The ABC comic book series Marvel’s Inhumans explores the Royal Family of the Inhumans, led by enigmatic king Black Bolt (Anson Mount) and his wife Medusa (Serinda Swan), who have to escape to Hawaii after a military coup in their home of Attilan. Once they are in the world surrounded by humanity, they must find a way to reunite with each other and return to their home before their way of life is destroyed forever.
During this 1-on-1 interview with Collider, actress Ellen Woglom (who plays Louise, one of the show’s human characters) talked about how she ended up part of the Marvel universe, the secretive audition process, developing an original character for the series, why she didn’t read any of the comics, what Louise thinks of the Inhumans, which superpower both she and her character think is the most cool, how being a part of a Marvel TV series is different from other TV series, and working with all of the effects.
Collider: How did you come to Marvel’s Inhumans and end up a part of this whole crazy world?
ELLEN WOGLOM: I’m still trying to figure that out! I auditioned, like I do for any other job that I hope to get. When I originally got the material, you don’t know what you’re auditioning for. Even the names are changed in the sides, or sometimes they’ll give you mock sides that aren’t from the script. You have no backstory for the characters, so you don’t even know what you’re supposed to go in there and play. I knew it was Marvel, but other than that, I knew nothing. There was no character breakdown, so you just try to make a choice. I went in and had the audition, and then I went back to test. During the test process, instead of just doing the audition, Jeph Loeb asked me to talk about myself, where I’m from and what my passions are, just to give them an idea of who you are, which I thought was a really smart thing to do. Then, I got a call from Jeph and he said, “Welcome to the Marvel universe!,” and here I am. And I was like, “Tell me who I’m playing!” I don’t think I got an actual script until a couple days before we started shooting. It’s all so secretive.
Do you have a sense of who Louise is, or do you feel like you’re still figuring that out?
WOGLOM: Both. Because she’s an original character, I think that I was able to have more leeway and decide who I want her to be, to some degree, to create this person. After doing eight episodes, I feel like I have a good idea about her. Having her be in different situations, you get an idea, but there’s still a lot, if we get a Season 2, that I feel like I can figure out and develop more. With the first two episodes, I was like, “I don’t know who I am yet,” but by Episode 8, I had a better idea.
Is it extra fun to get to play a character that’s unique to the series and who’s not in the comics, or were you disappointed that you couldn’t turn to the comics for her?
WOGLOM: When I first called him to tell him, my dad was like, “You’re not a superhero?!” I was like, “Thanks, dad!” There’s less pressure on me because I’m not someone from the comics. The fans don’t have an expectation or a standard that they’re holding me to, so hopefully, they won’t pick me apart. But obviously, it would be awesome to have superpowers, too. Everyone wants to be a superhero!
Did you still read the comics, even though your character isn’t in them, or did you primarily just focus on the scripts?
WOGLOM: I focused more on the scripts, themselves. It’s not that they discouraged us from reading the comics, but the scripts and the series don’t follow the comics. They’re creating their own narrative and world, so I didn’t read any of the comics. My brother is really into comics and the whole Marvel world, so he put together this whole thing and sent it to me. He’s really into it. It’s probably the one job that he’s the most excited about. Any other job I’ve had, he’s like, “Yeah, cool!,” but this one, he’s pretty excited about.
Is your brother the one in your family that’s the most excited about you being a part of this show?
WOGLOM: It’s his world. My parents are just happy that I have a job and I’m employed. No, they’re really proud. Everyone is happy.
What can you say about who Louise is and the journey that she’ll be taking?
WOGLOM: Louise is incredibly focused, driven and bright. She works for an aerospace company and has been obsessed with all things space, for her entire life. Her dad was in the world too, so it’s a long lineage. That ties into the Inhumans, with the moon and all of that. On Earth, I’m the eyes and ears for the audience. Creating an original character who’s a human, and having a human as a way to ground the show, is an in for the audience to be able to discover this whole world and find out about it. As Louise is finding out about it, so is the audience. Her social skills are a little bit lacking, which lends itself to comedy. There’s a levity with her. Because she’s a little bit socially awkward and unaware, it lends itself to some funny moments, especially between her and Medusa.
The Inhumans figure that the humans won’t notice a hoof, but Louise is clearly very smart, observant and sharp.