Exclusive: Emma Dumont is Gifted

Emma Dumont X FAULT Magazine

Dress by Bao Tranchi
Photographer: Jessica Castro
Stylist: Enrique Melendez
Makeup: Renee Loiz
Hair: Kat Thompson
Photo & Lighting Assistant:  Stanley Kruslicky
Studios Concrete Studios

Words: Miles Holder

Since the debut of The Gifted back in 2017, viewers have been taken on a wild ride as the story verges from tender love stories and tales of overcoming adversity through togetherness to heartbreaking to watch scenes at the turn of the proverbial comic book page of which the story is based on. While always exciting for the viewer, it’s also a testament to the acting skill of the ensemble cast that the consequences of such fast-paced storytelling still feels believable to those watching at home. For Emma Dumont, her character Lorna Dane (codename Polaris) is no stranger to turmoil and we’ve seen Lorna go on a journey from lovestruck expectant mother, to the badass true daughter of Magneto during her time on the show. We sat down with Emma to find out what it’s like to play such a damaged but beloved character, the future of The Gifted post Fox/Disney merger and learning more about her latest role as the ever badass superheroine, Razor.


We’ve previously featured co-star Sean Teal and spoke about his experiences crafting an original character for The Gifted however your experience is the complete opposite. With years of lore and the character of Polaris already having fans of comic and animated adaptations, how does that affect you as the actor portraying a beloved character?

Coming into a character that has existed since the 1960’s and who has been portrayed in so many different renditions, let’s be honest, there’s a lot of pressure and I wanted to do right by every version of Lorna, from the original X-men, through X-factor and even the bratty teenage Lorna from Wolverine and the Xmen animated series. I really wanted to do right by all versions of her, mind control and all. The most important thing for me is that no matter what was written for me or what was coming up in the show I wanted to make sure it all felt authentically Lorna Dane. As Sean said, he got to create this character which was super fun and awesome for me and my fellow cast members to see and for, it was super important to really pay homage to the original lore and to always be in keeping with the original mythology.

Dress by Epuzer; Tights by Wolford; Necklaces & Ring by Dalmata

Season 2 Lorna is very different to the Lorna we first saw back when the series premiered, how was that transition for you as the actress portraying the change of character?

Coming into season 2, it was actually pretty shocking and really hard for me to adjust to this new Lorna that the writers and producers had created and decided upon. It seemed like it was going against anything that was truly Polaris to be completely honest, I always say that season 1 Lorna always felt really good for me because it wasn’t the little Polaris we met in the original first X-men who slipped on bobby’s ice, it was this newer, stronger and fiercer sort of character and I loved that so much. In season 2 however, I felt like we were very much going back to her origins where she’s confused and very sad waiting to listen to instructions from other people and that was very challenging for me because I didn’t believe that was the right way to portray the character. The writers, directors and producers felt it was super important for us to show a weaker more passive side to Polaris. It was a big adjustment and it was a total learning curve because I was so confused. It’s certainly a difference, and people always ask me “what happened to badass Lorna!?” which makes me feel a little bad but I do think it’s cool that I got to play two sides of one character and people don’t always get to do that so lucky me!

Dress by Epuzer; Tights by Wolford; Necklaces & Ring by Dalmata

One stand out moment from season two is when you get to wear your iconic headpiece and we often see in superhero movies, especially X-Men projects that they tone down costumes, how did it feel to get a true to the comics look?

It felt awesome, it felt like I was carrying on a legacy that has been around for so long. When I found out that I was going to get the headpiece I was so excited and I remember the day of filming that scene saying, “I feel like a princess and this is my wedding day”. I felt so beautiful and I had my crown on and it was so important for my character to have this moment of self-discovery and acceptance of family heritage and who Lorna is. When the episode premiered I was just balling my eyes out I was just shocked with tears of joy. I was just so happy for Lorna because it’s iconic and we don’t get to see that within the X-Men films or the MCU films, Scarlet Witch doesn’t get to have her headpiece but I’m honoured Lorna gets to have hers.

Coat by Masai Matsuka; Lace Top by The Kooples; Jeans by GTM; Shoes by Isabel Marant

You’ve played a pregnant Polaris and a post-pregnant Polaris and you tweeted out that you actually gained weight for the part, why was it important for you to do so?

