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Robert Sheehan Discusses The Umbrella Academy Season 2

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Robert Sheehan Discusses The Umbrella Academy Season 2


THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY ROBERT SHEEHAN as KLAUS HARGREEVES in episode 203 of THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY Cr. CHRISTOS KALOHORIDIS/NETFLIX  2020
Image Source: Netflix
It didn’t take long for Klaus Hargreeves to become a fan favorite on The Umbrella Academy, thanks mostly in part to Robert Sheehan. The 32-year-old actor is not only witty (a trait he shares with Klaus) but effortlessly charming. He’s also not a stranger to the supernatural, at least when a script is involved. Besides Klaus, his most well-known character is the immortal Nathan Young from the British TV show Misfits. In a recent interview with POPSUGAR, Sheehan discussed what it’s like to be a fan favorite, how Klaus’s love for Dave transcends time, and what it was like to act as someone else.

In season one of The Umbrella Academy, Klaus gets a hold of a time-traveling briefcase and finds himself a part of the Vietnam War in 1968. It’s here that he falls in love with a fellow soldier named Dave. However, Dave ends up dying during a battle in 1969, causing Klaus to leave his unit and travel back to the future. Although Klaus makes it back to the future, Dave leaves a lasting impression on him. “I think it’s going to challenge people,” Sheehan said of Klaus’s relationship with Dave.

In the second season, the siblings are scattered across time, finding themselves in Dallas during the early 1960s. This allows Klaus to get a second chance with Dave, although not in the way he hopes. “When Klaus meets young Dave, there’s this sense of love, but protective, fraternal love,” Sheehan revealed. We also get more insight into Ben and Klaus’s sibling relationship, with Ben realizing he may have more control over Klaus than he initially thought. The season culminates with the siblings returning to present day. Due to their actions in the past, an alternate future is created ― complete with an alternate Umbrella Academy called “the Sparrow Academy.” Check out the full interview with Sheehan ahead.

POPSUGAR: I was a really big Misfits fan, and there are times that Klaus Hargreeves really feels like Nathan Young, particularly with the witty one-liners. Given that your character in Misfits couldn’t die and Klaus speaks with the dead, how does it feel to have another fan-favorite character with a supernatural relationship with death?

Robert Sheehan: It’s funny, isn’t it? It’s funny how the world sort of brings you back around, like a merry-go-round. It’s brill, I mean, it’s brill. I count myself very lucky in that regard. I’ve been out to a few events, post-Umbrella, and you meet a delightful odd mix of Misfit and Umbrella fans all splashed together. It’s lovely if anyone has appreciation for your work. I’m very lucky for that.

PS: With the second season of Umbrella Academy, how did it feel to revisit the ’60s in a lighter setting and expand upon the storyline between Dave and Klaus?

RS: Well, expanding on the storyline is always interesting. If you can find another few stations to stop by, in terms of the story, it’s always very, very worthwhile. Going back to the early ’60s, it was definitely worthwhile to continue that story with Dave, in the most odd Umbrella kind of way, where there’s a strangeness to it because he’s only like 17/16 years old.

“But I think what’s interesting about the way it unfolded, certainly the way it was acted, was that fairly soon on in meeting Dave in that season, I realized that he’s not quite my Dave yet.”

I think it’s going to challenge people with that, like here’s a man in love with a man and now he’s meeting the teenage version of that man. But I think what’s interesting about the way it unfolded, certainly the way it was acted, was that fairly soon on in meeting Dave in this season, I realize that he’s not quite my Dave yet. I think it reverts to an older fraternal sort of vibe. When Klaus meets young Dave, there’s this sense of love, but protective, fraternal love. It sort of transmogrifies into that.

THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY (L to R) ROBERT SHEEHAN as KLAUS HARGREEVES, EMMY RAVER-LAMPMAN as ALLISON HARGREEVES and ELLEN PAGE as VANYA HARGREEVES in episode 205 of THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY Cr. CHRISTOS KALOHORIDIS/NETFLIX  2020
Image Source: Netflix

PS: I thought it was really interesting that we kind of started to see Dave rethink his choice to enlist, but then when the group went back to the future, everything is different. What was your take on the altered future when you first read the script?

RS: I was very intrigued to see how they would change the circumstances because you have to look ahead and wonder how all of this is going to affect the present. With me, I really don’t need to know things that Klaus doesn’t know, because what’s the need for that? In fact, it can only do harm. I quite enjoy that sort Ken Loach approach of “tell the actors what they need to know, and the rest we can kind of learn as we go.” That way it can be fresher in our heads and our souls.

