“I am Polaris.” Words I never expected to hear my whole life. I didn’t even expect to hear it when I spoke with Emma Dumont who plays Polaris (aka Lorna Dane) on Fox’s THE GIFTED.

Polaris’s Journey

I picked up my first X-Men comic by the time I turned seven years old. Polaris (aka Lorna Dane) almost instantly earned a spot on my favorites list. She persevered through witnessing a genocide, her fiance abandoning her at the altar, being possessed by a psychic vampire, the list goes on and on. Despite her difficult journey, at the core of Lorna Dane’s personality lies the naked struggle for a human being to survive, to persevere and thrive.

Episode 96: Investigating X-Men’s Polaris in Comics and Fox’s THE GIFTED

Polaris’s story is universal. We have all experienced it one time or another. Unfortunately for some, they experience these downturns a lot more than most. For more than thirty years, I imagined what the experience of meeting Lorna Dane might feel like. This Emma Dumont interview granted me that wish, a wish I never fathomed would become reality.

Emma Dumont Researched the $%@& out of Lorna Dane!

Once, a friend described comic book fandom as similar to the NRA. I wish he was 100% wrong. We’re all too aware the national conversation has descended into the gutter. It somehow managed to seep its way into comic book culture, a medium sprung out of oppression. In the past, comic book fans criticized movie counterparts from their favorite comics harshly. On occasion, cause exists when an actor’s disdain for portraying a comic book character is obvious. In the case of Emma Dumont, nothing could be further from the truth.

Recently, ComicsVerse conducted a two-hour podcast all about Lorna Dane (aka Polaris). I, personally, re-read over 200 issues in the months preceding the podcast. Before our interview started, I meant to ask if Emma had read any comics with Polaris in them. I felt so nervous that I forgot to ask. Not too long into the conversation, I realized Emma was as versed, if not more, in all the comics featuring Polaris we read, every comic book reader’s dream when it comes to how they want actors to approach their favorite characters!

THE GIFTED: Emma Dumont in the "got your siX" episode of THE GIFTED airing Monday, Nov. 6 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2017 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Eliza Morse/FOX
THE GIFTED: Emma Dumont in the “got your siX” episode of THE GIFTED airing Monday, Nov. 6 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2017 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Eliza Morse/FOX

Emma Dumont, the Artist

I often caught myself talking too much during the interview. Please accept my apologies in advance. Talking with Emma felt so natural, like talking with any number of my good female friends. Just when I thought things couldn’t get more awesome, something profound happened. We gave it lip service several times in the interview.

However, experiencing this felt so different than simply knowing it. Emma Dumont committed herself so intensely to the role of Lorna Dane that differences between them ceased to exist. I’m not hyperbolizing. I bore witness to art in its purest form — an artist sitting in their truth with their need overlapping their character’s need. It wasn’t a scene. Emma certainly wasn’t acting, and that didn’t take anything away from the experience.

Emotional Truths

Hollywood too often stinks of bullshit and huge egos. Emma Dumont’s humility and sense of self appear to allow her to create art on network television. Emma doesn’t hold any punches when it comes to expressing her fear that THE GIFTED too closely resembles life under the Trump Administration for minorities. Referring to herself as a privileged white girl, she states her plight.

Emma Dumont’s goal is for people to understand how closely the discrimination and oppression her character experiences in THE GIFTED is real for too many people. Emma’s commitment to understanding something she says she hasn’t experienced makes her goal even nobler. However, after discussing her history in more detail, Emma felt like an outcast growing up too.

THE GIFTED After Show Episode 1: The Gift Gets Real

What we are privy to in Emma Dumont’s portrayal of Polaris is nothing short of lucky. As the audience, we get to experience Emma struggling in a world that discriminates and judges. Every week, we get to see her live in her pain. The world isn’t safe for everyone. Emma Dumont wants us to know that so fiercely she surrenders her comfort and emotional armor in order for us to see what its like for people who have it worse than we do. In sacrificing that, Lorna Dane becomes even more of a living breathing human being.

THE GIFTED: Emma Dumont and Sean Teale in the "boXed In" airing Monday, Oct. 30 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2017 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Guy D'Alema/FOX
THE GIFTED: Emma Dumont and Sean Teale in the “boXed In” airing Monday, Oct. 30 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2017 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Guy D’Alema/FOX

Emma Dumont: “I am Polaris”

I grew up with Polaris as part of my life, and I care deeply about her character’s portrayal in comics and on the screen. I feel connected with her journey, and I meant it in the interview when I said Emma Dumont is the Polaris X-Men fans have been waiting for. My only regret is not telling Emma she’s the artist Polaris has been waiting for.

Emma Dumont isn’t kidding when she says “I am Polaris.”

I went into the interview knowing Polaris is a superhero. By the time the interview finished, I left knowing Emma Dumont is a superhero too.

For your convenience, you can also find this podcast on iTunes!

Download The ComicsVerse Podcast on iTunes

Don’t forget to watch THE GIFTED Monday nights on Fox 9pm/8pm Central!

Transcription of the podcast can be found below:

Justin Gilbert Alba: Thank you for listening to episode 98 of the ComicsVerse podcast. I’m your host, ComicsVerse CEO and we are talking about THE GIFTED with GIFTED actor who plays Polaris (aka Lorna Dane) on the show, Miss Emma Dumont. Emma, thank you so much for being here.

Emma Dumont: Yeah, thanks for having me. I can’t wait. I love talking about Lorna. I’m obsessed with her.

JGA: You’re in the perfect place because we are so obsessed with Lorna.

Emma Dumont: Great. Fantastic.

JGA: Yeah. So for those people who aren’t listening- and most people listening are X-Men fans which- in case anyone needs a refresher, in case you don’t know, Polaris was like the sixth or seventh member of the X-Men going all the way back to the 1960s. She was later revealed to be the daughter of Magneto, which isn’t too big of a stretch considering they both have the same powers that control over metal. I think we did a two or three-hour podcast about Polaris, so if you want to hear that or want to hear more interviews like this, original articles, webcomics, videos, be sure to check out Comicsverse.com. If you aren’t watching THE GIFTED, Monday nights on Fox, I really can’t condone what you’re doing with your life, so you should definitely do it. Emma, if it’s cool with you, I just totally want to dive right in. I kind of want to bring up all the stuff that Lorna’s going through in the beginning of the season because it was so heart-wrenching to watch.

Emma Dumont: Yes, it was crazy. It was nuts. Because our thing is like, “We wanted to write about the original mythology,” but then I felt like they just threw her in everything at once. She’s mentally ill. She’s taken prisoner. This is not- she almost killed someone! It was a lot.

JGA: Yeah. How do you even prepare for those kinds of scenes? Because Lorna does get put through the wringer in the comics, but man, they did it in the first two episodes. You know, I can’t imagine those were easy mornings for you.

Emma Dumont: I know. It was crazy. I mean, it’s so interesting. I think it’s really smart that Matt Nix, our showrunner, did that actually. Because the reason Polaris, Lorna, is the way she is is because of everything she’s been through, so it was smart to get that out of the way early in the series because it changes who she is. If she was just like the happy-go-lucky sweet little girl that Bobby’s tripped on the ice in her first appearance, nobody wants to watch that. People want to watch the crazy Lorna. I hate using the word crazy because I think people get that confused with her actual mental illness, but I mean in a positive way like she’s awesome, she’s a badass. Yeah, it was like, how do I get prepared for those? Straight up, if I’m going to be honest, for some of the scenes I just have to think about my feelings on the current political climate and it makes me really angry, and that’s how I do the scenes. I did the scene with Reed Strucker where we’re sitting in parallel jail cells. Basically, I tell him- or Lorna tells him like, “Hey, dude. I’m sorry you suck and you just realized you’re a Nazi just now, but you don’t get a free pass because of that, like nobody’s going to forgive you.” So I think it’s pretty easy for me to get in that mindset considering, again, the current political climate in the US. So yeah. I mean, those jail scenes were insane. I mean, I would just go to work and scream my head off for 18 hours a day.