It was a few things actually, I did put on some weight before starting season two and I was very specific about the pregnancy suit that I wore, I wanted it to start big and after having the baby I wanted it to progressively get smaller. Usually what happens in shows is a woman will have a baby and then go back to having a flat stomach straight away as though she had never had the baby but that’s not how the real world works so I wanted more realism. Lorna’s grown a human inside her and that’s such a big thing for someone to go through so I wanted to have more skin and weight on my face and arms and for my stomach larger for the next few episodes. Myself being a young woman and watching other women on tv I often think that it’s inaccurate and we’re shown through a Hollywood lens so I wanted to make it more realistic.

Denim Beaded Jacket by Ih nom Uh Nit; Earrings by Mahrukh Akuly

With everything off in the MCU and everyone talking about the future of the X-Men movies post-merger, do you know what the future holds for television projects like Legion and The Gifted?

I honestly have no idea, just like the films and everything else we just don’t know. The merger happens which is really exciting because all of Marvel’s property can be back together and Magneto can be with his kids again which is fantastic but we don’t know what that means for The Gifted and I can honestly say I have zero clues as to what’s going to happen.

Now for future projects, you’re staring in another comic book inspired projects playing Razor, can you tell me a bit about that?

I love razor I think she’s super special. She’s from the ’90s and there are lots of different versions of the comic including a newer version which gets into her origin story and that’s what the film is going to follow. She’s a very tortured young woman who’s been through a lot of terrible things, similar to Lorna but in a much more darker way. Razor in a badass vigilante hero and she’s trained in martial arts. She doesn’t have superpowers so there’s nothing superhuman about her but she has a lot of physical and emotional strength. She wears these very cool and very scary razor blades on her arms and there are different renditions, at one point they were tactical and at another point, they were under her skin in a sad wolverine way where she would be sacrificing herself with every hit. What’s interesting about this character is that Lorna was in a mental institution and so was Razor but Lorna wasn’t there for very long so she has a grasp on the world around her but and her morals but Razor is very different! She was taught by her father that if someone does something bad they get punished. So for her, because she was locked away for so long, she doesn’t quite understand the different ranking of crime and thinks that if you’re a really bad person you need to be done away with -she’s very black and white which I think makes her a very interesting character.


Rob Cohen’s work is known for his big action scenes and set pieces, and while we’ve already seen you handle action scenes as Polaris are you excited to step the action up for the big screen?

Rob Cohen basically told me, I want you to know how to fight for real and you’re going to do all your own stunts and I was like “hell yeah I am, let’s do it”. I’ve been training in Krav maga and I’m so excited for all the stunts I’m going to get to do in the role. While Polaris is cool and great, most of her work is done with her hand’s movements. Razor is totally human and everything she does has to be with her own body which is great because the hand to hand combat helps me work in some of my ballet training! You wouldn’t think dance and combat had anything to do with each other but because stunts are taught in dance choreography, counting steps and timing my dance background will help me memorise the scenes and I’m excited to show people what I can do.

Blazer by Amen; Gloves by Gaspar Gloves; Glasses by Saint Laurent; Ring is Vintage

When you first got into acting, were these the roles you wanted to play?

Yeah, it’s funny when I first got Polaris someone asked me if I could write a role for yourself who would it be and I thought about it and it was Polaris! I have the dream role and I could say the same thing about Razor. Growing up as a kid I was a big fan of Natalie Portman in Léon: The Professional and I always wanted to play roles like that. I wanted to be Angelina Jolie in Wanted and play these assassin roles and do the action and be the bad girl but I was never like that as a person. I was never the bad girl or tough, I was just a ballerina who played the viola! Before I did Lorna I played a young girl on Aquarius and I loved the project and everyone that worked there but I hated my character! We even shared a name which made it tens times worse and I found that playing weak women to be really challenging for me because I believe women should be strong and self-sufficient, the strength of women is so remarkable so I’m very grateful that I get to play roles like Lorna and Razor.

What is your FAULT?

I think we all have things that aren’t perfect about us and I’m reminded of that every day when I’m practising my instrument or doing ballet, mistakes are a part of life and none of us is perfect. One thing that makes me feel so human is how badly I don’t want to go to the gym. Because for my roles, I’m working out every day for hours I just really don’t want to go because in real life, I am not a superhero and so that makes me feel so human. Of course, I feel great after but I think that’s a super relatable, I’ll run a 5k and feel so exhausted and it reminds me that we’re all just flesh and blood.