Black Bolt actor Anson Mount explains what makes the character such a unique leader in the MCU. Marvel’s Inhumans is set to make its debut in IMAX theaters in a couple of months, before making its way to ABC at the end of September. Focusing on the Royal Family, the show will bring to the forefront characters that we’re not really too familiar with so far. While comic book fans and those in the industry will easily recognize names such as Black Bolt, Medusa, and Maximus, it’s fair to say that Inhumans is one of Marvel’s more obscure properties, and it might take a while for fans to get to know the characters involved in the show.
Taking the role of Medusa, is Serinda Swan. Technically a cousin of the Royals leader, Black Bolt, Medusa has married within the family and her position as a fully fledged Royal is secure. In keeping with the Medusa we are all familiar with, plus the character as she is portrayed in the comics, her hair has amazing powers. Meanwhile, Iwan Rheon plays Maximus, a hugely intelligent character who has a strong desire to upset the existing hierarchy and power structures of the Royal Family.
Then there’s Eme Ikwuakor as Gorgon; a man who looks very much like a satyr. He is cousin to Black Bolt and Medusa. There’s also Crystal, one of the stronger Inhumans who can control the elements; Triton, who has the physical ability to breathe underwater, and Lockjaw, Black Bolt’s dog who travels to earth with him.
At the head of the family is the aforementioned Black Bolt, played by Anson Mount. King of the Royals, Black Bolt’s usual costume of black outfit with white accents, tuning fork, and mask will not appear in the series, but Mount’s character does keep his comic book trait of a voice that can shatter mountains. As such, the character is more or less completely silent. But what else sets Black Bolt apart from the rest of the Royals? Speaking to Screen Rant, Mount identified a number of traits that resonate with him as an actor:
“You know, Stan Lee is not dumb. Stan Lee is a very good writer. And I don’t think it’s a mistake that Black Bolt is one of the more loved characters in the Marvel Universe because it’s such a well-drawn character in the sense that he is a leader who is not only aware of the power of his own voice as head of state and as a person with a dangerous voice. Like he can’t, uh, I’m not being very articulate right now. I think readers are drawn to Black Bolt because he is a leader who’s aware that his voice has an extraordinary power, that his voice can literally kill. And he’s taken responsibility for that to the extent that he does things like meditates for an hour before he sleeps so he doesn’t speak in his sleep. You know, I think we immediately see a responsible head of state and also, that burden has sort of made him into somebody that is a bit emotionally removed, so we kind of want to lean forward into him a little bit. That’s really what I think is the primary reason that people are drawn to the character.”
So the weight of responsibility lands heavy with Black Bolt, but he accepts this challenge and makes sure he doesn’t act in a manner that might jeopardize the rest of the Royals. His solitary approach to life will certainly be interesting to see played out when he arrives on Earth, as we glimpsed in the first trailer. For Mount himself, the interest in the role came about because Black Bolt can’t speak, but he also can’t communicate via sign language because he’s not from this planet. Mount already knew Jeph Loeb, President of Marvel Television, and Loeb knew the role would suit Mount. As such, Mount did not audition, and, as he points out, “How do you audition this role?”
As of September, audiences will be able to see for themselves all of the challenges associated with playing such an uncommunicative character, and also, whether Mount has been able to pull it off.
Inhumans premieres in IMAX on September 1, and on ABC on September 29.
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