JGA: Right.

Emma Dumont: I go home, sleep for four hours, and get up, and do the same thing, but they were great. It was amazing. A lot of the stuff I got to do with myself which is very isolating and kind of was cool to play off as once I was reunited with the rest of the cast.

JGA: Are you one of those actors who can kind of walk away at the end of the day, or does all that stuff kind of stick with you? I mean, you’re obviously super passionate about what’s going on politically, which is of course super unfortunate. Thank God we’re doing this interview today so I don’t have to watch CNN and what’s going to happen in Alabama because I’m terrified.

Emma Dumont: Ugh. Right? Jeez. Yeah, I mean, it’s funny because normally I can walk away, but with this show, I feel myself not walking away at all. I just feel so… It’s funny like I’ll be on set and Sean Teale and I will be… I mean, political stuff and serious stuff aside, Sean and I will be… He’s Eclipse. We’ll be talking and discussing our characters and he’ll be like, “Blah, blah, blah, I think that Lorna would do this.” I’ll be like, “Lorna doesn’t give a F. Lorna doesn’t care.” I’ll just be like, “This is how Lorna feels.” Like I find myself just believing the same things that Lorna does which is so weird. Then our writers will be like… I remember one of writers, Mike, he says something to me and I was like, “Wait, are you talking about me or Polaris?” He was like, “I don’t know. Is there a difference?” It’s just like… Yeah, I’m very passionate about her and her beliefs and what she stands for. Yeah, it’s not easy to put it away at the end of the day. I mean, the last show I worked on was about Charles Manson.

JGA: Oh, God.

Emma Dumont: You know, that stuff was super tragic and very dark as well, but because my character was fictional and because it happened in the past, I sort of could put it away at the end of the day. But with this, it’s like it’s not in the past. This is now. This is exactly today, right this second is what we’re dealing with. You know, there’s a recent Sentinel Services. It’s called the SS. It’s crazy. I mean, yeah, you watch our show and you see a little kid get his parents taken away and sent off to a mutant facility center. Here, you see a child get his parents taken away and sent across the border. I mean, it’s just like, “Hello, people. What are we talking about?” So yes, it’s not super easy to let it go, but sometimes you have to.

JGA: I think it just makes shows like THE GIFTED even more important given how tumultuous the environment is. You know, with the rise of the alt-right, I hate to say it, but when I watch THE GIFTED, I’m like I don’t know how far off this is from reality and it terrifies me. I can only imagine what it’s like acting in it.

Emma Dumont: Yeah, no, it’s exactly what’s happening in reality. I remember there was a scene, it’s a flashback that’s coming up in the last three episodes. It’s with Clarice, Blink. She is at some place and there is a mob of anti-mutants like protesters. There was a point that in the script they were written to be holding tiki torches. We’re not hiding it. I don’t know if we ended up using them or not, but we’re not hiding the fact that this runs parallel to real life events. I mean, we’re like making it as clear as possible. So yeah, it is tragic. But also, on the other hand, it’s tragic that we’re in that current state. But also, if our show is playing in a house where bigotry is a thing, the kids can’t help that they’re raised in a family where they pre-judge and they’re bigots. They can’t help it. Kids that belong to neo-Nazis can’t help if they were raised in that. So if a little kid sees this in their living room one Monday night and is like, “Wait, maybe that’s not a good thing, to be mean to these people.” I mean, that would be worth it alone. If one kid who was raised in that environment, a horrible, hateful environment, sees our show and is like, “Hey, maybe I don’t believe what my parents believe in,” that is worth all of it. That’s worth everything.

JGA: Oh, man. That is so beautifully said. What I love about that is it really captures the spirit of the X-MEN comics. I think if you spoke to Chris Claremont who wrote X-MEN from 1975 to well into the ’90s, he would say that that was kind of what he was trying to accomplish too. I think the show just takes that further. It’s really so awesome when it’s trying to do that. I think it’s what draws people to it.

Emma Dumont: Yeah, I would agree. I mean, yeah, the whole thing with the X-Men is what it’s like being an outcast, being the other. In the adult world, that’s about being a minority and experience hate crimes. But in the kid world, that’s just about loving each other and accepting and standing up to bullies. Even if you’re different, even if you have something different about you, maybe you have a learning disability or maybe you wear glasses or maybe you have bright red hair and nobody else in your school does, whatever that is, that makes you special and unique. Whatever your gift or mutant ability is, that’s something to be celebrated and not to be ashamed of. So I think what I have always loved about Marvel and the X-Men universe is it’s generational. It means something totally different to a five-year-old, or a ten-year-old, or a fifteen-year-old than it does to a thirty-five-year-old, or a forty-year-old, and then fifty-year-old see something different. That’s what I love about our show, it’s something that everyone… I mean, Stephen Moyer who plays Reed Strucker, he always says like, “This is the only show I’ve worked on that my entire family can watch.” He has four-year-olds, teenagers, and then him and his wife.

JGA: Wow.

Emma Dumont: So that’s really cool. I think the X-Men world, it’s more than just fun fiction, it means something.

JGA: Absolutely. Speaking about bullying which is kind of in everyone’s mind given that video about that boy in Tennessee which came out yesterday which is super powerful. I don’t know if you saw, and extremely sad. Especially sad that that kind of stuff is still going on now after Columbine, it just… I don’t understand it at all. But Polaris, she takes that, there’s that scene in the shower. She deals with so much bullying from the other prisoners even. It really shows the hierarchy in the prison. But there’s that scene where she takes a shower and her hair kind of is revealed to be green. I thought it was just a profound moment because not only did Lorna seem so or you seem so vulnerable there, but it was like it was revealing her soul kind of and then everyone’s staring at her after. I just kind of wanted to ask what that moment was like both for you as an actor and for Lorna which I think we’re learning now is kind of the same thing.

Emma Dumont: Yeah, sorry, I’m crying right now.

JGA: Oh, no!

Emma Dumont: I’m getting emotional as you’re describing it.

JGA: Oh, I’m so sorry!

Emma Dumont: Oh my gosh. I am such a dork.

JGA: No, you’re not because you know what? You gave that to us. You gave that to all of us. We’re so thankful for that because I was that fat gay kid in school, got bullied. You know, when you see a scene like that and I remember being in the shower in my fat self, everyone was making fun of me, you know, what you’re going through right now, you gave that to us. That’s the most beautiful selfless thing an artist can do, so thank you.

Emma Dumont: Oh my gosh. That’s amazing. I mean, yeah, that scene is maybe my favorite Polaris scene of the whole season. It’s a direct homage to, you know, paying homage to the original scene where Polaris gets out of the shower. I forget what issue it is, but she gets out of the shower and her hair is green. Bobby is like, “Why is your hair green?” She’s like, “Well, I covered it up because- I’m not ashamed of who I am, but I have to protect myself and I don’t want people to know I’m a mutant.” So being in a place where somebody literally basically tried to kill her and her unborn child, I mean, let’s admit it, it wasn’t like… those weren’t soft blows that they were giving her. I think it was really… I think it took a lot of guts. I think it took a lot of just everything she has in her. I mean, in that moment. You can only imagine everything that’s running through her head. I personally don’t know how her powers manifested, but in the comics, her powers manifested and she killed both her parents.

JGA: Yes.

