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It’s time for The Flash to pay the piper.
Barry’s (Grant Gustin) is in serious danger when The Pied Piper (Andy Mientus) comes Central City, looking for revenge in Tuesday’s episode. Mientus says his character, Hartley Rathaway, has a personal connection to STAR Labs, and has a particular beef with Dr. Wells (Tom Cavanagh).
In the comics, Pied Piper was from a wealthy family. Born deaf, he eventually regained his hearing thanks to cutting edge research — and became increasingly interested with sound, eventually learning to harness it to hyptnotise people. In the TV show, Pied Piper is a former protégé of Dr. Wells, who wants vengeance after the partical accelerator explosion.
“He’s got a personal stake in ruining The Flash and upsetting everything they are doing there at STAR Labs,” Mientus tells The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s different than what we’ve seen from many of the villains so far.”
The Piper comes at a time in which the STAR Labs gang is feeling pretty good about themselves. They’ve defeated the first ever rogues teamup, putting Captain Cold (WentworthMiller) and Heatwave (Dominic Purcell) in lockup (at least temporarily). Barry, meanwhile has moved back in with Joe (Jesse L. Martin), with the two having the ultimate father-son bachelor pad.
But the peace is short-lived. Mientus says Pied Piper’s plans culminate in a “climactic scene” that was grueling to shoot, with the cast and crew filming nearly until dawn. But he’s not complaining.
“We were hoping the sun wouldn’t come up,” he says. “As soon as you got tired you would get to blow up a car and get your second wind.”
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Mientus, who has starred in NBC’s Smash and Les Miserables on Broadway,says the action-heavy The Flash is a whole different world for an actor.
“The show is constantly throwing new challenges at me that I wasn’t used to. This was the first time I’d done anything with green screen. The first time with explosions, action, combat. The first time I’d ever had a stunt double,” he says.
Mientus originally read for the role of Barry Allen during The Flash’s casting process, and though he didn’t land that part, Pied Piper has proven to be a meaty role for the actor to tackle — and one that could have longevity on the show. Mientus has already shot two episodes so far, and teases more could be on the way.
“I can’t say too much, but if you look at this character in the books in Geoff Johns continuity of The Flash, it’s a pretty major role,” he says. “He’s an original rogue, and the rogues pop up again, and again, and again. I think there is a strong possibility we will see more from him.”
At a press screening of the episode Monday, executive producer Andrew Kreisberg got laughs by describing Pied Piper’s outfit as looking like “evil Harry Potter.” And it’s true, the character’s glasses and black hoodie do make it a fair comparison. But Mientus says he loves the look of the villain, who in the comics looks more like a fairy tale character.
“I thought it looked awesome. I wasn’t sure how far into the comic books they were going to go,” he says. “When I saw something they were able to make out of retail clothes— like this character would — and piece together a costume for stealth and anonymity instead of just trying to look cool, I think they hit that balance really well.”
The Flash airs at 8 p.m. Tuesdays on The CW.
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