The Gifted Season 2 is about to be released on FOX. Season 1 of the sci-fi X-Men spin-off The Gifted featured ordinary parents who take their family on the run after they discover their children’s mutant abilities. Now, in season 2, both anti-mutant sentiment and the mutant rights movement are on the rise. Stephen Moyer (Reed Strucker) and Natalie Alyn Lind (Lauren Strucker) speak about their roles in The Gifted Season 2. The new season starts on FOX, DStv Channel 125 on 3 December 2018 at 8.45pm.
How has the show changed for The Gifted Season 2?
Natalie (pictured left): This season we are really getting into the characters and going far into what it is like to live in a society where mutants aren’t accepted, which is very important. Everything is darker this season, which I really enjoy, and our storylines are really building up.
Stephen: What they have done this year is, I think, really smart. Instead of everybody getting loads of stuff to do, but the viewer not being able to concentrate because you’ve got 12 storylines, you’re concentrating on one or two storylines. I think it is smart because it focuses more and it’s better for the audience in terms of the storytelling arc. That is something I am excited about for this year.
It has been suggested that Reed’s growing powers are not exactly a gift…
Stephen: Everyone thinks superpowers are great. Wouldn’t it be great if you had a superpower? Well, what if the superpower isn’t great and the super power is debilitating or bad, a dark power, destructive? What is that like?
We talked about that and what it would mean. Instead of it being a gift, it being something that could be destructive to all mankind. We also talked about the fact that if it has been 30 years since that power had been blocked, what happens when you pull the plug? Those are the sort of questions we were asking with reference to what happens to Reed and how it will manifest and alter his life trajectory.
What kind of powers will he have?
Stephen: We know from his character history and his grandparents that their power was dark. When his grandfather and his great aunt got together they had this power, Fenris, which is a dark power and, when they used it, they used it destructively. We also know from last season that when his children use their power together, it is a dark power. That is certainly within his genealogy, so it could be that he has something dark. Obviously, that is also what his father was trying to do when he operated on him, to get rid of that darkness.
How will his emerging powers affect his family relationships?
Stephen: There have been so many things hidden. Natalie’s character, Lauren, is so worried about how Reed is going to react, because it was his job to prosecute mutants in the first place, that she has hidden it. Then Andy hides it as well. So, we talk about that idea of you not hiding your feelings and being truthful. Then, as soon as it happens to him, he hides it because he is embarrassed, shameful, and full of fear. All of those things that we keep to ourselves, especially from the people that you love.
The Gifted Season 2 has a strong female cast. Will we see more screen time with them together?
Natalie: My character is trying to go off by herself. It was very family oriented last year but this year she is finding her place in the Underground and at the same time she is trying to keep everyone together because Amy’s character, because she’s lost her son, is just falling to pieces. But Jamie (Chung, who plays Blink) is awesome. We have a couple of good moments this season where we both had this thing where we are lost in who we are. My character hid it for so long so now that she is open with it, she has the problem where she has a darkness in her that she tries to hide. Jamie has the problem where she has a special quality on the outside- she has these beautiful eyes and marks on her skin- but people in society constantly remind her that she is different and these things are very difficult. We have a pretty bad- ass cast of women.
There’s a new character in The Gifted Season 2 called Twist. What can you tell us about her?
Stephen: Of the groups who are very specifically being into power for mutants, one of them is into trying to free people who have been imprisoned wrongly and taken out of society and Twist might be one of them.
If you could have any super power, what would it be?
Natalie: To be able to know every single language and communicate with people around the world. I feel like that would be very cool.
Stephen (pictured right): I wish that I could remember all the amazing quotes that I have read over time. I did a film, The Parting Glass, with Cynthia Nixon last year and Cynthia has this encyclopaedic knowledge of every poem she has ever read, every passage from a book, she will just quote it verbatim. She is extraordinary. I just don’t have that memory that collects like that so I would like to be able to do that, even not having read the book!
Reed has had so many transitions from oppressor to protector and now mutant. Does he have a breaking point in The Gifted Season 2?
Stephen: Given that he is somebody who has always been very controlled in his life, one of the things I was interested in is what if he is not in control and he’s not capable of being in control? His world has flipped around 180 and he has learned a lot. He has learned about his past and he has learned from all of these people what it feels like to be different. Having empathised with his children and what they are going through, he is now starting to go through it too and seeing it not from the third person but from the first person. There is this massive change within him that is fascinating to explore and keeps growing the more we play it. I don’t want to give too much away, but I like that he is part of his own downfall in that respect, by tinkering too much with his past.
Are they quite physical roles?
Natalie: I try to stay as active as possible just in general. It just changes depending on an episode. Last season, (showrunner) Matt Nix wanted me to do parkour training. So that is something that I have underneath my belt that I am ready to do at any point, but I don’t think my powers were developed enough at the end of last season to be able to do that. But stunts are one of the most fun parts about this job because we don’t just have a drama, we have an action drama, so being able to do that and work with the stunt coordinators…. you look pretty cool doing the stuff that they let us do. Some of the stunts that we do on stage, you feel so much more powerful than you actually are and then you get home and you’re like, ‘Oh, never mind, I can’t actually do that.’ But it is pretty fun!
Stephen: My wife has got me doing CrossFit, which is gnarly. That is something that I have continued, so I am ready but my character might not be!
So you enjoy the stunt work?
Natalie: My favourite stunt aspect is that my character can throw people back suddenly, which I did last season. My favourite thing is just throwing out my hand and having the stunt guys just fly, it makes you feel really cool. A couple of days ago on set we had these two awesome stunt guys and we were rehearsing. At a point I was messing with them. We wouldn’t even be doing it and I would throw my hand out and they would just do it, full on! We were laughing so hard. I am such a bitch!
Stephen: As an actor, there is nothing more exciting. This is when it takes you right back to being a kid when you’re riding along on a horse and you’ve got a gun in your hand and you’re running against the baddies and you’re going ‘bang’ and people are falling off their horses and you’re not even shooting anything out of your gun. When you are doing that for real in an action sequence, that is like kids’ stuff. That is when what we do for a living is just so absurdly brilliant and fun, because you’re just playing make believe.
What: The Gifted Season 2
Where and when: FOX, DStv Channel 125 on 3 December 2018 at 8.45pm