Emma Dumont: You know, our Lorna has gone through so much with her mental illness, with being different, with being ashamed for who she is, and so all of those things I think were running through her head in that moment, in that shower, because she could have made a choice then and there. I mean, either way, she’s going to shower, something’s going to come out, but the choice was to shampoo her hair and actually get that stuff out of there. I mean, knowing that all these girls … Some of them, the girls who already tried to beat her up, would see that. You know, it’s kind of like it was the moment where Lorna really became Polaris. I see it. Where she sort of just said “F it,” I mean, “What do believe in? What am I going to do? What? Hide for the rest of my life?” I mean, that’s when she knows she’s pregnant. “What? I’m going to raise a kid in secrecy and just hope that he never gets hunted or she. What’s that? What kind of life is that?” I mean, it’s interesting for me because I’m a silly little white girl in a world full of white privilege, and so I don’t have any idea what it’s like to be a minority, but I try everyday to understand it as deep and as well as I can and how it affects everything, anyone does. I mean, something as simple as your hair color, it can mean so much in a world where bigotry is so alive and well. I think it’s like a similar thing for a young girl- like a young black girl who wants to wear her natural curly hair to school and then she’s told that she can’t wear that because it’s distracting which has happened a lot. We see that all the time. I think that’s very similar to Polaris, very specific too, like a girl’s hair. It seems silly in the grand scheme of people dying and bad things happening, but that’s important to that little girl. So Polaris could never wear her natural hair when she was young, so this is something really empowering and amazing as a young woman to have this moment. Again, as trivial as hair may seem, it represents something bigger. So yeah, I mean, there’s so much that goes into that moment. It definitely is my favorite Polaris scene for sure. I mean, just filming the scene was insane. We were on such a time crunch. We were filming in a real prison.

JGA: Oh, God.

Emma Dumont: It took like seven wigs to make that scene because we had three color changing wigs and hairpieces and everything. It was so intense that it’s just all added to it. The girls were so sweet. All the girls that were with me. We were all just like pretty much naked in the shower, in the freezing cold, in the middle of the night. But you know, it was great. I’m just blabbering on now so…

JGA: No, no, no, that’s great. Was that the most challenging scene for you in terms of going there emotionally or was there another one that you felt it was even more challenging?

Emma Dumont: I don’t know if that was the most challenging scene. I think the scenes that seem the hardest are actually the easiest. The scenes that are hardest for me are the scenes where Polaris sits in silence.

JGA: Gotcha.

Emma Dumont: Anything where someone says something like, “Oh, things …” Every time Marcos says, “Things are changing, Lorna. They’re just happening slower than you want,” or something along those lines. “Things are better than they used to be.” That makes me personally, Emma, my blood boils, so it makes Lorna’s blood boil as well. That’s hard. That’s really hard. For someone to be like, “Oh, hate crimes are fine. They’re better than slavery.” Like, “What? Excuse me?” That makes me so pissed off. But of course, I’m not a writer and I don’t write these scenes, so I don’t get to just say whatever I want and like stand up and cause a scene and flip a table over, even though that’s what I want to do. I think those are for sure the most challenging scenes. Also, on certain scenes with Caitlin, there’s scenes where Caitlin Strucker is like, “My kids don’t need to learn how to stand up for themselves.” Well, yeah. They do. I mean, there’s lots of things out there that’s like- if a man touches you, there’s a violence issue. Should you protect yourself physically? You know, does that equal a physical strike or outburst? But it’s like the same thing, like I would… even though it’s never a victim’s fault, abuse is never a victim’s fault ever, it’s still like I’m going to teach my little girl that if somebody hurts her, she’s going to stand up for herself. So yeah, I think that’s why she doesn’t understand why Caitlin doesn’t want her kids to be prepared. She doesn’t understand why this woman wants her kids to be weak and helpless. I mean, to her it’s just so much more, especially now that she’s a mother. She’s like, “You don’t understand. My kid’s going to be born into this world and be literally hunted down from the day it is born.” That’s awful and terrifying, so Lorna’s just like, “What’s wrong with this woman?” She respects her because they both are very similar-minded. They both save people basically for a living. I mean, Caitlin was an ER nurse who saves people everyday. Lorna saves people in the Underground, but she just doesn’t understand also why she won’t let her kids develop their powers to save other mutants. Literally, they’re the most powerful mutants they have ever seen. Lorna’s never seen a mutant this powerful before until these two, the Fenris Twins or just siblings. So she doesn’t understand why Caitlin’s being so selfish. It’s like if your kid has a natural ability to like- if she was like really like a great firefighter, but you were like, “I don’t want my kids being firefighters because I don’t want them risking their lives,” but this is actually the most selfish thing. Or people who want organ donors, like I don’t understand that mentality. Literally, you check a box giving your license and you could save people’s lives. Come on, be an organ donor. You have them. You won’t be using them once you’re dead so…

JGA: Yeah. How hard is that? Come on. Yeah, I’m with you on the organ donor thing. I definitely don’t understand that at all.

Emma Dumont: Thank you.

JGA: How does she feel about the baby that she’s carrying? No, you’re in a very .. I think you’re among people who think exactly the same way you do, like ComicsVerse, so we’re in good territory.

Emma Dumont: How does she feel that her baby?

JGA: Yeah.

Emma Dumont: I mean, she’s freaked out. I mean, any normal young woman would be freaked out about an unplanned pregnancy, but she has an unplanned pregnancy in the middle of a war that’s literally against her, like literally. It’s not like a war that’s out there in the world. It’s a everyday war out on the streets against her and now her new child. Also, I mean, it’s the thought of like, “Am I selfish to birth this child into a world where it’s going to be miserable it’s whole life? Is that wrong of me?” So I think to circumnavigate those thoughts, Lorna’s like, “F it. I’m just going to make the world better. I’m just going to make the world better. I have nine months to make this world a better place for my kid to live in.” You know, she’s literally timing herself. I mean, every day, every time she lays in bed next to Marcos, she’s like, “That’s one more day. That’s one more day I have not changed the world,” so she’s like freaking out. I mean, she is just on a streak of like, “I have to do this. I have to do this now.”

JGA: Yeah, she’s on a mission. So I wanted to ask about, you know, Lorna seems rightfully angry. I kind of wanted to ask, does that come from her relationship with her father? Does it also come from her relationship with the world, being a mutant, being a minority? How does that kind of operate within you as the actor as well?

Emma Dumont: Yeah, I mean, she obviously has a really difficult and complex relationship with her father. I mean, being a minority in a world where minorities are hated and tortured and abused and sometimes killed and hunted, it’s not a good time. It’s pretty tragic. So she obviously has some inner anger in her already from all of that. I mean, she just gets messed- and it’s not even about herself because Lorna’s the kind of person that would go out in flames, like would die if she was saving people’s lives. She doesn’t even care. She puts herself and her unborn child in danger everyday risking both their lives to save people, so it’s not even about herself. It’s just about the wrong thing just makes her so angry. When it’s so clearly the wrong thing, it infuriates her and she gets so livid, she can’t even control her powers. Having that underlying thing where everything she does she knows is compared to her father, everything she does. Even though no one would say it to her face, every single thing she does is compared to her father and how her father was, and what he did, and if he was a bad guy, and how he was a villain, and how he hurt humans, and how he was stubborn and thought he was right about everything. He turned on the mutant race and decided to do his own thing, but was he wrong? It’s difficult when… it’s like Marcos’ questions sometimes. If Lorna’s too happy, he’ll be like, “Are you having a manic episode?” which is super offensive. It’s like the same thing for when she’s making decisions for the Mutant Underground. She’s like, “We have to fight for ourselves.” She knows people are thinking, “Oh, she’s just saying that because she’s Magneto’s daughter or she’s saying that because she actually believes it.” I mean, it’s a catch-22 because if she does it because she believes in it, they’re going to say it’s because of her father. If she doesn’t do it, they’re going to be like, “Oh, you don’t want to do it because of your father.” I mean, she can never win. So she kind of is at the point where she has to be like, “Forget everything. I’m going to do what I believe in no matter what people say,” because who cares what people say if you’re helping people, if you’re saving people’s lives?

