The Umbrella Academy is known for taking big swings, and the Netflix superhero show’s second season ended with its biggest shock yet. When The Umbrella Academy returned from 1963 to 2019, they were surprised to discover that in this alternate timeline Ben (Justin H. Min) is alive and the leader of what looks to be a rival gang of superheroes called The Sparrow Academy. But when Min and co-stars Ellen Page (Vanya), Robert Sheehan (Klaus), Daniel Castañeda (Diego), Emmy Raver-Lampman (Allison), Tom Hopper (Luther), and Aidan Gallagher (Five) looked back on some of the show’s most memorable moments for TV Guide’s 100 Best Shows ranking, they revealed that the Umbrella Academy’s first encounter with the new Ben was almost quite different.
“In the first version of this scene,” Min recalled, “Klaus was supposed to be the one who sees me first, and he says, ‘Ben?’ It was nice to have that moment with Ben and Klaus, but they decided to change it because they didn’t want the audience to be confused thinking that Klaus was the only one who could see Ben again. They changed it, and so everyone just says ‘sh–‘ now, which I think is really funny and very like our family to do that.”
The introduction of the new Ben comes at a very emotional time for the Hargreeves family, shortly after the ghost of the original Ben disappeared into the ether. But Min made clear that this new Ben is very different from the Hargreeves’ beloved dead brother who kept Klaus from going completely off the rails for 17 years. A lot of work went into creating the new Ben, according to Min, and you can already see some of these changes reflected in his awesome pop-punk-inspired hair.
“We actually went through about 20 iterations of the hair situation. They wanted it to be as different from Ben’s hair as possible,” Min explained. “[The original] Ben’s hair is perfectly coiffed. He’s a ghost, so his hair rarely moves, or is not supposed to move at all. They wanted something to be messier, longer. You can’t really see quite clearly [in the scene], but there’s a couple of blue streaks there. I like to call it my ode to My Chemical Romance.”
In addition to looking back at Ben’s reappearance, the cast revisited his heart-wrenching goodbye earlier in the season, when Ben sacrificed himself to save Vanya and showed her that she wasn’t nearly as alone as she thought. “He’s just so caring to her. This is what she’s needed, you know?” Page said of the scene. “When he says, ‘You’re not the only one at the table anymore,’ that just crushed me.”
The entire cast was moved by the sweetness of the scene between Ben and Vanya and shared how their characters had all bonded with Ben because he was the only Hargreeves sibling everyone got along with. “We only see his relationship with Klaus, but we never really know what his relationship was like with the other siblings,” added Raver-Lampman. “This was a good window into that. Honestly, it was a true tear-jerker.”
Of course, we couldn’t talk about the best moments of The Umbrella Academy without also revisiting the iconic “I Think We’re Alone Now” dance scene from Season 1, which was filmed on Sheehan’s first day on set. For all of the cast’s thoughts on these must-see Umbrella Academy moments, check out the video above.
The Umbrella Academy is available to stream Netflix.