After nine seasons, The Flash on The CW is coming to an end. This week, the series kicked off its ninth and final season, marking the beginning of the end of Grant Gustin‘s run in the role of Barry Allen. For many fans, it has been emotional seeing this story come to a close after almost a full decade of investment. The same can be said for Gustin, though the actor also recognizes that it’s time for him to say goodbye to the character, comparing the show ending to a high school graduation.
“I’m ready for it to be over,” the actor says, via E! News. “And that’s not for any negative reason. It’s like when you’re getting ready to finish high school and—granted I don’t know what college I’m going to after this, I might not get into college—but you’re excited to wrap up and move on to the next phase of your life.”
Gustin continued, “I’m ready emotionally and my family is ready to just kind of move into the next chapter together.”
After ten years spent as Barry Allen, Gustin says he’s grown along with the character over the course of nine seasons of The Flash. The actor admits that it’s going to be “really weird” moving forward without these same people on the set that he’d spent so many years working with.
“I started doing this when I was 23 and I just turned 33,” Gustin explains. “So, I’ve had to learn lessons the hard way and fall on my face and embarrass myself and grow up in front of and with a lot of these people. So, it’s gonna be really weird to not see a lot of these people every day anymore.”
But just because The Flash is ending, that doesn’t mean that Gustin is no longer the speedy superhero. While other actors will undoubtedly continue to play the character in different adaptations in the future, Gustin feels that he’ll forever be The Flash, as Barry Allen has become a part of who he is.
As Gustin says, “I’ll get to be The Flash forever even when this ends. We couldn’t have done this this long if we didn’t have people supporting us as much as they had over the years, and it’s really shaped who I am.”
New episodes of The Flash air on The CW on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.