JGA: The thing is with Magneto, the most compelling thing about his argument is that, “Hey, I lived through the Holocaust. This happened. People are still evil. This is going to happen again.”

Emma Dumont: Exactly. No, totally. It’s going to happen and it’s happening now. I mean, that’s why people think it’s so weird. I use the word Nazi so much in my interviews, but I only want people to really understand what the show’s about. It’s not about bigots or people who are prejudiced. I’m not going to sugarcoat it. I want to use really harsh, really scary words so people… I’m not even going to say neo-Nazi. A Nazi’s a Nazi. I just want to say what I mean and not sugarcoat it. That’s literally what Magneto… Magneto was literally a Nazi hunter, so I think it totally is connected. Yeah, Magneto was right, you know, straight up.

JGA: So does she feel that way, or is she torn between kind of the Xavier ideology of let’s kind of cohabitate versus the Magneto ideology of we need to protect ourselves, you’re the enemy. Where does she fall in that kind of spectrum?

Emma Dumont: I mean, it’s hard. It’s hard when every human you get put in contact to wants to hurt mutants. Lorna’s never met a human that empathizes with mutants ever. She’s never met one before. So for her, it’s kind of like, “Are all humans bad or is it just the bad ones that are bad?” I think she obviously lies towards the Magneto, you know, theory on the spectrum of Xavier to Magneto. But I don’t know if she’s really lost in between, I’m going to admit it. I think I’m supposed to be like, “Oh, she’s confused,” and, “Maybe she thinks that they can live peacefully together,” but I honestly don’t think she does think that. I think that’s very much Marcos’ thinking, and Lorna’s just kind of sick of it all. If she sees any more of her friends die, it’s the end. It’s the end for her. She can’t live in a world anymore where this is happening and she’s helpless to do anything about it. That drives her crazy. That’s going to actually make her totally explode and have a mental breakdown.

JGA: What’s so awesome is that there’s that sort of reckoning inside Lorna and then there’s the reckoning in real life that’s happening with the Harvey Weinsteins and now with Trump and stuff like that. It really is super powerful to have that onscreen, you know, that’s kind of a mirror for what’s going on here. I’m sure that, like you said, that’s something that you’re super passionate about too.

Emma Dumont: Yeah, I mean, you know, yeah. It’s just there’s no time… I know people say a lot of stuff about if you have a voice, use it. But seriously, if you have a voice, if you’re blessed with a voice, whatever that may be. From white privilege, from using like an old man for money, whatever your platform is, use it, because these people get away with everything and anything under the sun. To people like me, that seems ridiculous and shocking and deplorable and like, “How does this…” It just seems unrealistic. I can’t even fathom these things. They do happen all the time in real life right now, not on the show, not in the comics, in real life. So I totally agree with Lorna where she’s like, “Let’s pull up the carpets. Let’s air out everyone’s laundry. Let’s open up the closets and find those skeletons in them.” This is like- there’s no… Like good people will rise from the top. If you’re truly good, you’ll be fine. But if you’re not good, I’m going to go after you. So she’s just sort of like “that’s where we are right now in the world. The world is in such a terrible low place where awful, horrible evil, evil, evil people are ruling the world.” It’s sort of similar to what’s happening in real life. By sort of similar, I mean exactly what’s happening.

JGA: Yeah, I actually got confused between the two. I actually thought we were talking about real life and we were talking about the show.

Emma Dumont: Oh, yes. We’re also talking about real life. No, isn’t that horrible though? Isn’t that so sad that there’s a moment we’re like, “Oh, wait. Superheroes, wait, no, what? Oh, we weren’t talking about real life?” I mean, yeah, that’s literally what’s happening and it’s just like… but when I say what’s happening, when I say it’s what’s happening, I mean, it’s been happening for forever, since the beginning of man. Since the beginning of time, people have abused power. People will claim that they want greatness for the greater populous, but that’s not what they want. They just want to abuse power and it’s horrible. No one person, especially in this country, where it’s in our literature and it’s right, nobody gets to decide what freedoms and what rights belong to which people. I mean, that’s totally against what we are. We’re a beautiful… right now, I shouldn’t be super proud to be an American, but at the end of the day, our country, what it’s supposed to be, is a beautiful melting pot of amazing different people and different cultures and like we’re just going to love and cherish every life because- how the heck are we even here? If you think about the world, humans are amazing. The amount of intelligence and empathy we have. The fact that humans can create other humans and push them out of their bodies. I mean, it’s insane. So all of this nonsense about like they’re different than me and I don’t understand them and that scares me so I’m going to bully them or hate them or make them miserable, that is such nonsense. Our intelligence is elevated above that, so the only reason that there’s still hatred and bigotry and awful, awful, awful evil in the world is just because could we choose to be that way. I mean, we’re smarter than that, I think, but it’s awful. Anyway, sorry.

JGA: No. No, no. I mean, we allow it to happen. We allow the world to be like this. I always feel when people get angry at the media, I do see… of course, I mean, Fox News is an abomination, but the media is just a reflection of who we are as a society I feel like so much. You know, I think we need to start taking responsibility for ourselves. I could turn into this whole thing that Jimmy Carter tried and then we all hate him and blah, blah, blah, but you know, but that’s for another conversation, I think.

Emma Dumont: Absolutely, that’s its own thing.

JGA: So when did you feel like you got a full grasp of the character? I mean, you talked about… I forget if it was the director or another actor saying that you and Lorna had kind of fused. I wanted to ask when that happened for you. Was it during your preparation? Was it during the script? Was while you were in a scene on set?

Emma Dumont: I honestly… this is going to sound so… this is the weirdest thing I’ve ever said in my life because as much as I love THE GIFTED and I believe that it has a greater message for everyone, at the end of the day, television is, besides being entertainment and if it has a meaning, I believe our show does have a meaning, but some television is just like entertainment and it just sells commercial advertising space. I love our show and I think it’s amazing, but so this seems really a weird thing to say because I’m not a doctor and I’m not saving lives, but from day one, before I even filmed a single scene, everyone was telling me like, “You are Lorna.” I remember Derek Hoffman, one of our Marvel producers, just saying like, “Look, dude, you’re Polaris. You are Polaris.” I never fully understood that, but I think it was a thing that other people saw. I mean, I don’t even know if I still really fully… I understand it like I can process that. I can unbiasedly view what that means. Polaris, we’re very similar. We hold the same things close to our hearts. We hold people to certain standards, and we believe in the same things. I think it’s just like a thing that’s been apparent to people from the beginning that I never really fully knew myself until I really got to know Lorna. I don’t know when it kicked in. I think I’ve always… it’s like sort of what you always- things you always know about yourself. I feel like I always sort of knew that I really, really liked her, but I didn’t really figure out that it was because we’re the same person until recently. Except where she has cool powers, whatever.

JGA: Oh, she has awesome powers… you know, I was going to ask too. Do you ever… because I do this and I’m not even playing the role, but do you ever run around and pretend like you have magnet powers? Because sometimes I’m like—

Emma Dumont: Are you kidding me?

JGA: All the time?

Emma Dumont: Wait, what do you do? No, tell me. Yeah, all the time. But you tell me what you do first.

JGA: Oh, what do I do? Oh, I’m like the remote is just out of reach, I’m like, “I just need that power.” Or I’m like my coffee is in the other room, if I could just teleport it right here.

Emma Dumont: Oh my gosh. I love that. No, I do that all the time. Actually, it’s so funny because I was talking to Sean the other day—not the other day, a few weeks ago. I was like, “I keep dreaming like I’m still me, but I have Polaris’ powers. I keep having dreams as her.”

