The Flash Interview: Natalie Dreyfuss on Sue Dearbon Mystery

The Flash‘s Sue Dearbon is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. Ever since the start of Season 6, Ralph Dibny has been on the hunt for Sue at the behest of her (very wealthy) parents. However, she evaded him at every turn — until she needed him, that is. Their first encounter ended with her locking him in a bank vault, which only drew him to her more. Since then, he has discovered her parents are being blackmailed by Joseph Carver’s nefarious Black Hole organization and that she is hot on this lead, but her true intentions have been kept under wraps… until now.

Speaking to CBR, Sue actor Natalie Dreyfuss promised all will be revealed in tonight’s Season 6 finale. She confirmed the Sue Dearbon mystery will be resolved, even though the season was cut short due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. She discussed how she crafted the character’s modern voice, how she and co-star Hartley Sawyer developed Ralph and Sue’s dynamic and some of her favorite memories on set. She also teased her future as the character, her favorite finale scene, how she believes fans will feel about the iconic couple by the end of the episode and more.

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CBR: Your version of Sue has made some major updates to the character. How did you go about crafting this new, sort of modern voice for her?

Natalie Dreyfuss: Yeah, I feel like that’s what’s so cool about working for DC, is that they’re never going to create a female character that’s just a wife. You know, they’re going to give this incredible backstory and full-fledged, complicated life to this character and it just feels so exciting as a female to get such a juicy, fun role and be able to really sink your teeth into it.

Luckily for me, me and Sue are real similar. So even from the audition process, I remember going in and [showrunner] Eric [Wallace] being like, “So this is you,” and I was like, “I know.” [laughs] There’s a certain amount of work that has to be done, for sure, when you’re working on something that’s very far from you. Sue is not! I mean, she does a little bit more cat-burglaring than I do, probably, but in terms of her personality and wit and the way that she can hold a candle to the men in the show and with Ralph and being this cool mystery for him — I feel like that’s all stuff that I can really relate to. So that’s fun.

Tell me a little about how you and Hartley Sawyer developed Ralph and Sue’s chemistry.

That’s what’s so fun about being in the business for long enough is, if you stay in it long enough, 10 years later, you’ll work with that person again. We did a show in 2010 together, and it was like a big comedy in the 80s — big hair, big eyebrows, stockings — and now we’re in rubber suits! It’s just so funny to have that stuff come full circle and to be able to work with people that you respect and that you trust and love.

That’s what’s really fun about this process of developing Ralph and Sue, because we really wanted to have them be super drawn to each other from the first time they met, regardless of where that goes or why. We knew that that was going to be a big part of the characters moving forward. I think that was really fun for us, to find moments together where we could show that, even though we have such separate motives and we’re really working towards those things, we’re just so drawn to each other, and I think that was easier because we had a friendship.

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I think perhaps the biggest surprise, at least for me, was that Sue already had her own supersuit for your debut. What was your reaction to putting on that suit for the first time?

You were surprised! [laughs] I was surprised! I was so surprised. Yeah, it’s just the coolest job I’ve ever had, and I’ve done a lot of stuff. But I’ve never done anything like The Flash. It’s just an incredible job. And the people — that’s the thing that makes it incredible, but just being able to really play in this world that’s so vast and so complicated and interesting and fun, where fans love it, you really get into it. You get to put on this rubber suit and you become a different version of yourself, and it’s really, really fun.

Here’s the million dollar question: will you be back next season?

Well, we know The Flash. We know that anything can happen. And honestly? I don’t know that much. I know that my future definitely involves Ralph and I definitely know that we are very important to each other, but how that plays out isn’t necessarily what the comics are going to have done. We don’t know! You know, it’s The Flash. They can take this in any direction, so it’s just going to be as much of an adventure for me as it is for the fans.

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The episode synopsis for the finale says, “Ralph attempts to stop Sue from making a grave mistake that could destroy her life.” While I understand you can’t come out and tell me what that mistake is, could you perhaps offer me a hint?

I think it’s, in itself, an interesting thing because I know that we have seen Ralph really fascinated by this mystery. He’s this incredible detective and this mind has come up against this total mystery woman. So I think it’s really fun to see him really unraveling that mystery, and I think that’s something to look forward to for this episode, is just finally him really understanding her and the audience getting to know Sue better and her motives. I think that her and Ralph have this really interesting dynamic and we get to see that play out.

So, judging by the photos they released for the finale, Sue finally gets to meet the rest of Team Flash. How does that go?

Yeah, I think that, again, it’s fun to see more of Sue’s story. Her motives have been weird so far for the audience. What is she doing? Why? Oh, and she’s very driven to get what she wants. It clearly is wrapped up in her relationship with her parents. She’s not just this debutante that’s making strange moves. She’s got a very specific motive, and I think that’s what’s so cool about this upcoming episode is just finally getting to understand, “Okay, so this is what she’s up to and this is what she wants.” I think that’s what’s really exciting about the episode.

I think [Team Flash] will understand more about Sue as well, which is really cool. And honestly, as an actress, getting to meet and getting to play with as many of the people on this show as I can, has been so much fun because, even in the last episode that you saw me in, I got to work with Cisco for the first time. That was so fun, getting to play and watching how much life and humor he brings to his work and to the set is so cool. So the more characters I get to work with, the better!

People have asked me about it, like, “What characters do you want to work with?” I’m like, “I want to work with everybody!” [laughs] I want to work with all the people because it’s really fun. You know, people have been there for a long time. So you get to see what it’s like when they step into those characters. It’s really cool. So it was fun for me to get to work with new people.

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Which character were you most excited to meet?

