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Fan Fest News Opens Up ‘The Gifted’ at New York Comic Con!

The Gifted, Coby Bell, Jamie Chung,Sean Teale, Amy Acker, Grace Byers, Emma Dumont, New York Comic Con
Image: Linda Marie

Diversity prevailed as The Gifted made their presence known at New York Comic Con this past weekend. Fans flocked from Live Stage to Panel as Amy Acker (Caitlin Strucker), Coby Bell (Jace Turner), Jamie Chung (Clarice Fong/Blink), Sean Teale (Marcos Diaz/Eclipse), Grace Byers (Reeva Payge) and  Emma Dumont (Lorna Dane/Polaris) were on hand to discuss all things mutant.

The Gifted, Amy Acker, Emma Dumont, Sean Teale, Jamie Ching, New York Comic Con
Amy Acker, Emma Dumont, Sean Teale, Jamie Chung during The Gifted panel at NYCC. Image: Brian J. Cano

The hit series from 20th Century Fox Television in conjunction with Marvel Television “…tells the story of a suburban couple whose ordinary lives are rocked by the sudden discovery that their children possess mutant powers. Forced to go on the run from a hostile government, the family joins up with an underground network of mutants and must fight to survive.” –  Source: Fox.

As per a recent press release, Season 2 of The Gifted picks up after the explosion of the Atlanta Station. The Mutant Underground search for their friends and family who left with The Inner Circle. Having tracked them outside of Washington, D.C., they must contend with new groups with extreme ideologies, both human and mutant alike, to stave off a brewing conflict.

Fan Fest News was fortunate to be included in a roundtable discussion with four of The Gifted’s talented actors. From character conflict to playful pranks, it is clear these stars embrace their universe. Check it out…

Roundtable 1 with stars Amy Acker (Caitlin Strucker) & Coby Bell (Jace Turner)

The Gifted, Amy Acker, New York Comic Con
Amy Acker. Image: Linda Marie

Media: Enjoying the show so far?

Coby: Oh yeah. I’m a fan, I watch the show with my kids, we’re big fans of the show.

Media: This is for Amy. How is your dynamic with Eclipse this season? I feel like you guys have become friends. Is that gonna continue?

Amy: I hope so. Sean and I really love doing scenes together and I like that they are kind of on the same mission and have this bond over having lost Andy and Polaris, or Lorna, whatever we call her now. (laughing) I think it will come back around. The great thing about this season is we are able to kind of interact with different characters in a way that we didn’t last year when we were all kind of in one group together all the time. It’s fun getting to see different people have new relationships.

Media: Watching the first couple episodes, seeing all the turmoil going on in the mutant underground, you two seem to be the two characters that are the most like… f-this, it’s time for action! So it’s cool to see you guys team up that way. 

Amy: Thank You.

Media: (to Coby) It seems like you are going down the path you were originally [going down] but now you’re trying to get revenge for your daughter last season. And now it seems you’re trying to turn a different way?

Coby: We’ll see about that. He leaves Sentinal Services, he and his wife are trying to move on, trying to move on with life and he just… I think when we last saw him it looked like he was gonna move on with life but I think we all know that’s not gonna happen. So he’s kinda like a man with a mission but with no authority or no army to get it done. So along come The Purifiers who are this militant/anti-mutant group and they are like, “We could use a dude like you.” and he was like, “Well I could kind of actually use you guys.” and then things uh… get bad. Oh wow, they get bad.

Linda (Fan Fest News): I’d like to know how familiar you guys are with the comic book universe, with the X-Men universe overall. Did you have to do a lot of research? Are you nerds at heart?

Coby: I’m a nerd at heart but I was never a comic book guy but I was into all the cartoons, TV shows, movies. My son is a huge comic book guy. He’s always like, “No no, it wouldn’t be like that.” We’ll go a see a movie and [I’ll say], “What’s gonna happen?” He’ll be like, “What do you mean what’s gonna happen. You know in the next series, this happens.” Like Infinity War [and] all that he was like, “Whatever.”

The Gifted, Coby Bell, New York Comic Con
Coby Bell. Image: Linda Marie

Linda (Fan Fest News): So does he have to explain anything to you regarding the X-Men? Does he help out with that?

Coby: A little bit. (laughing)

Amy: We have some people on set, Derek Hoffman who’s there. He knows. He’s like a walking X-Men encyclopedia. He knows every little piece of information. Anytime anyone has a question he’s the go-to guy.

