The Atom is just about the definitive nice-guy superhero -- no existential angst, hauntingly tragic history, or brooding anger that's channeled into beatdowns. At least, not yet.
While visiting WonderCon, actor DC's Legends of Tomorrow" nears its finale, the seemingly well-adjusted Ray Palmer will still be shrinking down for action, but a sense of inner rage will only be growing. As the conflict with Vandal Savage grows more intense -- as does the romantic tension between The Atom and Hawkgirl -- Routh reveals the big plans ahead for the team's smallest superhero.
Moviefone: Let's get down to it. What's happening for Ray as we get towards the end of the season?
Brandon Routh: Well, we've got the introduction of the little love story romance brewing with Kendra and Ray, which will be highlighted a lot more in the upcoming episode this week as we come back, and that'll kind of be dealt with all season.
Ray's journey is kind of to continue to find his place on the team and use his abilities and maybe even shift his abilities a little bit. Maybe some fun, new things happening. There are a little bit of enhancements -- not necessarily to what the suit looks like, but its abilities, which are fun and will come to fruition. He gets a few more heroic moments as the season progresses as well. All our characters do, but definitely Ray as well.
Did the romance come as a surprise to you?
[Executive producers] Marc [Guggenheim] and Phil [Klemmer] had teased that there might be something coming for Kendra and Ray. I think it's an interesting pairing because they're similar in some ways, and not in others.
Certainly the challenge with Ray is he's always kind of put together with characters who kind of are really challenging for him to establish a relationship with, that might have kind of almost a third wheel [quality] or make it challenging -- speaking of Ray and Felicity and Oliver, and Ray and Kendra. Even though Hawkman isn't around necessarily, he's still very present in Kendra's memory and her mind.
Ray is such a good guy. Are there other sides of him you hope come out or do you like playing him like this?
Certainly. I love the nobility and that aspect of him, the positive side of the world that he sees. I think the journey for him is seeing the other side, seeing the world from Rory's perspective, seeing the world from Snart's perspective, even from Sara's perspective. It's not all sunshine and rainbows. I think that's important for Ray to have a better balance of that in his life.
Also, to find... I don't know, to find his rage. It's not that he didn't have anger or motivation in those ways, but he's definitely forced to kind of confront some of that stuff and really I think be the more edgy hero that some people are wanting, whether you call it vengeance or revenge, or just anger or rage. You get to see some of those moments, which I don't want him to live all the time, but are certainly cathartic for me, and for Ray as well. So you'll see multiple sides coming up.
Has working the suit become a science to you now?
It's easier to get on and off! I certainly have come to a better relationship with it. That being said, twenty to thirty minutes in it starts to wear on my back. As we're getting better at putting on and getting better at taking off, so I'll take it off between when I have ten, fifteen minutes. I'll take the chest piece off, which is the most painful part.