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The Surprising Line That Got Aidan Gallagher His Role In The Umbrella Academy

Netflix's series "The Umbrella Academy" is ultimately a story about family. The Hargreeves siblings do not always have the healthiest forms of communication, but that may be due to their upbringing. After 43 women give birth simultaneously, patriarch Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore) adopts seven of them and raises them to be superheroes. Each child has their own specific talent — even Vanya (Elliot Page) who was raised to believe that she was powerless. "The Umbrella Academy" is a great example of an ensemble show, but there is one character that stands out among the rest.

Aiden Gallagher plays the curmudgeonly sibling only referred to as "Number Five." While his siblings grew up with the normal trauma associated with being controlled by their father, Five has a different experience. His power of teleportation backfires and one day he is sent to a future he can not get back from. He lives into his elderly years alone until he is transported back to the present day. The only downside is his aged consciousness was transported into the same body as the one he left — that of a young teenager. With such a difficult role to portray, Gallagher had a lot on his plate — and we couldn't imagine anyone else in the role. Turns out, there is one thing he said to the creatives behind "The Umbrella Academy" in the audition process that landed him the part of Number Five.

Aiden Gallagher embodied the role of Number Five

According to Vulture, showrunner Steve Blackman was starting to get worried during the casting process. They had seen over 300 kids for the part of "The Umbrella Academy's" Number Five and nothing was hitting home. That all changed when they met Aiden Gallagher. Finding someone to sell the role of an adult man in a child's body was difficult, but Blackman was convinced upon meeting Gallagher.

"We'd gone everywhere. We had gone to the U.K., Australia, Canada, America," Blackman said "...And this tape pops on and the kid looks at the camera and goes, 'I will kill for this role.' That was Aiden. And he was great." Blackman went on to say that darkness was something that was necessary for the role. Number Five had lived decades while his siblings had less experience and less concern about the world coming to an end. "I thought we were never gonna find this kid. Aidan Gallagher popped up and I'm like, That's him.' I knew instantly," Blackman said. 

Indeed, Gallagher would have killed for the role of Number Five just as Number Five would kill to save the world from calamity. The casting was intentional and perfect.