True Blood star Stephen Moyer sat down with the press at Comic-Con International to discusses his new show, The Gifted. While Moyer has always considered himself part of the X-Men family (he’s married to X-Men actress and his True Blood co-star Anna Paquin) this is Moyer’s first appearance in an X-Men project.
A self-proclaimed Marvel fan, Moyer joins The Gifted as Reed Strucker, a Sentinel Services G-man who gets a rude awakening when his own children experience the activation of their mutant genes. While Moyer may not be playing a character directly adapted from the comics, he will serve as an entry point for the audience, as he and his family join a radical group of mutant resistance fighters.
Familiar with playing a super-powered character as True Blood‘s vampiric lead Bill Compton, the first question Moyer was asked was about the difference between vampires and mutants. “One of the things that I always wanted to be able to do was fly, and I was always really gutted that [Alexander] Skarsgård got to fly. Apart from the fact that he was 6 feet 4, he got to fly. [Gifted character] Polaris can do that — of course, there are some things that these mutants can do, like shifting metal, or bringing buildings down, or protecting… there’s a character called Proteus who can turn back time, which I think is pretty awesome. So there are some things that the X-gang can do that we couldn’t do as vampires, which is pretty awesome.”
Asked if The Gifted will address social issues — a direction X-Men films and comic books have long followed — like mutant registration, a mutant cure, or even mutant testing, Moyer replied in the affirmative. “I think it would be quite difficult to live in the 2017 that we’re living in and not comment on what’s going on in the world,” he said. “In the same way that True Blood dealt with disenfranchised, marginalized, otherness, one of the things that drew me to this was the idea that the kids in our story and the mutants who have become mutants have their genes activated by some kind of persecution, some kind of bullying or some moment of terror. There are certain aspects of the script that Matt [Nix] wrote over a year ago that have quite a prescient effect that will be quite interesting given the government that we’ve got.”
“My character doesn’t exist in the comics,” Moyer explained when asked about a potential Marvel Comics counterpart. “He’s an ordinary man. It’s difficult to answer specifically, but my character is the sort of ordinary man in this. There always someone on screen which the audience can watch through. Me and Amy [Acker’s] characters end up being the reality, the ordinary in the extraordinary.” While Moyer and Acker may not be playing comic book characters, their children appear to be based on the Von Strucker twins, a brother and sister mutant duo collectively known as Fenris.
“When I was a kid I was really into Spider-Man and X-Men wasn’t my bag. I did read comic books but the X-world wasn’t my growing up thing. Obviously, the X-Men are part of my family because my wife has been in four of them, so it was a bit difficult to avoid. I knew of the world. I knew about the mutant gene. I knew how that gets activated and how the upper echelons of the society are frightened by it.”
Asked whether his wife gave him any advice, Moyer said she had noting but praise for X-Men director Bryan Singer. “She’s done three films with Bryan Singer, and Bryan directed our pilot. That was great. She loves Bryan and Bryan has an encyclopedic knowledge of what the world is. It was fantastic coming in and being able to mine that. She led me down the rabbit hole in terms of some interesting places to go to.” Moyer concluded the interview by saying that he’d been able to go back to older editions of the X-Men comics thanks to Marvel’s digital comics service Marvel Unlimited. “Marvel also gave us passwords to Marvel Unlimited. Unbelievable. It’s almost as if the iPad was invented for comic books. That’s been great, just being able to go back to old editions from the ’60s and delve.”
Premiering Monday, Oct. 2, at 9 p.m. ET/PT, The Gifted is a joint production of Fox and Marvel Television stars Stephen Moyer as Reed Strucker, Amy Acker as Caitlin Strucker, Sean Teale as Marcos Diaz/Eclipse, Coby Bell as Jace Turner, Emma Dumont cast as Lorna Dane/Polaris, Jamie Chung as Blink/Clarice Fong and Blair Redford as John Proudstar/Thunderbird, Natalie Alyn Lind as Lauren Strucker and Percy Hynes White as Andy Strucker.
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