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

PBS ABC Musical IFC royal family know your critic Epix ESPN 2016 cinemax Disney+ Disney Plus Hulu CNN Endgame thriller Thanksgiving Countdown unscripted Best Director Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt WarnerMedia travel jurassic park debate Disney streaming service comiccon SXSW foreign genre international Ovation Mary Poppins Returns Trophy Talk hollywood emmy awards black comedy sag awards facebook Travel Channel TCA 2017 slasher vampires Sundance TV Nominations Chernobyl 2018 Marvel Studios CMT Disney Plus Bravo FOX animated zombies sitcom comic book movies Instagram Live olympics prank 20th Century Fox Marathons high school Creative Arts Emmys The Purge breaking bad HFPA Discovery Channel Pixar Rocketman 90s Winter TV First Look Disney Channel BET romantic comedy Rock Podcast spy thriller boxing action-comedy Acorn TV Action ITV scary movies VOD RT21 Brie Larson nature Logo remakes TNT MTV Universal Pictures Trivia cults art house toy story MCU Star Wars festivals Grammys screen actors guild SXSW 2022 71st Emmy Awards name the review Tumblr critic resources mutant diversity Hear Us Out blockbusters werewolf Anna Paquin GIFs canceled satire Peacock cancelled television worst Paramount Plus teaser aliens comics Warner Bros. HBO Go new star wars movies Holiday aapi Prime Video king arthur italian biopic DC Universe finale slashers 45 Image Comics HBO Max BBC One kong Kids & Family 2015 lord of the rings scary live event Writers Guild of America concert based on movie Syfy Binge Guide Marvel Television TV Land The Witch Broadway 94th Oscars Mary poppins Hollywood Foreign Press Association zombie broadcast venice worst movies President Box Office 72 Emmy Awards independent spanish Lionsgate IFC Films space japan green book rt labs blaxploitation zero dark thirty canceled TV shows Ellie Kemper razzies christmas movies latino Polls and Games japanese New York Comic Con AMC kids Funimation FX on Hulu TCA Awards justice league VH1 halloween Comic Book joker TCA Walt Disney Pictures indie deadpool movie series Food Network Fox Searchlight 1990s Apple superhero CBS TV streamig scorecard dc suspense hispanic stand-up comedy news Super Bowl LGBT AMC Plus Heroines YouTube Red football elevated horror TCM asian-american Elton John BBC Arrowverse Paramount trailers See It Skip It crime drama james bond hist Song of Ice and Fire sopranos spinoff PaleyFest Lifetime Christmas movies supernatural mockumentary reviews hidden camera 4/20 universal monsters Crunchyroll south america batman technology BET Awards Legendary Premiere Dates USA Network DC streaming service comic serial killer leaderboard Comedy Central Dark Horse Comics Tubi DGA Spike 2019 E! Best Picture Tarantino true crime BBC America gangster cancelled robots TIFF streaming streaming movies Fall TV toronto Amazon Studios Family Television Critics Association Tomatazos PlayStation The Arrangement 93rd Oscars Amazon miniseries new zealand Captain marvel monster movies legend The Walking Dead TBS Watching Series E3 Martial Arts disaster Mystery spanish language sequels 79th Golden Globes Awards cartoon doctor who transformers Musicals TV movies period drama blockbuster dceu Pet Sematary APB WGN Music kaiju TCA Winter 2020 Summer children's TV Teen Mary Tyler Moore screenings Exclusive Video chucky Animation Apple TV Plus classics Pride Month Country stoner popular tv talk Pirates war TruTV indiana jones french cats Shudder Lucasfilm Set visit Universal quibi Cannes Britbox obi wan psychological thriller cooking Biopics Sony Pictures heist movie laika natural history spain feel good obituary richard e. Grant X-Men criterion Comics on TV History theme song versus Film Festival Star Trek Cosplay video on demand movies politics Sneak Peek Pacific Islander medical drama RT History DirecTV dogs sequel Marvel LGBTQ rotten casting DC Comics Oscar what to watch comic book movie South by Southwest Film Festival Horror posters Academy Awards YouTube Vudu ghosts documentary Comic-Con@Home 2021 Emmy Nominations young adult new york Wes Anderson Christmas Hallmark Christmas movies 007 boxoffice Starz romance 2021 Red Carpet saw Television Academy social media Winners Holidays First Reviews dramedy Paramount Network Trailer award winner Character Guide FX 21st Century Fox Best Actress Women's History Month marvel cinematic universe game show Spectrum Originals mcc historical drama Amazon Prime Video renewed TV shows franchise all-time Calendar godzilla Columbia Pictures OneApp Oscars golden globe awards black binge Fox News nfl summer preview Awards Tour Best and Worst Focus Features TV One OWN FXX Baby Yoda A&E stop motion Opinion a nightmare on elm street USA best free movies Ghostbusters docuseries video fresh Year in Review anthology basketball rt labs critics edition science fiction Pop TV singing competition dragons Freeform National Geographic The Walt Disney Company VICE Film rt archives cops strong female leads NBC Sundance Now revenge films Sci-Fi 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Reality Competition Tags: Comedy Election hispanic heritage month live action Infographic American Society of Cinematographers MGM halloween tv Quiz spider-man Shondaland Certified Fresh Spring TV ratings Nickelodeon Reality australia die hard Turner Classic Movies San Diego Comic-Con adventure talk show Photos summer TV child's play NYCC Video Games cancelled TV shows adaptation Pop reboot The CW El Rey Interview parents TLC Mudbound Black History Month target Rom-Com ID Netflix Toys television crime ViacomCBS Fantasy Sundance pirates of the caribbean Chilling Adventures of Sabrina TV renewals nbcuniversal wonder woman crime thriller king kong Paramount Pictures trophy YouTube Premium psycho jamie lee curtis Drama IMDb TV Stephen King Awards SundanceTV twilight Superheroes GLAAD crossover biography women Rocky 99% NBA Esquire political drama Alien Nat Geo Classic Film critics Avengers cars rom-coms composers festival comedies 24 frames MSNBC Turner documentaries summer TV preview cancelled TV series archives ABC Family docudrama Masterpiece Apple TV+ CW Seed dreamworks Neflix Mindy Kaling superman police drama Valentine's Day rotten movies we love scene in color Showtime fast and furious A24 Western sports Comedy ABC Signature BAFTA Superheroe YA Crackle Best Actor 2020 dark CBS All Access directors telelvision mob dexter Fargo harry potter spider-verse anime vs. comic books Amazon Prime Netflix Christmas movies Hallmark book adaptation witnail Lifetime marvel comics Extras Adult Swim Tokyo Olympics Schedule Black Mirror Disney GoT book SDCC Cartoon Network game of thrones 73rd Emmy Awards 2017 The Academy mission: impossible golden globes adenture Emmys HBO discovery