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Exclusive: Ellen Page, Steve Blackman, lift lid on Umbrella Academy

New Netflix series defines a post-Marvel world for Netflix, ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK learns from its star and showrunner.



Ellen Page as Vanya Hargreeves

She didn’t know anything about the comic book before being cast as Vanya, the one sibling who starts off with no obvious power. But she immediately fell in love with it.

“I couldn’t stop turning the pages and when it ended with those two lines, ‘the world’s gonna end, I’ll put on a pot of coffee’, fade to black, cut to black, I was just like. ‘Oh my goodness, I want to know what happens next’. That’s a great sign. I immediately identified with Vanya, even before I talked to Steve.”

The key question we put to Page, however, was not about the role. Rather, given the impending war between Netflix and the venerable Disney studio, we wanted to know how different it is working with Netflix compared to working with traditional big studios. It turns out that, for her, the smallest difference was the big difference.

“This might sound really small but it’s really significant and extremely important to me. And it’s clothing. I just was like, “I need to have Vanya dress exactly as I want and not have any conversation about it’. This was a conversation at the very beginning and I’ve never had an experience that was that easy.

“That’s representative of so many other things. They take more risks. I find Netflix in those capacities was a really wonderful experience. It’s been really, truly, absolutely wonderful making the show, one of my favourites ever.”

Click here to read more about how creating shows for Netflix differs from creating shows for network TV for showrunner Steve Blackman, and how Ellen Page feels about her character.

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