Umbrella Academy actor explains Herb's new role in Netflix hit show
TV + Movies

Umbrella Academy actor explains Herb’s new role in Netflix hit show

Published: 18/Aug/2020 13:03 Updated: 3/Sep/2020 14:16

by David Purcell


Herb is one of the breakout stars of Netflix’s Umbrella Academy Season 2 and the role for Ken Hall, the actor who plays him, has changed quite a lot to reflect that. 

In the first run of the show, Herb was very much one of the men in the shadows for The Commission. He had small parts to play here and there, although always too nervous to take command – at least that’s what viewers could see.


The prominence of the Handler in the latest season of the show saw Herb’s character build progressively. An apocalypse takes center-stage so you will be forgiven for not following all of his scenes with great detail. However, we got to see a bit more wit, even with the nerves, and the decisions he made in the central plot had a huge impact.

In fact, the final episode appears to have put a jetpack on the bureaucrat’s back for the future.


Umbrella Academy’s Ken Hall on playing Herb

Herb in Umbrella Academy
Herb now plays a bigger role for The Commission in The Umbrella Academy.

If you’re excited to see a whole lot more of Herb in future Umbrella seasons, one can only imagine how it feels to have played his leap into the ascendency – like Ken Hall.

In an interview with Looper, the actor spoke about how his role has been tweaked. He seems delighted about the expansive role, too.

He said: “In the first season, I played the body of Pogo, and in episode 6, I got to play Herb, which was a very small role, but it was great, and it was a comedic role as well, which is more my background. And the showrunner, Steve Blackman, really loved it. He said ‘Man, that was laugh-out-loud funny.’ From that, in season 2, without getting into things, yeah, Herb is back as part of the Commission. And so yeah, it’s really lovely to be able to see and experience the show from two different perspectives.”


More comedy

Umbrella Academy fish head
Carmichael was one of the senior figures in Season 2, and Herb used his advice in one episode to make a big discovery.

One of the biggest shifts this season, and it’s not hidden away either, is the introduction of comedy for the role.

“He’s a character that I can really identify with. He’s good at what he does, and he’s got a bit of a nervous disposition to him, but I think he wants to do a good job. For me, I appreciate the writing that went into making Herb happen in this season,” Hall added. “A lot of it is very comedic-based, which, again, is more of my background in improv and clown and comedy and such. So I really feel like I get to play with my strengths.

During the interview, he admits that he’s not sure he would like to work for The Commission himself. All employees seem to be knocking at death’s door, but that didn’t take away from the excitement of playing a breakout character.


What’s changed since Umbrella Academy Season 1, for Herb?

Looking back to the first season as well, he admitted Herb didn’t really have a chance to come out of his shell. That’s changed.

“With Herb, there are lots of really fun moments that I found doing some stuff on set,” he said.


“I tell you what, though, now that I think about it, in the first season, I had a very small part when they introduced Herb. It was a really funny dynamic, what we had in season 1, being domineered by Kate Walsh’s energy and the character that she’s playing, and my very nervous bumbling, trying to search for words, being very uncomfortable, being put under the microscope. We did many takes for that one small scene.

Hall added: “So there are many different versions of stuff that I tried out — wild lines, basically, and just playing with the physicality. What I got to do more this year is to play with the more physical comedy moments, this sense of the mannerisms of Herb. I think in season 1, there was a lot of improv that went into me trying to fumble for my lines in response to what Kate’s character, to the Handler, what she was saying to me.”

He may be an even bigger character next time, too, as fans who have completed the season will know all too well.

So, watch this space for a more dominant Herb character, and for more from The Umbrella Academy. After recording over 14 days in top spot in Netflix’s Top 10 things to watch and dominating the ratings, there’s more to come from this series. You can be sure of it.

TV + Movies

Star Wars insider drops big spoiler on Ahsoka’s Mandalorian S2 appearance

Published: 13/Oct/2020 17:20

by Michael Gwilliam


Star Wars fanatics hoping for some more news on the popular character Ahsoka Tano ahead of The Mandalorian Season 2 should strap themselves in, because an insider has leaked huge news.

Ahsoka has been a fan-favorite since the days of Star Wars Clone Wars and eventually continued her story arc into Rebels. Now, while it had already been confirmed that Ahsoka would be in The Mandalorian, we have new info about just how big her role will be.


In a now-deleted tweet, reporter and insider John Campea posted a list of five things about The Mandalorian Season 2, including a claim that Ahsoka would have a small scene in a single episode.

He noted that one of the five things he posted was a lie, but when questioned about whether the Ahsoka info wasn’t truthful, he claimed that, “you had a 20% chance of guessing which one wasn’t true… and you didn’t get it.”

John Campea confirms Ahsoka
John Campea seemed to confirm Ahsoka will be in Season 2.

This suggests that Ahsoka will in fact have a small role, however, the length of the scene may be a bit controversial.

According to Campea, Ahsoka will be in only “one episode” and it’s not exactly a “cameo.”

So, for fans hoping for a little more than just a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it scene, you’re going to have to wait for another show or movie.

Campea on Ahsoka
Ahsoka isn’t exactly a “cameo” according to insider John Campea.

“I think you’ll be happy regardless,” Campea wrote to a fan not pleased with the news. “One episode and all.”

As for when she will appear, as Dexerto previously noted, Dave Filoni inked the season’s fifth episode and Ahsoka is his favorite, having introduced her way back in The Clone Wars.

Star Wars and Disney have pulled off small interconnected semi-cameos from animated shows before. For example, the Ghost from Rebels is seen briefly in Rogue One.

Campea says fans will be happy with Ahsoka in Mandalorian
Campea thinks fans will still be happy she shows up.

As always, take this information with a grain of salt, especially as it comes from a deleted tweet, but nonetheless, this is big news for Star Wars fans if it ends up being accurate.

The Mandalorian Season 2 kicks off October 30 on Disney Plus.