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The Umbrella Academy Stars and Producer on Screwing Up the Universe One More Time in Season 3

The Umbrellas must put aside their family dysfunction when faced with apocalypse No. 3, the cast and producer of Netflix's superhero series tell us.

by | June 21, 2022 | Comments

Halting the apocalypse — two of them so far — dealing with the fallout of their terrible father, and dance-offs. It is either two week’s worth of trouble or years of heartache for the cast of Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy. But now that they prevented the end of all things back in the 1963, they are finally headed back to the present in a third season.

Of course, this being The Umbrella Academy, nothing is easy. After a chance encounter with them in 1963, Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore) adopted Ben (Justin H. Min) and six other children to form the Sparrow Academy. And now confronted by this other group’s existence, the Umbrellas are forced to rethink their plans, look for shelter, and (naturally enough) face another world-ending catastrophe that they probably caused.

But, at least as the season begins, the Umbrellas have a sense of peace that is decidedly new. Saving the world in 1963 (and spending some time in the era) changed their outlook, star Tom Hopper said when Rotten Tomatoes caught up with him, other members of the Umbrella Academy, and executive producer Steve Blackman. Luther, Hopper’s character, definitely feels that change within moments of their time-jump.


The Umbrella Academy season 3

(Photo by Netflix)

“So the world’s not ending, and we don’t have the responsibilities here anymore? OK, cool!” Hopper said of the former Umbrella No. 1’s new outlook. “Then, obviously, there’s the link to the Sparrows where he thinks they’re an enemy, initially,” he added.

But even with his new worldview, fans will see an unexpected change for Luther as he acclimates to their new digs and, after a moment to regroup, investigates the Sparrows.

“I don’t think Luther is overly bothered about this shift initially when they first get back now,” Hopper added. “I think he’s quite like, Oh, I can settle down here.


The Umbrella Academy season 3

(Photo by Netflix)

Robert Sheehan, who plays lovable former drug addict Klaus, also noted a sense of growth in his character going into the third season. “How could there not be? We’ve been through so much pain and agony, all of us.”

Looking back on where they started in season 1 and the trials they faced being time-lost last season, the actor said, “There was so much torment happening [and] that’s, unfortunately, the currency of growth, especially if you can reflect on it. And growth is unavoidable at that point, if you’re still alive and still breathing.”

At the same time, fans shouldn’t worry about an overdeveloped sense of responsibility emanating from him, either.

“I think Klaus is very much an advocate of the old backwards law: ‘When you try to swim, you sink, and when you try to sink, you float,’” Sheehan said. What that means for him now that he can interact with suddenly alive versions of Ben and Reggie will be one of the joys for viewers to discover in the new season.


The Umbrella Academy season 3

(Photo by Netflix)

But the person who seems the most relieved after the time traveling is, perhaps, Diego (David Castañeda). The knife-wielding ex-vigilante returns to the present with a decidedly different sense of himself, a change Castaneda said reflected his own experience with the show so far. “I just felt much more relaxed [this season]; like I understood who Diego was more,” he explained. That expanded sense of the character led to illustrating the progression from the loner introduced in season 1. “You’ve seen these sides of Diego being angry and distant and broody. To be with his family — and what they went through in 1963 — to now be back, it’s almost like he’s still a child.” Or, at least, a child far less burdened than he was when he roamed the streets looking for crime to fight.


The Umbrella Academy season 3

(Photo by Netflix)

Then again, some of that change may come from a new responsibility given to him by Lila (Ritu Arya), who also returns to the Umbrella’s circle for reasons all her own. “I think that she thinks she knows what she wants,” Arya said of her “mission” involving Diego this season. “She thinks she’s doing things for certain reasons. [But] I think she’s not so aware of why she’s doing things,” she teased.

And while Diego deals with what Lila’s given him, she still finds a way to entangle herself in Five’s (Aidan Gallagher) latest mystery. Although originally meant to kill Five as part of her season 2 mission, seeing them interact now, you’d believe she was an Umbrella from the jump.

“Five and Lila are very much at each other’s throats and they find some loving version of it that’s very familiar,” Gallagher said of their friendlier dynamic. “It’s got to do with the bonding that we had done in season 2 and season 3. If you remove one of those elements, it would change the relationships. So, I’m happy with where it ended up.”

Arya added, “It felt very organic … There’s a lot of things that need to be talked about and figured out. But they’re forced to work with each other to get an explanation of why there’s this blip in the timeline. And so, they’re spending time with each other.” The result of all that quality time? “They admire each other for being really good at what they do.” Which is probably a good thing as the blip, or kugelblitz as it is called in a trailer, will eventually require more than the two of them to properly deal with.


