John Wesley Shipp is best known for his role as Barry Allen in the 1990s Flash television series. Appearing on the Out Loud and Live! podcast (thanks to FlashTVNews for the transcription), the actor is asked about his reaction to Grant Gustin landing the role on Arrow and his own potential spin-off series. “The first thing I thought when I saw Grant, I thought he’s aerodynamic. That’s the modern sensibility. Back in the 90′s, everything had to be big muscle, but let’s face it: We had to cut down the suit. If you’ll watch, we pared it down as it went on, because it just didn’t make sense. But I thought he’s very aerodynamic, the way he’s built. It’s a good look.” Shipp then talks about the similarities between himself and Gustin, and looks back on the complaints when he was cast as Barry Allen. “There are striking similarities between Grant and I. People were complaining. ‘Why is this guy playing a superhero? He just got through playing a villain!’ Well, both my Emmys were as a psychotic would-be rapist and a woman abuser. We were both born in Norfolk, Virginia. How’s that for a coincidence?”
Shipp also offers his support for The CW’s Flash series to move forward, and encouraged others to watch Gustin’s guest starring spot on Arrow. “I wish him all the best. In fact, I’ve said ‘come on. How long have we waited? You want a Flash series? You better get into Arrow and support Grant, because they can say they’re gonna spin off, but you need to give him and them support so the series actually materializes.” And what is the likelihood of Shipp playing a different Central City character in the series, should it be ordered? “If it was the right fit. You know what? I’m not holding my breath. In fact, I so wanted my audience not to go in critically judging Grant so that I put a series of things saying that. ‘Let’s get behind him, let’s support him,’ and I stopped, because people began to say ‘well, you need to be on that show, and if you’re not on that show…’ and I said ‘Okay. Now it’s looking like I’m campaigning to be on that show, which I’m not’,” he said. “If that happens and it works, that’s great. And if it doesn’t, that’s great and I wish them well. ” You can click the link above to listen to the rest of the podcast.