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12/09/2014 05:15 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Flash Star Danielle Panabaker on Acting in CW's Hit Superhero Series

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Answers by Danielle Panabaker, Actress (The Flash)

What are the pros and cons between acting in a television series vs. a movie?

It is an exciting time to be an actor. The industry, alongside technology, is changing rapidly. There are so many sources for content, but in my opinion, television has some of the best, most innovative and challenging material right now (I feel that way both as an actor, but also as a consumer - there is just so much amazing television right now!). Television also offers a variety of quality material at all different levels.

For me, television is especially appealing because it is much more consistent work, especially as a regular on a show. With movies, you're constantly hopping from one to another, often in different locations. In television, like on The Flash, we shoot in Vancouver so I can predict where I'll be for nine months out of the year!

Creatively, it's fun to grow with a character on television. In film, you already know the full arc of the story and character when you start. With television, the character is (hopefully!) growing and changing. Each script brings an opportunity to move forward and evolve based on the previous episodes.

The cons of television are that you can be limited by budget and/or the time in which you have to tell your story. For example, We only have eight or nine days to shoot each episode of The Flash, and that includes all the stunts and special effects, so we often shoot 14 hours a day. That said, I think I am superbly lucky in the commitment The Flash team has made to create special effects which are movie-quality. Another challenge, particularly on a new TV show, is that we have a new director every week. In film, it is important to trust the director and his vision; in television, the director is often a guest on the show and not as familiar with the material as the actors might be.

What is it like to portray a comic book character in film or television?

It's great on a number of different levels. On the one hand, with The Flash, we are so lucky to have a built-in audience that knows the DC universe and is excited to see it translated onto the screen. Comic book fans have a passion for the material that I think is unparalleled, and that in turn translates into a loyal and engaged audience, which is so rewarding for performers.

Additionally, the very nature of comic books is one in which the rules of the universe do not necessarily apply. As an artist and a fan, that allows for action which, for lack of a better term, is just plain awesome. Not only can The Flash run like he can, but our universe is one in which someone can multiply themselves, can turn into mist...It is a universe in which the incredible is not only possible, but credible, and that is just so much fun for me as a fan of the material.

My hope is that The Flash team's passion for the material and respect for the underlying universe is something that comes through in the final material. Selfishly, being part of a comic book world just makes work so much fun so I consider myself very lucky to be working in the medium.

How much can you relate to the role of Caitlin Snow in The Flash?

I've come to love Caitlin Snow so much over the past few months. One of the biggest things we have in common is our passion for our work. She's so devoted to Dr. Wells and his mission at Star Labs that she returns to work with him, even after the particle accelerator explodes. She is also very comfortable in a job that is largely male-dominated - often times its 3 against 1 in Star Labs! I love my co-stars and am totally comfortable around them as well.

Will we see Caitlin Snow make a cameo on the TV series Arrow, similar to Felicity Smoak showing up on The Flash?

Yes! We're very lucky to share producers (and film studios!) with Arrow, so there's lots of opportunities for crossovers! The first time Caitlin Snow appeared on television was actually episode 19 of the second season of Arrow. Cisco and Caitlin are taking inventory on a storage unit in Starling City, when Deathstroke disrupts them! We quickly see the friendship between Felicity and Caitlin, as well as the sibling-like closeness between Cisco and Caitlin.

Since then, Felicity has come to visit Barry and also gets to see Star Labs and how we are helping The Flash. Then, on the December 2nd episode of The Flash, Team Arrow comes to Central City - I think we had more people in Star Labs for those scenes than we had ever had before!

Felicity and Caitlin are similar in their interest to protect Arrow and The Flash, respectively. Personally, I think it's great to see two smart, driven women on these shows, and I love that we get to see their friendship unfold and how much they trust each other.

In one episode of Arrow, after discovering that Felicity works with the Arrow and the Arrow's true identity, Caitlin and Cisco are very curious to see what's going on in the Arrow's lair. They travel to Starling City for a little visit, but stumble into a very intense situation. It's interesting to see Caitlin confronted with a serious injury and have to deal with the weight and reality of the life and death situations. It's easy for her to sit behind the computer and talk Barry through saving people rather than saving lives herself on a daily basis.

What are the best aspects of being a television actor/actress?

One of the greatest parts of being a television actress on a show like The Flash is the people I'm surrounded with. Our creators (Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg, and Geoff Johns) have a long history of making great television, which just attracts more talented people to be a part of the show. They tell great stories each week, and it's fun for me as an actor and audience member to read every new episode and see what's coming next. Not to mention, they never disappoint- I rush to read each episode as soon as I get it and I'm amazed that the episodes just keep getting bigger and better.

I'm also so lucky because the cast on The Flash is a delight as well. Everyone had to relocate to Vancouver from our various homes (in NYC or LA) so we have become our own little family. Even though we spend so much time together on set, we can often be found hanging out at Jesse L. Martin's apartment on the weekends. Our crew is phenomenal as well - they're truly the unsung heroes of the show. They make it possible for us to get such incredible footage every week, and there's often many scenes or sequences that don't make it into the final cut due to time constraints. They're outside in the cold and rain with us, working 14 or 16 hours a day to get it right.

Danielle Panabaker can currently be seen starring as one of the leads on The CW's "The Flash." The show premiered in October and was the highest rated CW premiere ever with 6.1 million viewers. She was also recently seen on the FX series "Justified" and had formerly starred on the CBS series "Shark" for its two seasons. She previously starred in several films including "Mr. Brooks", opposite Kevin Costner, "Sky High", opposite Kurt Russel, "Home of the Giants", opposite Ryan Merriman and Haley Joel Osment, and "Yours, Mine and Ours." Panabaker starred in multiple horror films including "Friday the 13th," "The Crazies," "The Ward," and "Piranha 3D."

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