Q: In generating a world inspired by a Marvel Comics character, “Legion” has a bounty of twists and turns. Do you ever get confused in enacting it?
A: I do find that each subsequent script reconfigures the current one I’m reading, and they always take at least three or four readings before you realize there’s something I missed. It’s often in a stage direction, because like most actors, I don’t read them … and I come on set and say, “Wait. There’s a cow?” And, “Oh, yeah. That was the bit where I wasn’t speaking.” It’s there. There’s always something that you miss.
Q: How often do you consult with executive producer Noah Hawley (“Fargo”) about what’s happening in the show?
A: We’re sort of at a level of psychic communication where I don’t need to ask so many questions. As Noah says, the scripts are probably more confusing than the show ends up being, and everybody – cast, crew – we often find ourselves asking questions we don’t really need to be asking, (and we) get in a terrible tangle about something. It is actually straightforward, and it’s been sort of dressed up to look more abstract and playful than it actually is. That’s part of the fun of the show, I think.
Q: Which fantasy shows do you consider to be touchstones of the genre?
A: My mom and I used to love “Quantum Leap.” That was a staple. But there were lots of … like, “Mork & Mindy,” in terms of American shows. In terms of British shows, I was raised on a pretty heavy diet of “Monty Python,” which has formed most of what I’ve done in my life.
And “Doctor Who,” I guess. My “Doctor Who” was very sort of (the version that starred) Tom Baker, which was in itself quite an experience. Just watching Tom Baker do anything is quite psychedelic. I think there was a slightly more surreal sensibility, in some of the British comedy particularly, but maybe some of the sci-fi as well.