The actor and showrunner Steve Blackman explain the collaborative writing process behind Viktor Hargreeves' new storyline.

Something important happened in between the 2020 release of season 2 of The Umbrella Academy and the debut of season 3 on Netflix this week: Series star Elliot Page came out as transgender. The steamer made clear immediately that this would not affect Page's role on the show, and elaborated further this spring when they announced that the character would also be transitioning and taking the name Viktor Hargreeves.

The Umbrella Academy showrunner Steve Blackman took this transition seriously and was open to input from Page and trans writers about telling Viktor's story, as Page explained to Seth Meyers on Tuesday night.

"When we first talked about it, he seemed really excited about incorporating it into the show," Page said of Blackman. "And this incredible [writer] named Thomas Page McBee, who I met doing a miniseries called Tales of the City, he wrote an incredible book called Amateur that I highly recommend everybody to read. He was the first trans man to box in Madison Square Garden. His book and his work in general are so much about masculinity and what it means, and exploring that. So Thomas came on board [the show], and helped out. I feel proud of it. I'm excited for people to see it."

Elliot Page as Viktor Hargreeves in The Umbrella Academy
Elliot Page as Viktor Hargreeves on 'The Umbrella Academy' season 3.
| Credit: Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix

As Viktor makes his transition clear to his superpowered siblings over the course of the new season, they generally welcome the news with understanding — even as they are caught up in battling the Sparrow Academy and trying to avert another time-space apocalypse known as the Kugelblitz.

The Umbrellas' acceptance of Viktor serves as an important contrast with the Sparrows, who seem much more interested in spying on and competing with one another than lifting each other up.

"When it came to Viktor's coming-out storyline, we all knew it was important to play it for real and play it with sensitivity," Blackman tells EW. "What's amazing about the Umbrella Academy siblings is, with all their craziness, deep down they're very understanding about each other and this common childhood they shared. It really made sense that there's a certain acceptance that they have for each other that's quite touching. They wouldn't admit it, but they do care about each other. They're a real family."

Blackman continues, "crafting Viktor's storyline, it was important that it be authentic. I consulted with Nick Adams at GLAAD, who's just an amazing individual, and we brought in this writer Thomas Page McBee for his guidance and expertise. And of course, Elliot was a huge part of this. It was a collaborative process to make this storyline make sense for the characters and feel honest."

The Umbrella Academy season 3 is streaming now on Netflix. Follow EW's ongoing coverage here.

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