Cape Town – True Blood alumnus Stephen Moyer and fresh face Natalie Alyn Lind play Reed and Lauren Strucker in Fox’s hit show, The Gifted.
The show focuses on a suburban couple whose everyday lives are forever changed by the colossal discovery that their children possess mutant superhero powers.
In the lead-up to the second season of the show, premiering in South Africa on 3 December on Fox (DStv channel 126) at 20:45, Channel24 called Natalie and Stephen (who play father and daughter in the show), and asked them what their characters had taught them, spoke about their mutual love for South Africa, and a lot more.
HERE’S CHANNEL24’S INTERVIEW WITH STEPHEN MOYER AND NATALIE ALYN LIND FROM THE GIFTED:
If you haven’t seen The Gifted yet, it’s a family driven epic whose characters face themes that echo real life. It truly feels like an allegory for our time.
Here’s what Stephen has to say about that aspect of the fantastical series; "I think it’s very difficult to take on a project like this, knowing the history of The X-Men and not knowing how it will affect the everyday. Because it’s a story about people who are different being persecuted so it obviously resonates within our own world and it definitely played a part in me accepting the role. I loved the metaphors behind it and what it’s trying to say. It’s very much present in my mind all the time."
Natalie echoed her cast mate's sentiments adding; "I feel like there’s a huge responsibility that we have as filmmakers and people in media to bring good messages to the screen and to bring a positive message. To me the stories that we’re telling are very current but just told in a mythical, cool way."
Stephen then added; "And I think what we both feel is that it’s a really fun story and really exciting stuff to do but it also has a message and that’s what everyone is drawn to."
In the second season Natalie and Stephen's characters go through a lot together on the show and their bond gets tested, but in the best way.
SPOILER: Natalie explained that her character development in season 2 gave great insight into Lauren and Reed's relationship, saying; “I think after watching the first episode (of the new season) you’ll see that Lauren and Reed have a similar idea of what’s happening.
“I think they’ve always had this understanding for each other (our two characters). In the first episode, as Reed starts to develop these powers he has a new understanding of Lauren and what she’s been through day to day. And I also think it helps the family aspect because we start helping each other: father and daughter bonding."
Stephen then got reflective about the father and daughter team, saying; "I think the fact that Reed and Lauren were always close makes it easier for them to accept the situation they’re in, but I think there’s some underlying baggage that Reed is carrying around with him from not realising that Lauren was dealing with her mutant change because she couldn’t tell him all that she was going through.
“I think, in a way, he’s been trying to make it up to her since he found out because of that. It all began with Andy, of course, until they found out that it was something that Lauren had as well. I think the conflict of Andy being gone is also taking a massive toll on them all and Lauren especially, so they’re taking care of her."
Playing characters who have a superheroic quality to them can often be a daunting task, but it's one that Stephen enjoys because he sees himself in Reed. He explained; "It’s been very interesting for me last year when I met these guys for the very time, Natalie and Percy - even though it’s flipped around, my two eldest children are exactly the same age. My son is the same age as Natalie and my daughter is the same age as Percy. I had just spent the summer with them when I went off to do this job and there I am with these kids. One can’t help but take one's own experiences into account when playing a role like this.
"Natalie and I are very close, and she knows my daughter very well and also my son. So, it’s very interesting because it’s almost unavoidable. It’s funny that we’re doing this today because my son is sitting right next to me (laughs) I mean, real my son. Anything you can bring in from your personal life into character ties it to reality. So, one obviously tries to do that wherever one can."
Natalie’s character is still figuring out who she is and that’s a good thing, according to Natalie. The actress explained; “At the beginning of the show my character hides who she is and she especially hides it from her family.
“And I think that in general, being open with the people you love is the best policy. If she was open with her family or the people she was closest to at the start of the show, maybe the entire series wouldn’t have happened.
“And we have a very strong cast, who all work really hard through everything and are such a great example. I think the main thing I have learned is to be strong. Never forgetting who you are is definitely a message in our show, you know, who you are is who you’re meant to be and always embrace that."
Stephen added; “I think Natalie really touched on the fact that sometimes in my life I tend to spend a lot of time worrying about everybody else.
“And I often don’t think about myself or what happens to me and I find that my character, Reed is very similar to me in that way. It’s quite interesting when you find your fictional character mirroring your true self. It really brings it home to remember not to be like that. We all learn from art all the time and especially the stuff that’s very close to you."
To end off the enlightening chat, the pair gushed about the beauty of South Africa, with both fondly recalling the last time they were in Cape Town.
Natalie excitedly reminisced about South Africa saying; “My sister did an Adam Sandler movie called, Blended, there a couple of years ago. We were at Sun City and it was one of the most incredible experiences of my entire life and I want to come back so badly! It’s incredible there."
Stephen then piped up with why he was in The Mother City a few years ago; “I did a film with Tye Sheridan in Cape Town and oh my God, it’s so beautiful."
Natalie added; “There’s nothing like it, it’s such a gorgeous place."
Natalie then asked Stephen; “Did you get to go on safari?”
To which Stephen disappointingly stated; “I didn’t, I wasn’t there for long."
Natalie breathlessly answered; “Oh no! It’s the best. We did an overnight safari there and we were staying in a camp with no electricity. And just being there and knowing that you’re surrounded by all of these majestic animals, is so crazy."
Don't forget to catch season 2 of The Gifted on Monday, 3 December on Fox (DStv 125) at 20:45.