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‘The Flash’: Danielle Panabaker Calls Caitlin’s Evolution to Killer Frost Both ‘Tragic’ and ‘Exciting’

Variety logo Variety 5/2/2017 Jacob Bryant
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Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) has finally stepped over to the dark side.

Fans got a taste of Caitlin’s alter ego Killer Frost in Season 2 thanks to an alternate version of the character living on Earth-2. But thanks to Barry (Grant Gustin) mucking up the timeline and creating Flashpoint, the Caitlin Snow we’ve come to know over three years of “The Flash” was finally gifted — or cursed if you asked her — with her icy abilities. After an episode early in Season 3 — directed by none other than Kevin Smith — Earth-1’s Killer Frost was finally unleashed in full last week and is apparently allying herself with the God of Speed, Savitar.

Variety spoke with Panabaker about Killer Frost’s advantages over Team Flash, learning who Savitar is, and more…

How is it to finally get to dive in to playing Earth-1 Killer Frost?

It’s been fantastic. It’s something I’ve been excited about since I joined the show, and I’ve really had a lot of fun with it. One of the great things about our show — and living in a world with alternate realities — is you can’t have too much fun. We really get to push it and try as many different things as possible.

Do you have a preference when it comes to playing a hero or a villain?

Right now it’s great that I get to do both to be honest. When you sign-on to a TV series you imagine you’ll be playing the same character for the run of the show — however many seasons you’re lucky to get — but the fact that I’ve already gotten to do so many different things has been such a joy.

Last season we were introduced to the Earth-2 version of Caitlin/Killer Frost. What was your approach when it came to playing, and differentiating, the Earth-1 version of Killer Frost this season?

This Killer Frost is a little different because she has a bit of insider knowledge. She knows how Team Flash operates, she knows their weaknesses, and she can count on the fact that they don’t want to take her out in the same way that they would take out any other meta-human. It’s been fun to toy with Team Flash.

How do you view Caitlin’s evolution to Killer Frost?

Killer Frost was inside of her — and I think that was a Flashpoint consequence — and we saw in episode seven you see a little of her anger at Barry (Gustin) for doing this to her. In that sense it’s a little tragic because this isn’t what Caitlin Snow wanted. On the other hand, Killer Frost is thrilled so it’s also exciting.

Caitlin learned who Savitar is at the end of last week’s episode. What’s her immediate reaction to finding out?

It’s someone not foreign to her, so she has loyalty to this person very quickly. Once the viewers find out who Savitar is it makes sense why Caitlin wants to work for him, and is so quick to support him.

Cisco (Carlos Valdes) and Caitlin have one of the closest relationships on the show. How does he handle seeing her as Killer Frost?

One of my favorite things about this version of Killer Frost is she has knowledge of Team Flash, and the way they work, that most other meta-humans they face don’t have. I love the relationship between Caitlin and Cisco — it’s one of my favorites on the show — and to see that relationship really be tested is so fun to play.

“The Flash” airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on the CW.

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