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Aidan Gallagher dishes on the second season of Umbrella Academy - Exclusive

Given the enthusiastic fanbase for Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá's Umbrella Academy comics, there was little doubt that there'd be at least some interest in Netflix's live-action series adaptation. To say that's an understatement would be an understatement of its own, as the first season of The Umbrella Academy managed to take audiences by surprise – combining appealing casting and a stylish visual aesthetic to craft a twisted, time-tripping anti-superhero story that became one of Netflix's biggest hits.

The Umbrella Academy season 1 ended on a massive cliffhanger, with the Hargreeves clan unable to prevent the end of the world but able to jump back in time thanks to the power of the time-traveling adult assassin in a teenager's body, Number Five. With season 2 is just around the corner, Looper sat down with the actor behind Five, Aidan Gallagher, to talk about the challenges and joys of heading into a second season of The Umbrella Academy — as well as what fans can expect from the character and his siblings.

Number Five's season 2 evolution on The Umbrella Academy

Since the events of The Umbrella Academy's second season kick off hard on the heels of what went down at the end of season 1, it might be expected that the characters wouldn't have a ton of time to evolve. Gallagher, however, hints that Five isn't quite the same man-slash-boy he was when last we saw him. 

"In season 1, Five starts out stubborn, and he's very un-inclusive," says Gallagher. "He doesn't really open up with his family members. [...] They're almost like little children running around with their petty arguments and quarrels. And he's thinking about an impending apocalypse, the end of the world, and so he's very close-minded. But at the end of that season, he realizes he needs his family's help."

This newfound need for others means The Umbrella Academy season 2 offers up a somewhat kinder, gentler Five. As Gallagher tells us, "Going into season 2, it's a continuation of that. And in a way, it's flipped because he goes to his family for help and they reject him. They turn [him] down — they won't help him. And so there's this vulnerability and openness to that character in the beginning of season 2 that we haven't necessarily seen. I was really excited as an actor to get to portray that shade of the character."

New Five, new challenges for Aidan Gallagher

Given the shifts both within Five and in the character's relationship with his siblings, Gallagher faced some new tests when it came to performing the part. Fortunately, a season of work in Five's culottes had the actor feeling a familiarity that made the transition easier. 

"Going into a second season, you have more history with the character — you know him a lot better," Gallagher says. "And that means you also know where the weaknesses are, where the unexplored areas are for that character. And it just makes you want to do it even better."

Thankfully, the actor felt fully supported by the creative team. The combination of their writing and his on-camera talents yielded a characterization that he believes fans will find fulfilling. 

"It just poses an even bigger challenge: How can we keep this so that fans still love it and are still a fan of it, but how can we also bring this character to new areas?" Gallagher shares. "And [The Umbrella Academy showrunner] Steve Blackman and the writers definitely wrote some incredible arc that I got to explore as an actor, and really imagined how much Five reacts in those scenarios. The things the fans love [are there], but everything gets expanded as we go deeper into the rabbit hole."

We'll find out more about Five's season 2 adventures when The Umbrella Academy's new episodes arrive on Netflix on July 31.