Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy‘s third season introduced a whole host of new characters from the Sparrow Academy to awe-inspiring effect. On an even more anticipated level, Elliot Page’s character, Victor Hargreeves, returned in a sort-of parallel to the actor’s real-life journey, and the challenge for the show was how to depart from the graphic novel in a way that was respectful for both Victor and Elliot’s transitions. To the show’s credit, showrunner Steve Blackman and writer Thomas Page McBee (who spoke alongside Page to The Hollywood Reporter) were both fully onboard with adjusting the already “locked” scripts, although one can imagine that they felt the pressure, both from a timing standpoint and otherwise.
After all, the show filmed amid the fallout from CEO Ted Sarandos, who fumbled his response to Dave Chappelle’s trans jokes in The Closer. What eventually materialized in The Umbrella Academy was sublime and felt organic, and both Blackman and McBee credit Page with sharing his own story, which influenced how Victor discussed his transition with his siblings. McBee insisted, “I think Elliot deserves so much credit, which I’m sure he doesn’t want to take, because of the humble guy he is, just in terms of offering himself to us as a way to create an authentic story.”
As for Page, he is simply thrilled with how the arc unfolded onscreen:
“I think one of the most special things about this is how it’s handled. It’s not void of emotional moments with the siblings, of course. I think they’re each individually special and in relation to their specific relationship. The scene when Luther and Diego are coming down the stairs and Luther’s awkwardness and all these things, these were — simultaneously I’m experiencing all that, because I’ve stepped into this moment where I’m a trans person and perceived that way, and having all these new experiences I didn’t have before. Then these scenes were resonating with that, which was really incredible. We don’t see that when we’re not in control of our stories a lot of the time. So it felt really special.”
Page and Blackman both pointed out that Victor’s transition isn’t (and won’t be) the main focus of the character, but one can expect some revisiting from time to time when the subject is relevant on the show. Thus far, the writing has interwoven the subject in the best way possible, and I can’t wait to see how Victor (who got the last spoken word of the season) will handle the next (inevitable) apocalypse.
(Via The Hollywood Reporter)