It’s a cold and rainy mid-October night on the streets of Vancouver, Canada, and TVLine is on hand to watch The Flash face off against two worthy opponents: Prison Break‘s Michael Scofield and Lincoln Burrows!
Well, sort of.
On next Tuesday’s episode of the hit CW series (airing at 8/7c), Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell team up as the Rogue villains Captain Cold and Heat Wave. It’s a Prison Break reunion that has been in the works since Miller filmed his first episode of the comic book show, during which he was approached by executive producer/DC Comics CCO Geoff Johns with a character description of Heat Wave.
Asked who he would like to play his partner-in-crime, “The first and only name that emerged was [former Prison Break co-star] Dominic Purcell,” Miller says while taking a break from filming the hour, titled ‘Revenge of the Rogues.’ “Never in a million years did I think that they would be able to pull that together, but I’m so excited that they did.”
Purcell recalls getting a phone call from his agent that he had been offered a role on The Flash, followed by some coaxing from his former costar. “[Wentworth] actually sent me an email saying, ‘Come on board, it’ll be fun!’ And I said, ‘Absolutely!’” the actor shares. “Wentworth’s a very dear friend of mine, a very close friend, so it’s always a pleasure.”
The casting coup made for a “happy” reunion between the former “brothers,” who’ve only been able to stay in contact via email since Prison Break ended in 2009 thanks to conflicting schedules and geography, Miller explains. But despite how much time had passed since the actors last saw each other, they were able to pick up right where they left off when they met up again in Vancouver.
“It’s a little strange calling each other by different names, but we have a kind of natural rhythm at this point, a certain rapport,” Miller describes. “We played brothers for four years, so there’s just something that builds up over time. I know his style and he knows mine, and it’s brought an extra layer to these two characters and their relationship. Because they do have a history, Cold and Heat Wave, and it was nice that we already had that bubbling on the stove.”
But first came the work of developing the infamous comic-book foes, with whom both actors admit they weren’t very familiar when they landed the roles.
“What I responded to was this very powerful guy, who has been at the top of his game for a long time and maybe he’s gotten a little bored, a little complacent,” Miller says. “Then this extremely worthy adversary shows up and suddenly the game’s interesting again. While he has it out for The Flash, on some level, there’s also an appreciation and a certain degree of respect.”
As for Heat Wave, he “invokes a hot head,’ Purcell describes. “I’m bringing an animalistic kind of [growl] to him, and Wentworth’s playing it ice cold.” Underneath all that fire is also “a human side. There’s tragedy. He was burnt, severely. His whole body is burnt. So there are certainly metaphors of tragedy within him.”
With such an unpredictable partner, Captain Cold takes charge and his “responsibility is to rein in Heat Wave and develop a bit of a moral code, if you will,” Purcell says.
Adds Miller about the dynamic: “Everyone is potentially a pawn as far as Cold is concerned. Much like myself, Cold is a solitary, lone-wolf kind of character and may occasionally enjoy having some company. So there is a push-pull between the two. They aren’t friends, but they do have a kind of intimacy.”
But to defeat The Flash, they’ll definitely need to band together, especially since the speedster isn’t one to back down. After filming the aforementioned big, fiery fight sequence with star Grant Gustin, Purcell describes the movie-like production as “ambitious.”
“Cold and Heat Wave are working together to bring down the Flash,” he says of the scene. “We’ve got our guns – I’m firing a heat wave, and Wentworth’s firing a cold gun. It’s all about crossing streams. It’s like Ghostbusters!”