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.

 

 

Behind The Scenes on our FAULT Magazine Issue 23 Photoshoot

With the theatrical release of X-Men Apocalypse only 6 days away, take a step behind the scenes on our FAULT Issue 23 cover shoot with star Alexandra Shipp

Video: Steve Failows

Words: Kee Chang l Photography: Irvin Rivera l Styling: Sharon Williams @Art-dept l Makeup: Carola Gonzales @Forwardartists l Makeup Asst: Laramie Glen l Hair: Larry Sims @ Forwardartists l Photography Asst: Phill Limprasertwong l Production: Ashley Tsai @ashley.tsai

FAULT Film: Lana Condor Makes Her Explosive Debut in X-Men and FAULT ISsue 23

 

Acting in your first ever movie can be a very stressful time for any actor and not made easier when there’s a large fanfare around the project. Enter, Lana Condor. This month Lana make her big-screen debut playing ‘Jubliee’ in X-Men Apocalypse. Like many of the other characters in the movie, this won’t be the first time we’ll be seeing Jubilee in the movies however this will be the first time the character is used for more than just an Easter egg or throw away reference for the keen eyed.

For those who grew up with the 90’s X-Men animated series have a very soft spot for Jubilee. The majorly underused (and somewhat under-appreciated) X-Woman has defied the odds and become a character dear to many X-Men fans…So no pressure Lana!

As part of our FAULT #23  X-Men Special we caught up with Lana to find out more about Jubilee and see just where the character fits in the larger X-Men film Universe.

 

FAULT: X-men will be your big screen debut, what was it like to land a spot on such a big production for your first gig?

Lana: Very very surreal. It’s been a very humbling experience for me coming out of X-Men because I have realized things don’t happen in a vacuum, and that I was very blessed to have landed such an amazing project so early on in my career. While on set, I got to learn from some of the best which was definitely one the highlights. Just watching my castmates perform was very inspiring, let alone acting alongside them.

 

Are we going to see the badass 80’s mall rat Jubilee or will her character focus more on her vulnerability and youthfulness? 

We will focus more on her vulnerability and youthfulness. She’s still learning about her powers and developing them. Although I would be honoured to see the badass mall rat come more to life! She’s a kick-butty type of girl!

 

Jubilee has appeared in the previous X-Men films however has not had many lines and never displayed her powers! Now we see that she is doing both in the movie. Were you able to inject must personality into the character?

I tried to keep it as close to the comics/ cartoon as possible. I really want to do her fans justice!

 

Jubilee often gets ranked as the mutant with the most useless powers but at the same time is VERY dear to the fans of X-men. Is it daunting to take the mantle of such a popular character? Comic book fans aren’t very forgiving!

Well… since you put it that way… now I won’t be able to sleep at night! [laughs] but Yes. There has definitely been times where I really feel very nervous because I do not want to let her fans down. They are so devoted to her and I really admire that. It’s amazing, I’ve really learned that she means (as well as all the other characters) a lot to people. Maybe she reminds them of their childhood or was an escape for certain people. She certainly means a lot to me. So yes, the pressure to do her proper justice can be intimidating. But I also have to realise that some things are just not in my control.

 

FAULT MAGAZINE ISSUE 23 – THE ART ISSUE – IS AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER NOW

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Ben Hardy Earns His Wings In Our FAULT #23 Photoshoot Preview

Ben Hardy first appeared on UK screens playing Peter Beale in the popular TV soap, ‘Eastenders’. Like many before him, there was always a chance that Ben would fall into the “soap trap”, becoming the face of his onscreen character and settling into a lifetime stint that’d find him rarely taking on other roles due to a rigorous filming schedule.

For Ben, this was not the dream. With his eyes set on the big screen he took off to the states and landed the role of Archangel in the upcoming X-men Apocalypse movie. As part of our FAULT #23  X-Men Special, we caught up with Ben for this exclusive photo-shoot and interview.

 

Leaving a solid role in the UK and heading off for the states must have been daunting. Did you have a job lined up before you left?

No, I just left really. It’s one of those things you’ve got to just get out there to do otherwise I might find myself waking up in 10 years wondering what could have been.

 

 

Angel is quite a different role to the one you played on Eastenders. Did you know much beforehand?

Ha yes, the characters are a little different. I’d seen all the x-men films and watched the cartoon growing up but I hadn’t read many comics. I have done since getting the role and learnt a lot.

 

Angel has appeared in the X-men films before played by Ben Foster, were you able to draw much from his character to play his younger self?

