By Ryan McPherson
Superhero films have ruled the silver screen for the better part of the last two decades. While their television counterparts have put out their best attempts, until recently they haven’t been able to find their footing inside viewers homes. One of the shows currently dominating the genre on the small screen is ‘The Flash’. The speedster has been blowing away the competition, thanks in part to one of the show’s stars, Violett Beane. Comic fans and newcomers alike, have been tuning into the show in large numbers and have found themselves captivated.
Beane, who plays Jesse Quick, has been quite busy. Not only has she been working on ‘The Flash’, Beane also has two films which recently premiered at this years SXSW Film Festival. She’s definitely one to keep an eye on because you’re going to be seeing a lot more of her soon.
Comic book adaptations are bigger than ever right now. You’re part of one of the biggest comic book series currently on television. What can you tell us about your experience working on the ‘The Flash’.
Coming onto this show has been such an amazing experience. Like you said it’s one of the biggest comic book series on TV, there is such a loyal fan base. It’s fun to interact with them and hear their feedback about the show, especially since it’s almost always positive! Also being able to work with such amazing cast members has been so exciting and informative.
Obviously most of the “super speed” scenes in ‘The Flash’ are done with “movie magic”, but can you give us an idea of what it’s like for a performer when it’s necessary to convince the viewer something physically impossible is real?
Yeah it’s amazing what the Special FX crew do every week! I think our effects are some of the best I’ve seen, including film. So that in itself helps us actors so much. It’s all acting when it comes to something impossible (Grodd)… I mean you’re reacting to maybe a tennis ball on a stick. I guess you just try to put yourself really in the situation!
Were you a fan of comic books prior to getting cast in your role as Jesse Quick?
I have always watched cartoons and superhero movies, but I wasn’t ever exposed to comic books as a child. When I got the audition though, I did do some research and bought a few books with Jesse Quick in them. And I’ve read some more of The Flash since I booked the job. I’ve also received some comics as presents from family and friends since.
As we all know, ‘The Flash’ has super speed and is often regarded as the fastest (at least by foot speed) superhero. Was there ever something you wished you could be better than anyone else at?
I consider myself competitive but I try not to compare too much. But in this industry especially, that’s hard. I guess when I’m auditioning for a role I would love to play, I wish I was “better” than the other choices, but there are so many other factors that you can’t really think about it like that.
Fans of comic books and superheroes can be pretty passionate. Have you had a lot of extra attention coming your way since starting the show from fans?
Yeah, I’ve definitely seen a noticeable increase in my following on all social media, and most of it has been really positive and supportive, which makes my job more fun! Most of my fans are just excited to see more of Jesse, as am I, so I can’t wait for them to see the rest of the season.
Austin, TX has become a pretty big film city over the years. Being a resident, what can you tell us about the film culture there and what it’s like working outside of Los Angeles?
We’ve been getting lucky. People in the industry have started to notice how super cool Austin is and that’s been great for the talent there! There were three TV series’ shooting in Austin last year, and I know all the actors are so happy to have the work. As much as I want to keep Austin a-diamond-in-the-rough, I’m happy for my friends who are able to book things and that the film culture there is growing!
You’ve had a couple of films premiering at SXSW this year. What can you tell us about them?
Yes, I’m very excited about these projects! Slash is a comedy about a not-so-popular kid who writes erotic fan-fiction and gains some infamy from it. Tower is a documentary about the University of Texas shooting in 1966, where I play Claire Wilson, an 8-month pregnant woman whose baby and boyfriend are both victimized. This film is especially dear to me, and I can’t wait for the world to see these stories at this year’s SXSW.
You talk about the story of ‘Tower’ being especially dear to you, could you tell us why?
I just watched the film at its premiere at SXSW (Won Best Documentary by Jury and Audience), and it only reinstated how I feel about it. I’ve always been a peaceful person, I was raised as a Quaker, but after working on this project and meeting the people who suffered through the event, all I can say is guns are bad. They’re unnecessary acts of war and frighteningly way too easy to purchase. Campus Carry is going into effect August 1st in the state of Texas and nothing scares me more. I hope this movie will make people start talking about the gun laws in the United States and see another side to it.