JGA: Oh, that’s so cool!

Emma Dumont: He’s like, “That’s crazy. You’re dreaming in character. That’s nuts. That’s so weird.” And then- no, it gets worse. Then I remember one day we were driving. I think we were in a transpo van going to set and there were… who was I with? I forget who was with, but I was with somebody. There was two cars that were getting too close to each other. I remember super vividly they were to my right and a little bit far away. I literally just was like… in my head it was like, “That’s an accident waiting to happen.” Then I literally threw my hands up as if I was saving those cars. It was so weird. I literally just did it. It wasn’t even like a bit or a gag. I just did it without thinking, and it was so weird. I literally was like, “I’m a crazy person.” It was like the one moment where I was like, “Ooh, this isn’t good. This is really scary. This is weird.”

JGA: You’re having like a BLACK SWAN moment.

Emma Dumont: No, totally! I always make jokes when I drive. I try to move traffic with my hands which is just goofy and I know it’s silly, but I actually have a legit moment where I, for a second, thought I had Polaris’ powers which is probably not healthy. But legit I thought I was going to save those people. Anyway, they did not get into an accident so it all worked out.

JGA: Awesome.

Emma Dumont: But I just remember that moment and I was like, “What did I just do? What did I actually just do?” Anyway, crazy. I’m crazy.

JGA: No, I think that’s awesome… Well, it goes to show what a good person you are because I’m just trying to get the remote and you’re saving lives with your fake powers, you know?

Emma Dumont: Like, “Bring me that java.”

JGA: Yeah, I know.

Emma Dumont: Well, I don’t know. I feel like if you would have that… I don’t know. It’s so funny. People are always like, “What would you do if you had Polaris’ powers for a day?” Everyone expects me to be like, “I would rob a laundry mat. I’d take all the quarters,” or I don’t know. But straight up what would I do if I was a metal bender? I would go over to the police or the firefighters. You know what I mean?

JGA: Yeah!

Emma Dumont: Really, what would I do is save people. Like, come on.

JGA: Right?

Emma Dumont: Then I’d probably steal some quarters out of some parking meters too but…

JGA: And you can make some really badass sculptures.

Emma Dumont: Yeah, right? Make art. I mean, I’m by no means a visual artist in real life. I have skill for drawing or anything. I couldn’t do pottery, could not do a single thing. Can’t paint, but maybe with my powers, I could.

JGA: Wait, so are you still a student? Because I read that you have a degree in mechanical engineering, is that right?

Emma Dumont: No, I don’t have a degree. I’m working towards a degree on mechanical engineering. It’s so weird. I do so many things. I have a lot of interests. But when I was in high school and middle school-ish age, like when I was in school, I did this robotics program that’s called FIRST Robotics.

JGA: I read about that, yeah.

Emma Dumont: Yeah, it’s so cool because it’s basically for free and these big, huge companies donate thousands and thousands and tens of thousands of dollars to do teams, these robotics teams, for kids to learn engineering skills like controls engineering, even just business skills, mechanical engineering, fabrications, design, programming, all these things. It’s great because kids don’t have access to that. That’s really hard. If you do have access to that, that’s really expensive, you know. So I just think it’s a really great opportunity for kids to be hands-on, sort of, like life and business and work experience. So it’s a great program, and then after I graduated from the program, even though I wasn’t in school yet, I started teaching for the program…

JGA: Oh, so cool.

Emma Dumont: …because I had already gone through it. Yeah, so I’m a little old to not have a degree, but you sign- you stick to your contracts to shows, and you sell your life away to Fox or NBC or whoever, but I just really enjoy young, especially young women just getting… by young women, I mean girls, like children. I mean, tests say that girls start showing disinterest in math and science in third grade, but they have more interest in it than their male counterparts before that. So I just think there’s some weird societal nonsense where girls think that they shouldn’t do math or science. As much as I wish that was a wives tale, no, it’s the truth. So I’m really invested in just young people getting, you know, just getting… I mean, growing up, my mom did something we called after schooling. So I would do my normal school and then I’d come home and I was always really interested in math and science, and so we would do special labs and math lessons just because that’s where my interest fell but like… I think there’s so many great opportunities for kids who are interested in the arts. There are a lot of amazing arts programs like theater and dance and all these great things, in music. But there’s nothing really for students who sort of are left-brained and really want to use their math skills. As dorky as that sounds, it’s just something I’ve always I’ve loved. I don’t know. I mean, in general just more youth programs for every interest.

JGA: Totally. I also went to school pretty late. I think in my mid-30s I went to Columbia and I took one computer science class that I dropped when he said, “If you don’t know what log to the N is, I don’t know how you got into this school and you shouldn’t be in this class.” So I was like, “I need to get out of this class.” I was like, “Is that math?” I had no idea. I was like, “I don’t even know.”

Emma Dumont: You were like, “Bye.”

JGA: I was like, “Shit. I’ve been coding for 10 years. I never came across log to N before.” Eventually, someone told me it was a logarithm. But you know, sitting in that class, there was one woman in a class of 150 people, in a computer science class. I was like, “What is this?”

Emma Dumont: Whoa.

JGA: Yeah.

Emma Dumont: That’s crazy. Yeah, that’s nuts. I mean, yeah, that’s crazy. But it’s just how things are.

JGA: Hopefully, not for much longer because it’s really good that you’re doing programs like this and hopefully a lot more will pop up all across the country.

Emma Dumont: Totally. Yeah, I mean, I know that the program FIRST is international and they just… it’s important just because how many more doctors could we have, like women doctors. You know what I mean? Like how many more engineers could we potentially have saving lives, you know, making robotic prosthesis for amputee victims? You know, it’s just like there could be so many more people doing amazing things. Not that things in the art aren’t super valuable and obviously are super important and there is a total lack in arts education if we’re going to be honest which is very sad. I’d say the only section not lacking is athletics. It seems to say that…

JGA: Yeah, it was definitely that way in my high school.

Emma Dumont: …as an American statement, which honestly it seems… well, I’m not going to say anything negative about athletics. You know, kids get a lot of discipline and a lot of… I mean, with the obesity rates in childhood right now, those are also important too. I really can’t say anything negative about any programs for kids, but I just think… you know, things that I value are arts and sciences so, you know.

JGA: Yeah, I’m with you.

Emma Dumont: To each their own.

JGA: Well, my only caution would be about athletics is although we’re learning about playing football and the damage it does to the brain which is terrifying—

Emma Dumont: Oh, gosh. It’s horrible. It’s just… oh, gosh. It’s so tragic what it can do. It’s really bad. I mean, I don’t know. All I’m going to say is my kids won’t be playing football. Sorry.

JGA: No, same here. I might just—

Emma Dumont: Sorry.

JGA: No, I don’t get why we can’t as a society be like, “Hey, this is killing people, and they’re killing other people. Can we just figure something out and maybe stop this?”

Emma Dumont: Well, it’s crazy. It’s so funny because that seems so simple but it’s like we get to the same thing about hate crimes like, “Hey, these people are hurting people that are innocent. Can’t we just do something about…” You know what I mean?

JGA: Right.

Emma Dumont: It’s just these things that seem so simple because they’re so ingrained into our culture over decades and centuries. It’s such a culture thing, sports and specifically American football is such a cultural thing. Now that people are sort of starting to question it, nothing is being done about it though. It seems crazy to me, like, come on, we see there’s an issue, let’s solve it. Ugh, jeez.

JGA: Yeah, I know. It is sad. I think that the overcast of the… oh man, now I’m going to get super political. With the overcast of the Trump administration, even makes things seem a little bit less hopeful sometimes, you know. But certain things are looking up, like I love what Kirsten Gillibrand been doing, and I love this whole #MeToo movement. I hope that stuff just gets even more and more momentum in the next four years. Three years, thank God.

