John Wesley Shipp is best known for playing two versions of The Flash. He starred as the title character in the ’90s TV show and has returned to the recent CW reboot. I, however, know him as Mitch Leery, the lovable yet stern father of Dawson Leery in the ’90s teen drama, Dawson’s Creek. He has also recently starred in the sci-fi thriller, Night Sweats. I was lucky enough to speak with John, and we discussed his career, his favorite super power, and of course, horror movies.
PopHorror: What was it about Night Sweats that intrigued you and made you want to be a part of it?
John Wesley Shipp: It’s work! And that’s the goal, right? Playing many different kinds of characters over a 40 plus year career: good guys, bad guys, super good guys, psychopaths… the gamut.
PopHorror: How did you prepare for your role as Nick Frankenthaler?
John Wesley Shipp: I read the script, memorized my lines and tried not to trip over the furniture. (laughs) Luckily, I was playing with a talented young cast who were invested as making the story as real as we could.
PopHorror: You started in soap operas, then transitioned to TV series and then films, even adding voice acting to the list. What has been your favorite role to date?
John Wesley Shipp: If I had to pick two I would say, Gerry Evans in Dancing At Lughnasa on Broadway, and Roy Larson, the drug-addicted cop on NYPD Blue, but there are SO MANY! All different. I’ll always treasure my roles, especially coming back to The Flash universe 24 years later and contributing in a meaningful way to its quality.
PopHorror: Speaking of The Flash, you’re well known for playing Barry Allen in the ’90s version of The Flash, and Henry Allen in the latest version. If you could have any super power, what would it be and why?
John Wesley Shipp: The absolute power to persuade people to be kinder, gentler with each other, and to implant a sense of responsibility in the “haves” toward the “have nots.” Ethics.
PopHorror: If you could collaborate with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
John Wesley Shipp: I’d stay in the present and look forward to giving every ounce of my energy and focus to whatever turns out to be the next project I’m fortunate to be working on.
PopHorror: What are you currently working on?
John Wesley Shipp: I just got back from shooting my part in Crisis On Infinite Earths, the BIG Flash crossover airing in December. That was a trip. Also, I’m in a two character play about the lifelong friendship between Henry Fonda and Jimmy Stewart, despite vast political differences and romantic rivalries, called Hank And Jim Build A Plane by David Gregory, which we workshopped at Le Petit Theatre in New Orleans last month. It is now moving on to it’s next phase with the endgame of bringing it into New York. Fortunately, we have multiple Tony-Award winning producers Jack Batman and Bruce Robert Harris of Sunnyspot who have optioned the piece and are shepherding it through the process.
PopHorror: What is your favorite scary movie?