Coby: Yeah. He’s good for that and he’s good for pranks.

Linda (Fan Fest News): Do tell!

Coby: I think he only shows up to do pranks. We had this kid on a gurney, who was supposed to be dead and on one take they were getting ready to put the gurney into the ambulance and Derek pops up, “I’m not dead!” (laughing) Scared the crap out of half the crew. That’s what he does.

Linda (Fan Fest News): That’s great!

Coby: (turns to Amy) That thing with Sean with the flames.

Amy: Oh yeah.

Coby: So not only that, he’ll (Derek) go like 6 months in advance in the planning. He bought this little flamethrower, this little wrist thing and he had a camera ready to go, he coaxed Sean (Eclipse) into a conversation about how he could look cool using his powers and Sean was like, “I’d think it’d be more like that.” (Coby twists his wrist) Derek’s like, “No, more like this.” (Coby twists his wrist) Sean’s, “No, more like that.” (Coby twists his wrist) and Derek goes, “Well, how about this!” (sets off the flamethrower, laughing)

Media: Without giving too much away, for the upcoming season, which is your favorite episode that we have not seen yet?

Amy: Oh gosh. There’s so much that happens in all of them.

Coby: So much. This is gonna be a good season. For me, I would say, for stuff I got to do and the challenging work, episode 10… Jace and Thunderbird have a thing.

Amy: I like Jace and Thunderbird having things.

Media: Looking forward to it.

Roundtable 2 with star Jamie Chung (Clarice Fong/Blink)

The Gifted, Jamie Chung, New York Comic Con
Jamie Chung. Image: Linda Marie

Media: Can you tell us about your relationship with John this season?

Jamie: Yeah, You know I think she’s really settled down and I think finally for once in her life she’s found her partner, her support, her person. But, throughout the season all of that’s kind of thrown her for loop and I think she truly questions, regardless of who you love, I think the bigger question is where do you see yourself? I think she’s playing with the question of what she’s willing to sacrifice in order to truly be happy. So, it’s going great now but you never know what happens in a couple months.

Media: Drama.

Jamie: Exactly.

Media: We haven’t really seen her use her powers much this season. What’s really coming for her and her storyline?

Jamie: Yeah. It’s not budget cuts. (laughing) Portals are expensive. I think the main question for the writers is there wouldn’t be any story or there wouldn’t be any conflict because Blink can literally get you out of any bad situation and I think she’s always used that. But I think it’s more of a question of identity for Blink, identifying as a mutant, identifying as a human or identifying with people who can pass as human. So I think for her, her struggle is truly her identity and being proud of who you are and showing your real colors quite literally. It’s not so much of power ability it’s more of an identity.

Media: Will we see her use her powers in different ways? 

Jamie: I think you will see them used in fun and different ways in terms of shoveling people through different portals. It’s gonna be used in a pretty neat way.

The Gifted, Emma Dumont,Jamie Chung, Amy Acker, Grace Byers, New York Comic Con
Emma Dumont, Jamie Chung, Amy Acker, Grace Byers. Image: Linda Marie

Media: What dynamic are you most excited for fans to see explored in the second season?

Jamie: I think the second season you’re introduced to a whole different ideology. You have The Mutant Underground, you have The Inner Circle, you have The Purists, The Purifiers, and then you have the other Mutant Underground which is The Morlocks. They are literally a group of mutants that live underground. So you have four very different ideologies and I think it’s how they clash. The Inner Circle which is very aggressive, I would call the far right, which chooses everything in their ability and their capital in order to get what they want and like f–k everyone else. You have The Purifiers, another example of the far right who don’t even want the mutants around, they just want the pure humans and that’s it. The Mutant Underground and then The Morlocks who choose to live underground and not be bothered by anyone. So they kind of have this amazing environment and amazing society where they’re not bothered and they can just truly to be who they are.

Media: Do you have any funny stories about the cast?

Jamie: I mean it’s just such a treat that we do get to work together, it’s like wrangling 30 kids together. Whenever we are together it’s like the ADs have the worst time. Do you have eyes on this person, do you have eyes on that? We’re always kind of like scrambling. Not on purpose. That’s not very funny and I apologize.

Media: Do you have a [favorite] episode?

Jamie: Yeah, ya know we just shot an episode and I think it’s the final straw, the final question of where Blink truly belongs, where she feels herself like can truly feel herself and be open. I think you’ll see that later on the episode, I think it’s 213 where you get a really cool flashback of Blink’s past. That will be pretty cool.

