The main characters of
have jumped out of the pages of comic books to land onscreen in ABC’s latest super-human TV series. And despite an limp IMAX run earlier this month and a blistering reception from critics, the show Marvel’s Inhumans was voted by TV fans as the second most anticipated new series of the season in Rotten Tomatoes’ 2017 Fall TV Survey.
But who are these Inhumans? We visited the set of the show and got the lowdown directly from the actors playing them.
as Black Bolt
King of the Inhumans, Black Bolt has a voice that can topple skyscrapers and level mountains. He communicates through his own sign language.
“I don’t think it’s a mistake that Black Bolt’s one of the more loved characters in the Marvel universe,” Mount said, “because it’s such a well-drawn character, in a sense that he’s a leader who is not only aware of the power of his own voice as head of state and as a person with a dangerous voice. I think that we immediately see a responsible head of state. Also, that burden has sort of made him into somebody that’s a bit emotionally removed, so we kinda want to lean forward into him a little bit. That’s really what I think is the primary reason that people are drawn to the character.”
Queen of the Inhumans, Medusa can use her hair as a weapon, which presented all sorts of challenges for Swan: “One of the cool things, with Medusa, obviously, is her hair and learning how to use it through the wig but then also through CGI. So, there’s moments where you’re in fights or there’s tense situations and you have to know how to use your face at the same time you’re using your hair. So, there’s been a lot of really amazing scenes where I have to sit down and go, OK, if it was my arm, how would I do it if it was my arm? What would my face do? And then have the duality between the two. Because it is — it’s sort of another appendage for her,” Swan said. “The length and the size of the wig is quite phenomenal. So, learning just how to get through everyday life with that — I gotta break for lunch, how do I do this? One gust of wind and I’m in massive amounts of trouble.“
This member of the royal family doesn’t have special powers, and for that reason, he’s looking out for the little guy — to the point of treason. “Black Bolt’s the older brother of Maximus, so he was always first in line to be king, which is something I think Maximus always kind of fancied and feels that he would be a better king — because well, first of all, he can speak without destroying the whole world around him. I think he’s maybe more of a dynamic leader, he feels. But you know, he’s loyal to [Black Bolt], but with sort of one eye always on the crown,” Rheon said, noting that Maximus isn’t insane, as he is portrayed in the comics. “He’s kind of a very passionate, sort of charismatic politician more than anything. He doesn’t act maliciously. He wants the best for the people of Attilan.”
Medusa’s younger sister, Crystal can manipulate natural elements of earth, air, fire, and water. “I based Crystal a lot of off the script and then created my own elements that I wanted to put into her. But I did also read the original comics too, which I found very useful. But we are definitely our own thing,” Cornish said, and told us a little about the family dog, Lockjaw. “Crystal has a two-thousand pound dog, which is all completely CGI. So, he’s not there on the day when we’re shooting, but he will be there, which is kind of fun and exciting. It’s a challenge to talk to the air to act like he’s there when he’s not there.”
Black Bolt’s cousin, Karnak has super-human strength and other abilities related to his superb physical conditioning. His most useful power as adviser to the royal family is to see faults in things, making him a master strategist (and something of a pessimist). “Karnak has a comic,” Leung noted. “There’s a fine line there, too, because we’re not strictly basing these characters on the comics. We’re creating our own world. But, however, knowing that it exists, obviously I read them.”
Another of Black Bolt’s cousins, Gorgon is leader of Attilan’s Royal Guard. He has cow-like hooves and can cause seismic waves by stomping them. “I [as Gorgon] act five times before I start thinking. So I think that plays into a lot of the dynamics as well, especially with Karnak who’s the exact opposite,” Ikwuakor said.
Another of Black Bolt’s cousins, Triton can live underwater. Moh’s makeup reportedly took 3 to 5 hours to apply.
Earth-bound human researcher, Louise, will run into the Inhumans.
“The character that I play is incredibly focused, she’s incredibly bright. She has a great affinity for all things lunar and space,” Woglom said. “She’s the connection to that world. She’s very quirky, so that’s been really fun. It’s nice to play a female character that is smart, that is independent, that has a backbone, and can stand alone on her own.”
Auran is an Attilan insider, responsible for keeping the royal family safe. “I’m head of the Royal Guard, a branch of the military that works closest with the royal family, so I’m most trusted,” Balmores said. “My job is — I kind of liken it to like the Secret Service. I work very closely to the king and queen and just make sure — even though they’re super dangerous themselves, because of their super powers — I’m kind of like their eyes and ears, and that’s the fun part for me is: I get to see a lot. I’m not a part of the family, but I get to be there like a fly on the wall.”
The 2,000-lb. family dog that can teleport his Inhumans is pure CGI and modeled on the English bulldog. “He’ll be the most successful character in this,” joked special effects supervisor Eric Frazier about the gigantic, but adorable canine. As you might expect, there were a few issues in bringing Lockjaw to life, like the question of whether or not he was fixed — “there have been conversations about what we would and wouldn’t see as far as his masculinity” — and drooling. “That’s an ongoing thing, because drooling means fluid simulation,” Frazier said. “It’s all going to come down to money. On a television schedule, fluid simulation is tricky … It’s not that it cannot be done. You have to pick and choose your battles.”
Marvel’s Inhumans premieres on ABC on Friday, September 29 at 8 p.m.