Buzz is building for the casts and creators of the CW’s new fall series “Jane the Virgin” and “The Flash,” who sat down on Saturday at the Paley Center’s annual Fall Preview to talk about their upcoming series.
“It’s amazing,” said Gina Rodriguez, star of “Jane the Virgin.” “The writing is incredible – we get so excited to read our next script.” The actress told Variety that she hadn’t really taken in the reality of being the show’s leading lady until receiving a text message from her sister with a photo of her billboard in Chicago.
Jesse L. Martin, who played Detective Ed Green on “Law & Order” and now stars as Detective Joe West on “The Flash,” said he never thought he’d pick up a gun and badge again, but couldn’t resist when creators Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg sat down with him to talk about the character.
“My first thought was it’s completely different than any detective I’ve gotten to play,” he said. “I actually use my gun, but I also have a family and a home life that plays out in the story.”
West becomes Barry Allen’s (Grant Gustin) father figure after the murder of his mother and arrest of his father, and has to look out for the young superhero, as well as his own daughter, Iris (Candice Patton). “It’s not every day you find out your kid is the fastest man alive,” he said with a laugh.
Working with the young actor has been “remarkably easy,” said Martin of Gustin, who was sick and unable to attend the panel. “Grant knows what he’s doing and he’s a professional – we get along like gangbusters.” He also admitted that there is plenty of singing on-set, as both he and Gustin come from musical theater backgrounds, although none of it will make it to the screen.
Family is an entirely different experience on “Jane the Virgin,” where Rodriguez stars as a young woman brought up by her grandmother to protect her virginity above all else, but gets artificially inseminated by accident. Creator Jennie Snyder Urman explained that she brought together elements of “Ugly Betty” and “Gilmore Girls” to adapt the Venezuelan series for the American audience, and promised plenty of telenovela-style twists.
“We’re going for it,” she said. “Every episode is going to have big comedy set pieces and big dramatic set pieces,” with the root of the show being in Jane’s relationships with everyone around her.
Rodriguez asserted that the show is not as outrageous as it may seem. “The concept of a telenovela sadly has a negative connotation, but the truth is we take our (characters’) lives very seriously and that’s where we’re going to defy that idea,” she stressed, trying to dissuade the notion that what audiences perceive to be ridiculous may not be so far from reality.
“The craziest things that can happen really matter to you,” she said, “because they’re happening to you.”
“Flash” creators Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg said they’re taking a slightly lighter tone than “Arrow” with the new series.
“I think it’s a brighter show,” said Kreisberg. While the show certainly will have its own heavy moments, “it’s a more hopeful show. We always say that on ‘Arrow’ Starling City needs saving, and on ‘Flash’ Central City needs protecting.”
According to Berlanti, the duo knew that they wanted to bring in the Flash almost instantly after production began on “Arrow,” now set to start its third season. “The real impetus was that we wanted to bring powers to the show,” said Berlanti, as opposed to Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), who’s armed only with a quiver of arrows. “Then it became ‘now we can’t screw it up.’”
The two promised plenty of DC Comics twists and turns to the series, including a slew of guest stars and big bads. The two are particularly excited for audiences to see Wentworth Miller’s portrayal of Captain Cold, while Martin encouraged viewers to “look out for Plastique.”
“The Flash” will premiere at 8 p.m. Oct. 7, while “Jane the Virgin” will bow at 9 p.m. Oct. 13.