring that up, because often times, when a show has run a long time, a lot of the concentration is on the people who are the face of the show on camera, but off camera is the audience. They are the reason we were even given these nine years. It’s never lost on me. I remember [Superman & Lois and former Flash showrunner] Todd Helbing saying this: ‘These people invite us into their homes for an hour a week, and it is such a privilege and a responsibility. We want to let them know that we don’t take it lightly.’ That would be the message that I would like to basically parrot. Certainly, we’re grateful for the audience showing up week after week, which gave us those nine years. And even though I’m sure we didn’t always succeed story wise, it’s important for us to let the audience know that it was not from lack of trying. We understood that they were the reason we were there, and we were always doing our best to try to tell stories that they would enjoy, and keep coming back.”
The Flash series finale airs tonight on The CW.
Flashback: Revisiting Our Earliest Flash Cast Interviews
FlashTVNews revisits our earliest interviews with the cast of The Flash.
The final episode of The Flash airs tonight (May 24) at 8PM ET/PT on The CW… and we’re feeling pretty retrospective right now. Sure, we have a new interview with Tom Cavanagh that will be posted this afternoon, but beyond that, we’re thinking about the long run that got us here.
FlashTVNews had the opportunity over the years to interview almost every series regular in the show’s 9-season run, at one time or another. Whether it was at a Comic-Con, a carpet for a crossover, or the very first Flash appearance at the Television Critics Association press tour… we were there. Below you can find some of those interviews, starting from the TCA Press Tour and moving down the list. Sadly, we never did get to do video with such folks as Brandon McKnight, Jon Cor, or Kayla Compton… but if you want to see how the cast was talking about the show in the early days, this may be a treat for you. And again, the series finale “A New World, Part Four” airs tonight at 8PM ET/PT.
Candice Patton (Iris West):
Jesse L. Martin (Joe West):
Tom Cavanagh (Eobard Thawne/Various Wells):
Carlos Valdes (Cisco Ramon):
Rick Cosnett (Eddie Thawne):
Grant Gustin (Barry Allen… the fastest man alive!):
Danielle Panabaker (Caitlin Snow):
John Wesley Shipp (Daddy Flash):
Teddy Sears (Zoom/Jay Garrick/Hunter Zolomon):
Jessica Parker Kennedy (Nora West-Allen):
Keiynan Lonsdale (Wally West):
Danielle Nicolet (
The Seal Cecile Horton/Virtue):
Michelle Harrison (Nora WHY DID I SAY THAT NAME):
Patrick Sabongui (Captain Singh):
The Flash: Eric Wallace Would Be Open To Continuing The Story
Flash Showrunner Eric Wallace discusses the possibility of Flash audio adventures after the series is done.
Could there be a continuation of The Flash after Wednesday’s final episode? It’s possible.
Before he landed on The Flash, Showrunner Eric Wallace had been involved with Big Finish Productions’ audio continuations of the classic gothic TV soap Dark Shadows, having written or co-written three stories for the studio. Stories like the ones told by Big Finish can keep a franchise alive – they were the leading source of new Doctor Who stories during the “wilderness years” between the 1996 Paul McGann TV movie and Christopher Eccleston’s debut in 2005’s “Rose.”
When we spoke with Eric Wallace prior to the launch of The Flash Season 9 earlier this year (well before the current writers’ strike), we asked him if he’d have any interest in writing Flash audio adventures one day, and in addition, which character from Dark Shadows lore he would “borrow” to meet Team Flash if he ever could, a very nerdy question that might only be understood by a fraction of the audience reading this website.
“Yes, I would love to,” he confirmed. “Not immediately.. give me a year off, I need a break… but I would love to write a Flash audio adventure at some point in the future, to tell the stories that I wasn’t able to tell during this particular moment.”
As for the second part of the question, asked only for fun? “I already know what the answer is, but I’m gonna qualify it: I would want to bring over Barnabas Collins, but I think the more appropriate character to come on to this show is Quentin, because Quentin is a man out of time, much moreso than Barnabas is. Barnabas was locked in a coffin and then woke up after 200 years and is dealing with past baggage, so obviously, he would have a lot to talk about with Barry Allen. But Quentin is a man of the past who was thrust into modern times, and actually starts to adjust, but a curse follows him, so he can’t ever have a future, so seems to me that there’s a definite story between Quentin and Iris, right there.”
And that’s not all: “Having said that, Julia [Dr. Julia Hoffman] and Reverend Trask are my next two favorites. I have to sneak them in too somehow,” he said, making us wonder why we never managed to get the actors David Selby or Jerry Lacy on The Flash TV show as Max Mercury or a character in that vein.
In the months since this interview was conducted, Grant Gustin has also addressed his Flash future beyond May 24:
“I think regardless of if I put the suit on again or not – and I love this – I’ll be associated with this character for the rest of my life, so if anybody wants to call me about The Flash, I will take the phone call and hear them out,” Grant said in a recent interview with EW.
Maybe this means May 24 won’t be the end after all…