The multi-talented Andy Mientus made his first appearance as Hartley Rathaway, a.k.a. the Pied Piper, in the first season of The Flash many years ago. Now he’s back, first returning in last week’s episode and continuing on to a team of rogues in tonight’s show “Rogues of War” (Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 8PM ET/PT on The CW).
We were able to speak with Andy Mientus in th second of two interviews we are sharing today – read our interview with Jon Cor (Chillblaine) here – there aren’t a lot of spoilers here, but there’s a lot of backstory and history covered about Andy Mientus’ Flash journey. He also speaks about the comics-inspired project Grendel which was filmed and sadly not going to be aired by Netflix (hey Netflix: We want to see it!) You can read the interview below.
What was your reaction when you got the call to appear in the final season of The Flash?
Oh, man. It really was such an honor. And frankly, it was kind of a relief, which we’ll say more about in a minute.
I’ve been with the show from the beginning and have appeared periodically here and there, little kisses of contact with Hartley over the years, and so when I heard that was it was going to be the final season, of course I thought in the back of my mind “oh, gosh, I would really love to finish this out. I would really love to be a part of this, and say I was there and get to see how Hartley’s story ends.”
But then I was thinking about how many people have come through that show, how many stories the writers had to play with. There’s only so much space, and I recognized that, and I just was feeling grateful to have been a part of it at all, excited to cheer on everybody as they as they took the finishing lap. So then when I got the call, I was just really, really excited and… just trying to think of another word besides grateful… but very, very proud and very excited. And then, on my first day of shooting this little run of episodes that I have, I got the news about the way things were turning out with this show called Grendel that I shot on Netflix, that was looking like it might not make it to air. So [doing Flash] really kind of saved me in that moment, because it was tough news. So, to have another superhero show, one that had been so good to me over the years, to like focus on and say, “okay, well, like this is happening” just really saved me. I love this job.
The audience was heartbroken about Grendel as well. It sounded so good.
It’s a real bummer. I think it was gonna be amazing. What else is there to say? It’s a really weird time to be making things.
Is there any chance it might be seen somewhere, someday?
Of course there’s a chance. We did it. We finished it; I mean, they were in post when we got the word about what Netflix had planned to do. But it’s shot. All eight episodes are shot.
It’s their property to do with what they please. I’ll remain hopeful that someday something happens. But as I said, it’s just a weird time to be trying to make stuff in our industry. What happened, happened, and I have no control over it, obviously, but I will mourn. I will mourn it for me. and for the fans of the comics, I think we would have done them really proud.
Growing up, did you ever think that you’d get to see the kind of representation that Hartley brings on a broadcast superhero show?
No. I’m going to be honest – I was not aware of this character until the audition came in, so I was really stunned to learn that he had come out in the 90s, that it was canonical in the comics and the source material that he was gay and out, because I just didn’t know the comics did that.
Growing up, I was a fan of the X-Men, which was kind of like a failed queer allegory, right. It’s a lot of the same issues, but they’re mutants instead of something else. Yes. And so, when I got when I got the breakdown of what the character was, and then when I read the sides, and I had a joke about leather in there, and part of my character’s motivation was that I was kicked out of my own house for being who I am and had found this other father figure in Wells, and thenthat turned sour and set me on this villainous path, I felt like, “oh, this is really interesting and feels really true, as opposed to just sort of like something tacked on, or checking the box.” It really was going there. I didn’t know that that was possible in the comic world, or certainly not in an adaptation that was looking to be really broad appeal for television audiences. When I got selected to be the one to play this guy and tell that story, I just really felt honored.
Is Hartley hesitant to work with Team Flash at all, considering the danger that Roderick ends up in every time that they interact?
We joke about that! I think that Hartley lives the life that he lives. He finds himself and thus his partner finds himself in danger, no matter what, and I think what brings Hartley to Team Flash has been to help himself. Originally, it was to dupe them and getting himself captured, so that he could play out this revenge that he had planned for Wells. It really had nothing to do with Barry or anybody else. They were just pawns in the game, I think I even called Barry that at some point. Then, he needed their help to bring Roderick back from the state that he was in, in Season 6, and now, I end up working with the team, but only ever to get what I want out of it, which I think is what makes Hartley a really interesting character. He does good things; he is a good guy, but not always from a purely heroic, altruistic point of view. He is kind of in it for himself.
In Episode 903, Hartley seems more confident and a lot less moody. Is there a feeling of accomplishment that he has been able to get this plan together?
Absolutely, yes. For almost a decade now, Hartley has been trying to get people to take him seriously – as a scientist, as an ally, and as a threat. Not to underestimate him, even though he’s this short, spectacled gay guy. He is scary, and smart, and effective, and can really challenge the Flash in a way that maybe no other villain can. And so, now that he and Barry are finally really working together, and Barry’s saying “okay, we’re we’re gonna do it your way,” I think he feels incredible satisfaction there. He’s finally living up to this golden boy that he’s been trying to be better than for the better part of a decade now. I think we see him finally drop his guard a little bit, and show Barry and show the audience who he really is.
