Kiersey Clemons’ Iris West barely has a supporting role in this year’s The Flash, but the actress was once supposed to be a much more significant player in the film and the wider DC Extended Universe.
That seems to be the story of Clemons’ whole time working for DC, and now she’s finally getting frank about her time with the studio, opening up about the last decade of her career in a recent interview with Nylon where she looked back on the original plans for The Flash under then-director Rick Famuyiwa.
“I specifically wanted to do The Flash because I felt safe and respected being led by Rick in such a big world,” Clemons recalls. “When I read with Ezra…In the audition, we’re sitting on a rooftop, taking in a sunset. It was this dance where at the end, I just laid my head on Ezra’s shoulder. At the same time, they were going to lean their head, and it was this moment where all of us in the room were like, ‘Oh, wow, this is magical. Make this Iris West and Barry Allen.'”
Then as a new director stepped in, Clemons says her position in The Flash became less certain. Then, the Snyder Cut drama happened, which made her place in the DCEU as Iris even more uncertain. Clemons was scrapped from the 2017 theatrical cut of Justice League by Joss Whedon but did have her scene (and DCEU introduction) restored in 2021’s Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
“I was freaked out because, at one point, there were rumors going around online that I was getting recast, which is humiliating,” says the actress. “It was more embarrassing and hurtful than getting cut out of Justice League, which I was able to understand more than the rumors of being recast. They had to cut the movie down; that’s how it goes.”
She adds, “With The Flash, I was so young and was so excited, and the director that I was supposed to be on with was gone. And so, I felt dismissed and replaceable.”
But for her, it was always about making it into The Flash solo film and having a role she could be proud of; it seems like the journey wasn’t worth it in the end.
“Now that the movie’s out,” Clemons says, “I feel like for the last nearly ten years, I’ve just been smiling and giving so much grace. I think it was to protect my peace of mind. Now I can finally say and admit this whole thing made me cry more than it made me smile. I think I only smiled over this thing at the premiere.”
You can next see Kiersey Clemons in Godzilla and the Titans, the upcoming Apple TV+ series, while The Flash is now playing in cinemas.
Worlds collide in “The Flash” when Barry uses his superpowers to travel back in time in order to change the events of the past. But when his attempt to save his family inadvertently alters the future, Barry becomes trapped in a reality in which General Zod has returned, threatening annihilation, and there are no Super Heroes to turn to. That is, unless Barry can coax a very different Batman out of retirement and rescue an imprisoned Kryptonian… albeit not the one he’s looking for. Ultimately, to save the world that he is in and return to the future that he knows, Barry’s only hope is to race for his life. But will making the ultimate sacrifice be enough to reset the universe?
The Flash is directed by Andy Muschietti (It) and stars Ezra Miller as Barry Allen/The Flash alongside Kiersey Clemons (Iris West), Ben Affleck (Batman), Michael Keaton (Batman), Sasha Calle (Supergirl), Michael Shannon (General Zod), Antje Traue (Faora-Ul), Kiersey Clemons (Iris West), Ron Livingston (Henry Allen), and Maribel Verdu (Nora Allen).