‘Legion’ Cast on the Future for Kerry, Cary, and Ptonomy
At SDCC, cast members Bill Irwin, Amber Midthunder, Jeremie Harris, and Executive Producer Nathaniel Halpern, discussed how things were left off heading into Season 3.
At San Diego Comic-Con last weekend, cast and executive producers from “Legion” gathered to talk about the notable events that occurred in Season 2 and how they set the stage for Season 3, debuting in 2019 on FX.
Marvel.com sat down with “Legion” cast members Bill Irwin (“Cary Loudermilk”), Amber Midthunder (“Kerry Loudermilk”), and Jeremie Harris (“Ptonomy Wallace”), and Executive Producer Nathaniel Halpern to chat about some very notable changes that occurred for the characters by the end of the latest season, along with asking them just how strange things get on the set of a series known for strange onscreen moments….
Marvel.com: Nathaniel, can you talk about how Season 2 ended? David’s now fled, and he looks more and more like he could indeed be the bad guy the future Syd warned about?
Nathaniel Halpern: I would say in Season 1 that you saw the slow motion car crash of David’s journey, and Bill’s character has that line in the final episode of the second season where he points out the disparity between how David perceives himself and how the world sees him and that that’s a scary place to find himself - the discrepancy there. And I think it was a long time coming, at least in our minds, for the character to see “Oh, maybe I’m not the hero of this story.”
Marvel.com: This was a season where there was a lot of realization going on for Cary and Kerry, and thoughts about the future. Amber, your character was very resistant to talk about these things, but is she now more accepting that they have to prepare for this, one way or another?
Amber Midthunder: I think yes and no, because even in the ninth episode [of Season 2], where they try to have a conversation in the Chinese restaurant, she’s still not having the conversation. I think there’s a subconscious acknowledgement, like a wading into the waters of the acceptance of it… It’s like, “Let’s not have a big conversation but let’s teach you how to eat,” and it’s a “No” and “No” and “No” until it’s like, “Okay, I’ll try.” And then the next thing and the next thing… But the big ideas, she’s not having it. She loves him too much and it’s never going to go away. She’s not really willing to accept the big concept. The little ones, she’s intrigued, and then they become fun, and then it’s interesting and then it’s exciting.
Marvel.com: Bill, was it fun to play the sort of role reversal with your characters that started to occur?
Bill Irwin: As the off-camera father of a 27 year old son, which is about six eight years older than off-camera Amber is, [Cary and Kerry] suggests parenthood, but it isn’t strictly a parenthood paradigm. But part of the parenthood paradigm is the “I’m in charge of you, do what I say! …I need your help now.” My folks are both no longer alive and that circle completes itself. All of that is resonant inside of Shakespeare’s writing here.
Marvel.com: We left off with Ptonomy in a very interesting place; not physically of this Earth, but still existing.
Jeremie Harris: It’s interesting... I don’t understand why anyone would ever say Ptonomy is dead. [Laughs] It’s in the X-Men world and the “Legion” world. It’s just part of the journey of existing. He now has this new form and in a way has come out of his shell and has a new road to go down. I think a lot of shows are prisoner to not being able to break the rules in those ways. That’s the character and they’re going to play that and do that season after season. Here we’re able to reinvent characters and send them down whole new roads. So it’s more of a birth than a death that he went through.
Marvel.com: “Legion” is known for being an unusual show with kind of eccentric, unusual sequences. For you guys on set, is there a day that stands out as the most “Legion” of “Legion” days?
Amber Midthunder: I had a day where I was fighting a bunch of box people. That was very weird. That was very, very weird. Because the setup, physically, was that there were a bunch of box people around me and the camera was very far away. It just felt like me in a desert fighting a bunch of box people. It was like, “Where did everybody go?”
Jeremie Harris: I had a day where I ate something or came down with some type of stomach virus thing and it coincided with what Ptonomy was going through with what was growing inside of him, so that was kind of interesting because I was shooting a seen with Hamish [Linklater] and I ended up throwing up right after the scene was done. It worked simultaneously with what Ptonomy was going through. It was weird that it happened that way.
Bill Irwin: Some of those shots in the white environment -- there’s a white room within the story, but this was a white environment which was this white floor, Noah Hawley, and a camera that would go like this [moves his hand in a sweeping motion] -- and in a sequence, as I recall that didn’t end up in the episode.
Marvel.com: Nathaniel, is it interesting for you and Noah to put these things in a script and then see where the cast goes with it?
Nathaniel Halpern: Absolutely. It’s been a great privilege getting to know them all. Because it starts to bleed into the writing of like, “Oh, Amber will get excited to do this!” or Bill or Jeremie. We’re all very friendly, so it’s like “Oh, they’ll have a ball in that sequence.” It’s like the scripts are generating the fun to be had later on when we shoot.
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