The Gifted Cast and Crew Tease Season 2
By Pauline Perenack
ScreenSpy recently had the opportunity to sit down with the cast of the hit FOX television series, The Gifted, which is now gearing up for its second season. Topics ranged from how characters grew over the course of season one, to how those characters will change during season two, and how relationships will be tested. Those talked to included Emma Dumont, Skyler Samuels, Stephen Moyer, Natalie Alyn Lind, Sean Teale, and Blair Redford.
I love the fact that your character over the season truly became Magneto’s daughter. Did you enjoy that?
Emma Dumont – Are you kidding? Do I enjoy being mutant royalty? I love that. She is her father’s daughter. 100%. No matter how much she despises it. She’s pregnant. She’s about to have a baby and become a parent. Magneto kind of got around so he’s had a few kids. The twins, Anya, rest in peace, and Polaris. So she’s kind of going to be in that position he was in many years ago when he had to weigh the opportunity cost of saving the world or having a family. And the resentment she feels towards her father may sort of go away when she realizes she might have to make a similar sacrifice.
I love the fact that you’re focusing on mental health on the show. Can you talk about some of the research that you did for that?
ED – So much research. I read so many books. I mean it was, from the first conversation I had with our show runner Matt Nix, he was like, look, because she has this thing, it’s going to be double the work for you. You’re going to have to think every day about what she’s gone through that day. Everything she’s feeling at every single moment. A scene that might seem one way to every character or how the audience sees it, is something else to her in her head. And something else I love about Polaris is that, yeah she has bipolar disorder, but that’s not who she is. It’s just a fact about her. She has green eyes, she has green hair, she’s really pale, she’s tall, she has bipolar disorder, her favorite color is black. I mean, it’s just another fact about her. I hate when people are like, how does it feel to be a hero despite having a mental illness? No, not despite, maybe even because. It’s part of who she is, and why she is a hero and why she saves lives, and oh, the research, I’ve read everything. I’ve spoken to people who have bipolar disorder and it was the most eye opening experience I’ve ever had. I was so invested in this character and this part of her that I even got so angry at Sean so many times when he was just playing – there was a part in season one where Marcos asked Lorna, are you sure you’re not manic? Are you sure this isn’t an episode? And I got so angry, because how rude is that? Why would you say that?
Skyler, what do you have coming up this season?
Skyler Samuels – This season we get to see the Frost triplets, sisters. The number of them is up in the air. There are three so far, but like the comics, there are Frosts all over the place. I like to say we’re like cockroaches. You step on one, and more come running.
Is it hard doing different versions and finding that balance between the sisters?
SS – I have to remember the voices, and distinctly so this season. And they do begin to emotionally and visually distinguish between each other. Luckily I’ve got two amazing girls, Erica and Rebecca who dress up with me and help me take turns reading lines. Sometimes it’s confusing. I’m like, which sister is this? Who is this?
ED – She’s such a pro. Watching her is so amazing. It’s like a highly choreographed art.
SS – It’s a bit of a dance. The triplet dance is a real thing, but it’s been a lot of fun. And who knows? I can’t wait to just tack on a few more sisters so, let’s go!
Was it cool seeing your character grow from, I kind of sort of hate you, to now I have to basically have to help.
Stephen Moyer – Yeah. Not that I would draw any lines about any politics he might have had as a prosecutor of mutants, but he has had to kind of go on this about-turn, and think about inclusivity in a way he possibly hadn’t before. And then midway through the season, he then finds out that he was stopped from his own destiny by his own father by this genetic engineering and that’s also caused him to question everything he was, or he might have been – what he could possibly have done with his life. Whether it be destructive or positive. So there’s been a lot of emotional turmoil for him. We will see him questioning that.
What’s the dynamic of the family like, emotionally, as we start season two?
SM – We’ve been separated from Andy. Andy has chosen this path. We’re sort of fighting with the idea that perhaps he was made to do it. That he was forced to do it. And some of us might think that it wasn’t, and that it was a chosen path, and other family members might think otherwise. So, the conflict is between who we now are as a family, what we represent as a family, but he’s only 15. So, we have to go on the run to look for him. Polaris is on the run as well, so the mutant underground is using their powers to try to find where they are. And we’ve sort of centered it down to one city which is where we’re trying to work out what their next big plans are.
