This week’s episode of Supergirl, “Red Faced”, features the show’s biggest guest star yet, as its marks the live-action debut of a DC Universe staple — the Red Tornado. Created by writer Gardner Fox and Dick Dillin for August 1968’s Justice League of America #64, the super-powered android began his career as a villain, but soon switched sides when he joined Superman and co. Could the same fate await TV’s take on the character? Might he one day team up with fellow Leaguers the Flash and Green Arrow in their respective shows?
To find out, we spoke with the man who plays ‘ol Reddy, actor Iddo Goldberg, of Secret Diary of a Call Girl and Salem fame…
Nerdist: How familiar were you with Red Tornado and the DC Universe before signing on for this role?
Iddo: Sadly, and it’s very sad obviously, I missed out on the whole comic book thing. It’s interesting, because every time I see people that have big comic book collections I think about what a joy they are. But there was obviously stuff that I needed to familiarize myself with, with what was going on. I’m not gonna now put my hand up and say I know lots about the DC Universe. Because I still feel that there’s a lot I don’t know. But it’s fun finding out about it.
There’s a really cool guy that I call Pedro at this place called Golden Apple on Melrose and La Brea, and I spoke to him and he gave me a bunch of stuff to look at. It was fun getting into it. What was most interesting was realizing how much people loved the character. He has all these desires to become real. He definitely deserves a space on film. He’s obviously a character that’s been around since the ‘60s, and there’s a mention of him in the ‘40s. It was a great honor.
I feel like these characters are — as amazing as Greg [Berlanti] and Andrew [Kreisberg] are — these characters are kind of owned by the fans. So there’s a great respect for them and a great desire to fulfill that and get it as right as possible. But at the same time there are great scriptwriters on Supergirl, and Jesse [Warn], the director, did a great job in this episode. At a certain point you’ve got to let go of the research and commit to their brilliance. There was never a dull moment on that set. It just couldn’t be a more exciting process.
From finding out when I got the job, when I got the [message] from Andrew offering me this part, I was so excited to see that. They do such a great job with this world, and bringing it to the small screen. It’s just really well done, and a really nice balance. So I was thrilled to be part of that world. Not only that, I got to play this other character [T.O. Morrow] as well. The practical effects people made this amazing mask for the character… It couldn’t have been more exciting. Everyone around you is fantastic. Then doing these huge action sequences, fight sequences…
N: There have been several different takes on Red Tornado. How would you describe this version?
I: Greg and Andrew have definitely taken a position that the Red Tornado is a villain. Simply because he was presented to us as a possible military weapon of the future. They want to test this android against Supergirl. And this powerful machine goes rogue and it starts causing serious havoc. Lots of lives are at stake. You’re talking about a character that can produce a tornado. In the wrong hands things can get pretty bad, and they have to shut him down. I know in the comics he’s been a hero, but in this episode he’s definitely a villain.
N: Would you like to return to the role? Would you be up for appearing on The Flash or Arrow if those shows ever cross over with Supergirl?
I: Without any doubt at all. I would definitely jump back into it. I would love to. I think that they’ve got a really great balance on these shows. It’s a great world that they’re building. Who knows what else they’ve got up their sleeves? The integration of these characters would be such a treat for the fans. And for me as a performer, I’d love to go back. They really know what they’re doing. It’s a very well-oiled machine.