Inhumans actors Sonya Balmores and Eme Ikwuakor spoke to Screen Rant about the show’s diverse casting and guest stars. The Inhumans are a huge part of Marvel comics history. First introduced in Fantastic Four #45 back in 1965, they have consistently been a part of the epic universe, interacting with both good guys and bad over the years – including Quicksilver, The Avengers, and Thanos. The concept of the Inhumans has already been introduced to the MCU by way of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and now they are finally getting their own show.
Inhumans will tell the story of the Inhuman Royal Family, lead by Black Bolt, who live together on Attilan. After a coup by his brother Maximus, Black Bolt finds himself and those closest to him escaping to Hawaii. Together, they must protect the Earth and each other. While they each have different powers and abilities, so do the Inhumans lead by Maximus on Attilan. Not to mention that the King’s brother and his followers might not be the only enemies that Black Bolt and his most loyal family and friends have to face.
Related: Who’s Who in the Inhumans Trailer
In a rather unique move, the casting of the Royal Family is diverse, even though the characters are largely meant to be cousins with each other. Whether that will ever be addressed in the show is unknown. It might be a result of diversity naturally occurring through relationships and their offspring. It might be one of the things that makes Inhumans different from human beings. Or it might simply be something that is never addressed. Whatever the reason, the cast is certainly pleased with the results. During a set visit, Screen Rant spoke to Sonya Balmores – who plays The Head of the Royal Guards on Attilan, Auran – and Eme Ikwuakor – Black Bolt’s cousin Gorgon – about the show’s diversity:
Can you tell us a little bit more about the diversity because we’ve been talking about the great thing about the Inhumans was always already in the early stage of the diversity of the characters as well as races. It was the big thing there. Is that happening as well? Because of the Counsel of people who do have powers and people who don’t have powers, but…[calls into question diversity of Inhumans cast].
Sonya Balmores: No. I love how diverse our cast is and our guest cast is amazing too. I can’t wait for you guys to meet them because we have our own amazing guest stars. It’s a really diverse cast.
Eme Ikwuakor: It’s not just from what you see on the front end. It’s on the back end and… [laughs]
Balmores is a native of Hawaii, where the show is filmed and largely set. Ikwuakor is Nigerian-American and their co-stars Ken Luang and Mike Moh are Asian-American. That is a pretty significant number of diverse actors with leading roles on a TV series where their race and diversity are not actually a major element of the plot.
Not much of the guest cast was seen during the Marvel’s Inhumans trailer, which specifically focused on Black Bolt and Maximus. So Balmores’ hint about the diversity in the guest stars will have to be something that we wait and see about. And as for Ikwiakor’s joke about the back end as well as the front, that could mean any number of things, though it may be a reference to those working on the show behind the cameras. Once the show airs, perhaps it will make sense.
In a story about people who all have different powers and abilities but are united in a common goal, them being represented by actors of various ethnic backgrounds certainly adds to the message. It will also help with the goal for the characters to be relatable – since there will be many different characters that different people can relate to. It will certainly be interesting to see this cast all working together on the show. And also to see how the guest stars add to the overall look – as well as to the story itself.
Inhumans premieres in IMAX on September 1, and on ABC on September 29.
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