‘The Flash’: The ‘Rag Doll’ Actor and Contortionist Nails Big-Screen Horror Roles

Ruthless, wily, and absolutely terrifying. The Flash fan-favorite villain, Rag Doll, could give even the bravest viewer a case of the heebie-jeebies. The creepy impression that Rag Doll leaves is due to the believable performance by actor and contortionist, Troy James. And to the delight of horror lovers, James has taken his particular set of skills to the big screen.

Troy James shot to fame on ‘America’s Got Talent’

“My talent is just a hobby of mine, but it would be unbelievable if I got to pursue this as a full-time career,” said James in an interview on America’s Got Talent Season 13. It would seem that the former HR professional’s dream has come true.

When he took the America’s Got Talent stage as a contestant, James wowed the judges and the audience with his contortionist abilities. Judges Howie Mandel and Simon Cowell gave the artist a standing ovation, and the crowd roared with applause and cheers.

“It was like The Exorcist,” remarked Cowell, “It was great.”

“I would love to see you star in a horror film,” Mandel said.

It appears that Cowell and Mandel were definitely onto something, because James has built a solid career by using his gift to freak out television and movie audiences.

From ‘America’s Got Talent’ to ‘The Flash’

James has appeared on numerous series, typically in supernatural, horror, or sci-fi-themed shows. Astute viewers may remember him from The Strain and Shadowhunters, among other projects.

One of James’ freakiest TV alter egos is the role of Peter Merkel, aka Rag Doll, on The Flash. The super-bendy bad guy is based on the DC Comics character of the same name. About the villain, James told Cinema Blend this:

He is a super villain with extreme flexibility, and unlike other super villains who want to be the strongest, or if they have the biggest bone to pick with The Flash family, this guy is just a psychopath. He commits crimes, but more than that, he plays with his victims. He gets off on causing the most misery as possible. And we see, when he interacts with The Flash family, what happens to cause conflict there.

Troy James in Cinema Blend

Troy James nails horror movie roles

Aside from his small-screen gigs, James has also earned parts in big-screen features. The performer breathes life into movie monsters that are designed to haunt fans’ nightmares. Recently, James played Jangly Man, a creature ripped from the pages of the book, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. In the film of the same name, Jangly Man stalked terrified townsfolk.

James has several other horror flicks under his belt, and at least two more coming soon. Fans can catch him in the upcoming ghost story, Separation as well as the supernatural horror film, The Windigo, in which he plays — you guessed it — Windigo.

‘Rag Doll’ is returning to ‘The Flash’

James originated the ‘Rag Doll’ character in The Flash Season 5 and appeared twice during that season. Now, he is returning to wreak havoc in The Flash Season 6 Episode 16, titled “So Long and Goodnight.”

The promo for the episode teases high stakes and compelling action. In the preview, Rag Doll torments The Flash, Mirror Master continues to scheme, and several members of Team Flash face danger. After a month-long hiatus, The Flash episode, “So Long and Goodnight,” is scheduled to air on April 21 at 8 p.m. on The CW.

Read more: ‘The Flash’: Grant Gustin Flaunts His Body Art on Instagram