News

8 Things to Know About Marvel's Inhumans According to the King and Queen

Serinda Swan and Anson Mount explain their secret language, fighting poses and goofy canine sidekick Lockjaw.

by | August 28, 2017 | Comments

As Mel Brooks and Tom Petty said, “It’s good to be king.” Maybe they should update the saying, because it’s good to be king and queen. Anson Mount and Serinda Swan play Black Bolt and Medusa on Marvel’s Inhumans. They are king and queen of a colony of superhumans with powers thanks to genetic modification. Also, they live on the moon.

There’s trouble brewing in their moon kingdom though. Maximus (Iwan Rheon), Black Bolt’s brother, isn’t Inhuman. He thinks it’s wrong to force humans without the Inhuman gene to work in the moon mines and leads a rebellion. This battle takes the Inhumans to Earth, Hawaii specifically, along with their giant dog Lockjaw. Here, they’re going to run into a lot more humans.

Swan and Mount spoke to Rotten Tomatoes before the premiere of Marvel’s Inhumans. Here are eight things the king and queen of the Inhumans revealed about the eight episodes of Inhumans’s first season.


1. YOU WON’T ALWAYS KNOW WHO THE BAD GUYS ARE

At the beginning, it may seem like Medusa and Black Bolt are trying to stop a violent revolution. But then, it’s not very nice to make regular humans do all the hard work. Medusa even doubts herself.

“Both sides can be understood,” Swan said. “I think there’s no defined protagonist/antagonist. You see her kind of ebb and flow of what she thinks is right, her moral compass and conflict in the family.”

Even though there are some Inhumans on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., these Inhumans come to a place that hasn’t seen Inhumans before. Let’s just say Hawaiians aren’t gonna greet them with “mahalo.”

“Inhumans see the humans as evil and the humans see the Inhumans as evil,” Swan said. “So you see this dynamic, this duality come together where it’s two misunderstandings. You start to bridge that gap over time and [learn] to be more open and compassionate to differences.”


2. BLACK BOLT ENJOYS HIS SILENCE

Black Bolt can’t speak. His voice can obliterate planets, so he keeps his mouth shut. Surprisingly, Mount had never been asked if Black Bolt enjoys staying mute or wishes he could speak more conventionally. Faced with the question for the first time, he decided.

“I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never thought of that question,” Mount said. “That’s a damn good question and something I’m going to spend time thinking about if we go to a second season. I would say where I’m starting, I think he’s kind of glad he doesn’t talk. I think it helps him be emotionally removed in a way that’s safe.”


3. BLACK BOLT’S SIGN LANGUAGE IS NOT READY TO TEACH IN SCHOOL

Black Bolt uses sign language to speak with Medusa, but it’s not American Sign Language, because that didn’t exist on the moon. Mount created his own set of signs. By the end of season one, he had a 50-page Google document listing them all.

Several fictional languages are spoken by fans, like Klingon and Dothraki. Black Bolt’s sign language could join them, eventually, but not in season one.

“I don’t think it’s a complete language yet,” Mount said. “If the show goes a few seasons, it will [be]. We’re not there yet. If you asked me to do a sentence for you right now, I wouldn’t be able to do it. I would have to go to my room, sit down, open up my glossary, translate it and then work for about an hour to get it into my body.”

Since the language is definitely not ASL, Mount had to check ASL to make sure he wasn’t crossing over any of the same words. One or two couldn’t help but be similar.

“There may be one or two crossovers that I haven’t thought about,” Mount said. “There are some things that are pretty obvious, like ‘me’ and ‘now’ or ‘here.’ When it was something that was in my head, I want to make sure this is not a crossover, I would Google it and see.”


4. MEDUSA ONLY TRANSLATES WHAT SHE WANTS

Medusa is the only other Inhuman who knows Black Bolt’s language. That doesn’t make her a reliable translator though. Sometimes she says whatever she wants and Black Bolt can’t speak up to correct her.

“[Writer] Scott [Buck] would intentionally have Medusa tweaking a line, and I didn’t realize that,” Mount said. “I would hear it and I would go, ‘Actually, that’s not the line.’ She’d go, ‘No, actually that is the line. You just didn’t read my part of the scene.’ So that was fun.”


5. FOUR POUNDS OF HAIR GETS HOT IN HAWAII

Swan said the Medusa wig weighs four pounds. That doesn’t sound like much, but when you have to balance it on your head all day, and it’s pulling your neck down from the floor, that can cause some serious whiplash. That’s not even the hardest part, Swan said.