As the timeline has completely warped and while I did watch X-Men: The Last Stand,  I went into playing Angel as a brand new character altogether. I’m drawing on Angel’s character as dictated by the script and my own interpretation of him without worrying too much on past appearances.

 

Is the transformation from Angel to Archangel true to the comics?

I can’t say! But I will say that it’s a really awesome transformation scene.

 

How did you adapt to all the special effects used in the movie?

It was pretty weird. I’m like, ‘OH GREAT! I get to see the X-Mansion’ and I get in there and it’s one platform and green screen [laughs]. My wings are always CGI so I’m on set flapping my arms about a lot.

 

Moving forward, will you and the younger cast members be taking over the mantle of the X-Men?

As far as I know, the original X-Men actors will remain in the franchise. But I think there is a great young cast in Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, Alex Shipp and Lana Condor, who have so much talent to bring to X-Men in the future.

 

There are a lot of British people in the movie! Did you all gel well on set?

Definitely! And of course the British connection helped with the banter, we could always just say, ‘well, how about that Tesco amirite!’ as a counter haha.

 

What is your FAULT?

There’s plenty! I’m a massive binge-eater. I’m either training hard and eating super healthily or I’m the opposite. There’s no in-between!

 

FAULT MAGAZINE ISSUE 23 – THE ART ISSUE – IS AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER NOW

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Alexandra Shipp “Storms” her way onto FAULT 23’s Film Cover

 

Alexandra Shipp shares a familiar tale when probed about her early days as a starry-eyed performer with her sights set on Hollywood superstardom. The fast-rising actress/singer scored a manager and an agent at just 14, and she would spend the next several years splitting her time between Los Angeles and her family home in Phoenix, Arizona. “It’s a cutthroat, dog eat dog world,” she says.

Shipp has transformed into Aaliyah in the late singer’s biopic, starred in last year’s cult phenomenon Straight Outta Compton, and of course there’s X-Men: Apocalypse, the latest installment in the blockbuster franchise in which she plays Storm, one of Marvel’s most beloved superheroes first made popular in film by Halle Berry.

X-Men Apocalypse releases in the UK on May 18th and we’ve got 3 of the stars for our X-men special collection. Kicking off with Alexandra Shipp. Enjoy the preview and watch this space…

 

 

What can you reveal about Storm’s origin story in the film and how that might have shaped her worldview at large?

You find Storm just a few years after her parents have passed and she’s living on the streets of Cairo. She’s pickpocketing for cash to buy food, stealing clothes, and camping out in abandoned buildings. It’s sad to see someone so great being reduced to so little and I think that’s what attracts Apocalypse to her. For Storm, that’s all she’s ever known. All she knows is that, if you have powers, you can make money off of that. You can make money by protecting people or by taking it from them. So when Apocalypse tells her, “How are you living in the gutter when you’re a goddess? You should live your potential. Come with me,” Storm realizes, “You’re right! Don’t mind if I do, Apocalypse! Papi!” [Laughs] I hope they do a full origin movie with Storm and T’Challa. That would be so dope. That’s all I can think about.

 

How long did it take you to settle into Storm, your Storm?

It took a couple of months. What I wanted to convey with Storm is that she can kill you with a look, and if you know me, you know there’s no killing anyone with my look. [Laughs] I’m the biggest nerd! I’m way too silly to be that badass. It was hours and hours in front of a mirror, which is no surprise for an actress. It was about trying to find the right head tilt, the right gaze and the right thing, that if I shoot you a look, you will feel my power. It took around 3 months to find her body.

With ­X-Men, you’re entering a universe that has a longstanding comic book fan base and a movie fan base, not to mention people who look up to you for taking on such an iconic black female superhero. Is that a lot to take in?

I do feel pressure because I want to give girls an accurate representation of a powerful black woman. Halle Berry did such a great job that I felt the fear of living up to her Storm. But I also felt the fear of living up to my own nerdy expectations. I’m a fan of X-Men. I grew up on the cartoons. I grew up reading the comics. I wanted to do that right. I wasn’t sleeping, just going over my Arabic and my Kenyan accent all the time. I wanted to make sure that girls who see this movie, young girls of any race or color, are excited by Storm and the way I portrayed her.

 

Words: Kee Chang

 

FAULT MAGAZINE ISSUE 23 – THE ART ISSUE – IS AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER NOW

 *FAULT MAGAZINE IS AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY WORLDWIDE*

…Or get your copy digitally via Zinio! 1 year’s subscription = just £14.40