Jessica Parker Kennedy on What’s Next for the West-Allen Siblings on ‘The Flash’

The Flash fans were delighted by the ending of Season 7 with the arrival of the West-Allen kids of the future. Not exactly the Tornado Twins of the comics, but a composite of multiple descendants of Barry Allen and Iris West-Allen with Nora (Jessica Parker Kennedy) and Bart (Jordan Fisher) West-Allen, the siblings came to help their parents save the day against Godspeed to everyone’s delight. It was a West-Allen peak for the ages, but the kids aren’t done yet as they return to take the spotlight in this week’s returning episode of The Flash Season 8.

The Flash — “Heart of the Matter, Part 2” — Pictured (L-R): John Wesley Shipp as Jay Garrick, Jordan Fisher as Bart/Impulse, Candice Patton as Iris West – Allen, Grant Gustin as The Flash, Jessica Parker Kennedy as Nora/XS and Michelle Harrison as Nora — Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

In anticipation of Wednesday’s episode, we were fortunate enough to speak with Jessica Parker Kennedy on what to expect for the West-Allen siblings.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Slight setup spoilers for Nora and Bart’s return follow below:

So Nora has been through a lot on the show. And she’s even been basically rebooted via time travel! So what has remained consistent about Nora and how has her new family dynamic changed her from her previous iteration?

Kennedy: Yeah, I think it’s pretty profound. This is a different Nora, and she was raised with both her mom and dad. Not only did she not have her dad before, but her dad is this legendary superhero, so there’s this huge piece of her that’s missing in Season 5 Nora that isn’t missing in this version of her, not to mention her mom didn’t dampen her powers. When she was little she always knew that she had powers from a very young age. I would say [she’s] significantly different. I would say her overall well-being is very different because of those two things. She’s a lot more grounded and not living like, “I have to prove to my dad this and prove to my dad that.” And certainly having a brother, who she loves and adores, but I think is, in a lot of ways, completely annoying to her at this stage. He’s sort of in-between his childhood and adulthood and he’s very impulsive, and that gives her a lot of anxiety. So that’s her main focus. It’s the infrastructure for her brother so he doesn’t screw up.

But on the more fun side of that, how’s it been working with Jordan Fisher as his big sister?

Oh, he’s the best. I mean, we got along. I always say Jordan has this ability that when you meet him, he just makes you feel like you’ve been friends with him for a really long time. He’s such a nice guy and you have so much energy and vibrates on at such a high level and because of things he’s a lot like his character other than the impulsiveness. I would say he’s an adult, he definitely thinks things through before he does them. But I think there are similarities very much to both of us in the in our versions of the characters now so we get along so well, behind the scenes and the dynamic of us on screen just came really naturally because of that.

The Flash — “Impulsive Excessive Disorder” — Pictured (L-R): Jessica Parker Kennedy as Nora West Allen and Jordan Fisher as Bart West Allen — Photo: Shane Harvey/The CW — (C) 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

On Nora again, it seems like she’s someone who puts a lot of pressure on herself, including in this episode, just as we see in the second half. So I’m curious on how you personally relate to that. Putting pressure on yourself and then focusing on going easy on yourself. What do you hope people may take away from that in this episode?

Yeah, I mean, personally, I could talk about that for a really long time because I am that complete perfectionist, growing up I gave myself very, very little room to make mistakes. I didn’t have an understanding that you have to make mistakes to learn. That’s just a part of life and nobody goes through life without embarrassing themselves or putting their foot in their mouth or making a life decision that they thought was the right one at the time, but that really wasn’t. It’s taken me a really, really long time to just go “You know what, I’m gonna put my best foot forward and I’m going to do the best that I can and if it doesn’t go the way that I expected or if I accidentally hurt someone’s feelings” or “I mess up,” or whatever.

It’s really not the end of the world because I’m a human being. We’re all in the same boat. I think Nora is definitely somebody that doesn’t want things to go wrong and she’s definitely five steps ahead, the kind of person but yeah, I mean, that just at the end of the day, that just makes me think about like my obsession with perfectionism. And it’s something that I’ve had a tremendous amount of therapy to work through to the point where my therapist has said, “I want you to do something wrong this week on purpose and I can like you want me to watch just to say like, ‘It’s okay. It’s okay.'” Whether it’s like, a little thing or a big thing it’s okay. to mess up. That’s just part of being alive. So anyway, yeah, so I’m going to stop there because I could go on and on forever about that. But I think at the end of the day, people tend to are we tend to get in our own way. So I’m have learned and then let me just take that out of my own way.

Absolutely. I think we all can relate to that. And I think for Nora and Bart, with that sort of pressure being met, we see I think we see it magnified, knowing who their dad is and also who their mom is. So what do you think, is that pressure it’s like with that added incredible legacy of The Flash?

Yeah, and I think it’s interesting because Bart is one of those people that on the outside is like, “I’m amazing. I’m amazing. I’m a superhero. I have fans, and my life is amazing.” But I think ultimately, there’s a tremendous amount of insecurity there, desperately wanting to be as good as his father and as good as his sister. I think a great part in this episode where Nora it doesn’t realize that when Bart looks at her, he’s like “You’re perfect. You do everything right all the time, and I’m not as good as you and I’ll never be able to live up to how perfect our parents think you are,” and of course, that’s not true. That’s he’s his version of what he’s seeing. And she’s able to say, like, What are you talking about? I make mistakes all the time, dad made a ton of mistakes. So again, I think it’s just a tremendous amount of pressure that we put on ourselves and that Bart has put on himself.

The Flash — “Impulsive Excessive Disorder” — Image Number: FLA806a_0224r.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Jordan Fisher as Bart West Allen and Jessica Parker Kennedy as Nora West Allen — Photo: Shane Harvey/The CW — (C) 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

In general, what do you hope viewers take away from observing the West-Allen family dynamic, especially now that we’re able to see the family together?

I hope that they really, really enjoy the episode. I hope they enjoy the dynamic. I think that the kind of lesson to be learned is that certainly between Bart and Nora’s relationship is that even though it might appear that Bart is this annoying little brother that Nora has to wrangle in, he is also very much her lifeline and her constant and when she’s feeling insecure like she can’t do something. Bart’s there to be like, “I believe in you. Yes, you can rock,” this so they really do support each other despite the fact that they bicker a lot. They’d die for each other.

That’s wonderful. Can you say more about whether we’ll be seeing Nora soon later this season or in the show?

I mean, I know at the end of the episode that there’s a hint that things aren’t as wrapped up in as tightly as we would hope that they would be with the timeline. And so I think there’s always an opportunity. I mean, future Nora and Bart are great allies for the team to have. So I think that there’s always an opportunity for them to come back and help save the day or help screw it up. But hopefully.

Why not both?

You know, that’s right!

The Flash Season 8 returns this Wednesday at 7 PM on The CW, streaming for free the next day on The CW App.

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