Going back to the very first season of The Vampire Diaries, Malese Jow‘s Anna was a quick fan favorite, and even after her character was gone from the show, the episodes where she’d make ghostly appearances always made Mystic Falls a better place.
Malese was also one of the standouts in the cast of the sadly short-lived series Star-Crossed, where she played Julia.
Now, Malese Jow is headed to The CW’s Flash beginning with tonight’s episode, where she plays a character that’s very important to the Flash mythos – Linda Park, the woman who even eventually became The Flash’s wife. (Granted, it was Wally West and not Barry Allen, but hey!)
We spoke with Malese to preview Linda Park and her role in The Flash, as the young reporter for the Central City Picture News enters Barry Allen’s world. Enjoy, and beware of some possible spoilers:
KSITETV: For those who knew your work as Anna or Julia, would you say this is a bit more of an adult role than those characters had been?
MALESE JOW: Definitely! I’m so excited about it. I’m finally getting to play my age – someone in their twenties!
Everyone’s used to me playing high school, and a little more naive and wide-eyed, but now I get to play this fierce, strong, fiery woman. It’s fun and I hope people like it.
You mention that she’s strong and fiery. How does Linda relate to Iris, who is also strong and fiery?
Iris is new to the Picture News, and still kind of getting her footing there, and Linda’s actually a veteran at the Picture News, so she’s actually more comfortable in her skin there, and Iris is kind of like “whoa.” They’re a lot alike, but yet, different.
There was another, older Linda Park teased in a news broadcast in the Flash pilot. Are she and the younger Linda related at all?
No, we don’t actually touch on the Linda that they had briefly in that episode. I’m guessing that maybe they didn’t think that they would even bring Linda on, and then decided that it was a good idea… but yeah. They don’t ever explain why that happened, but I’m glad that Linda’s on the scene now!
What kind of a chemistry does Linda have with Barry?
I think they have such an entertaining chemistry, which is good for television. They’re kind of, in a way, like “opposites attract.” I feel like he’s not used to having this straightforward woman that kind of knows what she wants, and she’s very vocal about that, so she kind of brings him out of his comfort zone and out of his shell. But on the same token, I think she likes that she has to do that with him, and she knows that he has layers, and he’s charming, and kind of shy, so it’s interesting to see him blossom a little bit.
Does she see him as a challenge at all?
I think a little bit. Yeah. But I don’t she sees him as a game, though. I think she starts developing real feelings for him. He’s a diamond in the rough! He’s a gem. I think she’s just taken back by the fact that he’s awesome.
What does Linda think of The Flash?
Linda doesn’t really mention anything about The Flash. She doesn’t really get too involved in that world, and that part of him.
Does Linda get involved in any danger at any point in your story arc?
Not too much danger. Like I said, she doesn’t get too wrapped up that whole [Flash] thing. She gets to kind of stay in the “real life scenario,” not in the whole “saving the world” thing, which is good. But love triangles are kind of dangerous, so if you consider that “being in danger,” maybe.
Does she notice Barry’s sudden disappearances, at least?
No. I feel like Barry/The Flash, he’s kind of getting really good at what he does. Maybe a little cocky at points… but yeah. I feel like he could pull off anything now, without anyone even noticing. Which is awesome. She doesn’t even bat an eye at it.
You’ve been involved in shows with very huge fandoms before. What is different about entering the Flash fandom and the comic book world?
It’s the same, but yet, totally different. My sister is a huge comic book fan, so whenever I went through this whole project, she was like “you HAVE to get this for me!” It was so crazy, just seeing everyone blow up when they found out that I was going to be a part of it. It’s a huge honor, and the Flash fans – do they have a name?
The name I like to use is Speedsters.
Speedsters! Okay. Perfect. They’ve been so nice, and welcoming, and I can’t wait for them to see the episodes, and see what everyone has to say.
How long are you around for?
I’m around for a little bit. Yeah. I’ve heard some talk of them trying to incorporate Linda into the mix a little bit more, so we’ll see what happens.
You mentioned your sister, but had YOU been a fan of the show before getting the role? Had you been watching?
When I found out I was going to be a part of it, I had to watch everything, of course, and I became addicted. I was like “This show is amazing. I can’t believe I’m going to be a part of it.” So I’d be a fan no matter what, but like I said, it’s a huge honor.
Is there anyone in the Arrow/Flash universe that you’d like to be able to work with?
I would hope that in the future, Linda will get some scenes with Caitlin and Cisco. I love watching them on the show. I feel like they’re hilarious. I got to meet Danielle briefly, but we didn’t get to interact, so hopefully in the future, I’ll get to work with them too.
Do you have any particularly amusing stories of your time on set?
I love this cast so much! There was never a dull moment. Grant and I have kind of the same sense of humor, so we would constantly be giggling and laughing about certain things.
At the end of one episode, Barry ends up really messy – like in the face, sweating, and everything – and that was our first kiss, which was kind of like “Wow. This is not awkward at all.” I felt so bad for him. But it was funny… we laughed it off.
How does Linda come into the show?
They actually posted our first encounter online. She’s just going up to the bar and giving a guy her number, but it ends up being more than that, obviously. That’s kind of how their relationship works. It’s kind of instantaneous… it’s fun, there are no guessing games initially, and they’re just being young and dating, which is fun to watch.
Do you think Barry has things he can learn from getting to know Linda?
I definitely think so. Like I said about Linda, she’s a woman who knows what she wants, so she’s not going to let someone beat around the bush, which is awesome, and I think that he has to work through these love triangle feels, because there are always feelings for Iris. He’s still working through that, because he’s just literally professed her love for her, and she’s always around as a constant reminder. But now he has this new girl, who’s also amazing, and he’s having a good time with her, so I think she’s helping him come to conclusions.
If they could do any kind of story for Linda, what would you like for it to be and why?
Oh, goodness… there are so many possibilities, because this show is so amazing!
I know on Twitter, people are huge fans of Iris and Linda being super BFF’s. It would be really fun for them to be really girly together. Maybe like a mall montage, doing their nails… something. Because actually, that’s how Candice [Patton] and I were off set. Just taking selfies, and having a glass of wine… being totally girly. So that would be really fun. It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch for us.
Do you have any final thoughts about why people should tune in?
I mean, why not tune in on Tuesday night? The Flash gives you everything you want. Comedy, action, love, romance, laughs… and hey, Linda’s going to be on now, so check me out!