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The Flash's Keiynan Lonsdale: Is Wally Really Ready to Step Up and Save Iris?

It doesn't get off to a great start

Sadie Gennis

The stakes have never been higher for Wally West (Keiynan Lonsdale) on The Flash.

Although still relatively new to the superhero game, Barry (Grant Gustin) has entrusted Wally with one of Team Flash's most important missions yet: saving Iris (Candice Patton) from Savitar's deadly clutches in the near-future. It's a tall and imposing order for the cocksure young speedster, but Wally is willing to do whatever it takes to save his sister's life.

Keiynan Lonsdale spoke to TVGuide.com about how Wally handles the pressure of this situation, the continuing evolution of Kid Flash and the Flash's dynamic and that scary Savitar prophecy.

Barry dropped this huge bomb on Wally at the end of last week. When this episode picks up, what can you say about Wally's initial reaction to now being the one who has to save Iris?
Keiynan Lonsdale:
I mean I think that's just a lot of pressure. I think that's a lot thrown on him. But at the same time, he's definitely prepared to step up, and part of him will also be excited at the idea of training with Barry and being allowed to be his full speedster self. It's definitely frightening to him, for sure.

Wally has been very confident to the point of cocky regarding his ability to be a superhero so far, but is he emotionally prepared to handle the pressure of a situation like this?
I don't know. I don't think he is ready, but I don't think you can be ready with something like this. That's what we're dealing with with all these characters. How are you supposed to be prepared -- even when you know something is coming in the future -- how are you supposed to be in the right head space for something so traumatic? I think that's something that will challenge Wally, for sure, along with all of the characters.

Grant Gustin and Keiynan Lonsdale, The Flash
Bettina Strauss/The CW

As Wally continues his training and playing a more key role on Team Flash, how does his relationship with Barry evolve?
I think it evolves in a really nice way. I think for a lot of fans, they'll be really happy to have that dynamic with Flash and Kid Flash. It really feels like this fun, sidekick thing which we haven't been able to explore completely. Although the stakes are really high and it's a very intense situation, it still allows the opportunity for us to play as actors, and for the characters, to have this really cool side that we haven't gotten to see from them yet.

Wally and Barry are incredibly different in their personalities and outlooks on the world. What do you think they learn from each other as the training goes on?
I think Wally obviously has a lot to learn from Barry. He is cocky and he loves what he's doing. There's a part of Wally -- yes, he's been through a lot in his life already -- but since having powers, it's been pretty cool, you know? And so on one hand, I think Barry has to deal with so much and so much has gone on that's so crazy, he can feel a little lighter around Wally because Wally's so positive. It probably reminds Barry how cool it is, really, to have super speed. On the other hand, Wally obviously has to learn from Barry that there are risks that come from these powers and there are dangers and you're not going to win every fight and there will be setbacks. So that's something Wally has to learn.

The Flash: It's Iris West's world and we should just live in it

What do you think Wally brings to the table that Barry doesn't?
It's not necessarily "bringing to the table." It's this young kid who hasn't yet been jaded by such awful, awful losses with these villains. Wally hasn't really had to go up against all of these villains that Barry has. I think because of that -- yes he's naive to a lot of things -- but because of that, he's also feeling very free and very excited. I feel like that's something that can work to his benefit

Is becoming jaded in this line of work inevitable, or do you hope that Wally will be able to maintain that sense of excitement?
I think it's a bit of both. It's not even a sense of being jaded. It's more so making sure your guard is up. I think that's something Barry had to learn over these three seasons. We've watched his guard fall and we've watched it spike back up again. And Wally, when he was introduced on the show, his guard was really high and he had issues with trusting people. Now that he has these powers and this surge of energy running through him and confidence, he's definitely let down his guard. So that's a learning curve that he has to go through. It doesn't mean that becoming jaded is inevitable, but I think in order to survive you do have to be looking out for yourself.

In addition to everything else he's dealing with, Wally is also keeping Iris' future death from Joe (Jesse L. Martin). How does he feel about keeping such a huge secret from his dad?
He hates it. This show and these characters, these people, they've all dealt with secrets before and we don't want any of that. No one does. No one wants to have secrets. I think Wally doesn't like to hide things from people and we see, even the last episode where Wally is looking out for Iris, where he can't help but say, "Iris put herself in danger," because he does what he thinks is best. Every single part of him wants to tell Joe what's going on, but that's not what he's being advised to do and he's trying to respect that as much as possible. But he's torn, completely.

We know that Iris gets caught in the crossfire of the battle with Clive Yorkin (Matthew Kevin Anderson). How does failing to protect his sister affect Wally?
It's him dealing with a villain going after a family member for the first time. There's a responsibility that's put on him and he has to live up to that. I think that's a struggle for him. I think that as much as he's confident and cocky -- it's not that that's a front, but there's still a lot depth to him and he always wants to do good. He wants to do better. He wants to be the hero. He doesn't want to let anyone down. That will be his biggest shortcoming: how judgmental he is of himself, secretly.

​Candice Patton and Danielle Panabaker, The Flash
Robert Falconer/The CW

Savitar revealed a very ominous prophecy about Team Flash ahead of the midseason hiatus. How will those claims hang over Wally's head as the season progresses?
It's weighing on everyone's mind, but at the same time, right now all Wally is worrying about is becoming faster and making sure he can do his job. That's all he really can think about. I think also Savitar's a villain. We don't know what he's saying is truth, is lies -- we have no idea. I think Wally's trying not to let him in his head too much.

We know you don't have a song in the Supergirlmusical crossover, but should we expect a dance number or two?
No, I'm not dancing or singing in the musical. But maybe we'll have another one one day. I'm not so sure. But not in this episode, unfortunately.

Jesse (Violet Beane) returns in an upcoming episode. Where does their relationship stand now and will we get any more romantic moments between the two?
I think we definitely will. Where we left off last time, they were in a good place, but now also we have to deal with the fact that Wally has powers. And last time they connected, Jesse was the one with powers. So it's going to bring up different dynamics and it will be interesting for fans to watch.

The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on the CW.

(Full Disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS, one of the CW's parent companies.)