Troy James used to work in human resources but soon you’ll see him tormenting Barry Allen and Iris West as Rag Doll in the fifth episode of season 5 of The Flash, “All Doll’d Up.”
James’s extraordinary ability to bend his body into almost unthinkable positions make him a perfect candidate for villain Peter Merkel aka Rag Doll who first made his appearance in The Flash comics in 1942. Now he’s making his debut on the CW series and leaping off the page with evil on his mind.
We had a chance to talk with Troy and get an idea of what led to this terrifying twist for both he and his newest character.
You mentioned in your ‘AGT’ intro that you’d like to turn your talent into a full-time gig. Now that you have, what’s that like?
Oh my goodness. I get to fly around to places I’ve never been before, I get to meet really cool people, and now I get to be even more monsters and creatures and demons and creepy crawlies that I never thought I would be before.
What was it like playing the character?
Rag Doll is the complete opposite of me. The only thing we have in common is that we’re both really flexible. He’s not very nice at all. Of course, you know, he’s a super villain… He just wants to harm people. He takes pleasure in their misery. So he doesn’t just do a crime for the sake of doing a crime. He does it to maximize the amount of hurt he can cause. We’ll see that in his interactions with Barry and Iris and the rest of the Flash gang.
Do we know why he’s coming after Barry and Iris specifically?
I really think it’s a crime of opportunity. He happens to be in the place where he overhears some of the issues that the WestAllen family are facing and he uses that to get at them and cause maximum emotional harm.
It seems like you’ve been pushing different types of movement… Was this an opportunity to expand on that?
This is my opportunity to not just put on a performance but to have a character behind it. This is one of my first speaking roles where I directly interact with other human people. I’m not just chasing them around. It was interesting, it was new, it was fun, and I hope I get to do it again sometime.
Aside from… ‘America’s Got Talent,’ I believe you have always been under makeup or a mask… Would you like to be able to come out from behind that?
Oh no, I definitely prefer being under a mask. It’s much easier to be a completely different character and not be Troy. On America’s Got Talent I was very nervous because that was the first time I had really performed as myself and had to speak on TV again. But there was no acting, it was all Troy.
What was it like to be on the set with that cast and crew and what was the experience like for you?
I loved my first time being in Vancouver. I’m from Toronto, Canada, so it was amazing being there. A beautiful place. The cast and crew, oh they’re so fun, so nice… It’s on the fifth season now so they’re really just a big family. I was worried, walking in as a guest star, “What am I getting into?”, I don’t want to just sit down and be like “Hey, everyone.” They were so friendly. We got some cool hijinks behind the scenes.
You mentioned you might want to do this again. Does this leave the door open for you to come back?
I hope so. When you see the episode maybe you will hope so as well.
Do you have anything you’d like to share with the fans or people who might be… a little different and trying to find a way to turn their difference into a career? Any words of wisdom?
It sounds corny to say just go for it, but I didn’t really have a choice. My friend put up the video of me that went viral and suddenly my life changed. So you never know who’s watching. If you have a unique talent, I think everyone has a superpower really. Don’t be afraid to show it off. Have fun in this short life we live.
Thank you so much. You are an inspiration I watched you and I was so delighted and completely freaked out as well.
I hope everyone is freaked out when they watch.