In Episode 16 of the fantastically fun CW series The Flash, entitled “Rogue Time,” The Flash (Grant Gustin) learns that Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) and Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell) have returned to Central City. This time, Leonard Snart has brought along his baby sister, Lisa (Peyton List), to help wreak havoc on the city.
During this exclusive phone interview with Collider, actress Peyton List (who played Cara on The CW series The Tomorrow People, also from The Flash executive producer Greg Berlanti) talked about leaping at the opportunity when she was offered this role, doing her comic book research on the character, how she views Lisa Snart, how fun it is to balance flirty with sadistic, finding her place with co-stars Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell, reeling in Cisco (Carlos Valdes), her interactions with The Flash, and how cool it is to have her own specially designed weapon to play with. Be aware that there are some spoilers.
Collider: How did you get involved with The Flash? Obviously, you and executive producer Greg Berlanti established a working relationship on The Tomorrow People, and he knows that you can kick ass with the best of them. Did you just get a phone call from him about playing this character?
PEYTON LIST: Actually, it was a complete surprise. I got a call a couple of weeks before the character started on the series, to see if I wanted to do it. I’m familiar with the more widely known comic book characters. I’m not an expert in comic book characters. I had an idea of who The Flash was, but I didn’t know the character, going into it. Even though I’m not quite as familiar as some, I still really enjoy it. So, I leapt at the opportunity. It was an awesome surprise.
Were you told much about Lisa Snart, up front? Did they give you specific research to do, or direct you to any comics to guide you toward who she is on the show?
LIST: I immediately started to look it up, and I saw that there are so many different stories about her. Over the years, they’ve taken her in different directions. What I also knew about this show is that they tell their own story. They develop the stories as they want to see them. So, I made myself as familiar as I could with the majority of the stuff out there, but then I threw all of that away and went with how they’ve made her. They’ve been great. It was very well-written, so I got a sense of who she is, just from the script, alone, which is very helpful. And there are many opportunities to play with that, too.
How do you view who Lisa Snart is, and how would you say Team Flash views who she is?
LIST: She’s good, in some ways, and she’s very bad, in some ways. You see her team up with her brother, and she’s constantly trying to prove that she can be a baddie, too, and that she can be as kick-butt as he is. I think she’s constantly trying to seek his approval. But because he doesn’t always give that approval out freely, it frustrates her a lot. She wants to be part of that team. She also can be quite flirty, and quite sadistic, at the same time. It’s a really fun, crazy balance to play with because she can be all over the place in a scene.
How was it to be the new girl joining this partnership with Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell, who clearly have a history, even before doing this show together? Were you worried, at all, about holding your own with them, or did you fall into a very natural dynamic with them?
LIST: In the beginning, it was incredibly intimidating, of course. I had been a huge Prison Break fan. There’s so much history there, and you already know that they have great chemistry. Trying to just find where you belong, in all of that, can be daunting. But actually, after my first day of work, I just found a place with them. They’re so welcoming to work with and so open to work with that it wasn’t as hard as you would think. It felt very natural. I just felt myself enjoying it. Before I knew it, I wasn’t worried about it anymore.
Since this is a character who isn’t afraid to use her sexuality to get what she wants, and we’ve seen that she’ll have some interactions with Cisco, how easily does he fall for her manipulations?
LIST: He falls pretty quickly. It’s also the circumstances, of course. She goes after him hard. She’s not really taking no for an answer, anyway. It’s not his fault. That character dynamic was a lot of fun because it was almost like hypnosis. To get him to the other side, he’s practically in a trance. It’s really funny. I hope people enjoy it because we certainly had a blast.
What was it like to work with Carlos Valdes, who is always so funny and gets so many great one-liners?
LIST: I can’t describe it other than fun. He does have these wonderful one-liners and great jokes. It was nice to be a part of his storyline, as well. You learn stuff you haven’t known about him, up until now. I thought it was a treat to explore with him. Obviously, because he’s a really funny guy, it makes for an easy day of work, for sure.
Did you enjoy getting to go blonde for the episode?
LIST: I really enjoyed it. I was really intimidated by it because I have been blonde once, and it was not supposed to be a good-looking blonde. I’m not someone who’s changed my hair color a lot, over the course of my life. I was like, “I really hope I don’t look silly like this.” The strange thing is the my mother is blonde and, once we found the wig and put it on, it was bizarre. I was looking in the mirror and going, “I never thought I looked like my mother until this moment.” I started to see some similarities. It was totally bizarre, and really fun. It changes how you feel. I had a different air when I had the wig on, which helped with the character. In the episode, I’m laying a trap, and it felt like I had this disguise on. It all really helped me. It was more fun than it should have been. It’s amazing what a wig can do.
Your character also crosses paths with The Flash. What does she think of The Flash, and what can we expect from that interaction?
LIST: As of right now, a lot of her view of The Flash is similar to her brother’s view. I think she’s assumed whatever her brother thinks of The Flash is the truth. She enjoys that he’s a fun nemesis to have. Deep down, she doesn’t think they’re supposed to be on the same team, but she does enjoy the battle, going head-to-head, and she enjoys winning or helping win the battle. Obviously, she’s relatively new in this world, so she’s also just learning it as it comes. But she defers all of her opinions, for the most part, through her brother.
We’ve seen that Captain Cold and Heat Wave each have their own special weapons, and your character does, too. How cool is it to have your own specially designed weapon to play with?
LIST: Oh, it’s so cool! Coming from The Tomorrow People, which is the most action-packed thing I’ve done, we didn’t have guns. This is so different because my specialty is the gun. It feel so different and it changes so many of the things that you’re doing. And to have one that’s personalized for you, with its own personal holster, you feel like something out of a comic book. It’s really cool. It’s really special.
The Flash airs on Tuesday nights on The CW.