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In Conversation With Rising Hero Emmy Raver-Lampman: Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy is Here

New to your Netflix screens, The Umbrella Academy is the superhero series we’ve all been waiting for. Born from the Dark Horse comic books written by Gerard Way (yes, The Black Parade’s Gerard Way), this series gives us an eye into the most dysfunctional family ever.

Alongside Emmy Raver-Lampman, the series stars Ellen Page, Tom Hopper, Robert Sheehan, David Castañeda, Aidan Gallagher, Cameron Britton, and Mary J. Blige. The story starts in 1983 where, out of nowhere, forty-three babies are born from disconnected women who had no idea they were pregnant that morning. Along comes billionaire Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore) who takes seven of the infants under his wings…The Umbrella Academy. Now in their 30s, the series follows the reunited family who, despite their differences (both superpower and not) have to learn to work together against a much bigger force: the apocalypse. It’s whacky, it’s nerdy, it’s hilarious, it’s got action and it’s got emotion – it’s everything we’ve been looking for for our next Netflix binge.

To celebrate the release of this killer watch, we met up with TV newcomer Emmy Raver-Lampman (playing Allison) to chat about the show and how she landed a place in such a wild household.

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Tell me about your introduction to The Umbrella Academy

I had a very seemingly normal introduction to the show. I sent in a self-tape after reading the pilot script and I thought it was, by far, the best thing I’d read that season. I was totally into it because it was based off the Dark Horse comics and I was wanting to do a superhero-something for a while. I read the graphic novels and several (I think 5) months went by! I then got a call out of nowhere and they said they wanted me to test for Allison. By that point, I had kind of come to terms with not getting it so I was like ‘oh my god, wait, that was the thing I loved’.

You suit Allison so well – how did you find bringing that character to life?

That’s such an amazing compliment. This is my first TV show and my first time being in front of the camera so I took plenty of advice and encouragement from my fellow cast-mates and tried to figure it out along the way. The other characters and actors in the show are so brilliant and we all played off each other – it was definitely a team effort bringing Allison to life. She wouldn’t be who she is with her family making her eyes roll! I definitely can’t take all the credit because the cast is so amazing and we had the best time making this.

How did you find the sudden transition from stage to Netflix screen?

I took my last bow on the Hamilton stage on a Saturday night and got on a plane at 7am the next morning to start filming. I’m also grateful for that quick turnaround though, because I didn’t have time to think about it. I just kind of let it happen and went straight into it like ‘if I don’t know something I’ll just ask questions and fake it ‘til I make it’! My whole cast were so understanding. Eventually, I found my way and my methods and I figured out what I needed to do to get through each day.

 

 

What was the biggest challenge transitioning from stage to screen?

I’ve heard from other actors that went from stage to screen that they found themselves shouting because they’re so used to projecting their voices, but I’ve always been the opposite. I always get yelled at in theatre for being too quiet; they used to say they can’t bring up the mic any louder! That being said, the sound guys on set for The Umbrella Academy actually asked me if I could protect a bit more… I do like to think that maybe I am just meant to do TV!

Allison’s power is to be able to alter reality with lies… Talk to me about Allison’s multi-dimensional personality.

She’s having to try and take on the responsibility of her power as she’s going through a huge shift in her life. She’s going through a divorce and fighting for custody all because of the misuse of it. I think Allison is trying to realise that she doesn’t respect her powers as well as she should have. She used them for very selfish reasons so she’s taking a step back and trying to go about things ‘ordinarily’, for lack of a better term.

However, I love how nurturing she is. I think that’s something that’s deeply rooted in her. Allison is really independent and she picks up on context clues throughout the whole series. She is the loving energy and provides softness in the group even though she’s feisty and flawed and can kick ass just as well as her brothers.

 

 

Speaking of kicking ass, did you do the stunts yourself?

That was my number one thing. I was in the dojo learning taekwondo with our amazing stunts coordinator over a three week period. It took a lot of diligence and time and it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done because it’s so technical. I was working out in the dojo with a load of seven-year-olds that could actually kick my ass! I mean, I was kicking above my head and thought ‘ok, I never thought I’d do this at this age but here we are‘. It made me nervous but excited to be out of my comfort zone and learn new skills. Being able to look back at my big fight episodes and know it’s 100% me in every shot motivated me.

Finally, I don’t want to give anything away, but Allison finds an interesting fate later in the series. What can we expect from Allison next?

I’d like to think that if we have a second season we’d be able to go back to school with her to see how she learns to use them. It would be really fun because I didn’t really get to show them this time around. I’d love to be able to dive into it

 

The Umbrella Academy is out now, only on Netflix.

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