PS: Going off of that big ending, do you have anything you can tell us about the alternate Umbrella Academy called the Sparrow Academy? And if you can’t officially tell us anything, do you as Robert have your own theories?

RS: Well, I know that one of them is like a chicken stock cube. I think that’s my main theory. And apart from that, perhaps due to sort of butterfly effect created in the early ’60s, somehow it has compelled Reg Hargreeves (Colm Feore) to avoid adopting folks. Maybe that would be my theory.

PS: That was my theory, too. Particularly, when he wrote down everybody’s names and what their powers were, and Ben was the only one he couldn’t write down, so I think we’re aligned on that.

RS: Yeah, exactly. He seeks to avoid us in the future. I don’t blame him.

PS: This time around, the Umbrella Academy is split up because of timing rather than that whole family dysfunction/estrangement from the first season, but since Ben is still dead and Klaus is still his conduit, they’re obviously still together. What was one of your favorite Ben/Klaus moments from this season?

RS: Oh, you know what, there’s a lovely bit of physical acting that, unfortunately, to make it happen, myself and Justin [H. Min] had to do our parts separately, but I swear to God . . . watching it come together with visual effects. There’s a part where the two of us are essentially quarreling over possession, as it was kind of his body, and we’re fighting really hard, with Klaus trying really hard to get Ben out of there. So, that was enormously fun to shoot. And it came out really well, and kudos to Everett Burrell’s visual effects! Basically, Everett legitimized my physical acting.

PS: That was definitely one of my favorite parts, and I really like how it culminated in that Exorcist-like puke at the end.

RS: Poor old Justin had to get covered head to toe in that stuff, this sort of porridge mix gack. Oh, I’d say it looked like vomit on the day.

THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY (L to R) JUSTIN H. MIN as BEN HARGREEVES and ROBERT SHEEHAN as KLAUS HARGREEVES in THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY Cr. CHRISTOS KALOHORIDIS/NETFLIX  2020
Image Source: Netflix

PS: Since you were talking about the aftermath of the Ben possession with your physical acting, what was it like having to film not as just Klaus but rather as Klaus possessed by Ben?

“And I thought ultimately, I have to just give the audience enough, a few little things with Ben, so don’t overdo it — just be.”

RS: It was very jarring. It inspired great levels of terror in me at the start and in the preparation. But that’s fairly typical for any kind of preparation because you have to just prepare blind, and you can’t really see a world where it’s going to work. You just get in there and try and do as many things as you can to negate failing, you know what I mean? I badgered Justin to send me videos of him doing all the dialogue . . . and then I badgered him again . . . and then I badgered him again. It was a sort of continual badgering up until we had to do it. Then I practiced it a lot at home. And I thought, ultimately, I have to just give the audience enough, a few little things with Ben, so don’t overdo it — just be. The trick with that is to not turn it into an impersonation because that would have really brought the show nowhere because then you’re getting into pantomime territory. I just wanted to do a little bit, but not a lot in terms of that.

The Umbrella Academy seasons one and two are currently streaming on Netflix.





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Dakota Fanning Interview About The Alienist

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Dakota Fanning Interview About The Alienist


Image Source: Dakota Fanning

In our Q&A series Last Call, we get down to the bottom of every last thing with some of our favorite celebs — from the last thing they texted to the last thing they do before bed. This week, actress Dakota Fanning takes our call.

Dakota Fanning has not only starred in some of our all-time favorite films throughout the years — from Uptown Girls to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood — but she’s also a children’s advocate, most recently partnering with Panda Cares to support underserved youth in health and education. Read on to learn more about Dakota as she chats about the last book she read, the last thing she took home from set, and more!

POPSUGAR: What’s the last thing you did for wellness or self-care?
I take a bath every night without fail. I look forward to it all day long.

PS: What’s the last thing you watched on Netflix?
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. I’m a huge Jerry Seinfeld fan!

PS: What’s the last thing you texted?
Chatting with my best friend about her new baby, who happens to be my goddaughter!

PS: What’s the last thing you ordered online?
Some new plain white tees. Can never have too many.

PS: What’s the last thing you do before going to bed?
I like to fall asleep to the TV, not the best habit according to some, but I find the noise comforting. I hate being the last person to fall asleep, so I think the noise makes me feel like I have company. I pick a good show to watch and settle in.