 

Roundtable 3 with star Sean Teale (Marcos Diaz/Eclipse)

The Gifted, Sean Teale, New York Comic Con
Sean Teale. Image: Linda Marie

Media: At the end of the last episode obviously you got drunk, shot out the lightning. Lorna’s gone, she obviously hasn’t reached out. Where does your character go from here? He’s obviously in kind of a dark place.

Sean: Yeah. I always think that maybe he’s hit rock bottom and then they give me more stuff to deal with. He’s not having an easy time. There are so many questions unanswered. How could somebody you love so much, care about so much, do this to him? There’s a difference in the pain now and it’s not that someone’s taken it away from me it’s that she’s chosen to go as well and that’s a whole different level that he can’t deal with. He didn’t have a choice in the name of this child, he doesn’t know whether his child is alive, wasn’t there for the birth of it. I feel for his pain so gravely mainly because I have to feel his pain all day which is miserable. I go home exhausted but… when HAVE I smiled? I think we have one flashback scene [where I smiled], this was sooo fun! I had the best day. I remembered what it was to enjoy work. (smiles) Where does he go from here? Actually the next episode, again just another beating. He is actually brought in and gets to meet them for the first time but not for the reasons that he would have thought. And actually again for the wrong reasons, for unkind reasons, he’s being used. And so again he’s being tossed and turned around like a rag doll and it’s only so long before a man cracks. We’re gonna see how far we can go, we’ve really pushed him, we’re pushing him further.

Media: How do you think he will be as a father if he ever does have that moment?

Sean: Oh, an immense father. He’d be a great dad. There’s obviously daddy issues there again. We’re about to see in the panel that maybe the flashback is him back in Colombia with his father who kicked him out for being a mutant when he was a child. So being abandoned by your father… Marcus is an upstanding individual who doesn’t agree with doing that. Again [he] doesn’t believe in repeating that mistake, that pain. We try to make sure we don’t project that onto somebody else. You’re gonna see him in two days, you’re gonna see him meet his child for the first time [and] hopefully he’ll give off the impression of how loving a father he would be. He’d be a great dad.

Linda (Fan Fest News): I have a little something on the lighter side.

Sean: Yes, please.

Linda (Fan Fest News): If you could step shoes into any other character on the show, who would it be and why?

Sean: It depends because some characters I wouldn’t relate to entirely and then you see how they’re played and then you think god if I could do it like that, I’d play it every day. Um… Blink, Jamie’s Blink. There’s such a great humor there and although Eclipse has this sort of sardonic self-deprecating way… in the face of adversity he’ll make some sort of dumb quip. Jamie has just this wonderful ability to lighten things. I mean Jamie’s a phenomenal actress anyway, maybe it’s just being so in awe of her but actually, Blink has got this really cool story grappling with her ideology and whether she believes in what she’s practicing and preaching and whether [she’s] actually hiding and suppressing what she really feels and someone’s gonna come along and try to show her another world she might be attracted to more. I think that’s actually cool. I think she’s got a really cool backstory. She’s also kind of an alien like she’s sort of come from some other universe. There’s a lot of cool stuff in the way Jamie plays her. Who wouldn’t want to be Blink?

The Gifted, Jamie Chung, Sean Teale,Amy Acker, Grace Byers, Emma Dumont, New York Comic Con
Sean Teale strikes a pose with the ladies. Image: Linda Marie

Media: Is there a chance we’ll see any familiar faces from the comics this season?

Sean: We will be seeing The Morlocks, Erg in specific, he’s the leader of The Morlocks, I guess who can absorb energy and emit it through his eyehole that he lost god knows when. So we come to blows, we don’t agree with each other on many things. He thinks Marcos is a bit of an erratic loudmouth and I think he’s an idiot who lives in the sewer. So we clash quite a lot but actually, me and Jamie get to go down to the Morlocks quite a lot… Emma Dumont walks past and waves to Sean… “Hi darling!” That’s the closest we’ve been. (laughs) That’s the most love we get.

Media: Awww.

Sean: So we get The Morlocks and also we actually get the right extremist militant group, The Purifiers that actually meet and hate us and we get to see some really cool versions of them pop up.

Thank you to The Gifted cast for taking the time to chat during an exciting and hectic New York Comic Con weekend. Be sure to catch The Gifted Tuesdays at 8 PM on FOX!

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