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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 October 2018

'The Gifted': Supernatural mutants with very human issues

We talk to Stephen Moyer and Natalie Alyn Lind about how the sci-fi TV show 'The Gifted’ is ‘very pertinent’ today

THE GIFTED: Natalie Alyn Lind in the "eXit strategy" episode of THE GIFTED airing Monday, Oct. 23 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
THE GIFTED: Natalie Alyn Lind in the "eXit strategy" episode of THE GIFTED airing Monday, Oct. 23 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)

Marvel Television’s The Gifted returns to the small screen in November for a second series, promising political wrangling, family drama and, of course, beautiful people with supernatural powers. An offshoot of the X-Men series, The Gifted follows a suburban couple whose two teenage children discover they have mutant abilities.

The National caught up with stars of the show, Stephen Moyer and Natalie Alyn Lind, while they were in London. The actors play father and daughter Reed and Lauren Strucker, and they gave us some idea of what’s in store for the second series.

The Gifted follows the persecution of a minority group (mutants) by a hostile government. Do you feel like it sends out a powerful message?

Stephen: It’s so difficult to talk about our show without talking about how things are happening politically where we live. This just happens to be under the microscope now with the way things are going. Our show, which is about differentness and otherness, is very pertinent. It has something to say.

Have you noticed a seismic shift in Hollywood since the #MeToo movement?

Natalie: I grew up with both my parents working in the industry so I’ve been submerged in this environment my entire life. To hear some of the stories that have come out about people that I personally know – it is heartbreaking. But I think that it is important that people are now taking it seriously because this has always been something in the back of everybody’s minds. The fact that there are strong women now coming out allows smaller actors to do the same. When you stand together, everyone is more powerful.

What kind of challenges are the Strucker family facing in the new series?

Natalie: In the last season, my character Lauren and her brother Andy [played by Percy Hynes White] discovered that we have these special powers that could be extremely detrimental to many people. When you come back at season two, Andy is gone [having left to join an extremist group of mutants]. Lauren is struggling between wanting her brother back but also knowing it’s not good if he comes back. He’s been put into this cult and [is] potentially not the same as he was any more.

Stephen: This other group are militant mutants. While our characters are trying to coexist with humans, they are trying to fight back, which is a worry because Andy is with them and violence is starting to break out.

Stephen, Reed seems to be facing some demons of his own. Can you tell us any more about that?

Stephen: The big emotional moment of Andy leaving in the first season has had an effect on Reed that he hasn’t passed on to his family. When we join him in episode one, things are happening for him that he’s trying to quell… He tries to hide what is happening to him, which is always not good.

There is no shortage of strong female characters in The Gifted. Was that something that attracted you to the series?

Natalie: Definitely. In the first episode you see Amy Acker [who plays Caitlin Strucker] kick off and one of the really cool things about her is she’s not a mutant so she has to develop herself in this world of people with extraordinary powers. She just has to be extraordinary by herself.

Stephen: I’ve really seen roles change in the last 10 years. If you look at the Toronto International Film Festival, 38 per cent of directors are women. We’re not there yet but it is definitely trending in the right direction.

I’m sure you get asked this all the time but… if you could choose a superpower would it be?power what super

Stephen: There used to be this show from years ago called Randall and Hopkirk: Deceased with a character in it who could open a book and read it instantly. I would love to be able to read that fast! I’m the slowest reader on the planet and I’d love to be able to take in more.

Natalie: This is my first time in London and I love it. I want to be able to come back as fast as possible so I’d choose a teleporter. It’s an eight-hour flight from Atlanta and even further from Los Angeles. To be able to avoid that – that would be awesome.

The Gifted: Season 2 will begin on November 1 at 11pm UAE time on OSN Series First HD

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