thegifted

The Gifted's Emma Dumont explains how they created Polaris' iconic headpiece

Contributed by
Nov 27, 2018

Lorna Dane/Polaris has killed in the name of war, but there are certain lines that should never be crossed. In the most recent episode of The Gifted, "No Mercy," that line was definitely crossed when Rebecca/Twist gleefully turned a room full of humans inside out. That bloodthirsty act of vengeance doesn’t sit well with Lorna, who has been harboring her own issues with the Inner Circle and their agenda.

In tonight’s episode, "The dreaM," Lorna must make some big decisions about where she stands. Regardless of which side she lands on — the Mutant Underground or the Inner Circle — Lorna takes gigantic steps towards embracing her destiny by wearing her iconic green headpiece from the comic books.

Emma Dumont recently spoke to SYFY WIRE about Lorna’s legacy, wearing the headpiece, her evolving relationship with Esme and her growing mistrust towards the Inner Circle.

"No Mercy" culminated with Rebecca slaughtering a room full of humans. How does that bloodshed weigh on Lorna’s conscious?

So far, the worst thing Lorna has done is the airplane from the season-one finale, and that was really hard for her to do. It wasn’t easy. She was doing it while in tears, being begged not to do it by her boyfriend and her friends. But this is a whole new thing. This is many, many lives. It sucks. She was right there, and she couldn’t do anything about it. Lorna didn’t even know it was happening. It’s horrible. She feels like she failed. It makes her question all of her choices. She doesn’t trust Reeva and she definitely doesn’t trust the Frosts. Reeva tells her, “Violence will be our last resort. We won’t do that if we don’t have to.” Then, this happens out of nowhere.

Lorna is upset. She doesn’t know is she can trust them, if this was planned by Reeva, if she had anything to do with this or if this is from a mentally and emotionally unstable woman doing what she thinks is right. At the end of the day, Rebecca thought that was the right thing to do and those people deserved that, which they did not. So, it makes Lorna question everything she knows and every choice she’s ever made.

Lorna’s baby is always her prime concern. What measures does she take to ensure Dawn’s safety?

Lorna has Dawn. I love that Esme takes on babysitter in this last episode. It shows Esme in a different light and gets her away from her sisters, which is really cool. Moving on, a lot of people try to convince Lorna that Dawn isn’t safe there [at the Inner Circle’s compound]. Lorna knows that. She fights it and doesn’t want to lose her because, of course, Lorna doesn’t want to be like her father. Magneto abandoned Polaris so he could save the world and she resents him for that. She never understood why he made that choice.

For years, she’s been heartbroken and angry towards this man that she doesn’t really know, and even angrier that he has this weird expectation of her to carry on this legacy and to fight for mutant rights. Lorna doesn’t want to do the exact thing her father did because that’s just being a hypocrite in her eyes. But she’s starting to realize that she might have to do that. She might have to put Dawn away somewhere or send her off to some place, whether that be to Europe or with a family member. After the Rebecca incident, she knows this is no longer a safe place for her baby, or for anyone, maybe even for Andy. It definitely changes everything.

Lorna and Esme have shared a rocky relationship but seem to have bonded more lately. What does that dynamic look like moving forward?

We saw the genesis of this relationship in the last two episodes. Their relationship plays a huge part in the finale. The climax of the finale is dictated by these young women and their friendship. From here on end, they become closer. They’ve both been through similar situations. Lorna is seeing her more and more of someone who does have real feelings and doesn’t lie about every single thing. Lorna has literally gone from trying to murder Esme to trusting her with her child. So, they’ve come leaps and bounds from season one or even the beginning of season two. That’s really important and definitely grows.

In the promos for tonight’s "the dreaM," Lorna turns to Eclipse. What can viewers expect from that reunion?

Come on. We all wanted it. Everyone wants “Eclairis” back together. It’s sort of, “You don’t get to choose who you fall in love with. You don’t get to choose who your true love is.” For a while, Lorna thought it all had to do with Dawn. Lorna and Eclipse aren’t trying to stay together, but she feels if they ever did try to work things out or talk, it would be because of Dawn. “It’s all for Dawn. It’s all for the baby.” But it’s not all for the baby. Whether Dawn was there or not, these two are literally soul mates. They have been through everything together. Nothing can change that or alter that.

Lorna starts to give into that more and more as the season progresses. In the next episode, we see in the promos, Lorna and Eclipse get into contact with each other. She sort of plays it off as, “Oh, we are just doing this because we are both fighting the same political battle,” but there is love there. These two have a very clear apparent sign that their love exists, and that’s through the Aurora Borealis that their powers create. The Aurora Borealis does make an appearance in many episodes this season moving on.

It’s a signal to them that, “You guys still have something in you that says you are meant to be together and you really can’t fight it,” and they do try to fight it. They fight with each other and they can pretend to have no feelings for each other, but…. They are like that typical couple that is poison to each other, but they are also meant to be. They didn’t choose this love, it was chosen for them, and they can’t deny it.

With Lorna’s intense feelings for Eclipse and her doubting the motives of the Inner circle, does she ever question going back to the Mutant Underground? Do you feel there is still a place for her there?

