The Umbrella Academy Cast on “I Think We’re Alone Now” Dance Scene
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[Warning: There are light spoilers for The Umbrella Academy ahead. Read at your own risk!]
About thirty minutes into the premiere of The Umbrella Academy, after Reginald Hargreeves’ (Colm Feore) adopted children have gathered to bury him and fought over the possibility that his death was pre-meditated, the estranged siblings break into a spontaneous dance montage set to Tiffany’s iconic single “I Think We’re Alone Now.”
The four Hargreeves — Number One (Tom Hopper), Number Two (David Castaneda), Number Three (Emmy Raver-Lampman), Number Four (Robert Sheehan) and Number Seven (Ellen Page) — harboring in their respective corners of their dad’s chilly mansion each find themselves compelled to bust a move when the song starts playing through the house. It’s a few moments of pure joy in a show that’s otherwise about trying to prevent the end of the world.
“I just kept thinking when I was a kid and I’d be away from — I’d be in college, I’d come home to my house and I’d see my room from home. I grew up in that room. I thought, instantly all the memories come back to you,” showrunner Steve Blackman told TV Guide about the inspiration for the scene. “So here are these 30-year-old [people, a] dysfunctional family. They’ve arrived for a funeral, and they all think they’re so different, but then when they go to the rooms and they forget about everyone else in the house, there’s sort of, you realize they’re really similar, and they’re all sorts of kids at heart. All that bullsh– goes away and they come back to sort of that idea that they’re just having fun. So what better to do than to dance in your own room, to sing ‘I Think We’re Alone Now’ by Tiffany?”
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Aside from lifting the mood of the series and previewing that the apocalypse doesn’t have to be all dread and bloodshed, the sequence also gives you insight into who each of these characters are and their personalities without any of them saying a word. Number One is a bit stiff, but a goofball when he’s properly comfortable. Number Two is a badass, pure and simple. Number Three is refined, elegant and beautiful in almost everything she does. Number Four is the free spirit, and poor Number Seven is just trying to figure it all out.
The choice to have them each do their own dance was one made by the actors, who saw the opportunity to really show who their characters are.
“Everyone said, ‘Nope, we’re going to just do our own dance.’ And I’m like, ‘You guys better be able to dance well. And they all could dance well. David has killer moves. Tom had great moves…they were just great dancers, all of them. And they dance the way their personalities are. It’s very kind of indicative of their personalities, the way they danced,” Blackman said.
While each of them bring something really special to the sequence, Castaneda stands out as the dance pro, but you wouldn’t know that from talking to him.
“I was scared sh–less, but I was because Steve had said, ‘I need you to think of ’90s moves.’ So there I am searching ’90s moves, and then when they put that song on, put that camera on, I just [danced],” Castaneda explained. “I just started doing this and I just blacked out.”
As scared as he was, the rest of the cast was there to support Castaneda and his killer moves.
“[David] got some really great moves in there. I just look like my dad dancing at a wedding,” Hopper said. “It was probably some of the most fun I had shooting. It was great.”
It really was, Tom.
The Umbrella Academy is now streaming on Netflix.
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