Remember that shapeshifting metahuman from season one of the Flash? Hannibal Bates, whom Caitlyn Snow nicknamed Everyman, has been portrayed by the most actors of any character on the show so far. We got the chance to catch up with one of the actors, Martin Novotny.
Joseph Wilbur: The episodes when you portrayed Everyman aired quite a while back. Have you kept up with the Arrowverse shows since then?
Martin Novotny: I haven’t kept up with anything since then. I just finished my master’s degree, so the last three years have been crazy busy with almost everything else on hold, including friends and entertainment. I’m looking forward to catching up… with, well, everything.
Wilbur: Do you see any ways you think they could fit Everyman back in on Flash?
Novotny: Many ways. That’s one of the great things about the comic book genre, is it’s easy to bring back a character, dead or alive. It’s really up to the writers if they want to resurrect a villain and bring his/her particular flavor of nemesis back. Everyman has a lot of potential because he can impersonate anyone and con most other characters, except for those who get suspicious since his own personal flaws still show through. Lots of room for good story material.
Wilbur: Your character has had appearances multiple times on the Arrowverse, including Hannibal Bate’s name showing up on “The List.” Did they mention anything about that while you were on the set of The Flash?
Novotny: No, I wish they had. But that’s a better question for the writers, as the show seems to rotate the directors.
Wilbur: You were in two episodes of The Flash. Were you used for both of those episodes?
Novotny: Yes, I came back for all the shots of that character, with full prosthetics for all.
Wilbur: Who is your favorite Arrowverse character? Who is your favorite Flash cast member?
Novotny: Oliver Queen is my favorite Arrowverse character. Time and time again, I fall in love with the whole concept of the kick-ass comeback kid.
Everyone was really nice and great to work with on The Flash, but I really enjoyed my chats with Tom Cavanagh. He has an exceptionally generous personality — just one of those rare people that inspires you to be a better actor and person.
Wilbur: How did it feel inside The Pipeline? Was it as claustrophobic as it looked? What did you think overall of the set of the Flash?
Novotny: Everyman’s prosthetics cover my head, eyes, and nose, so because I was blind for all three nights, they had to give me a tour of the sets at the start of each evening, right before they began applying the latex. So first off, I couldn’t see anything while filming, and secondly, I’m never claustrophobic – the prosthetics would be a brutal experience for anyone who is. So I didn’t find The Pipeline claustrophobic, but it is small in there. The most jarring thing was when they closed the door before filming. It slams down pretty hard and loud which made me jump because I couldn’t see when it was going to happen, so I had to ask the director for the guys to give me some warning.
The sets are exceptional and I was blown away by them. When you look close up at a lot of sets, they look pretty fake even though they look great on camera. I was really taken by The Flash sets because everything looked so real, even close up. It’s a real visual treat, even off camera. When the show eventually wraps, they should use the sets for studio tours or an amusement park.
Wilbur: Did you film any scenes that did not make the final cut? Were there any scenes scripted that were never filmed?
Novotny: The first day, I played Everyman super angry, drooling and banging on the glass in The Pipeline. Then, when Wells asks me who I really am, I dipped to a tragic meltdown. I got a lot of compliments for that, and Tom Cavanagh asked me to come chat with him after my CGI scan and prosthetics removal. The whole cast is awesome and very kind, but Tom is one of the most supportive actors I’ve ever worked with.
Then production called me in a week later to reshoot that scene because they couldn’t get the CGI morph to match. There was a second-unit director who had me make very different choices, to play him more casual and sad and very still. Maybe the prior day had too much movement for the CGI guys, but the latter work made the final cut on the show. I would really like to have seen that first day’s work, but alas, tech issues win.
Wilbur: Lastly, how did you get started as an actor?
Novotny: I did drama and musical theater in high school and then dabbled with it briefly afterward before going to college. Then I came back to it in my late 20s after feeling unsatisfied with my day job, went to acting school and started working.
Behind the Scenes Images
Here are a few more behind the scenes images from the set:
Much thanks to Martin for giving us the time to speak with you. Hopefully we’ll see Everyman back on the show someday. You can keep up with Martin on his Instagram here.