Emma Dumont: Oh, for sure. Yeah, three years, right? Ugh. I mean, it’s funny. Do you watch AMERICAN HORROR STORY? I know it’s silly to reference a TV show when talking about very serious stuff.

JGA: Oh, no, no. I’m obsessed with AMERICAN HORROR STORY.

Emma Dumont: Have you seen the new season?

JGA: Yes.

Emma Dumont: Okay, so the new season is very political and it’s basically like the whole series, they were going to make women so angry, or not just women, any minority group, we’re going to make them so angry. We’re going to do the worst thing possible for them so that there’s female rage that it’s going to come out of them. I honestly feel like, “Gosh, I hope that’s where we are. I hope some minority rage comes out. I hope we can bind together and pick up the rubble and pieces of this country.” I mean, come on, people.

JGA: That was such a powerful moment in that show when she was like, “I’ve been a feminist all my life and my favorite politician is Donald J. Trump.”

Emma Dumont: I know. Crazy, right?

JGA: So crazy, yeah. So crazy.

Emma Dumont: Gosh, I mean, so nuts. That season, I know some people are not sure about the new season, but I thought it was very contemporary and timely and very interesting to me. It was just outrageous. Everything, I was like, “Oh my gosh. What? Now this?” Anyway, it’s a great show.

JGA: Yeah, a great show. No, I totally worship at the altar Sarah Paulson, so I’m going to say I watch pretty much anything she’s in.

Emma Dumont: Oh my gosh. I love her. Also, the new season, the actual… I mean, we need to address people that didn’t vote for Hillary.

JGA: Yeah.

Emma Dumont: I mean, come on. That’s a serious issue. How did this happen to this country? Like, come on. It’s something that we need to address and nobody has addressed it. No one even dares to talk about it, but finally, AMERICAN HORROR STORY of all things is like, “Hey, let’s deal with it.” This is something to, I guess, to kill your wife over. Like, yeah. It’s like it’s an issue, like if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.

JGA: No, totally. You know, I think that people forget and what we don’t take responsibility for as a society is that we made Hillary be inauthentic. I remember being a kid in 1992. No one brings up that John McCain said, “Chelsea Clinton was the daughter of Janet Reno and Hillary Clinton.” They practically laughed her and booed her off the floor of Congress when she was trying to pitch the Health Care Bill. It’s like, you know, we’ve done this to her. We don’t want to take responsibility for the fact that, like, she has no room for error. I mean, everything she says is completely dissected in a way that—

Emma Dumont: It was nice.

JGA: Yeah, in a way that no other politician has been before. I think that, you know, us, we just totally ignored that.

Emma Dumont: Oh, absolutely, ever before. We let old white men get away with anything under the sun. But this woman, we actually, like every single minute detail about every word, every syllable, every mannerism she has is harshly judged beyond anything we’ve ever seen before. But why? We did that. It’s ridiculous.

JGA: We did. Her book is really good. I highly recommend it to everybody, about the 2016 election.

Emma Dumont: Oh, yeah. I thought it was good.

JGA: Oh my god, yeah. No, totally.

Emma Dumont: Oh, jeez.

JGA: We’ll talk. I’ll send you the audio.

Emma Dumont: Oh, it’s nothing.

JGA: But anyway, I digress.

Emma Dumont: Oh, perfect.

JGA: It’s good to listen to when you’re driving. So, you know, once the season is over, what kind of understanding of Lorna do you hope that the audience walks away with after your performance?

Emma Dumont: I seriously hope people just see the layers and the depth of her thinking and her logic because I think after the season finale, I think it’s going to be easy for people to be like, “She’s evil. She’s a bad guy.” I mean, not to give too much away, but I just feel like I want people to really understand where she’s coming from. I need people to imagine the stakes that she’s facing. I think a lot of mothers can understand or just anyone with family can understand our show. If you have a family member that you love more than anything that you would die for, you will be able to understand the base for what Lorna’s feeling. I also just hope people have a better understanding. This is sort of broad but I just hope people have a better understanding of mental illness and the stigma that comes with it, especially young people, because it’s just- no one should ever feel alone and no one should be shamed for something that they were born with. That goes for everything. Sexual orientation, gender, mental illness, race- whatever race is. I mean, what? Your ancestors happen to live closer to the equator than mine? As if that’s even a thing. I just think that people should have a general understanding of you are never alone and anything you’re experiencing, especially when kids are young and growing up, it seems so hard, there is someone, if not, millions of people who understand what you’re going through and have felt this exact same way. I hope somebody, anybody, even if it’s one kid is like, “Wait, Lorna’s different and I’m different too, so maybe that’s okay.” So just as a more broad thing about Lorna, I just hope people, especially young people, understand no matter what, even if you’re a minority, even if you’re the only black kid at your school, or you’re the only kid that’s out at your school or whatever it is, just don’t… if you’re in special education classes because you have a learning disability, whatever it is, don’t feel like you’re the only one and definitely don’t feel that that’s a negative thing. Because, if anything, what makes humans great and special is that we’re all different and we all have different experiences. It makes us believe in different things and think different things. Even if our opinions are different, I think most of us have a good- well, I hope most of us have a good understanding of right and wrong. Off that comes more in-depth conversations about why we believe in those things and that’s sort of where Marcos and Lorna are right now. They both believe in the same right and wrong, but they also have different experiences which make them special and makes their point of view just more personal to them. It’s like they can have a conversation about what’s happening, about politics, about the way minorities are treated because they’ve seen it in different ways. That goes for everyone in the world.

JGA: Absolutely, yeah. No, I think it’s a great show. I always say X-Men is for anyone that’s ever felt like the outcast, ever felt othered, ever been talked down to for who they are. I love that the show extends that metaphor and it does so beautifully. Oh my god. I have to ask what did you think of Alex, like her relationship with Alex in the comics, Alex Summers?

Emma Dumont: Oh my gosh. Everyone asks me this. Everyone wants to know. Everyone’s like, “Lorna and Alex.” I, okay- Straight up, if I’m going to be honest, I’m going to get…

JGA: Were you like, “He’s a douche”?

Emma Dumont: Yes!

JGA: He is a douche. He is a douche.

Emma Dumont: I’m going to get so much hate for this but Lorna and Alex, as cute as they are, they’re not meant to be. They’re not each other’s best teammate. They don’t work together well.

JGA: They do not.

Emma Dumont: Their relationship was always so dramatic. It’s like if you actually were the best teammate for each other, this would not be happening. Honestly, straight up, I feel like they’ve created, even though Eclipse is fictional- or it’s all fiction. It’s more fictional than the other fiction. He’s not from the original lore and mythology. I feel like they’ve created the person that is her best match. I mean, they’re exact opposites, and they both struggled so much, and they support each other. Yeah, no, I’m not a Alex and Lorna fan. I’m so sorry to anyone who hates me.

JGA: It’s okay. You know, I think when we did the Polaris podcast, we were all on her side when he left her at the altar. I know that we weren’t supposed to be, but we were all…

Emma Dumont: Oh, I feel like obviously, he’s the worst. No, Alex is the worst and I also feel… This is going to sound so stupid and it’s something I talk about her being like the crazy girlfriend. I love that show CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND and how Rachel Bloom is always like, “It’s not my crazy ex-girlfriend. It’s just I’m a crazy ex-girlfriend.” Like it’s never ownership over… It’s not like a cliché. I’m not trying to- I kind of love that about Lorna. Lorna’s not Alex’s crazy girlfriend. She’s just a crazy girl. You know what I mean?

JGA: Yeah.

