entertainment

The Umbrella Academy's showrunner is 'proud' after incorporating Elliot Page’s transition into the show

Steve Blackman says Elliot didn't demand any changes and that the rewrites were a collaborative effort.

2022-06-29

Words: Emily Maskell; pictures: Netflix

The Umbrella Academy’s showrunner Steve Blackman says he's "proud" to rewrite the show's third season after actor Elliot Page's transition.

Elliot, who came out as trans in 2020 and whose character on the Netflix show also transitioneddidn’t demand any changes, according to Blackman. 

 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by @elliotpage

Blackman reveals in an interview with ET that when Page announced his transition publicly, the scripts for the third season of The Umbrella Academy had already been written.

"I had already finished the season, the writers were gone, scripts were finished and I got a call from Elliot one day saying, 'I'm transitioning.' I was very happy for him," Blackman says.

"I didn't want to hang a lantern on it and make it the sob story of the season," Blackman details. "We all agreed that we want it to be something that just happened and let the family react to it. That was the hard balance to find that."

Re-writing Viktor’s arc for the show’s third season was a challenge for Blackman who notes "I did not know a lot about what it is to be transgender and I didn't know how to tell that story”.

In order to ensure the script was an appropriate reflection of Page’s story, Blackman consulted with GLAAD Vice President Nick Adams and transgender author/journalist Thomas Page McBee for guidance.

"In collaboration with Elliot, [Adams and McBee] talked me through what it means to be trans, what it means, how it feels, and how to tell a story,” Blackman says.

 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by @elliotpage

"I just sent the pages to Elliot and I said, 'What do you think?' And he said, 'They're beautiful.' They had a few thoughts and that was it," Blackman adds, who is "proud" with how it turned out.

"He was so kind to me, he didn't make any demands on it. He just said, 'Craft the story you want to tell,' and that was really wonderful."

In a candid interview with The Hollywood Reporter in June, Page said that the scenes resonating with coming out as trans were "really incredible."

The 35-year-old actor adds, "We don’t see that when we’re not in control of our stories a lot of the time. So it felt really special."

Page notes they felt "supported by everyone" while shooting The Umbrella Academy's third season and the result was so "special."

In a recent appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers Elliot said his life had "drastically" improved since transitioning.

The Umbrella Academy is streaming now on Netflix.

The Attitude July/August issue is out now.