'The Umbrella Academy' Star Aidan Gallagher Says 'Comic Fans Are Going to Go Crazy' Over New Netflix Show
There’s nothing too odd about 43 women around the world all having babies at the same time, but when those women give birth to children suddenly without having started their day pregnant, now that is undeniably quite strange. Such was the case of the Hargreaves children—seven peculiar kids with interesting powers adopted by the eccentric billionaire Reginald Hargreeves, all of whom set the stage on Netflix’s newest series, The Umbrella Academy.
Much of the series—based on the 2007 comic book of the same name, written and illustrated by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá respectively—follows the grown-up version of the kids 30 years after Hargreeves adopts them as they reunite for their patriarchal overlord’s death. They aren’t necessarily grieving their father’s death, which is understandable thanks to flashback scenes of his aggressive and often cruel parenting style. However, their diabolical upbringing and abnormal talents serve as the medicine for what looms ahead.
Aiden Gallagher plays the fifth of the Hargreaves children, otherwise known as Number Five. After being missing in action for several years—his time jumping abilities kept him trapped in the future—the witty and temperamental Five returns upon his father’s death with news from the future. Similar to the comics, Five, essentially a 58-year-old man trapped in a 13-year-old’s body, has the daunting task of trying to figure out how to save the world from utter destruction just days before the apocalypse is expected to arrive. Of course, his tumultuous relationships with his siblings don’t make his job easy.
In a recent interview with Newsweek, Gallagher noted the action and humor within the series matched everything comic book fans loved most about Way’s award-winning comics. At its core, though, The Umbrella Academy is a particularly enjoyable glimpse of how an ever so unusual and complicated family are forced to work together for the greater good—an aspect everyone can relate too.
The Umbrella Academy premieres on Netflix on Friday. Check out Newsweek’s full interview with Gallagher below.
Were you a fan of the comic book series before you landed the role?
I was always a fan of the comics and My Chemical Romance [Way’s former band]. I was a huge comic geek growing up and even made my own comics. When I heard I got an audition I freaked out and put everything I could into the character. It’s a role of a lifetime and the type of character an actor can really get deep with. To prepare for this role I had to think about and incorporate the physicality of a grown man who spent years in the apocalypse alone. This character has been through a lifetime of assassin work and it’s taken a toll on him mentally and physically and I put that into every word and every step.
What do you love most about Number Five?
I love his sarcasm. Number Five is so interesting because at first, you might not realize how deadly he is. He’s absolutely lethal and nothing gets in his way. There’s a lot for viewers to discover about him, and the show slowly unravels where he had been and what makes him behave the way he does. It’s great that we have ten hours to learn more about what is driving Five.
Did you draw from any of your own experience with family and friends to help portray Number Five’s feelings and relationship with his own family?
I’m actually an only child with very supportive parents, so I didn’t have the sibling rivalry to draw from. I was very lucky to have the comics as source material, and I studied them closely. In the comics, you see his piercing eyes and the way he holds himself. I worked on bringing that into my physicality. Then the physicality became second nature as I explored the mentality of Five. I thought a lot about old man Logan as character reference as well. After about a week of pre-production when I put the costume on, I could easily switch into Five for my scenes, because I had a good sense of him.
If there is one thing viewers should take away from this show overall, what would it be?
That family is more than just blood. It’s who you grew up with and what you experienced together. In the end that means everything. These people might not get along, but they would die for each other. So that is why they are superheroes, not because they have powers. I think people want to feel that it is possible to overcome differences to work together in times of stress. Maybe that’s why so many people are looking for an alternative to the standard superhero movie or TV show. They are looking for characters with more dimension.
What’s one thing that can be learned from Number Five’s relationship with his family?
Have patience with people and try to understand where they are coming from. In this series Five returns from an apocalyptic future and out of stress he doesn’t have time to be patient with them. But unless you’re a time traveler trying to stop the end of the world, be more understanding of people. I think Five could have taken more care to reestablish those family relationships.
How was your experience filming with Ellen Page, Tom Hopper, Robert Sheehan and Emmy Raver-Lampman?
I don’t have any favorites because they all were so kind to me. Every day on set I was studying and learning from them and they inspired me to do my best work. I was fortunate to have scenes with all of them. The very first day on set I filmed the last scene of the pilot with Ellen. She made me feel very comfortable and it was such a pleasure to work with her. Scenes with Tom, David and Robert were more so the funny ones, I think people will find comedy as a nice contrast to these character types. One thing people forget about is that behind the camera are hundreds of people without whom we couldn’t make the show. Each of them is doing an important task, it’s just the actors become the face of the series. We had a fantastic crew and I feel so lucky to have worked with them all.
Aside from the show itself, what are you most excited for viewers to see on The Umbrella Academy?
We had the best Director of Photography in the industry and he was using a state of the art camera that was experimental and on loan to him. If you notice anything, notice how beautiful the cinematography is. The sets are also incredible and transport you into the comic world but in a real way. I think comic fans are going to just go crazy and we’ll also build a whole new fan base who will get invested in each of the characters. Also, people will love how the music and action work together, it’s a very music-driven show.
Describe the show in three words.
Must. See. TV.
Content courtesy of Newsweek.com published on , original article here.