Given the reportedly temporary title of Gifted, the new X-Men-related TV pilot has rounded up the majority of its cast. The premise of the show, which is being executive produced by Bryan Singer, Lauren Shuler Donner and Brian Nix, is focused on a family on the run when parents discover that their children are mutants. Trying to escape the government, they join up with an underground community of mutants.
Nix (the creator of Burn Notice), recently commented that this show makes its entry into the world of mutants differently than the normal way it's handled on film and in the comics. "[They] have generally started with the X-Men and encountered the world outside from the perspectives of the X-Men. This show flips that on its head, in the sense that it doesn't exclusively take place inside the world of people who are already X-Men and know that world."
What follows is a breakdown of the actors who have been cast, and the roles they're playing.
Amy Acker (Kate Stewart)
The Actor: Amy Acker first came to prominence in the role of Winifred "Fred" Burkle and the demonic goddess Illyria in the Buffy The Vampire Slayer spin-off, Angel. Beyond episodic appearances, she has had recurring roles on Alias, Drive, Dollhouse (like Angel, from Joss Whedon), Happy Town, and most extensively on Person Of Interest as Samantha Groves and The Machine.
The Character: Having her hands full coping with the separation from her husband, Reed, Kate Stewart now has to figure out how to deal with children who are revealed to be mutants. While doing so, she discovers an inner strength that she never knew that she had.
Amy Acker On Appearing In Genre Shows: "I had always been super shy, but I found out that if I said words that other people wrote, and got to be characters other than myself, that it was sort of this amazing thing that I couldn’t imagine doing anything else after it started," she says. "I think that’s part of the reason I’m drawn to this genre. I mean, all of my favorite roles that I’ve gotten to do have been in genre TV. Those roles really allow you to transform, sometimes from a human to an alien, but it also gives you a journey as a character that a lot of other shows don’t always have."
Coby Bell (Jace Turner)
The Actor: The first starring role for Coby Bell was on the series L.A. Doctors, followed by Third Watch and working with Nix on Burn Notice. This was followed by one hundred and thirty episodes of The Game.
The Character: Jace Turner is officially described as "a weathered man who quietly wrestles with the moral ambiguities of a job that regularly requires cold-blooded, caluculating efficiency on a day-to-day basis." We thinks he be a member of the mutant-hunting-government, but we could be wrong.
Coby Bell On Appearing In Long-Running TV Shows: "I've been really lucky to get on shows that stay on," he related to starpulse.com. "It's one thing to book a show and it's like winning the lottery again to have it picked up, and then again to have the show stay on the air. I'm aware of how rare it is and how lucky I've been."
Jamie Chung (Clarice Ferguson/Blink)
The Actor: Back in 2004, Jamie Chung got her start as a contestant on the MTV reality show The Real World. She successfully turned that into an acting career, first as an episodic guest star, then on ten episodes of the daytime soap opera Days Of Our Lives, which was followed by the lead in the series Samurai Girl, a starring role in Believe, twelve episodes of Once Upon A Time as Disney's Mulan, and half a dozen episodes playing Valerie Vale on Gotham. On the big screen, she played Amber in Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch, Lauren in the Hangover films, Miho in Sin City: A Dame To Die For and the voice of Go Go in Big Hero 6.
The Character: She is a purple-skinned mutant who has developed the power of teleportation. The character had previously been brought to life on screen in the feature film X-Men: Days Of Future Past, and was played by actress Bingbig Fan.
Jamie Chung On The Appeal Of Playing A Superhero Character: "Most actresses do romantic comedy and drama, and what most want to do is action," she conveyed to ign. "I got the whole shebang... And my character, through the magic of television, I look like I'm kicking lots of ass and that's really cool. I've always wanted to do this — always."
Emma Dumont (Lorna Dane/Polaris)
The Actor: Her first major role was on the TV series Bunheads, though things turned considerably more serious in her role as Emma Karn in the sixties-set Aquarius. In between there were a number of guest appearances and small roles in a variety of features.