It’s hard to say if there is still a place for Lorna in the Mutant Underground. What she did to Marcos is obviously very tragic and very personal, but we forget about John. What about Thunderbird? This was her best friend. This was the person she founded the Mutant Underground with. They were hand-selected by the X-Men. This was her brother. This was someone she did everything with, that she saved so many lives with.

I think the audience forgets about their relationship because they don’t talk a lot about it on screen. We don’t get to see that relationship because they are busy with their own things. As horrible as she was to Marcos, as tragic and as much as a betrayal as that was, I think she actually owes an explanation to John more than anyone. So, is there a place for Lorna in the Mutant Underground? We don’t know, but we are definitely going to show that journey and explore that as the season goes on. We’ll have a conclusion in the final two episodes.

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In a pivotal moment in tonight’s episode, Lorna dons the iconic Polaris headpiece. How excited were you when you realized she was going down that path?

Oh my gosh! I was so excited. I knew about the headpiece before it was even in the script because obviously, I had to get a head mold. We designed it for many many weeks. I was excited and grateful. It’s something even Elizabeth Olsen in the MCU films doesn’t get to have. I was blown away by the whole thing. At first, I was like, “Are you sure? Is this a joke? Are we really doing this?” It is so iconic and a big deal for her that Lorna is known for. So, yeah, I was blown away.

It’s the thing I’ve been most excited about for the past two years of doing the show. It was definitely a big process doing the headpiece. It was many weeks of work, working non-stop overnight. There were more than 24 different headpieces made, with dozens and dozens of designs. We sort of modeled it after one of the Magneto helmets from the films, which is more of a raw-metal look. It looks more handmade. It’s not super-ornate. It doesn’t look factory-made. It doesn’t look super-pristine in any way. This is very Lorna. Lorna is not really a prissy girl. Yes, she wears a lot of jewelry, but she’s literally just using it as weapons. We didn’t want it to look too out there. Our show is really grounded. It’s really street-level X-Men, so we don’t want it to seem too out of place with the rest of the show.

What leads Lorna to fashion this headpiece? What does it signify for her?

She’s been on this headpiece journey for the last two seasons. This is something in her origins. She doesn’t want to be a legacy of her father. She doesn’t want to give into this thing that she knows that she is. Lorna’s been overwhelmed with the celebrity of her dad and seeing him in the news and knowing about him and people saying he’s a criminal and he’s evil and he hurts people. Of course, news is all relative and it’s only told from one perspective. So, she really doesn’t know what to believe.

In those feelings, knowing her father has a helmet, it really represents giving into that and taking that step to really own who she is, owning her name, owning her father’s name. It’s sort of the thing where she’s like, “I’m ready to fight.” Polaris is always ready to fight, but, if I’m going to be completely honest, Lorna this season was not a Lorna I was familiar with. Coming into season two, in the first six episodes, it was really hard for me to adjust her personality. She’s a much calmer Lorna. I’m going to say it. I wasn’t really thrilled with the way she was written in the beginning of the season. Not to throw shade, it was just a different side of her that personally I didn’t want to see. It was important to tell her story, to have these little moments. We can’t forget about her mental illness. 

She has bipolar disorder. I almost think that she was in an up high place last year, that this year it was awesome to see her in that lower place in her mental health. We definitely saw that after the birth of Dawn and we continued to see until episode seven. So, her journey has been all over the place, up and down. The headpiece is her getting back to the season one Lorna we know and hopefully love. It represents so much more than a tiara, than something you put on your head. It’s not an accessory. And everyone is wondering about the use of the headpiece. “You live with three telepaths. Are you going to do the Magneto/Xavier thing?” So far, we haven’t explored that. Right now, it’s more of a symbol of her family legacy and taking ownership of that.

What else can viewers expect to see in the block of episodes leading up to the winter finale?

Reeva is hard to gage. It’s hard to see where her empathy lies, if she has any. If she does, is it fake? We see her have connecting moments with Andy. We saw a little bit of her past in the last episode and where she comes from. I was really shocked when I read the script for this, but Reeva was much more of a Mutant Underground-type of a person when she was younger. We saw that with her friend Benny. I love that these two characters were taken straight from the comics.

We have seen how time has changed Reeva. That’s really what our season is building into. We are seeing how far Reeva will go. How far will Reeva go for this mutant homeland, for this brotherhood ideal of mutants and humans living separately. We start to see the cracks in all her stories. We find out who she’s really working with. She brings in new people. Who are these new people? What are they doing? Are they terrorists? Are they good people? It’s a very fine line. It becomes clearer to Lorna that Reeva is not a nice person and she doesn’t want good things. She is basically planning a large, large, large attack. By large, I mean it involves the entire country and it will change the world they live in forever. This mutant homeland is coming faster than Lorna even expected. That’s what our season is building up to. Lorna is kept in the dark about it for the most part. She’s left to her own devices to figure out what it is. When she does, it’s shocking and horrifying and she’s like, “This can’t happen.”

The Gifted airs Tuesdays at 8 on Fox.

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