Keiynan Lonsdale, 24, is the Australian actor who plays Wally West on The CW’s The Flash. For the show’s third season, which will debut this fall, Lonsdale will get his own superhero costume, since Wally will finally take the mantle of Kid Flash. The CW and Warner Bros. Television unveiled a photo of the actor in the new costume on July 12.
Here’s a look at Lonsdale’s career, which also includes a big movie franchise.
1. He Stars as Uriah in the ‘Divergent’ Movies
When Lonsdale isn’t working on The Flash, he’s starring as Uriah in The Divergent Series. The character was not included in the first film, but came to life in the second, Insurgent. He was also in this year’s Allegiant and will be in next year’s Ascendant.
In an interview with Glamour in 2015, Lonsdale said that he is pushed to do his own stunts in the film.
“They were really pushing for people to do their own stuff. I didn’t get to do much stunt work, but I did get to do a fight scene, which had some pretty cool stuff,” Lonsdale said. “You see a little bit in the trailer—but you will have to wait and see when you watch it.”
Surprisingly, not many of the more experienced stars in Insurgent, like Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley, gave him much advise. “No one really knew that this was my first big thing. But when Jai Courtney was on set, because he is also Australian, we got to talking about transitioning between Sydney and Los Angeles, which was really cool,” Lonsdale told Glamour.
2. Lonsdale’s First Regular TV Job was on ‘Dance Academy’
For many Australian actors – from the Hemsworth brothers to Margot Robbie – television there is becoming a farm system for Hollywood. Lonsdale also got his start in Australian television before being cast in Insurgent. He starred in Dance Academy as Ollie Lloyd from 2012 to 2013.
As TheWrap points out, Lonsdale isn’t the only former Dance Academy star now acting on American television. Alycia Debnam-Carey starred on The 100 and Fear The Walking Dead. Georgia Haig was on the show before being cast as Elsa on Once Upon A Time. Luke Bracey starred in Warner Bros.’ Point Break remake.
In a Fault Magazine interview, Lonsdale said that dancing used to be his main passion. “When I was about 15 I really started to get passionate about acting and music. I don’t ever remember not wanting to be a performer, it’s just what I’ve always done,” he said.
3. He’s Also a Singer & Released His First EP in 2015
Lonsdale is also hoping to break into the music industry. Five years ago, he started posting covers on his YouTube profile and still does. He also released the above video for “Higher” in October 2015.
He also released an EP called Higher Vol. 1. Lonsdale has been writing songs since he was 12, but it wasn’t until he started getting positive reactions on YouTube that he decided to pursue singing.
“The fact that there were people wanting to hear my voice made me keep going,” he told AXS. “Also, I just love to record; getting to manipulate sounds and convey different emotions with your voice is the best feeling.”
Lonsdale told AXS that he’s not really planning to do much promotional work for his music. He just wanted to give his fans something to listen to. “This is their EP now, and I hope it can inspire them in some way, or at least be something they can enjoy and escape with,” he said.
4. He Auditioned for Firestorm, Not Wally West
Lonsdale did audition for a role in the Arrow universe, but it wasn’t Wally West at first. The actor told the International Business Times that he auditioned to play Firestorm in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. The role ended up going to Robbie Amell (Arrow star Stephen Amell‘s cousin). After the audition, Lonsdale’s team told him that he was going to be called back, but to play a different actor.
“Then, my team called me and said, ‘You are not going forward for Legends of Tomorrow, but the producers want you to come back and audition for this role of Wally West, who is Kid Flash,'” Lonsdale recalled. “I didn’t know exactly who Wally West was, but by the words “Kid Flash” I could kind of see where it was going. So, I did all my research and it was this really weird thing where I was auditioning for this show I loved watching.”
Lonsdale said that even during the audition process, produced kept Wally’s personality and relationship to Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) and Iris West (Candice Patton) a secret. “I didn’t know how I was going to be related to Joe and Iris though, when I was going to get my powers, or even what Wally’s personality would be like. Everything was kept under wraps until the last minute,” Lonsdale told the International Business Times.
5. He Has 11 Siblings & Grew Up in a Single-Parent Home
Lonsdale has at least one thing in common with Wally. They both grew up with their moms and did not know much about their families. He also revealed to USA Today that he has 11 siblings. His mother had six children and it wasn’t until he was 10 that he met his father and his other children.
“I grew up with my mom and my mom had 6 kids and I was the youngest, but I had a different father than my brothers and sisters, and I only met him when I was 10 years old, then he introduced me to his other children,” Lonsdale told USA Today. “So it’s been a bit of a whirlwind, and I guess over the years I’ve gotten to know different brothers and sisters as I’ve gotten older, which has kept life fascinating.”