Jul 22, 2017
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The complete Legion panel has finally been posted to Youtube, thanks to moviemaniacsDE for sharing it! I’ve written a brief summary of what was said in the video, which contains about half of the panel, and you can read it below. I was as vague as I could be about the possible spoilers for those who have yet to finish Season 1, so let me know if I put my foot in it and I’ll write around whatever is too revealing.

The Legion panel started at 5pm ECT at Ballroom 20, and included Jeremie Harris (Ptonomy Wallace), Amber Midthunder (Kerry Loudermilk), Bill Irwin (Cary Loudermilk), Jean Smart (Melanie Bird), Aubrey Plaza (Lenny Busker / Shadow King), Rachel Keller (Sydney Barrett), Dan Stevens (Legion), producer John Cameron, exec. producer Jeph Loeb, exec. producer Lauren Shuler-Donner and producer and showrunner Noah Hawley.

The first question by the moderator was for Hawley, about the Bolero sequence on Episode 7 and the inspiration behind it. He explained the he chose Ravel because he had a degenerative brain disease that made him obsess over certain things, which is why the song is so repetitive and, he believed, well fitted for the scene and the characters involved. The following question was for Dan, about what it was like to accept a job in a series without really knowing if the story was going to pan out, to which he replied “We all put a lot of faith in Noah, and the way such a wild show comes together is a joy to watch – the music that gets put to it, not just the Bolero, but yeah, just seeing all the weird things that we did kind of put together, to all of us, it’s mind-blowing”. Hawley then added that the “silent movie cards” were added to the Bolero sequence in the editing room, and they were not really scripted.

Exec. producer Lauren Shuler-Donner, who’s been involved with the X-Men movie franchise from its very beginning, explained that she liked Hawley’s ideas for Legion during their first conversation, and that he aimed to take the illusionary aspect of the story higher up – she said she was pleased, as the series needed to exist on its own, without crossing paths with the movie universe of the X-Men.

When asked about his expectations for Season 2, Dan said he is wondering what’s gonna fill the void left by Shadow King, and that he has a lot of questions for Noah. He also said he is certain Aubrey [Plaza] had more information about what was actually going on than he did (which she continues to deny). He didn’t mind not knowing too much, though “Part of the identity is the confusion, enjoying the confusion, and I think that’s part of watching the show as well. You kind of enjoy not knowing what is happening and we’re really trying to communicate the experience David is having rather than saying ‘This man is ill!’, you know, actually trying to feel what that might be like. It’s a wonderful responsibility”.

After the first general questions were out of the way, each actor was asked about their character, the powers that they had and their take on the storylines. Rachel explained that much of Sydney’s arc was the empowerment that came from learning that the characteristics of her mental illness, which she had always assumed were bad and wrong, could be used to help people – specially David, whom she developed strong feelings for. Aubrey stated, once again, she didn’t have that much information about Lenny/Shadow King, all she knew was where she would end up and not how she would get there. When asked about Melanie’s ark, Jean said that in some ways it was frustrating because she didn’t get everything she wanted back, and getting only some of it was like a painful reminder. She doesn’t know if that will serve as a motivating factor in the upcoming season or not. Bill and Amber admitted they are still not sure how Cary and Kerry’s “joint tenancy” works, but that Hawley tried to explain it when they joined the project. Amber views their relationship as sibling-like, in a way, while Bill seems to believe it’s more of a professor-pupil dynamic. The last person to talk about his character on the panel was Jeremie, and he said that he was asked by Hawley to think of how much of a burden remembering everything could be, and that Ptonomy is definitely sitting on a lot of trauma.

Hawley obviously couldn’t say much about Season 2, but he did say it will introduce us to The Shadow King/Amahl Farouk, played by Saïd Taghmaoui. About the lovestory of the show, he said that the honeymoon phase of Season 1 is over, so David and Sydney will have to figure out how their relationship actually works. Jeph explained that one of the main reasons that Marvel is so successful is that their characters start out a regular people with not-so-great lives, and he recognized that in Legion when Hawley told him about the mental illness background of the story, and how David would never really know the full capability of his power because of it.

The food poisoning story was also brought up in the last 5 minutes of the panel, when Rachel and Dan were asked a fan question about filming the Bollywood dance sequence on the pilot. They said they enjoyed the rehearsals, but Dan had violent food poisoning on the day they were actually filming it, and he added “It’s not a great dance style to perform when you feel nauseous… there’s a lot of spinning”. When asked about the scenes that stood out for them, Aubrey replied the astral plane “Because I’d never been there before, it’s just green everywhere”, while Jean thought of the scene in which they couldn’t speak “That was difficult, but it was a really interesting scene to work on, because they didn’t just turn the sound off, we were actually acting that. You had to pretend you couldn’t hear the other people”. Bill said that watching Amber film her fight sequences was fun, and Amber said that catching Bill dancing by himself with a broom in the back corridors of the studio was a great moment. Jeremie says he enjoyed filming the action sequence from the last minutes of the pilot, even though they shot it about 20 times.

Dan and Rachel talked about filming the white bedroom/red bathroom sequence, and Dan said that walking in and out of the room “has a tripy effect on your eyes”, and that it was “really cool to watch it translated to screen”.

Hawley was also asked about whether we would get to see more of David’s youth in the upcoming season of Legion, to which he replied that we know his story pretty well now, and the same can’t be said for the other characters. And, when it comes to Sir Patrick Stewart making an appearance as Professor X, Dan remembered telling him about the show at The Late Late Show With James Corden while promoting Beauty and the Beast, and said that he seemed “very into the idea”.

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