Emma Dumont: I just feel like I’d hate how she was always put in a… again, the show… the show, I’m sorry, the comics, she was originated in the ’60s. It was a different time. People wrote it differently. It was not as diverse of people who created these things, so I get it, I understand, but I just feel like now we’re kind of taking ownership over Lorna as a person, as Lorna, not as this thing that was sort of, “Ooh, she was saved by Bobby and now she’s part of our group. There are only two women here. But she’s my girl.” Like it’s just I feel like she’s always like… This is actually something I talked to one of our writers the other day. It just affected me in a weird way. I just was like, “Why are we creating a character that just does rash things based on what the men in her life do?” She’s always like… I don’t know. There was just a moment where I was like, “Oh, she’s always doing something because of her father, doing something because of Marcos.” I just had a day where I was like, I don’t know, just kind of upset because I just felt for one episode, things were like really… but also it was like you’re shooting out of order, so I was kind of just like being a grumpy pants. But then what I actually thought about, I was like, “Actually, compared to original mythology, we’re doing a great job and she’s totally her own person and represents a human.” I just feel like sometimes women on TV aren’t their own people. They’re just accessories to other people and so I really appreciate that we give her her own… she’s just her own person which is cool.

JGA: No, it’s so true. You know, we talked about Lorna always being that kind of crazy ex-girlfriend trope- or crazy girlfriend trope sometimes when they were together in the comics. It was so unfortunate because her character is so interesting. She’s got Magneto in her and she’s an X-Man.

Emma Dumont: Exactly! Exactly. This is what I’m saying. I think she’s enough of a character to stand on her own. She has a lot going on. You know what I mean? Girl’s got a lot of trouble, so I just… yeah, I never appreciated that. I appreciate that even though she does still have a love interest in this show, it’s not her identity. Her identity is Lorna Dane, queen of the mutants, saving the innocent.

JGA: Yeah, I do love that. In terms of the rest of the season, I think we’ve got two or three more episodes left. What’s something that we can… you know, I don’t want to ask anything you shouldn’t say, but what was your favorite thing to shoot that we haven’t seen yet?

Emma Dumont: Oh, gosh.

JGA: I feel like that was… did I ask something I’m not supposed to ask, am I?

Emma Dumont: No, no, no. Gosh, it’s hard to choose because the finale especially is so… it’s just so much about her relationship with her father, so I think the first scene in the final episode is a flashback and it shows the X-Men and kind of why they chose Lorna to be the leader of the Mutant Underground.

JGA: Wow.

Emma Dumont: It kind of shows a little bit about what the strain is with her and her father. It’s a short scene but it’s so powerful. It kind of give us an idea of who Lorna was before all this, so I think that was my favorite scene to shoot. It was just like a really simple scene. It was just two people, but there’s so much to it that means so much. You kind of get to see Lorna before she was this powerhouse of a leader and you see her being sort of like a young girl who doesn’t know what’s up and kind of just questions herself.

JGA: I’m so excited.

Emma Dumont: But it’s cool because we never get to see that. We never see Lorna questioning herself, so I really like… the first scene of this finale is great. I love it.

JGA: Awesome. Yeah. We’re definitely looking forward to it. My last question is so I was super lucky I got to interview Peter David and he wrote a lot of Polaris stuff in X-FACTOR. We kind of did a little word association. I asked him what he thought about Polaris. He said, “Would-be leader.” I was kind of curious to get your take on that.

Emma Dumont: She is a leader. She was a leader in X-Factor.

JGA: Yes.

Emma Dumont: I’m not angry. I would be like, “I’m really pissed off.” See, I am Lorna Dane. I’m like, “Wait a second, what?” Gosh, that is heartbreaking to me. That’s what I mean. I feel like she in the past has been portrayed as this woman who has all… or actually, she’s been portrayed as a girl. I see her as a woman. I know, whatever, we’re like re-owning the word girl or whatever you want to say, but I felt like she’s a grown-ass woman. People always, I feel like that’s the way people have seen Polaris for decades. Like, ugh, what she could have been if she wasn’t so crazy, what she could have been if she wasn’t with that boy Alex, what she could have been if she had none of these problems with her dad, what she could have… like, “Oh, she could have been such a powerful mutant.” I just feel like that’s like… it breaks my heart. I just feel like, “Not, dude. No.” She is a powerhouse. I mean, she is fierce. I mean she’s a chick Magneto. Nobody’s in Magneto’s way, nobody told him no, and she’s exactly the same way. She has those characteristics. I mean, if you even think about just how many times this girl has been taken prisoner. The fact that she’s even mentally somewhat sane, it’s like it takes so much emotional and mental strength. That makes me sad. I think she’s everything a leader should be. It’s funny because Thunderbird, everyone is like, “Thunderbird’s the leader. Thunderbird’s the leader.” But we haven’t really touched, I mean, obviously, everyone has their demons but Lorna’s someone who wears her weaknesses on her sleeve which people don’t realize because she’s always usually strong, but yeah, she’s pregnant, she’ll tell anyone she’s pregnant. She doesn’t care. Yeah, she has mental illness. She has bipolar disorder, sure. Who wants to know about it? Let’s talk about it. Who cares? These things. Yeah, she doesn’t know who her true parents are. She was kind of abandoned as a kid, but she may or may not have killed her parents. So what? You want to… what? She’s an open book. I feel like that’s what a real leader does. I feel like that’s why she’s so important for the young Strucker kids and for Naya and Skyler, the other two kids she’s training, because it’s important for young people to see role models who not only are perfect and great and do the right thing but also people who struggle with things. I mean, gosh, if I was a kid, I would want to know that there are people that make mistakes and that is okay and you can continue. You can be great in spite of mistakes and learn from them because I feel like every young person has this pressure on them to be perfect and perfect doesn’t exist, so I don’t know.

JGA: It definitely doesn’t.

Emma Dumont: Lorna’s great. I think she’s a great leader. I think she is a leader.

JGA: I love how brave that makes her because she’s so not afraid to just be who she is and let it out there. We talked about that a little bit earlier in the shower scene when she was incarcerated, when her green hair kind of came through. It’s just something I love about her. What I hope people get from this interview too is something about you, Emma, which is that you are very brave to go and, like we talked about, you’re giving us all of what you’re going through in society and giving it to Lorna and then giving it to all of us. That’s such an amazing thing and such a beautiful thing so…

Emma Dumont: Oh my gosh.

JGA: Yeah.

Emma Dumont: You’re so sweet.

JGA: No, and it’s so true. You know, I have to say, literally, probably ten years before you were born is when I picked up my first X-MEN comic and Lorna was one of my first favorite characters. I thought she had a cool power. I love that she might have been the daughter of Magneto.

Emma Dumont: Oh, yay!

JGA: Yeah, I know. I totally loved her. I’m literally not blowing smoke, but I have never met a GIFTED fan- this is the shit I’m an expert in, you know. So I talked to all these X-MEN fans, I have never met one who doesn’t absolutely love your portrayal of the character. It’s like-

Emma Dumont: Oh my god. I’m going to cry again.

JGA: It’s really beautiful. No, no. No, because you really are that amazing for it.

