The CW’s “The Flash” is a superhero action drama centered around the DC Comics Superhero Barry Allen a.k.a. The Flash, a crime fighter whose power is the ability to move at superhuman speeds. In Season 1, the show follows Allen who, after an explosion of S.T.A.R. Labs’ particle accelerator, assumes the ability of superhuman speed. He uses his newfound power to fight crime and hunt “metahumans” in Central City under the name and masked disguise The Flash. In Season 2, Allen contends with other speedsters who threaten his existence and in Season 3, he creates an alternate timeline called Flashpoint, from which new enemies emerge. Season 4 sets about correcting the mistakes of Season 3’s Flashpoint. Allen is rescued but in the process, an accident causes the creation of more metahumans. Seasons 5 and 6 deal with how the appearance of new characters affect the world’s timeline and reckon with a crisis that will make The Flash disappear. Season 6 was in production when filming was shut down because of COVID-19. “The Flash” has been renewed for Season 7, but there have been no announcements about when it might go into production. The team has announced the new season won’t air until 2021.
“The Flash” was created by Greg Berlanti, Geoff Johns, and Andrew Kreisberg, with Kreisberg and Berlanti serving as executive producers. The series is a spinoff of “Arrow,” also on The CW. The pilot was filmed in 2014 in Vancouver, BC, and the series premiered on Oct. 7, 2014.
There are no casting calls for “The Flash” on Backstage right now, but keep an eye out for future opportunities to join the series. You can still find other productions casting right now if you love The CW show.
Throughout its six seasons, “The Flash” has starred:
- Grant Gustin as Barry Allen/The Flash
- Candice Patton as Millie Foss/Iris West
- Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow/Killer Frost
- Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon/Vibe
- Tom Cavanagh as Dr. Harry Wells
- Jesse L. Martin as Joe West/Digsy Foss
- Danielle Nicolet as Cecile Horton
- Hartley Sawyer as Ralph Dibny/Elongated Man
- Keiynan Lonsdale as Wally West/Kid Flash
- Patrick Sabongui as David Singh
David Rapaport and Lyndsey Baldasare are the casting directors for “The Flash.” Based in Los Angeles, the team casts many of Greg Berlanti’s other series including “Riverdale,” “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” “Arrow,” “Katy Keene,” “Supergirl,” “Batwoman,” “Legends of Tomorrow,” and more. The L.A.-based casting team works with J.J. Ogilvy and Sean Cossey in Vancouver.
In an interview with Backstage, Berlanti describes pilot casting as “a really long process” and says in total, assembling an original cast takes about 10 weeks. “We’re seeing so many people over those 10 weeks for leads and regulars, guest star roles, and recurring roles. We could be casting about 15 roles in that time,” he says. “You have to go through the auditions, studio tests, network tests, screen tests, lots of conversations and back and forth, and questioning who’s right and who’s wrong.”
Known for assembling large ensembles for his series, Berlanti says, “It kind of falls into place based on the way the casting works. In an ideal world, we’d cast all the roles at the same time, but most of the time it doesn’t work out that way. I really have to take a leap of faith.” It’s up to him to sense what will work for the project aside from the occasional chemistry read. “I’m piecing together the chemistry in my brain; I never quite know what’s going to happen until I get on set or see the first edit of a pilot. We read people so many times to make sure that there are no questions left unanswered so you know what to expect or what you’re going to get,” he says.
You can live anywhere in the world as an actor: “I look everywhere. When working episodically, we mostly look for represented talent because that process is so short, but we just did a worldwide search for [a new series]. We did an online open call where anyone in the world could film and upload their own audition, and I watched [them]. I can’t even tell you how many auditions I watched for that. When we do a pilot, we also have CDs working for us in Vancouver [and] Toronto, usually in the U.K. and Australia, and New York City, in addition to Los Angeles. It’s a team effort.”
You don’t need to be an “established actor” to get cast by Rapaport: “I have an opportunity to discover more novice talent in television…. In TV, I’m casting [up] to 15 roles a week on each show, and the actors are typically pretty unknown. They’re not household names. It gives me a chance to really discover and audition people who are closest to the character for a show like ‘Riverdale’ as opposed to casting them for name recognition or face recognition. It’s really about who gives the best performance, so to me it’s exciting…to be able to really put forth the best talent I’ve been seeing.
Rapaport said when casting the lead for “The Flash,” it came down to “looking for someone who was relatable, someone that was an Everyman who was bestowed with superpowers—someone a little bit goofy” who didn’t have a superhero look. Familiar with Grant Gustin from casting him on ‘90210’ and seeing him in ‘Glee,’ Rapoport said Gustin, “seemed like this affable, dorky, charming, fun dude...He was the first person I auditioned for the role. We read him opposite Emily Bett Rickards, and there was amazing chemistry there.”
Be prepared to read multiple times: “In an ideal world, we’d cast all the roles at the same time, but most of the time it doesn’t work out that way. I really have to take a leap of faith...I never quite know what’s going to happen until I get on set or see the first edit of a pilot. We read people so many times to make sure that there are no questions left unanswered so you know what to expect or what you’re going to get.”
How to get Rapaport’s attention: “The best way to get on my radar is to get yourself out there. If you can’t find an agent or can’t book a show, write your own script, film it, and put it online.”
The biggest mistake you can make in the audition room: “A big mistake a lot of actors tend to do is they try to impress me or the producers by guessing what we want. The whole purpose of auditions is to see what they can come up with and discover what they can bring to the game. If we knew what we wanted, we wouldn’t be doing auditions, we’d be making straight offers.”
A self-tape can make or break you: “It takes good lighting and good sound to make a good taped audition. I watch literally thousands of self-tapes and I’m not too picky about quality but when I show them to the producers, anything that distracts them—props or not being centered on camera—can hinder chances. You want to mimic the audition process as much as possible for a self-tape. It should be mid-chest to right above the head, centered in the frame, with good lighting and we should be able to hear them properly…. A reader can make a big difference….It sounds picky but it can be very distracting as you want to focus on the read. You want to see their eyes, get into the emotional process and see what’s going on.”
Though there have been no public casting calls for lead roles, that doesn’t mean we won’t be seeing new faces when the series returns.
Keep in mind that for larger speaking roles—series regular, recurring, guest star, co-star, contract—you’ll likely need to go through your agent. Don’t have an agent? Here’s how to get one.
Should an audition come up, make sure you’re prepared:
Vancouver-based Sandra-Ken Freeman of Freeman Casting & Associates is the casting director for background actors on “The Flash.” There are currently no open calls for Season 7 background talent, but be sure to check Freeman Casting’s open casting calls page and their Facebook page for updates.
Since “The Flash” shoots in Vancouver, it’s helpful to be local to the area. Because background work often does not include relocation or travel stipends, being a local hire is crucial for getting repeat work as an extra. For more information on what it means to be a local hire, click here.
For more information on how to land work and make a living as a background actor, check out Backstage’s guide to working as an extra.