SPOILER WARNING: If you have not yet seen the June 15 episode of The Flash titled “Masquerade” read no further! You might, however, like our preview interview with Danielle Nicolet where we talk about some non-spoilery things!
The June 15 episode of The Flash was a showcase for the incredible talents of Danielle Nicolet who played multiple versions of Cecile all in one installment. When we interviewed her about this episode, there was a lot that had to be saved for after it had aired because so much was spoilery… but here we are for the scoop on what her character went through in “Masquerade!” Enjoy…
FLASHTVNEWS’ CRAIG BYRNE: Can you talk about the subtle hints that you might have put into your performance to hint that Cecile is actually not really Cecile at several points in the episode?
DANIELLE NICOLET: There are quite a few, and I’m very curious to see if the audience will notice. It may take a second watch of the episode, because there’s so much going on the first time you see it. But yes. I was very particular. I worked really hard with Rachel [Talalay, director of the episode] to decide what these little moments are. And some of it’s extremely subtle. Fake Cecile dresses in all black, which is something that up into this point, Real Cecile is not generally a leather pants-wearing [person]. Tribal jewelry, she has like a very specific necklace on, and when Chester describes the history of the Psycho Pirate mask, you can see that it moves its way through Egypt, it’s been through African tribes, and little things like that.
Each different iteration of Cecile has a different hairstyle. It’s not super obvious, but we try to do little things like that to really physically differentiate Psycho Pirate Cecile. She walks differently than Real Cecile does. So just little things like that, that are beyond just those sort of more like “winks to the camera moments” where she has a line where she’s gonna go change her outfit to do a little breaking and entering… I’m very curious to see if people notice.
Can you talk about that heist?
[Laughs] That was a lot of fun. Again, Rachel and I really did our best to collaborate on this. She wanted each of the three elements of the show – the being in the hospital with Barry, the heist aspect of things, and then when Psycho Pirate has Cecile fully in the mask and the transformation is complete… for each of them to have their own separate feel. So the hospital was shot like a horror film, The heist stuff was shot like a heist movie in the tonality, the visuals, and then the rest is shot as a traditional Flash episode.
The heist part was really, really, really fun. I enjoy repelling from the ceiling very much, even if it’s in a comedic way. There’s some neat stuff in that museum room. For example, I don’t know if you’re familiar with the original Poltergeist movie, but on one of the tables, there’s a book in that movie that in it, they go through it, and they find out about the history of the land, and the fact that the housing complex was built on an ancient Indian burial ground all of that. That same book is in that scene, and it’s open to the same page. It’s our little personal homage to horror movies. There’s lots of little stuff like that.
How awesome was it for you to see Cecile in the mask, and was it hard for you to see while the mask was on?
I had no peripheral vision, and as tough guy as I was behaving in those scenes, just know that I had to be walked to set with people holding my hands on either side of me, so as to not bump into the wall.
When you first signed on as a guest star on The Flash several years ago, did you ever expect to have such deep material and character building for Cecile?
I always knew I was signing on to a show that had really next level writing, so I certainly was hopeful. What I didn’t know when I signed on initially was that Cecile was going to end up with powers. It was right about the time that I decided that I would do the show full time; I got a call from the showrunner at the time saying “hey, I want to pitch you this notion,” and I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited. I tried really hard not to scream on the phone with him, and I remember writing down on a piece of paper that I had on the dining table, in Sharpie, “THEY’RE GIVING ME POWERS” in all caps, and holding the paper up to my husband and jumping up and down, while I was trying to pretend like I was cool, calm, and collected on the phone at the same time.
What was your reaction when you read about Cecile’s backstory in this episode?
I loved it. Eric Wallace, our showrunner, had given me a heads up that this was coming for quite some time. And, boy, when I got the first draft of the script, it was even better than what he told me was coming. I just couldn’t believe it. Everything from the honest approach to mental health issues, and facing things like anxiety and depression, and the notion that we are afraid to share how we feel and that people will judge us, and so we suppress it, and we end up manifesting that anxiety and depression in other unexpected ways in our lives. That, in and of itself, is such an important message to me, just personally, I know personally to Eric, and the fact that he could take something as cool as the Psycho Pirate mask showing up on the Cecile and at the same time, have this be a story about the importance of mental health awareness and us taking care of ourselves and each other… that was, to me, it was one of the best scripts I’ve ever read. I’m so I’m so pleased, and I’m so proud that my character got to be the one who played it.
What is it like to work with an icon like Jesse L. Martin in so many scenes?
He sings all the time, just randomly, and he has no idea how amazing that is for everyone around him. So when he sings, you just sort of like sit down and let him go. [Laughs]
Jesse and I, from the moment we started working together, we’ve always just had a really good energy and vibe with each other. He’s just such a profoundly talented human being. It’s a gift to get to work with him. I’m really lucky. I get to work with some super awesome people on this show.
Did you want to say anything specific about working with Grant Gustin so much this week?
Oh, I had the time of my life. We both did. Grant knows – it’s no secret that he’s one of my top 10 favorite people on the planet. He knows how much I adore him. We really felt like we were making a little movie all by ourselves for a few days of this episode, and we both really, really enjoyed it. The few days that we were trapped in that hospital together were some of my favorite acting days on this show, in all the years that I’ve been on it.
And what was it like to be able to act opposite yourself?
Pretty challenging! [Laughs] It was really neat to learn the process of that. Our director, Rachel Talalay, is so experienced and so talented, and she allowed me to just hang around all the time, so I got to learn how we were going to do this. There is a whole other person who looks like me, and very physically similar to me, who was an amazing actress, and she learned all of my material for the entire episode, the same as me, and so, whenever I was acting to myself, this other actress was performing my lines for me, and then I would go change and turn around and do it on the other side, and then she would be the other me. And then sometimes, it had to be both of us with Grant. So, poor Grant, he had to have “me squared” at all times.
The process of how that’s done, technically, in order for it to play the way it does, was really, really neat to learn. Some of it’s like new school technical and some of it was straight up old school, like “Dani, go stand there in the corner, and we’re gonna turn the camera really fast, so that we can’t tell that that other one isn’t really you.”
Will we ever see Cecile’s older daughter Joanie again?
I hope so. I think that in the comics, Joanie is a speedster, so I imagine that there may be an opportunity for her to find her way back to the show in an in an interesting way. I really think that is an Eric Wallace question more than it is me, but he always seems to find really fantastic ways to bring characters back.
When are Joe and Cecile going to get married already?
That is a very good question that I highly recommend you run past Eric Wallace, our showrunner, who will laugh when you do, because I asked him the same question all the time.
Do you think Cecile should be the one to propose?
Oh, my gosh. Craig, that’s such a good idea! Am I allowed to steal that? Because I will one hundred percent call Eric and say “hey, guess what? How about this?” That’s such a cool idea. Yes, I definitely think that Cecile should propose.
Our thanks to Danielle Nicolet for taking the time to speak with us! New episodes of The Flash air Tuesdays on The CW.
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…