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SYFY WIRE The Umbrella Academy

Mary J. Blige talks doing own stunts in The Umbrella Academy: 'I was pulling glass out of my face'

By Christian Long
Umbrella Academy Cha-Cha

Mary J. Blige is not only playing the time-traveling assassin Cha-Cha in Netflix's The Umbrella Academy, her cover of The Faces' "Stay With Me" is featured on the soundtrack and the most recent trailer. And it turns out that Blige was something of a triple threat on the set, as she did a lot of her character's stunt work in the series too.

"I went all the way for Cha-Cha," Blige told Variety ahead of the series premiere screening in Los Angeles this evening. How far is all the way? Quite a bit, it turns out.

"I did a lot of my own stunts. I did a lot of my own fights. I was hanging from wires, for real. I was pulling glass out of my face. It was crazy," she said.

She also spoke about her favorite stunt, when Cha-Cha has a showdown with her partner, Hazel, played by 6'5" actor Cameron Britton. "I said, 'Look, don’t be afraid. Throw me, punch me, whatever! Do it. Just do it.' I’m strong like that," Blige explained, before conceding that both she and Britton felt "pretty sore and beaten up the next day."

Blige also said that she didn't know anything about the graphic novel from Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá before being offered the role, but said she absolutely loves playing the villain.

Her character, Cha-Cha, is a neo-Nazi time traveler who, along with Hazel, is tasked with killing Number Five (Aidan Gallagher), a fellow time traveler and member of the Umbrella Academy who has foreseen the apocalypse.

Critics have already spoken fondly of the series' subversive take on the superhero genre. You can check out The Umbrella Academy when it drops on Netflix this Friday, Feb. 15.