LaMonica Garrett may look all big and bad as The Monitor in The CW’s “Elseworlds” crossover, but the actor admitted playing the antagonist was quite intimidating. Garrett spoke to CinemaBlend’s Adam Holmes about his character in the Arrow-verse crossover, and what it was like stepping in to play the new character alongside the franchise’s established heroes:
It was intimidating. It was intimidating because just not just with the Arrow-verse or with, you know, these shows, but as an actor in general, especially guest starring with a nucleus that had been there and they all know each other, you’re the new guy coming in, but you have to make it seem like you guys have been doing this in tandem for years. That’s the intimidating part of any show that you go on. So with this one, it’s even more so, because this character comes in, you know, you don’t know if he’s a villain, if he’s a good guy, he’s giving books to people that are doing bad things. You’re the villain, you’re the enemy, you’re the antagonist.
LaMonica Garrett channeled that intimidation rather well, as the short glimpses that have been shown of his character thus far make him look rather fearsome. He’s also appeared and sounded rather villainous, despite Garrett’s hint that The Monitor may have ulterior motives beyond wishing to hurt the heroes of various Earths. As to whether that’s the case in “Elseworlds” or Garrett is just acknowledging the character’s comic book history, we can only wait and see.
LaMonica Garrett continued on talking about his experience in “Elseworlds” and said he had a great time playing The Monitor for the three-night event. Garrett also shared what it’s like coming into a special as a villain in the Arrow-verse, and how that added to the intimidation factor on his end:
So some actors work method, which means they’re going to be standoffish of you. It’s not just the character, but the actor. So people aren’t really talking to you. It was a great group. You know, everybody, I got along great with everybody. But they’re not just, ‘Hey, let me sit down next to you at lunch and let’s all talk.’ It’s kind of, you’re the evil person coming in. You’re the baddie and it’s, and that’s the intimidating part. Just being on the Arrow-verse, the history of it, they’ve been doing this year after year. You don’t want to come in and screw it up. Like last year, they had a great crossover. I don’t want to come in and be like, ‘Oh, the crossover was great, but you know, Monitor stuff.’ It’s a lot of weight on it, but you live for it.
LaMonica Garrett said he got along with the Arrow-verse stars, although part of the process of him playing villain meant he was sort of left out of off-set fun. Garrett understood, of course, although added that played a factor in what made his role so intimidating. That, and the pressure to perform due to the major success of last year’s crossover. “Crisis On Earth X” drew high viewership numbers, and chances are The CW is hoping “Elseworlds” does the same.
There’s a chance “Elseworlds” will outperform “Crisis On Earth X” as LaMonica Garrett’s introduction as The Monitor has potentially big implications for the Arrow-verse. The character is a key force in the iconic DC Comics storyline “Crisis On Infinite Earths,” which many DC fans have wished to see in live-action for quite a while. There’s been speculation “Elseworlds” may lay the groundwork for that story to be adapted in the future, but no confirmation of that happening yet.
For now, all we know about LaMonica Garrett’s character is that The Monitor is in possession of a book capable of rewriting reality. That book (or another) eventually falls into the hands of Arkham Asylum doctor John Deegan, who then rewrites reality and switches the lives of Barry and Oliver. Deegan has been shown in promos uncovering the book from a hiding place, although Garrett’s conversation with CinemaBlend appears to state he’ll receive the book via The Monitor’s intervention.
LaMonica Garrett also mentioned “books” as plural, which may mean the book he uses in Earth-90 is different from the book John Deegan uses in “Elseworlds.” If this is the case and each world has its own book, this might explain why Supergirl is aware that Barry and Oliver’s roles have flip-flopped, while folks like Iris and Diggle are none the wiser. It also makes one wonder who else The Monitor may have given books to, and why.
It all goes back to LaMonica’s Garrett’s initial quote which hints there may be some ambiguity to The Monitor’s intentions. In DC Comics, The Monitor aided different universes’ villains, but it ultimately was a test to see which heroes were capable of facing the Anti Monitor. Again, we’re not sure if that’s happening in “Elseworlds,” but if it is, Barry and Oliver definitely seem to have gotten an easier challenge than the one that John Wesley Shipp’s Flash!
For all the things LaMonica Garrett couldn’t speak about ahead of “Elseworlds” he did say that his Monitor will pave the way for the Arrow-verse to introduce other Monitors down the stretch. Obviously, this opens the door to far more storylines that aren’t “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” and could allow Garrett to reprise his role in future storylines or crossover specials.
That’s assuming he manages to escape this adventure unscathed, which may not happen with all the heroes he may be going up against. Multiple speedsters have been teased for the special, and of course, Ruby Rose’s Batwoman will be making her Arrow-verse debut alongside Gotham City. We’ve also seen pictures of Superman in a black suit, although we’re not sure if that’s a good or bad thing for the heroes in this adventure.
All answers regarding the “Elseworlds” crossover will be revealed soon enough, as The CW’s three-night event kicks off Sunday, December 9 at 8:00 p.m. ET with a special episode of The Flash. For a look at what else is happening on television before and after those big nights, head on over to our fall and midseason premiere guides.