Harry Lloyd, known to Game of Thrones fans as the ill-fated brother of Daenerys Targaryen, has been sitting on some exciting news since before Christmas. And he’s still excited about it now, despite what the implications are for his hair situation.
Legion showrunner Noah Hawley made the news official at the Television Critics Association Tour this month in announcing Lloyd in the role of Professor Xavier, the traditionally wheelchair-bound father of psychic mutant David Haller (Dan Stevens). Another traditional aspect of the character, as evident by the previous iterations from James McAvoy and Patrick Stewart in the X-Men movies: he’s bald.
“That was one of the first things I asked when Noah and I were Skyping before Christmas,” Lloyd tells EW over the phone from Los Angeles, where he’s shooting his guest-starring role in the third and final season of the psychedelic FX drama. “And, thankfully, there’s no shaving required.”
“As of yet,” he quickly added. “I haven’t seen all the scripts.”
Lloyd and Stephanie Corneliussen will play David’s parents in Legion season 3, but the news isn’t a massive bombshell for viewers who’ve heard Hawley teasing Charles Xavier’s inevitable emergence.
Like David, who possesses seemingly limitless telekinetic and telepathic powers, Charles is an immensely powerful psychic himself. “We know enough, even in the mythology of the show, to know that when David was born his father went off to fight [Amal Farouk] and kick Farouk out of his body,” Hawley told The Wrap of the characters’ comic book origins battling Shadow King. “And so I think what we’re going to explore is that story.”
Because Legion is set in an entirely different universe than the X-Men movies, Lloyd feels confident in putting his own mark on the character.
“Over Christmas, I watched all of the X-Men films with McAvoy and Stewart, and then I watched the two seasons of Legion,” he said. “It’s good to be aware of [the films] but also it’s a completely different universe. And actually, I have a lot of freedom and I think I’m encouraged to do my own thing. I went back to the comics and I learned all about the original story and saw what [the producers] were using and what they were gonna throw away. Legion is incredibly irreverent and beautifully surreal. I felt my main job was to have some fun with it and tell this crazy story.”
In the season 2 finale, David runs off when Lenny (Aubrey Plaza) and becomes the surprise villain of Legion after his friends realize he’s been using his abilities to manipulate everyone around him. It’s part of a three-season arc Hawley has been planning since the beginning.
“It’s great that it’s the end and they know that it’s the end, so all these questions that they set up to explore have gotten even crazier,” Lloyd teases. “I would say season 3, from what I’ve seen, does seem to be working towards tying up and answering the questions and revealing some things that haven’t been seen. I think it’ll be very satisfying.”
Legion season 3 will premiere this June.