The Umbrella Academy season 3

(Photo by Netflix)

Of course, investigating that blip isn’t exactly Five’s first choice on how he wants to spend his presumed retirement.

“He’s had 50 years of trauma, and past three weeks, he’s been trying to save his family, and the universe wants to kill his family, which is obviously very stressful,” Gallagher said of the character’s mindset as they return from 1963. “The man wants to kick back, and try and enjoy life for once in his life.”

That seems reasonable, but according to Blackman, Five would never be comfortable at a tropical resort relaxing.

“He is a chaos junkie,” the executive producer explained. “He thought he was in retirement, but whether he follows trouble or trouble follows him, he needs that now. At his age, at 58, or maybe even a little older now, he needs the thing he knows. I don’t think he’d go play golf for the rest of his life.” Instead, the momentum of his life will keep him from slowing down and the kugelblitz may be the sort of thing to keep him in the chaos game.


The Umbrella Academy season 3

(Photo by Netflix)

One person truly ready to put all this world-saving behind her is Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman), who only agreed to come back to the present to see her daughter, Claire. And what she finds on that search may alter her into someone more like Reginald Hargreeves. “I think she does get very narrow-minded and very one-track-minded, which I do think she could potentially get that from Reggie,” Raver-Lampman said. “I think they are very similar in this season at moments, [but] I think she left the ’60s and is undoubtedly going to have trauma from her time there, and what she witnessed and experienced and lived through. And the lingering effects of that are going to be lifelong, potentially. So, I think we’re just kind of diving into Allison’s first attempt at trying to manage her trauma.”

And though she needs to process everything she faced in an intolerant ’60s America, Allison still finds the time to maintain her bond with the seventh Umbrella, who transitions into Viktor (Elliot Page) during the season.

“I thought it was important to tell a positive trans story,” Blackman said of Viktor and his decision to come out to the other Umbrellas. “There’s a lot of anti-trans hate right now, and I wanted to tell a story with Elliot as my collaborator. I talked to GLAAD, I had a trans writer working with me; we all wanted to craft a story that felt not only authentic and sensitive, but to show that a family could love this person unconditionally and accept them.”


The Umbrella Academy season 3

(Photo by Netflix)

He also stressed Viktor’s transition is not the character’s only storyline this season. For one thing, as seen in some of the trailers, he attempts to create some sort of dialogue with the Sparrows.

“Whether you’re an Umbrella or you’re a Sparrow, you shared that sort of trauma of having that father,” Blackman said of a possible way the two groups can understand each other. “They all have that mutual trauma of a father who wasn’t very loving to any of them. So that was actually an interesting starting point for all the characters.” The group definitely seems more functional as a superhero team, but viewers will soon see how brittle that image turns out to be.


The Umbrella Academy season 3

(Photo by Netflix)

For Ben, though, it is slightly different as six new people come into his life expecting their brother.

“It’s odd that this dysfunctional group keep telling him that they remind him of their long-lost, dead brother,” Min said of Sparrow Ben’s initial reaction. It quickly becomes more than just odd, however, as both the Umbrellas and the audience get to know a Ben who is No. 2 in the Sparrow Academy and far more theatrical than his Umbrella counterpart. “I think the theatricality comes from an overcompensation because he’s really insecure about his place in the world and in the Sparrow Academy,” Min said. As he put it, the character is looking to “reclaim” a sense of leadership he lost sometime prior to the Umbrellas appearing in their house, and his quest to get it back will get in the way of attempts between the two groups to cooperate.

Or, is it possible this was something Reggie intended for his “children?”

“There’s lots of levels to Reggie, and although sometimes on the surface he appears to be doing bad things, he always has a bigger plan and a bigger play afoot; he’s pulling strings,” Blackman said.


The Umbrella Academy season 3

(Photo by Netflix)

One string he could not mean to pull, though, is the Umbrellas hard-earned ability to communicate with one another. Where once words were used to hurt, they now lovingly tease — another change which may turn out to be a strength for the team in the long run.

“I think they’ve come together as siblings now,” Hopper said of their dynamic. “There’s been that friction, and then they find their way of just molding into each other, and that comes with jabs, but it comes with support and love as well.”

Sheehan joked: “I think, my closest friends in the world are the ones I abuse the most. I think jabbing is an expression of trust.”


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