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Marvel’s Inhumans is a New ABC Series

Aug 31, 2017

By: Lynn Barker

Marvel’s “Inhumans” has long been a comic book fave. For those not familiar with their story, here are the deets:

The “Inhumans” are part of the huge Marvel Universe and the new series on ABC tells the story of the royal family after they are splintered by a military coup.  A few barely escape to Hawaii, where they are separated and have to deal with the humans around them.  They must also find a way to reunite and return to their home before their way of life is destroyed forever. 

Marvel’s Inhumans cast at the interviewThe cast at the interviewCourtesy of ABC

The new series centers on comic book characters Black Bolt (Anson Mount of TV’s “Hell on Wheels”) and his brother Maximus (Iwan Rheon). Bolt doesn’t speak because his voice can cause destruction with the slightest whisper. This was a challenge for Anson Mount who plays him. The actor created his own sign language for the character.  Maximus is a strong leader of the Inhuman people but has lost the Inhuman gene so some of his people look down on him as only being human. He would like to be king. Iwan says the brothers’ relationship is much like that of Thor and Loki.

Black Bolt with big doggie LockjawBlack Bolt with big doggie LockjawCourtesy of ABC

One of the female stars in the show is Serinda Swan as the red-haired Medusa, the wife of Black Bolt and Queen of their homeland Attilan (Note: New Attilan is the current home of Queen Medusa and her fellow Inhumans. The palace stands above the Hudson River along the New York/New Jersey border. It is made up of the remnants of the former Attilan which, like Atlantis, was in the Atlantic ocean.)

Queen Medusa, King Black Bolt with MaximusQueen Medusa, King Black Bolt with MaximusCourtesy of ABC

Medusa’s cool power involves being able to move and control her super long red hair (this girl never has a bad hair day!). Her four pound wig is augmented with CGI and is a character unto itself. Medusa is a great help to Bolt.  Ellen Woglom plays Louise, an earth human, working at a private aerospace company who is into space and all things on the moon (where some of the Inhuman people are hiding). She’s smart and focused but a little nerdy and socially awkward.

Medusa, Black Bolt, Lockjaw and Maximus in the comicsMedusa, Black Bolt, Lockjaw and Maximus in the comicsCourtesy of ABC

Oh yes, and a comics favorite,  a very cool, super cute giant, teleporting dog named Lockjaw is also in the show!

Q: Could you guys talk a little bit about how each of you sees your character and what is going on in the show?

  • Anson Mount: We've been fascinated by royals since the Greeks. Most of us don’t have to worry about politics when dealing with our families but in this show we do. What's stronger, politics or blood?  And to Black Bolt, blood is certainly thick enough to want to keep his brother around, as much as of a troublemaker as he is, because he's a very, valuable adviser and when you really listen to what he says, it makes a lot of sense. I think that both brothers learn from each other through their different ways of looking at their own world.
  • Iwan Rheon:  Yeah. I think it's essentially two brothers who have got a very different approach in life.  Black Bolt can't speak, for a start, which makes it difficult to communicate.  So he sort of holds everything in, whereas Maximus is very much about getting it out, and once there's a threat that humanity are going to discover the Inhumans, he has a very different approach. He believes they should go straight down (to Earth) and face the problem straight on, whereas Black Bolt is, like "No, we do nothing," which frustrates Maximus so he then goes on and tries to change things. He was always very good friends with Medusa as they grew up, but then she went and ditched him for the older brother, didn't you?
  • Serinda Swan: (smiling) Apparently. Medusa is the character that's sort of caught between the two brothers, friends to both growing up.  She built a relationship through communication with Black Bolt.  They both took risks, obviously, because one whisper from him, and it's -- (she makes an explosion noise) -- a distraction.  So she was the only one who would walk in and sit with him, and they developed this language.  So she trusted him not to kill her, and he had to trust her with his language, with his communication. 

Maximus confronts MedusaMaximus confronts MedusaCourtesy of ABC

Q: So she’s kind of like Black Bolt’s translator?

  • Serinda: She is the communicator, so she is the translator.  But there's this beautiful thing between the two of them. She’s not just his translator.  She's this really incredible, powerful character all on her own.  You see this strong, powerful man and this powerful woman, and then it's husband and wife, and it's king and it's queen.  And there's a real dynamic there. She might switch a little word here or there, which is great because you get to see that family dynamic and how she has that strong will.

