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Stephen Moyer Isn’t Mute About The Mutants In The Gifted

Stephen Moyer could see the headline coming.

“Moyer says mutants are cancerous!” he bellowed, as if he were having a stop-the-presses moment.

OK, let’s back that up a little bit and explain.

Stephen Moyer is one of the stars of the new series The Gifted, which is coming to CTV this fall. The show is set within the X-Men universe.

It tells the tale of a suburban couple—played by Moyer and Amy Acker—whose ordinary lives are obliterated by the sudden discovery that their children possess mutant powers. Forced to go on the run from a hostile government (why are governments always hostile on TV?), the family seeks help from an underground network of mutants that is fighting for survival.

So during the Television Critics Association event, Moyer was asked if the mutant powers are hereditary in the show.

“Um, there is a genetic element as well, I think,” Moyer said. “But I think it’s also the idea that the mutant gene is in the world, and you have the gene, and it’s whether or not it gets enacted. Enacted, is that the right word? Or whether it gets, um, turned, you know, switched.”

“Like cancer,” a reporter said.

“Like cancer,” Moyer agreed. But that was the instant in which he envisioned the alarming headline, and he loudly joked, “Moyer says mutants are cancerous!”

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Stephen Moyer and Jamie Chung

So he did say that, yes, but he didn’t say it seriously, just to be clear.

Moyer’s character, Reed Strucker, does not have powers, as least as far as he knows. But after playing “Vampire Bill” for seven seasons on True Blood, Moyer really doesn’t mind portraying an honest-to-God human being.

“One of the things I was really excited about when I read the script was the fact that he didn’t have powers, because obviously I have done a lot of that,” Moyer said. “I liked the fact that he was the ordinary in the extraordinary. I mean, never say never, but as far as I know – and I don’t know – there is no intention of doing that (revealing that Reed has powers). But I don’t know.

“It’s a lot of fun doing that stuff (playing a character with powers). And because I’m such a student of film, I love film technique and I very much love the magic of trying to create all that stuff. But I certainly don’t want to be pigeon-holed.”

As for the wider issues in The Gifted, writer, showrunner and executive producer Matt Nix tried to explain how the X-Men fit into things, in the tangled web that has been weaved between TV shows and movies in the Marvel universe.

“It’s in the trailer—the X-Men are gone, right? And that’s not a dodge,” Nix said. “But that’s not like the X-Men are gone and we’re never going to mention them again.

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(L-R) Stephen Moyer, Jamie Chung, Coby Bell, Emma Dumont, and Executive Producers Matt Nix and Jeph Loeb 

“I mean, it’s a thing in the show and we’re going to be exploring it. It’s a huge deal to these guys. It’s like a huge deal in the world. It’s one of the central mysteries of the show. So there’s a whole sort of historical mythology.

“There’s not going to be a situation where the television show is driving the movies or the movies are driving the television show, because the mythology that we’re telling specifically avoids that. But it doesn’t avoid it by pretending that the X-Men don’t exist or that they’re just doing stuff over there and nobody ever pays any attention. But we’ve got a very specific mythology worked out, and that’s what we’re going to be unpacking.”

Gifts always are worth unpacking. And so, too, is The Gifted.

Just don’t be counting on Stephen Moyer unpacking his vampire fangs.

“I guess (Reed) might (suck someone’s blood) if he has to extract some kind of venom out of some wound or something,” Moyer said.

Good to keep the door to the crypt open just a little, I guess.

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