In the follow up to that, do you think that Andy choosing a different side in any way will damage your bond as a brother and sister?
Natalie Alyn Lind – When you go back to last season, you figure out that we’re descendants of the Von Strucker twins. I mean, if you read the comics, you know that the Von Struckers are very bad people. And they have this darkness they were born with, and I think that that’s something both of us have inside us and I think that Andy wants to embrace it. I think Lauren wants to go down a different path, but I think that what’s cool about this season, is that you look at the different groups. Last season you had this feeling towards the Hellfire Group that they were just bad, but that’s not necessarily true, we just all have different views. I also think that family has a very big bond and I think that she’s always going to love her brother, but not necessarily always agree with him. But who knows, maybe she’ll slowly start to agree with him this season.
What are you guys looking forward to most this season?
SM – I think one of the things they’re doing that’s really interesting is how they’re telling story. The thing a lot of dramas try to do is try to give every single person three or four minutes per episode, but I think what we’re doing this year, which I really like, is focusing in on one story, and there will be satellites coming around that story, but it might be your story that then filters into your story because you go over there. Feeling like we don’t have to tell all the stories all the time, which a lot of shows, and I’ve been in a couple, where you get to the point where we have so many people to honor that, so that might mean that we get to focus on a story, then lift up and go over here and be objective, and I personally, as a viewer find it less frantic, so I’m really excited about that.
I loved your character’s background, the military, are we going to get any more back story with John or flashbacks to his military service?
Blair Redford – Yeah. I would love to do a specific flashback to his military, and that’s always an option. The core thing about our new season is that we stick with the flashbacks in every episode so I do have a very cool one – it’s not military related, but it’s part of his past that no one really knows about and no one has seen. It’s the coolest Thunderbird scenes. Not what you think.
Sean Teale – Let’s just say if it was me doing it, it would not be as interesting.
BR – But that’s what’s great about it, and in the next episode, I have a flashback.
ST – Columbia.
BR – Some of my favorite things is you get to learn so much about the characters from these first little clips in each episode.
When you’re on set, and they say, ‘use your powers,’ do you ever think, I look so ridiculous?
ST – A lot of people are, but actually, if you feel it or not, you certainly look it. I mean, I think really the thing that matters the most is to remove that shame, because the real shame would be if you got nervous or uncomfortable and didn’t sell it. Because then when you watch it back, you go, that guy isn’t selling it at all.
BR – Yeah, you’ve got to dive in.
ST – You honestly have got to go full throttle and then the final result is so much better. So it is a bit of a pain, but you know, actually, I’m quite fortunate that in the sense that I have light packs that they attach to my arms so there is some practicality. Yeah, he’s [Blair] not actually ripping real doors off.
BR – Hold on there. I train pretty hard.
ST – We have these light packs and welding machines strapped to me, so that does help. A lot of the reason why, it’s not really for me, it’s more for when it comes to my powers with light. You can’t really CGI – you can’t improve on what real light will do. The first episode when I get shot in the pilot and there’s a squib, there’s a lightbulb in my squib, and he’s tracking me back in the car, his face is so beautifully lit up on my wound, you couldn’t…
BR – Not even an intended shot.
ST – But that’s the genius of Bryan Singer. It’s not even intentional. But it just changed the timing of that scene, so when it comes to the practical stuff, yes, it’s a bit silly, but they give us as much as they can.
I feel like you guys are always trying to hold the group together. Where is that in the second season?
BR – Yeah, that’s the goal coming into the second season. They’ve been fractured. Not only the family, but the larger family of that branch of the underground, so you find them after a six month time jump, they’ve tracked down so far as Washington DC, so whole new location, six months has gone by.
ST – Quite a grueling one, a tough journey.
BR – It’s taken its toll.
ST – The journey. They’re constantly on the run. They’re constantly using previous underground stations whichever ones are still clinging on. They either source information or provide medical, and Reed is forging passports. The district attorney is making fake passports. And by doing that we’re also going on our master quest which is to try to get Lorna back.
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