“[They] would always put it in a braid at lunch time, and I’d throw it over my shoulder like a little hair baby or do like a hair scarf,” Swan said. “If we were shooting in maybe Canada or Antarctica, it would be amazing because it would be a source of warmth. But when you’re shooting in Hawaii, the last thing you want is a hair blanket wrapped around you at all times.”

She’s not complaining though. “Honestly, when your struggle is carrying a Medusa wig for Marvel while shooting in Hawaii, you live with it,” Swan said.


6. MEDUSA HAS MANY BATTLE POSES

When it’s not weighing her head down, Medusa’s hair comes to life and lashes out against attackers. The first time you get to see Medusa fight with her hair, Swan held perfectly still and let the hair do all the work.

“It’s not about her body anymore,” Swan said. “It’s more like her body becomes her spine and her hair becomes her arms. So when you fight, usually your spine goes quite rigid and it depends on where you go into a stance. For her, the stance is to support her hair because her hair is about to do magical spectacular things.”

That’s not Medusa’s only move though. You’ll see her spring into action too.

“There’s lots of other movements,” Swan continued. “She’s a trained fighter so it depends on what’s going on. In those specific scenes when she’s being attacked, she doesn’t see them as a complete threat. As you can tell, she just handles them one by one like this. If it were something that was an army or another race coming in, you would see a lot more movement from her. Whereas this was sort of like a joke to her.”


7. INHUMANS IS FOR KIDS

There’ve been many dark and gritty comic book movies, and the Marvel shows on Netflix, but this one is for kids. Tell a five-year-old that there are superheroes living on the moon, and that’s gonna make them happy.

“A lot of it is making the worlds of children just that much bigger and brighter,” Swan said. “It’s really incredible when you think about that. It’s a really unique opportunity to be able to bring that to them. It is magical hair that can fight people.”

But there are some scenes that require parental guidance. Medusa and Black Bolt have a love scene.

“Maybe skip the first five minutes if you’re a certain age and younger,” Swan said. “It’s done in a loving, playful way.”

Kids will love Lockjaw too. Mount says he provides the laughsk but is also pivotal in the story.

“The goofy sidekick is usually just there for comic relief,” Mount said. “What I love about this, is they found a way to make Lockjaw active in the plot because he’s so dim.”


8. IT’S NOT JUST THE COMIC BOOK

The comic books were a great source of inspiration for the cast and creators of Inhumans, but from there they had to embellish.

“You’ve got to figure out how to do it for a different medium,” Mount said. “In TV you can’t linger on those gorgeous cells. TV keeps moving and TV has to be a little more grounded in our world. It was interesting watching that process of conversion.”


Marvel’s Inhumans premieres in IMAX theaters September 1 and  begins its network run at 8 p.m. ET on September 29 on ABC.

