Violett Beane has started her career in a big way with the recurring role of Jesse Chambers Wells on The CW’s hit superhero show The Flash. What is it like for your first major role to come on one of TV’s most popular shows? And how does one play the alternate universe version of an existing character? LA Fan Cultures Examiner sat down with Violett to ask these questions and more.
For her, even getting the role was a bit of a rollercoaster. “I had watched a few episodes even before I got the audition and it’s such an easy show to like, I think that’s why it’s attracted such a huge fan base,” she said. “It’s heartwarming and there’s a lot of emotion. When I heard I got the audition, I was freaking out.
“I sent in a tape for it and it was this two-week-long process of getting calls from my manager being like okay they’re making decisions, they’re doing this,” she recalled, “and he actually asked if my passport was up to date and I was like yeah. Then a couple days later I actually looked at my passport and it’s expired…Two days after I renewed my passport, he was like you booked [the part]. It was insane!”
She couldn’t quite prepare for the part in the conventional way because her character comes from the alternate universe known as Earth-2. She’s the daughter of that universe’s Harrison Wells who eventually makes her way over to the “primary” universe. So how much did that fact change Violett’s process?
“That’s the thing, my character doesn’t follow the comic books very well,” she said. “I like that personally, but I know a lot of fans who are loyal comic book readers are like, why aren’t you doing it how it’s supposed to be?
“I think it’s a nice, refreshing way of showing new characters. It definitely is confusing for us because while we do want to have loyalty to the comic books, they’ve also written [the characters] so differently that it’s harder for us to figure out how to balance those. And I have done a little bit of reading when I booked it.”
“The writer’s are so secretive, even to us,” Violett laughed. “They don’t tell us what’s happening in a episode, even before we shoot it. So far you’ve seen in this [season] she’s sort of getting to know the Star Labs people. She’s kind of ragging on Cisco [Carlos Valdes] a little bit and she’s helping them figure some stuff out. I think you’ll see her getting to know the Star Labs team and helping them out in ways they weren’t really expecting.
“As far as Jesse goes,” she continued, “they keep hinting at it and making references, which drives me just as crazy as the fans, but hopefully at some point she gets her speed!”
Whatever happens with her Flash character, she told us that it has been “kind of insane” to have such a high-profile project be the so far biggest role of her career. “I’ve definitely started to believe in some sort of fate or things happen for a reason,” she reflected.
“I was very lucky to have that opportunity and I think after I booked that, I met my manager. He is so fantastic and he’s been getting me so many auditions and really helping me manage my career, and it was amazing when I got this audition for Flash. To me it’s still like a dream. I work hard and all that but still, I look back and go, whoa.”
Aside from television she has several film projects ahead of her and would also love to return to the stage in the future. “I used to do that in middle and high school and I really liked it,” she said. “It’s a different ride; you rehearse for a month and then you go on tour for a month as opposed to always doing new scenes and only working on a project for a couple months. I want to do everything. I’m not going to pigeonhole myself in anything. Bring it all on!”
When she’s not appearing on The Flash, Violett has a wide variety of interests including home improvement projects, cooking and of course, watching other TV shows.
“I love Orphan Black,” she told us. “Tatiana Maslany is such a huge role model to me and just from an acting point of view is amazing in that show. I love baking. I started baking 3 or 4 years ago and I was really into it and then acting picked up. Baking is therapeutic. I want to open a bakery.
“Something that people should know about me and shouldn’t contest me about,” she teased, “is I make the best guacamole in the whole world and I will go to my grave with it.” Sounds like she doesn’t need superpowers to be a cool character.
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.