The brothers in the throne roomThe brothers in the throne roomCourtesy of ABC

Q: And her relationship with humans?

  • Serinda: Part of the show is going to be set in Hawaii on Earth.  And there are interactions with the humans, both how we expect it to be but then also in a very unexpected way.  You get to see the relationships that develop there as well.  So there's a really beautiful duality there and conversations that happen between humans and Inhumans.  And I always say it's a very human drama set in an Inhuman world.

Giant Lockjaw is a playful pupGiant Lockjaw is a playful pupCourtesy of ABC

Q: Cool! Ellen, of the main cast, your character Louise is the human that has to interact with these Inhumans that have suddenly interrupted her world. How does that affect you and affect that world?

  • Ellen Woglom: Louise works for an aerospace company and her entire life has been dedicated to all things sort of space and lunar.  And to then find out that there are Inhumans that have landed on Earth and have powers is mind‑blowing.
  • Iwan: And there’s a 2,000-pound teleporting dog, which is a little outside normal life on Earth.
  • Ellen: Right.  And I think especially with Medusa, the Inhumans are a little hesitant with humans, obviously and, while I'm really eager to find out everything that I can and discover more and learn everything about the civilization and Attilan and these powers, I think the really nice thing was the relationship between my character and Medusa. The journey that they go on is finding themselves in unexpected ways through the relationship that they develop with sort of a back‑and‑forth and push‑and‑pull.  And I think ultimately they find that they have more in common than they maybe initially thought.

Ellen Woglom who plays LouiseEllen Woglom who plays LouiseCourtesy of ABC

Q: Anson, was it fun to play a guy who isn’t talkative at all? You didn’t say much in your last role on TV’s “Hell on Wheels” but no words at all? How was that?

  • Anson: I thought it was interesting that suddenly fate handed me this role where I don't get to say anything.  They got me a signing consultant, but I couldn't use American Sign Language because we're not from the planet Earth.  I wouldn't know it.  So I just sort of took underlying rules of ASL that make it efficient, and then I applied my own signs. I started a Google Doc to keep the signs consistent.  And it's up to about 50 pages now.  I sent it Serinda so that she would know what I’m saying. I could send her videos and we’d both be prepared.
  • Serinda: Yeah.  Every night I would get one if we had either a speech to give or it was a conversation between the two of us.

The brothers argueThe brothers argueCourtesy of ABC

Q: Serinda, let’s talk about your amazing long, red wig. Where did it come from?  How much does it weigh?  How long is it?    

  • Serinda: As a female, the first question is "How much does it weigh?"  It's very heavy.  You put it on, and everyone is, like, "You have such good posture.  You are so regal."  And I'm, like, "No.  My head is being pulled backwards.  That's why my neck is up like this."  But we worked with an incredible wig maker, Victoria Woods. It's never been done before, and so there are going to be issues. The CGI, I think there was software that had to be built for it.

Queen Medusa with the magical hairQueen Medusa with the magical hairCourtesy of ABC

Q: How uncomfortable is it?

  • Serinda: There were definitely days shooting in Hawaii with a four pound, red wig down to my shins that felt like a very warm cat snuggling my head, one that I was probably allergic to, and one gust of wind went from real cute to, like, an emergency.  If you'd hug somebody, sometimes you would get stuck, or, like, you would have, like, a lingering hug, and they would be, like, "Okay.  Serinda you can let go."  And I'd be, like, "No, I really can't.  I'm stuck to you with all of my hair wrapped around you.

Some Inhumans escape to HawaiiSome Inhumans escape to HawaiiCourtesy of ABC

Q: So funny. But, her hair is like a character. It does things on its own, right?

  • Serinda: There are movements that you have where her hair is prehensile.  So it will pick something up and move. There is everyday Medusa where you see her straight hair and you see her just relaxing and then there are moments where you see her in danger, and it kind of prickles. So there is a mixture between feeling the real thing and then trusting Marvel and everybody with the CGI. My wig has got attitude!  You see a little flip she has.  It's great. It’s like a serious roommate that just is always up in your business. 

Poster for Marvel’s Inhumans SeriesPoster for Marvel’s Inhumans SeriesCourtesy of ABC

You can watch the series premiere of “Inhumans” on ABC on September 29th.


Have Your Say

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