Tag Cloud

game of thrones Character Guide Marathons Marvel Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt laika The Purge crime drama revenge USA Network 2015 2017 crossover independent Holiday diversity Starz Countdown french CW Seed Valentine's Day Stephen King Musical Awards WarnerMedia mission: impossible fast and furious The Walking Dead Summer stoner Grammys universal monsters 20th Century Fox Heroines Mary Poppins Returns Sundance Now Disney+ Disney Plus Cannes Kids & Family slasher YouTube Premium cars jurassic park Crackle The Academy Video Games HBO Go Mary Tyler Moore joker miniseries fresh Film mutant sports TV One robots japan sequel Emmys The CW BET rt labs critics edition Trailer video FOX sag awards canceled TV shows dark Thanksgiving Oscars Mudbound Spectrum Originals theme song Disney streaming service NBA El Rey documentary legend scene in color screenings rt labs prank travel ABC Signature slashers Television Critics Association spinoff Disney Plus Star Trek Extras boxoffice San Diego Comic-Con cinemax Pride Month PBS young adult Sony Pictures serial killer MSNBC Sci-Fi satire Lionsgate Pop TV worst movies Amazon heist movie AMC Winners History Best and Worst Watching Series Black Mirror Apple Image Comics Bravo Funimation OneApp LGBTQ Winter TV science fiction 007 ratings movie Shudder spanish Sneak Peek DC Comics singing competition dc period drama blaxploitation directors jamie lee curtis First Look Marvel Studios social media batman Paramount Plus Year in Review NYCC cartoon OWN Biopics Adult Swim Fox Searchlight blockbusters cults space comedies Elton John sitcom indiana jones USA HBO Max Food Network American Society of Cinematographers Lifetime anime DGA CMT BBC 71st Emmy Awards basketball TCA Discovery Channel green book news name the review Paramount Calendar blockbuster Avengers Set visit marvel cinematic universe Awards Tour 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Trophy Talk teaser cancelled TV series Sundance technology psychological thriller spy thriller Mystery YA Turner Arrowverse kong award winner The Arrangement Amazon Prime Video new york war Nominations best worst know your critic franchise Women's History Month DC streaming service italian VOD supernatural Super Bowl Pirates telelvision Hallmark target Paramount Network facebook feel good Legendary Tumblr docuseries YouTube Acorn TV MCU new zealand Star Wars romantic comedy TBS HBO breaking bad obituary werewolf Captain marvel streaming NBC pirates of the caribbean halloween Classic Film versus APB Brie Larson saw New York Comic Con Ellie Kemper Black History Month TCA 2017 zombie Peacock RT21 venice X-Men 2019 trailers suspense ESPN australia gangster Creative Arts Emmys Fantasy Walt Disney Pictures cancelled television 4/20 series BET Awards all-time Comedy Central richard e. Grant See It Skip It ID Pop book cats comic book movie nbcuniversal concert discovery deadpool japanese dramedy Cosplay MTV Epix TNT child's play james bond emmy awards E3 Emmy Nominations Writers Guild of America Lucasfilm halloween tv Alien stand-up comedy toronto debate TLC Spring TV ABC posters Election Superheroe die hard live action adenture Turner Classic Movies adventure 45 BBC America justice league GLAAD christmas movies children's TV Rocky romance Chilling Adventures of Sabrina tv talk dogs Christmas animated black dragons Freeform harry potter psycho royal family GIFs zero dark thirty Nat Geo Sundance TV LGBT game show video on demand based on movie Syfy marvel comics Western Nickelodeon reboot disaster Ghostbusters Binge Guide Musicals football remakes 72 Emmy Awards Tomatazos TCM adaptation Pet Sematary 2021 FXX binge historical drama Disney 93rd Oscars comic doctor who twilight hispanic heritage month festivals Horror political drama Reality ITV high school Tarantino spanish language golden globe awards Amazon Studios IFC Comic Book indie Universal unscripted Wes Anderson SXSW Rocketman RT History natural history Film Festival A24 24 frames rotten movies we love Music Schedule Cartoon Network Lifetime Christmas movies elevated horror Comic-Con@Home 2021 Netflix a nightmare on elm street Netflix Christmas movies biography thriller hispanic ViacomCBS spain kids 1990s CBS All Access Anna Paquin Animation toy story TruTV 73rd Emmy Awards comic books FX on Hulu Crunchyroll DC Universe Warner Bros. police drama National Geographic Vudu E! mcc docudrama renewed TV shows ghosts BAFTA cooking comiccon Pacific Islander Red Carpet popular First Reviews international superhero scary movies olympics YouTube Red Tokyo Olympics Mindy Kaling Teen dexter Reality Competition parents Podcast Exclusive Video Box Office Song of Ice and Fire chucky PlayStation television Endgame what to watch transformers 99% casting foreign criterion crime reviews SundanceTV Superheroes witnail Logo crime thriller rt archives aliens Rock Holidays streaming movies TV movies Opinion Dark Horse Comics DirecTV hollywood The Walt Disney Company Marvel Television rom-coms Shondaland spider-man Action Disney Channel talk show CBS films Baby Yoda Television Academy Drama nfl wonder woman cancelled TV shows SDCC 2018 Interview Apple TV Plus rotten GoT superman Columbia Pictures Britbox Fall TV VH1 anthology Premiere Dates Chernobyl golden globes TV renewals Certified Fresh classics Family cops TV vampires boxing zombies FX king kong Toys Polls and Games scorecard composers Fox News stop motion south america king arthur critics action-comedy kaiju women Infographic hidden camera Travel Channel TIFF festival TV Land The Witch razzies asian-american Ovation CNN Esquire mockumentary sequels TCA Winter 2020 Masterpiece 2020 hist Trivia ABC Family nature Hallmark Christmas movies Hear Us Out 90s VICE Amazon Prime Academy Awards BBC One Comics on TV cancelled President critic resources documentaries comics quibi comic book movies Comedy Quiz 2016 Spike monster movies aapi medical drama godzilla biopic 21st Century Fox IFC Films Rom-Com Martial Arts Showtime PaleyFest free movies new star wars movies Tubi canceled dceu strong female leads archives book adaptation finale Pixar Mary poppins Broadway screen actors guild WGN latino Photos true crime A&E politics Apple TV+ movies Country Hulu TCA Awards lord of the rings