With a cast that’s included people like Grant Gustin and Jesse L. Martin, have you ever sung with them?
All the time! So both of them are friends. Were friends before the show, I did another show called Smash with Jesse, and then Grant worked with my husband when he was very young, so I knew him in Los Angeles before he was cast. We’re all Broadway babies. Carlos [Valdes] and I went to school together for musical theater in the same department. And so yes, there’s lots of music between takes. Tom Cavanagh is a beautiful singer. The boys were always singing in the long hours, when the nights had gone long.
Can you talk about this team up of Rogues that we have in Episode 903, and specifically the friction between Hartley and Chillblaine?
When we leave our heroes in 902, Hartley’s gauntlets are gone, and we have the appearance of this new team of villains that seems like it’s coalescing, so Barry and his team decide that they need a team of their own to take this on, and Hartley is the one who who knows that it can’t be the same team they’ve always had. They need specific people. That leads us to what I think is like a really fun and funny episode where they’re putting this team together.
They’re a little ragtag, and there are competing personalities, but they do form this kind of separate Rogues team. And then with Chillblaimne, I mentioned that I think we finally see Hartley feeling like he’s got Barry’s respect and got his ear, and then immediately there’s this other dude in the room who he’s not seen before. This was the first scene with these characters interact, and immediately, there’s some like antagonism there. I think Hartley thrives when he’s got a rival in the room. and someone who doesn’t quite trust. and someone he’s trying to outsmart and outpace. and I think Chillblaine becomes that to Hartley, for sure.
Are chances good that we’ll see Hartley some more after Episode 903?
I think the chances are pretty good. You’re gonna get some time with your spooky boy.
Have you ever been tempted to check out the Pied Piper’s appearances in the comics?
I was gifted his first appearance in the comic by a very big fan one time when I was doing a theatrical production. He gave me a copy of that issue from the 60s which has to be worth a lot of money. And then later, I sought out the issue where he comes out, because I want to just have that as a as a as a memento.
Also, when I first got cast, Geoff Johns and some people at DC sent along some material, kind of bookmarked where I should be looking for Piper. So I’ve read through a few arcs, but I haven’t seen everything. The comics world is really kind of daunting. It can be a little confusing about where to start and where to look for everything. But I feel a little lucky that I didn’t know the comic super, super well, because I think I would have collapsed under the pressure. I didn’t quite know how popular Hartley was with the fans until I was already doing it, and that really let me sort of build my own version, which I think is quite a bit different than the Hartley we meet in the comicss. He’s a little darker, a little snarkier, a little more acerbic… and those are the kind of parts that I really like to play.
I’ve seen that you have written some genre projects of your own. Is there any chance we may see any of them in TV or movies?
Oh, golly, I hope so! I really can’t say, but I hope so. Stay tuned. I hope that people will check out the stories that already exist, in book form, on the page.
Would you like to tell the audience where they can find those?
Yes! I am the author of three books for middle grade readers. It’s a series called The Backstagers, which is an extension of a comic series from Boom, which is terrific. James Tynion and Ryan Sygh wrote this terrific series of comics about a backstage crew at an all boys high school who get into some like paranormal adventure. And then I was asked to continue that series as novels for middle grade readers, which are available from Abrams Publishing wherever books are sold. And then, just this past Fall, I published my young adult debut, which is a novel called Fraternity, which is about a group of boys at a boarding school in 1971, who all share the same secret, which, if you know me and my work, you can probably guess what that is, and they break into the headmaster’s office to change a grade, get what they think is the grade book, and it turns out to be something else entirely, and that takes them down this occult path. And that, again, is available wherever books are sold, and both of these projects have wonderful audiobooks which I narrated. If people are into hearing my little voice, they can listen to the books as well.
Can you talk about what the experience has been to be a part of The Flash in general, and what your hopes are for the crew as they’re about to film their final episode?
It’s been really profound. I think I won’t be able to like fully digest it until much later. I am from the world of theater, where you you build these families very quickly and for a very limited amount of time. The whole nature of the art form is that it’s ephemeral, and it’s only right now. It’s only live, and you build these things, and they go away. And so, to be a part of Ha television production for this long, from seasons 1 to 9, with so many faces that have been there the whole time, into something that is going to exist forever, is just really not something I’m used to, and something I’m really proud of, and grateful for.
As I mentioned, I knew Grant before the show, and there was this moment in our first run of episodes together in Season 1. We were standing there in our costumes, and just being like, “what has happened? How did we do this? We’re standing here in superhero clothes. This is so crazy!” And then time cut almost a decade later, and still be wearing those costumes, still playing these parts…. that’s just not something that happens to people, reall,y ever. It’s not lost on me how rare and special an experience this is
I am excited now to complete the thing, have it be a complete story that then will exist forever, that people can rediscover in a few years, or discover for the first time… if they love the show, they can show it to their kids when they are old enough to watch it, and I just can’t believe that these characters and our takes on these characters will exist forever, and that there’s so much of them to enjoy. There’s so much material to dive into. It really feels big.
The Flash “Rogues of War” airs TONIGHT (February 22) at 8PM ET/PT 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…