PS: What’s the last photo on your camera roll?
A picture of my aforementioned goddaughter, Poppy.

Image Source: Dakota Fanning

PS: What’s the last book you read? I just did a surprise virtual reading of a great children’s book “All Are Welcome” for kids at the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and The Boys and Girls Club of America. The surprise virtual reading was part of Panda Cares Day where Panda Express is donating 88,000 children’s books and celebrating the opening of the eighth Panda Cares Center of Hope at CMN Hospitals. These centers are where kids can heal through specially curated programs, like art therapy.

PS: What’s the last thing you took home from a set?
My character Sara Howard on both The Alienist and The Alienist: Angel of Darkness wears a signet ring, and I got to keep that when we finished filming last October.

PS: What was the last song you sang in the shower?
I’m not a shower singer, but I am an “in the car” singer. I like to blast LCD Soundsystem when I’m driving.

PS: What’s the last spontaneous thing you’ve done?
Quarantine has made it difficult to be spontaneous! Still contemplating a road trip of some sort. Stay tuned . . .





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Facebook Sleuth Group Started to Crack Carole Baskin Husband’s Case

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Facebook Sleuth Group Started to Crack Carole Baskin Husband's Case




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Why Friends Isn’t a Funny TV Show

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Why Friends Isn't a Funny TV Show


FRIENDS, (from left): Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer (back to camera), 'The One Where Monica Gets A Roommate', (Season 1, ep. 101, aired Sept. 22, 1994), 1994-2004. Warner Bros. / Courtesy: Everett Collection

Thanks to streaming platforms like Netflix and HBO Max, Friends is still insanely popular years after its primetime run. Its actors are still making millions of dollars each year, and the show has a major fan base that spreads across countries and generations — I’m just not one of them.

At first, I thought my indifference around the show was because of my age or upbringing. By the time the show had ended in 2004, I was barely out of diapers and spent most of my time watching cartoons. I grew up on BET and Tyler Perry movies, as did many of my current and past friends. But don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t constricted to just watching these shows. In fact, some of my best childhood memories are watching reruns of The Nanny and Full House with my cousins. I just never got around to Friends and didn’t feel like I needed to.

So what better time to check out this cultural phenomenon than while stuck in the house? I tossed on the 1994 pilot and, well, let’s just say I wasn’t impressed. Putting aside the valid criticism that the show is problematic by 2020 standards, Friends just isn’t very funny.

In the first scene, Chandler tells the group about a “crazy” dream he recently had where he was naked. With each part of his story, I found myself anticipating the humor. Then he ends the joke. “All of the sudden, the phone starts to ring, and it turns out it’s my mother,” he says before a laugh track. “Which is weird because she never calls me,” Chandler finishes before yet another laugh track plays and the screen fades into the next scene. That’s it? That’s the punchline?

FRIENDS, (from left): Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, 'Pilot', (Season 1, aired Sept. 22, 1994), 1994-2004,  Warner Bros. / Courtesy: Everett Collection

I think the most off-putting part is the unnecessary laugh track after nearly everything a character says (granted, a number of ’90s shows are guilty of the same thing). This made the first couple of minutes excruciatingly awkward for me. Here I am, thrown into this show with no type of background, and I’m already overwhelmed with forced laughs.

Then there’s Rachel’s apparently iconic “runaway bride” story arc. She had been living off of her dad’s money, then was planning to live off of her husband. She suddenly realizes she isn’t attracted to him, so she leaves him at the altar and decides to move in with her old high school buddy. The zany plotline is probably the most interesting thing about the episode, but it’s not particularly funny.

Let’s talk about Monica’s “nondate” date. She goes out on a date with this “wine guy,” and they have a pleasant date and implied consensual sex afterward. She later finds out he had lied to her in order to get her to sleep with him. What’s funny about a grown man having to make up an elaborate lie to “get laid”? Then she doesn’t even give him a piece of her mind; instead, it’s left unresolved. Maybe it’s something that comes back up in another episode?

It’s apparent that people enjoy this show because of a nostalgic connection and the way they relate to the characters. But to me, a newcomer, it just doesn’t engage those same emotions. To be fair, I can admit that some of the adorned Black sitcoms that I grew up with (*cough* Family Matters *cough*) aren’t all that upon rewatch. I’m sure many people who didn’t grow up watching Steve Urkel chase after Laura Winslow would probably find the show distasteful.

Let me end by saying this: I can definitely see where people’s love for this show comes from, but it just isn’t that funny.





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