Over the first few episodes of “The Flash,” we have started to get to know not just the character of Barry Allen, but also the complicated world that surrounds him in Central City. This includes everything from STAR Labs to his work with the Police Department, where there he is under the watchful eye of both Joe West and Captain David Singh.
Singh has made his presence felt on the CW series already, and we have a feeling that you’re going to be seeing much more of them in some of the stories coming up this season. We recently had a chance to chat via email with series star Patrick Sabongui about his character, the chance that his story on the show could be different from the comics, and his overall experience working on a show where he can take on the same character every week.
CarterMatt – So far, what has the experience been like working on ‘The Flash’ compared to so much of the other work you’ve done over the years?
Patrick Sabongui – It’s been incredible. I can’t complain. The cast is so talented and so positive to be around, we have a great time together on set and off. It’s a fun environment, and when it’s time to work you instantly realize that you’re in the company of absolute professionals.
This is a different type of gig for me. It’s rare that I get to play the same character over such an extended period of time. I love being able to visit and revisit the character week in and week out, and to take the time to discover more and more about him as we go. It’s fascinating. I’ve never been in this situation where I have to wait for the next script to learn more about my character. Singh is obviously a well-established character in the comic books, but the producers, Andrew [Kreisberg] and Geoff [Johns], made it clear that the show wouldn’t necessarily follow every letter of the source material. So, even for us, there’s some mystery as to who’s really who and what’s really going to happen.
How would you describe David Singh, and how Barry Allen or Joe West probably perceives him?
Singh is hell-bent on cleaning up Central City. He may not often take the time to be congenial, but he’s got a huge responsibility on his shoulders and he takes pride in getting the job done. He may not be equipped for the brand of villains that have started cropping up, so it’ll be interesting to see how he deals with these new bad-guys.
Singh has a lot of history with Joe West. They’re old friends. If anyone in the department can get through to Singh, it’s Joe. You’d have to ask Jesse how Joe West perceives Singh, but I like to think that Joe respects Singh’s authority. They may but heads from time to time, but there’s mutual respect and friendship there.
Singh is hard on Barry, but it’s because he knows that Barry could do better. Barry probably thinks Singh is a rude, over-bearing prick… but I’m purely speculating, here. Singh’s leadership style is just a form of tough-love, his way of motivating you to realize your potential.
I have, yes. I was a fan of the comics when I was younger. So, I got all excited to revisit the Flash worlds and get familiar with the new ones. I also look forward to finding my own ‘inner David Singh’, y’know? We have the opportunity here to create our own character within this world. That’s the gift of this show. The comic books were- and continue to be- a source of inspiration, though.
Still, there is quite a bit that we don’t know about him, both in the comics and on the show. Is there an excitement with that, to be able to discover more of who this guy is?
Absolutely. It’s fun to hear the speculation among the fans, too. To be honest, I’m not even sure where his storyline is going. There are so many possibilities, some from the comics, some from the writer’s room… pretty much anything can happen. I’m learning about him right along with you. And one thing is becoming clear that everyone in Central City has a secret. You never know what creative twist the writers will come up with. Come to think of it, waiting for the next episode’s script reminds me a lot of waiting for the next issue of The Punisher or Batman when I was a kid. That anticipation for cool characters and heroic moments… I’m so glad to be part of it now.
It’s already been announced that Pied Piper / Hartley Rathaway has been cast for the show. Given that he and Singh have a history in the New 52 comics, is there a chance we could see the two characters interact sometime soon?
I’m honestly just as curious as you.
Is there anything else you want to say about your time on the show, and what is coming up?
I have a feeling cool stuff is coming up. Whether you’ve read the comics or not, you’re in for some crazy adventures. I mean, we’ve only really begun to scratch the surface of The Flash universe: the villains he faces, the powers he discovers, the conflicts that await… There are so many stories to be told.
I’m just grateful for the opportunity to be part of it. I love coming to work. The cast inspires me: just to be surrounded by that many severely talented individuals. The writers visit set fairly regularly and we get to talk about new ideas – it’s great to have that creative conversation on set. And we work with some of the best directors in the business. I just hope this show goes on forever. (Photos via Alex Chiang.)
The next new episode of “The Flash,” entitled “Plastique,” airs on The CW Tuesday night. You can click here to see some photos for it right now. Also, sign up today to get some further TV scoop in a flash via our CarterMatt Newsletter.