Skip to Content

Life After The Flash: Grant Gustin’s Journey to Broadway

It has been nearly a full year since the conclusion of “The Flash” series on The CW, and Grant Gustin, a star in the Arrowverse, has returned to the spotlight by taking on a role in the Broadway adaptation of “Water for Elephants.” According to Gustin, life has indeed changed, yet there is a sense of familiarity.

Having portrayed Barry Allen, also known as The Flash, for nine seasons, Gustin experienced significant life events during that period, including marriage and the birth of his first child. Transitioning to his Broadway debut, after previously participating in a national tour of “West Side Story,” Gustin expressed to TheWrap that this experience “hits different,” especially on his physical well-being, but in a comforting way.

Gustin shared, “From the time I was 10 to 21, [theater]’s all I did. And then, you know, I’ve been off on this kind of side quest of doing TV and film, and it’s all I’ve done for the last 13 years.” He further added, “And I always knew I wanted to get back on stage. So it has felt like coming home, and it feels really familiar and comfortable.”

Interestingly, the parallels between his time on “The Flash” and his current role in “Water for Elephants” are more striking than anticipated.

The conversation between Grant Gustin and TheWrap is detailed below.

How does it feel now that you have been performing “Water for Elephants” for several weeks and have accumulated numerous shows?

Gustin responded, “Yeah, it definitely feels like it’s in the body.” Reflecting on his previous experience of performing eight shows a week during the tour at the age of 21, he noted the contrast with his current age of 34. Despite the physical demands, he emphasized that the mental aspect plays a significant role.

He humorously mentioned, “At the end of the week, you’re gonna feel like maybe two of them you’re proud of.” Gustin highlighted the mental challenges faced in maintaining consistency throughout the performances.

How do you maintain your mental composure, especially when you may not be satisfied with a particular show?

Gustin emphasized the importance of focusing on the ensemble cast members during moments of uncertainty or distraction. By acknowledging the uniqueness and contributions of each individual on stage, he found it easier to remain engaged and deliver a compelling performance.

He shared, “If you just kind of focus on each other, and not get too in your head about what you’re doing or, you know, too focused on the audience or nerves, or whatever else is going on, it’s so easy to just kind of stay focused and do the job that we need to do.”

Comparing your experiences on “The Flash,” where multiple takes are possible, to the live stage environment of Broadway, how do you navigate this shift?

Gustin highlighted the continuous process of self-trust in both mediums. While acknowledging the differences in the production timelines and rehearsal processes between television and theater, he emphasized the ongoing discovery and adjustment that occurs during live performances.

He shared insights into the dynamic nature of live theater, where unexpected moments or realizations can lead to new interpretations and improvements in the performance. Gustin emphasized the acceptance of imperfections and the essence of live theater, where mistakes are part of the experience.

In terms of adaptations, how does the process of bringing a book to life on stage compare to adapting comics for the screen?

Gustin drew distinctions between the enduring legacy of a comic book character like The Flash and the relative novelty of adapting a book like “Water for Elephants” for the stage. He expressed his appreciation for the adaptation process and the opportunity to be part of storytelling that resonates with audiences.

Reflecting on his personal affinity for adaptations and the joy of being involved in bringing beloved stories to life, Gustin highlighted the shared enthusiasm among cast members and audiences for the stage production of “Water for Elephants.”

This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.