The Character: Endowed with the power of magnetism, Polaris is described as strong-willed and a loyal mutant. What may or may not transition over from the comics is the fact that she's also Magneto's daughter.
Emma Dumont On Her Passion For Robotics: "I started robotics when I was in high school, but I've always loved building things," she told popcitylife. "When I discovered the first robotics program, I immediately got attached. I went to one meeting and my mom couldn't get me to leave the robot room to go home. I actually joined an all-girl robotics team, which was super-empowering considering I had no formal experience in mechanical engineering or control engineering at all."
Natalie Alyn Lind (Lauren)
The Actress: Like many, she began her career with guest starribg roles, though eventually scored a recurring gig as Silver St. Cloud on seven episodes of Gotham. From there, she appeared on twenty-one episodes of the sitcom The Goldbergs.
The Character: The daughter of Kate and Reed Stewart, she is one of the characters who discovers she's a mutant and sets the events of the series in motion. She's described as being pretty, popular and a high schooler already well through her college application process. She is "the model of a perfect kid."
Natalie Alyn Lind On Her Worst Audition: "When I first started acting, I had an audition for a movie," the actress told dailyactor. "I walked into the room and the casting director looked me up and down and then decided he didn't want to read me. No explanation, nothing. I kow I shouldn't have taken it personally, but I did. But honestly, I'm happy that the audition happened, because what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Just because you have an off day doesn't mean you shouldn't keep trying to pursue your dreams."
Stephen Moyer (Reed)
The Actor: Although he had been acting since the nineties in film and on television, Stephen Moyer truly came to the attention of the public with his role as vampire Bill Compton on the HBO horror series True Blood. More recently he starred in The Bastard Executioner and will next be seen in the show Shots Fired.
The Character: Reed is an attorney under enormous pressure from his job and a family splintering apart. One would think that finding out your kids are mutants would not go far in easing any of that pressure.
Stephen Moyer On Conquering His Fear Of Blood: "True Blood erased any fears," he said. "Once upon a time I would have run a marathon rather than look after my kid's skinned kneed. I probably would have fainted. Now I kind of relish the sight of blood... You learn to enjoy it after awhile. Especially when it's the sort of syrupy, strawberry, sugary stuff we have to eat on True Blood."
Blair Redford (Sam)
The Actor: For Blair Redford, daytime soaps was his way into Hollywood. He starred on both The Young And The Restless and Passions, before moving to primetime for the reboot of 9010, followed by The Lying Game, Switched At Birth and Satisfaction. He also has the disctinction of being the first actor signed for this X-Men pilot.
The Character: Sam is a Native American, described as "strong-headed," and serves as the leader of the underground network of mutants that the Stewarts seek out.
Blair Redford on The Roles He Enjoys Most: "I don't know if it's what I like to do most as much as what Hollywood likes me to do," he mused to popentertainment. "You get hired where you get hired. I guess I have a little bit of a niche in the bad boy-brooding market. I'd really like to do more comedy. I do a lot of it in my off time and I think it'd be fun. We'll see where that goes."
Sean Teale (Marcos Diaz/Eclipse)
The Actor: His first starring role on a television series was on Skins, followed by Mr. Selfridge, Reign and, most recently, Syfy's series from Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, Incorporated.
The Character: Diaz is described as a natural rebel and an extraordinary fighter who too frequently allows himself to be ruled by emotion. His alter ego of Eclipse — endowed with the power to absorb and manipulate photons — was created for this potential series.
Sean Teale On Character Research: "I think a lot of [a character] comes to you quite naturally," he stated while talking to indielondon. "I don't try to overdo [research]. For me personally at least, you can over-think things and some of the best moments are those that come to you naturally. So it's about finding the right kind of balance between being spontaneous and well researched."
Percy Hynes White (Andy)
The Actor: Balancing roles in such features as Night At The Museum 3 and Rupture with television appearances, on the latter he's had starring roles on Murdoch Mysteries and Between.
The Character: Another of the Stewart children, Andy is more or less a loner, and extremely sensitive, trying to deal with difficult times both at home and at school.