The Umbrella Academy is one of Netflix's most popular original series, and it's definitely also one of the weirdest, what with the time-travel mishaps, the paranormal sibling possession, alien patriarchs and that fishbowl-headed dude. And that's just grazing the surface. Season 2 upped the ante by taking things back to the 1960s for the team's longterm apocalypse-halting mission, causing Aidan Gallagher's Five to meet a decades-older version of himself, sparking a condition known as paradox psychosis. Gallagher's performance became far more erratic and frazzled as time went on, and the actor had a simple but effective way to make it look so intense.
Nickelodeon vet Aidan Gallagher spoke with CinemaBlend ahead of Season 2's debut, and I was quite interested to hear him talk about making his performance as Five that much zanier and stressful once the paradox psychosis truly began to take hold of his body. First, he talked very eloquently about Five's already fractured mental state going into the threat of the timeline-connecting anomaly. In his words:
Hilariously enough, Aidan Gallagher's Five looked like an addict looking to score a pound of pure, to put it in Requiem for a Dream terms. (I don't know why it needs to be in Requiem terms.) With a constant itchiness and a sheen of sweat seemingly painted across his brow, Five becomes delightfully unhinged as he attempts to disrupt his older-self from being part of John F. Kennedy's assassination.
Aidan Gallagher then delved into his technique for building upon Five's already nervous energy to bring the paradox psychosis to life. Here's how he put it:
How subtly brilliant is that move? Before each take, Aidan Gallagher would just haul ass for a few seconds to bring more visual intensity to the performance. His breathing becomes more choppy and urgent, his eyes get that much more focused on everything in Five's field of vision, and his body language is constantly in flux. All things considered, that strategy might be a good substitute for coffee anytime I'm feeling tired during the day.
Washing dishes getting too boring? Just sprint to the sink from 30 feet away before scrubbing each dish. Take a mad dash to the mailbox to get the mail. Run up and down a flight of stairs just before hopping on an important Zoom call. (Maybe not that last one.) The point is, you don't have to actually be meeting up with an older version of your past self in order to look like you're experiencing paradox psychosis. That's a thing that people do now, right?
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more Umbrella Academy stories, but check out what creator Steve Blackman told us about the Mother and Pogo appearances, as well as what he had to say about that bonkers ending. Remember you can stream both seasons now on Netflix (opens in new tab). Head to our Netflix 2020 premiere schedule and our Fall 2020 TV rundown to see what else is heading to the small screen soon.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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