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Noah Hawley on His X-Men Show ‘Legion’: ‘It Feels More Like Real Life to Me’

Variety logo Variety 1/27/2017 Dani Levy
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If you think you know what FX and Marvel’s new show “Legion” is about, don’t be so sure. The cast, producers, and creative team gathered at West Hollywood’s Pacific Design Center on Thursday evening for the premiere of the highly-anticipated new show, and all had unique opinions about main character David Haller’s (Dan Stevens) world of mutants and mental hospitals.

“Overall, I think it’s about identity and connecting with people,” said Aubrey Plaza, who plays David’s friend Lenny in the mental institution called  Clockworks.

“I think the show is about finding strength in yourself to overcome things that people have told you were negative or hold you back or make you less than someone else,” added Jeremie Harris, who’s character Ptonomy Wallace helps David overcome some issues from his past.

And yet, the show seems to be about all those things at once. Judging by the audience reaction after the screening, it would be hard not to say the psychedelic and stylized show succeeded with flying colors. The crowd loved it — as did the creator of the Marvel character, Bill Sienkiewicz, who was also in attendance.

Creator Noah Hawley was calm and poised during the evening. Also the creator of FX’s “Fargo,” Hawley had flown in just that day from Calgary, where he was working on the crime-drama anthology.

“I think there’s something really interesting about the struggle of am I going to be a hero or am I going to be a villain, which is very organic to what the X-Men is all about,” Hawley said of the show. “It feels more like real life to me.”

“Legion” is the first partnership between FX and Marvel, which has already released shows on Netflix (“Jessica Jones,” “Luke Cage”) and ABC (“Agent Carter,” “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”). Producers Simon Kinberg, Lauren ShulerDonner, Bryan Singer, and head of Marvel TV, Jeph Loeb, were all quick to praise FX.

“My god, really, [FX President] John Landgraf was so supportive — he’s always so supportive of Noah [Hawley] and all of us,” Donner, who spearheaded the X-Men film series alongside Singer, said.

“They were great. They gave us enormous freedom and they have enormous faith in Noah,” Singer added.

“Legion” premieres Feb. 8 for an eight-episode run on FX.

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