Gets To Know ‘The Gifted’ Star Sean Teale

 

Words: Miles Holder

In recent years, comic book adaptations have dominated box office record books, and with the release of ‘The Gifted’, it would seem that the same magic is being brought to the small screen as well.  

Taken place within the X-Men universe and centred around one’s family’s journey to find acceptance, peace and place to call home – we caught up with actor Seal Teale to find out about the role he plays and just why he loves playing it.

 

FAULT: Could you tell us a bit about The Gifted and the role you play in it? 

Sean Teale: The basic premise of the show revolves around an all American family and a government agency called ‘The Sentinal Services’ who are mobilised to prosecute mutants before their powers are activated.

Thunderbird, Polaris and my character called Eclipse, run an underground mutant network, and we try to find safe passage for persecuted mutants.

Eclipse is a new character created for the show,  he was born to a wealthy family, and at the moment his power is to absorb light and fire them out of his palms. He was born in Bogata and got kicked out of his family for being a mutant, and now he’s in the US looking for a family and a place to finally call home.

 

FAULT: While ‘The Gifted’ is an original storyline, it’s derived from the much loved Marvel comics landscape – do you feel pressure to do fans of the comics justice through your portrayals of characters new and old?

Sean Teale: There is a pressure to take on such a loved series of comics. The team are exploring what the X-Men is all about and taking into account how important the universe is to the fans. There is a middle ground with my character, in one way I can go back and read the comics for background on the world that Eclipse lived in but I also have the joy of introducing a brand new character into the fray.

 

FAULT: As you said, Eclipse hasn’t appeared in the comic or cinematic universe, how did that affect your research process?

Sean Teale: For me, it was always about remembering that while Eclipse is an original character, he comes from the same universe of which the X-men and mutant-kind live. In that mind, there is still a vault of knowledge that I could draw from for my character’s motivations as they pertained to that world. Also, culturally  I’m Venezuelan, and I’ve been to the countries my Eclipse comes from so in many ways we shared a similar cultural history too. Not forgetting that Bryan Singer and Matt Nix who are have been huge parts of the X-Men were on board for any questions I might have had.

 

FAULT: Does being on television as opposed to the big screen help tell character-led stories such as ‘The Gifted’?

Sean Teale: I think you can lose a lot of heart on the big screen with all the spectacle of the special effects, but I don’t believe down-to-earth storytelling is the intention of those blockbuster movies. ‘The Gifted’ has a large budget, and we do have massive set pieces, but we are striving for the best of both worlds.

The intention for me as an actor is to make sure our quieter scenes match the same intensity of the large action ones. I think it’s quite relevant, in today’s world and to be honest, any other decade prior. There has always been people fighting for their fundamental rights regardless of skin colour, sexual orientation, religion, sexuality and that’s what this show is all about.

 

FAULT: You’ve been working on lots of sci-fi projects – is that where your heart lies?

Sean Teale: For me, I just want to try everything and tell good stories. My last few jobs have been sci-fi but what I love so much about all the roles is their inclusion of stories which mirror our real world. That could be environmental issues, immigration, percussion and it just so happens that it’s the sci-fi projects which have been telling those stories.

FAULT: You were born in 1992, which means you grew up with the X-Men animated series on TV, were you sad to not see a rail full of similarly bright costumes?

Sean Teale: I think the whole cast is really hoping that at some point we’ll get to don the bright coloured suits. I know that Emma Dumont is really hoping to wear the bright green and cape Polaris costume but as enjoyable as it’d be, it’s not right for the story we want to tell. We’re not superheroes, we’re trying to tell such a grounded story that donning a cape and flying around wouldn’t be correct for this time in the show.

 

FAULT: What is your FAULT?

Sean Teale: It’s always plagued me professionally and personally; I am my harshest critic. When I was younger there was a project about to be in a big movie, and it fell through for an amalgamation of reasons but this one was personal, I was young, and it was too close to a done deal than it should have been. That knocked me a fair bit. A director once said that if you leave the room feeling like you could have done more then that’s your motivation to do better on the next project. If you’re an actor who always feels you can do more, that can hurt your self-confidence and lead to a vicious cycle of disappointment.

 

 

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