I have always loved Joe. I was really excited, in that first episode, that I got to play with him for a second. That was really fun. I, in the future, want to work with everybody. I’m so excited. I really hope that I get a chance to meet more and more of these people because they have been doing this for a long time. This is a family and I can’t thank them enough for just being so welcoming to me, because it’s hard to join a cast after six years, you know? They are family, and so it would be easy for them to shut me out, but they’ve been really, really welcoming. I think Hartley is really the one to thank for that, but the more characters that I can meet the better. It was awesome to work with Joe. It was awesome to work with Cisco. So I’m excited to meet more and more.

With the understanding that the season was cut a bit short due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, will Sue’s subplot gets resolved this season?

Yeah, I think that, like I said, the unraveling of her motives is definitely a really exciting thing in this episode. I am really, really excited to see it, because I haven’t seen it. I can’t wait to watch it come together, because it was a really incredible script. So it’s really cool.

I think that we have a really fun episode to go out on and I think the fans will be actually really happy with that. I was talking about that earlier, but I feel like that’s really awesome that we have this great episode to end the season this year, even though it wasn’t the one that we’ve planned on, but I think that it’s really cool and I do think fans will feel really satisfied that there was something that we really wrapped up on in this last episode.

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How do you hope fans will feel about Ralph and Sue by the end of the season?

Yeah, I really root for them. Just as an audience member, I really root for them. Obviously, as an actor, the thing that I would love to see is for us to have our relationship go to the next level. But like I said, it’s not necessarily going to follow the comics. I don’t know that! That hasn’t been made clear to me, so I think it’s just as much of a mystery for me, what their relationship is going to look like. But I would love to see that happen. That’s the thing I’m most excited about, is getting to see their connection grow.

Can you tease your favorite moment or scene from the finale?

I think that, for me, as an actress, being able to tease the season — of what I’ve been doing, and have it be really fun for me to know and have Ralph not know — has been really fun. So I think that those things are really cool, where I get to look him in the eye and have an understanding between us, I think that’s really fun. As a character and as an actress, to stand there with him and have that little nod of like, “Okay, I see you,” you know? That’s a really fun thing to be able to do.

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What’s your favorite memory from your scenes with Hartley?

I definitely would say my first day is probably a really big memory for me. I mean, definitely being thrown off that building was really cool, because I had never done wire work before, but my first day was just like — I usually don’t get nervous on sets. I’ve been doing this a long time. So I just usually feel like, “Okay, cool. I’m ready to do my job. I am confident with what I do. I’m not worried about it.”

But it was just such a big set and such a huge crew and I felt flooded with nerves, and I looked at him. He knows me really well. He knows I don’t get nervous. And I was like, “Oh, wow. I’m scared.” [laughs] And he was like, “Yup! Welcome!” He was like, “It’s a big deal!” He’s like, “But those nerves and that anxiety just means that you care, and that you want to do a good job.” And I was like, “Yeah, that’s true.” And by the first take, I wasn’t scared anymore, but I felt like that anxiety for me and that those nerves were a really good sign, that I actually really care and I really want this to be good.

What kind of research did you do to prepare for the role?

Yeah, I’m very new to that universe and it’s been, for me, a really exciting thing to be able to learn about it now, because I didn’t know anything about it before I got the role. I didn’t know anything about Sue, really. So it’s been fun for me to go and take a look back on how intricate the DC Universe is. It’s so big! And so I’m just willing to learn and happy to learn. I love this kind of stuff, and so it was really fun for me to be introduced to this universe, but it definitely is still new to me.

In terms of doing research on Sue, it is such a huge departure from the original comics, so what’s exciting about this role is that no one’s ever played her before. They’re doing such a departure from what it was, and so I get to build it, which is — as an actress — one of the biggest honors you can ask for.

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Do you have any game/book/TV/film recommendations for everyone stuck at home?

Yeah! I mean, what a weird time. I think my biggest thing is just being real patient with yourself because I feel like — maybe you can agree with this — but I’ll be alright for, like, three days. I go like, “Okay, I’m adjusted. I got it. We stay home, this is what we do.” And then a fourth day will come out of nowhere where I’m in the darkest hole. It really throws me, because I’m like, “I thought I was okay! I’m not okay.” So I feel like it’s really being patient and understanding with yourself.

I bought myself a Nintendo Switch light. So it’s like a little personal gaming system. You can’t get your hands on a real Switch, but you can get your hands on a Light. So I got one for myself and whoa, man, that’s addicting. I cannot put my Switch down. So it’s a good thing and a bad thing. I don’t know that I would recommend it, because my eyes are burning. I can’t put this thing down! [laughs] But I definitely have been having a lot of fun doing that.

I also have just been doing a ton of weird crafts and deciding to try things for the first time, where I’m physically making something that I look at and be like, “You made this during COVID 2020.” Like I made a watercolor self portrait. It is terrible, but I did it! “Okay, good. Go back to your Switch.” So I’ve been trying to just get things done in between my addiction.

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I’ve got to know: is it Animal Crossing?

No! It’s so embarrassing. I’m such a nerd. I am so into the LEGO franchise. I love all the LEGO games. I am obsessed. I can’t stop playing LEGOs! It’s really bad. I started with LEGO Star Wars, and I can’t stop. It’s bad.

It’s so fun. I just want to break stuff and build stuff, all day, all night. I can’t stop. And I’m like, “There’s so many secrets. I need to find all these minikits. I can’t stop. I’m a crazy person!” [laughs]

Airing Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW, The Flash stars Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Carlos Valdes, Danielle Panabaker, Tom Cavanagh, Jesse L. Martin, Danielle Nicolet and Hartley Sawyer.

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The Flash star Natalie Dreyfuss confirmed the Sue Dearbon mystery will be resolved, teased her future as the character and more.

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