Emma Dumont: It’s just like… I mean, she’s amazing, but also she’s old as shit. I mean, excuse my language but there’s a lot of history there. There’s a lot to get right or to get wrong. You never know. Especially I know people who were like… I know a lot of people who were like, “Ooh, an X-MEN TV show. That’s interesting.” You know, nobody knew what to think of this before we started, so I appreciate any and all support, even if it’s critique. Are you kidding? I haven’t even been alive as me for as long as Lorna’s existed, so I love any and all notes from anyone, any fan, anyone who knows her story, knows what’s up with her. I’m open to any and all things. Unless you make her a loser and in that case, I’m not into it. No, just kidding. That is so sweet of you to say. Yeah, just like, I don’t know, I really relate to her a lot as someone who is… Again, whatever, I’m a silly white girl and I have white privilege in this world, but we all go through our hardships and growing up is really hard for me. I was grade skipped and I don’t know. I just got bullied horribly as everyone does. I was just different. I was a weirdo. I mean, I don’t know. I used to dress up like Lady Gaga when I went… I thought I was a club kid. I thought I was James St. James. I really was not. Yeah, I don’t know. I know what it’s like to be different and feel like a freak. Even though I’m like nobody would look at me and think that. Everyone would be like, “Oh, she’s just like whatever like some white girl.” But I never questioned it. I feel so much about Lorna that I relate to. I never questioned if I should wear the caution tape dress to school or like dress up my hair like it was a Christmas present. I mean just like wear six pairs of glasses like I was Lee Bowery. I mean, I legit thought I was RuPaul. I was not. Again, I was a small child. I get- there’s something in me that’s like… I almost feel like, not that I’ve lost it a little bit in my adulthood, but I just feel like Polaris reminds me of a young me and I love that about her. I hope she keeps that. I hope in the show and in the comics she always keeps that about her, that just she’s totally unapologetic about who she is which is great.

JGA: Yeah. You know, it sounds like you’re talking about both of you at the same time. That’s what makes it so awesome. So I just love that.

Emma Dumont: Hell yeah, I am!

JGA: Yeah, I know. It’s cool because you know what? All that privileged white girl stuff, I mean, you’re a woman in America so all women have to deal with stuff. You know you did go through stuff growing up. I don’t think there’s any reason to… what’s the word? I don’t think there’s any reason not to count that as having gone through some really difficult things and I think you give that to us.

Emma Dumont: Totally, which I agree. Nobody has experienced and engaged any other person’s hardship, for sure, but also I will never see what it’s like to be a minority as much as I try desperately at my job everyday to understand it, no one- I will never fully understand what that encompasses, so I appreciate you saying that. But I also have to admit like, come on, I’m a silly white girl.

JGA: Yeah. So I’m going to borrow from Obama a little bit and plagiarize but I have to say you are the Polaris that, man, that we’ve been waiting for since the east.

Emma Dumont: Oh my gosh.

JGA: You really are. We’re so happy.

Emma Dumont: Oh my god. I’m going to… this whole interview is just me crying my eyes out. This is so embarrassing.

JGA: No. I hope I’m more of the fun ones today too.

Emma Dumont: Polaris makes me emotional. You were so sweet to me. You are so kind.

JGA: I mean, I’m both a legit fan and both a business guy who interviews people, right? But it’s super… I mean, I was way more nervous to interview you than other people because I’m like, “Shit. It’s Polaris. I’m going to talk to Polaris.” You know, it’s super cool.

Emma Dumont: Then you’re like, “Oh, Emma’s a huge dork. It’s fine.”

JGA: No. Then I’m like, “Emma is Polaris.” I’m even really talking more to Polaris than I thought I would be.

Emma Dumont: Oh my gosh. You’re so sweet. I love it. I do wear a lot of green these days.

JGA: Oh, that’s so cool. Yeah, no, if you ever want to run around New York City and we can pretend to have magnet powers, just give me a call I’m up in Harlem let me know.

Emma Dumont: Yeah, I love it. We could move all the TV remotes together.

JGA: You can be saving lives and I’ll be moving my TV remote. Which, yeah, I’m not sure how much metal was in that, but anyway. Yeah, seriously though, thank you so much for just doing such a great job on the role. You bring so much passion to her, so much more than I even expected. It’s just beautiful to see an actor who’s so passionate about their role. I literally can’t thank you enough for it. You know, you are from that girl who is bullied, you are now really who Lorna is, and you’re helping people who are in the same place now and what more can you ask for as an artist, really, you know.

Emma Dumont: That was so sweet. Thank you.

JGA: I know. This is like the Emma Dumont compliment half hour.

Emma Dumont: I know. I love it. Can you just follow me around all day, every day? Not only me, tell other people I’m great too. Just kidding.

JGA: No, I’m going to go and pretend like I am asking for directions in the city and then they’ll lower their thing and I’ll be like “Emma Dumont as Polaris is awesome. THE GIFTED, Monday nights, please watch it.”

Emma Dumont: Yeah, yeah!

JGA: And then…

Emma Dumont: Monday nights, 9/8 central. Yeah, that’s great. I like that idea. I think that you found your true calling.

JGA: I have. I know. I absolutely have. My parents are going to be so excited.

Emma Dumont: It’s weird if I do it.

JGA: I don’t know. I think people would like it, but I think it’d be weird if I do it.

Emma Dumont: Yeah, I think it’s pretty weird. I mean, I’ve started to make people call me TV’s Magneto. That’s like my new thing. I want everyone to call me TV’s Magneto. I’ve gotten Sean who plays Marcos to call me that. Even my wrap gift, he wrote, “TV’s Magneto.”

JGA: Oh, that’s so cool!

Emma Dumont: It’s sticking. Is that cocky? Yes, it is. I don’t even care.

JGA: No, you are TV’s Magneto. She’s legit. You’re the mistress of magnetism though. It’s awesome. It’s so badass.

Emma Dumont: Yeah, I think so too.

JGA: I hope we get to talk more once season two is underway. I’m already looking forward to what’s up with that baby.

Emma Dumont: Dude, I want to know what’s up with the baby too. This kid is going to be cray or maybe not cray. We don’t know. We’ll have to see. They tell me no information. I desperately wanted to… because they were being like, “Aurora, choose the name.” I wanted her to have Aurora and Northstar.

JGA: Oh, how cute would that be?

Emma Dumont: Because Northstar was the first out mutant, I would have been like, “Are you kidding me? I want to have the first gay mutant. Heck yeah.”

JGA: Oh my god, yeah.

Emma Dumont: Yes, please.

JGA: I remember that. Yeah, amazing. Sorry I keep interrupting. I’m so sorry.

Emma Dumont: No, no, no. I keep interrupting you to talk more about me and my fictional life.

JGA: Yeah, but the weird thing is you actually get paid to play Polaris and once this is over, I’m going to run around playing Polaris too for free with my green shirt over my head reaching for that remote.

Emma Dumont: That’s everything, yes. Yes, reach for that remote.

JGA: Yeah, no, I totally hope you come back in season two and we can talk more about, see who this baby is, or see who the twins are, possibly. I’m going to root for the twins. I’m going to root for the twins.

Emma Dumont: Yeah. I’m voting for twins.

JGA: Woohoo! So thank you to everyone listening as well. I already said it before, but if you aren’t watching THE GIFTED, Monday nights on Fox, 9/8 central, you better get on it because I can’t condone what you’re doing with your lifestyle and I don’t want to judge you, but I’m going to probably judge you a little bit for not watching it, especially if you’re an X-Men fan because I don’t want to dis any movies but this is just as good as every good X-MEN film out there. The season one finale premiers in January 2018, so until then, give yourself an early holiday present and do yourself a favor of binge-watching THE GIFTED from episode one. I promise you will love it. You can even write in and tell me how much you hate me for taking away your time to force you to watch the show, but that will never happen because it’s such an amazing show. Anyway, you’ll find more information on THE GIFTED, X-Men, Marvel TV shows and podcast interviews like these on comicsverse.com. Until next time everybody. Thank you so much.

Image Slideshow: Emma Dumont as Lorna Dane (aka Polaris) on Fox’s THE GIFTED

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  1. Xuenan

    December 15, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    Wow. Now that was an interview! One of the best I heard actually. You guys are extremely talented. Where has Comicsverse been all my life? You just made a new fan


    • Justin Gilbert Alba

      December 15, 2017 at 6:46 pm

      Oh, wow! Thank you so much. That’s very kind to say and means a lot to us (and me)!


  2. Daryl Taylor

    Daryl Taylor

    December 13, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    love her character


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