Ellen Page calls character’s romance in Umbrella Academy ‘meaningful representation’

Spoilers for season one and two of The Umbrella Academy Follow. A major spoiler is not visible unless you highlight it.
I have been waiting a full damn year for season two of Netflix’s Umbrella Academy and it did not disappoint. In season one we learn that the Umbrella Academy was helmed by an eccentric old scientist who adopted seven children with special powers (most likely because they were all supernaturally born on the same day, October 1, 1989). There may have been more but the kids don’t know because they have lived most of their lives in isolation.

Their father, the eccentric, wouldn’t give them actual names, they were instead given numbers. Six were brought up to embrace their supernatural abilities except for Vanya, who was treated less then because she supposedly didn’t have any abilities. But she found out that she was actually the most powerful and that their father had been microdosing her to mute her her powers.

#5, who is a time jumper, ends up sending himself and his siblings to the past in order to avoid said event. This is where we find Vanya, in the early 1960s, without her memories living with a farming family somewhere in the middle of Texas. She is taken in by husband and wife Sissy and Carl and becomes the nanny of their special needs son Harlan.

Vanya and Sissy fall in love and I won’t tell you more or we’ll get into serious spoilers.

Ellen Page, who plays Vanya, spoke with E! about the beauty and obstacles of a lesbian relationship in the 60s. Homosexuality was not only against the law but considered a mental illness. Ellen explained how that story line is relevant today.

“It was beautiful in many ways to play Vanya falling in love for the first time with a woman, and not in an awful, abusive relationship like she was in the first season, thank goodness,” she says. “And then you want to take care of the storyline. You want to make sure you’re showing the beauty and the love, and also reflecting the obstacles, of course.”

She says that while a lot has changed since the 1960s, she still experiences homophobia in her own life and thinks Vanya and Sissy’s story doesn’t feel totally stuck in the past.

“It was illegal at the time, considered a mental illness, and what Vanya and Sissy go through is still very relevant,” she says. “I’ve dealt with a lot of homophobia in my life, and I continue to. So I think it was really meaningful in terms of that representation going out into the world, especially with a show with this reach, and also just trying to be mindful of being sensitive and hopefully telling that story well.”

[From E! Online]

Season two of Umbrella Academy was chaotic AF but I loved every minute of it. Vanya’s love story arc, albeit sad, was very beautiful and somewhat of a history lesson of how far the LGBTQ community has come. It was also warming to see Vanya in a reciprocal love relationship after her character’s trials in season one.

I also love how sensitively Ellen Page approached the story. You could see how she honored and respected her character.

Highlight the text below for spoilers for the end of season two
I wish that Sissy had chosen to go to the future with Vanya taking her son with her. Since we can’t have a happy ending for Vanya, I hope in future seasons she will get the love and support she so rightly deserves. I am also excited about where they take one of the cliffhangers at the end of the season. Specifically, the one in which Sissy’s son Harlan retained his powers accidentally acquired from Vanya. Whatever the case, I am quite sure Season 3 will have some crazy character arcs and I can’t wait to see what the writers come up with next!




Photos credit: Netflix

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15 Responses to “Ellen Page calls character’s romance in Umbrella Academy ‘meaningful representation’”

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  1. SM says:

    I skipped right to the comment section as I am in a phrase of considering Umbrella Academy. I have little time for series at this point in my life but once I start something, I see it through so I need to know if this is worth of my precious hours of sleep?

    • Vauvert says:

      I loved it and definitely considered worth waiting for and worth binging, but it depends on your taste. If you enjoyed Good Omens, Altered Carbon, The Expanse, 12 Monkeys, Dark Matter – then you are likely to appreciate the crazy beauty of this show and the amazing talent of its actors. It’s a show that you can’t decide on in one episode, it takes a few to know, and by then you’re probably hooked:-)

    • Stellainnh says:

      I love everything about the Umbrella Academy. The characters are real solid, the story is excellent,the music is great.

      I think it will be worth your time.

  2. Anne says:

    I think the children were numbered not by age (since they were the exact same age) but by how “useful” they were to their father. For example, One always considered himself their leader and so on. But I think it was revealed that they were actually numbered based on their power levels, but in reverse. So Vanya, being the most powerful, was number Seven.

  3. LeonsMomma says:

    Loved the first season. Couldn’t get past the first episode of season 2–It was boring and cliched. Or maybe the pandemic is getting to me and I have been watching too much tv and the show now feels like they pulled most of their plot lines from “Quantum Leap.”

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      Yes, me too. I’ll have to work myself up to going back into the 60s.

    • Hyrule Castle says:

      Definitely not as good.

      The best storyline, as was in season one, is Klaus.
      His acting, Ben, his cult, he is a fantastic actor. Of course the magnificent Kate Walsh steals every scene she’s in.

      Luther is useless, Vanya just fucking whining all the time, Diego is an idiot, the reveal of what the father is ridiculous and unnecessary.

      Allison’s storyline was poignant. I just find her lines frustrating, but that’s the writing, not her acting.

      • Ai says:

        I fully agree – I continued to watch despite the slow start because I enjoyed Klaus, Ben, and Five. Allison’s story was had a lot of potential but it felt weak and super predictable. This season Diego, Luther was a bit annoying but gosh Vanya continues to be the most boring character on the show. I haven’t liked her since season 1 lol and her ‘love story’ didn’t feel genuine to me – it felt like a plot device. The villains – The Handler and her daughter – really did steal a lot of thunder this season. I really liked Lila too.

      • Maria Lujan says:


  4. You Must Be Joking says:

    Yay Ellen Page. The good Ellen.

  5. Billie says:

    I loved Vanya’s storyline in season 2. Ellen brought so many subtle changes to the character after everything she went through in the first season. I have a feeling the son will come back as an older man in future seasons? We’ll see.

    Always love to hear from Ellen. She’s a fantastic actress who hasn’t quite gotten her due.

  6. Ana says:

    I will add this series to my “when the kids go to college” list…

  7. Veronica S. says:

    I’m onto episode 2 and still deciding how I feel about the plotline, but I will say I had this pairing called five minutes after their characters were introduced. The interaction between Sissy and her husband is so blatantly set up for a breakup after an affair (on either side), and I was like, “Vanya’s going to be the one she turns to.” I mean, I’m glad. The world could use more wlw rep, but I will say, I’m very interested to see where Allison’s plotline goes, too. I have mixed feelings about the one black female character having to deal with racism as part of her storyline, but it was kind of unavoidable unless they wanted to be really offensive and completely ignore the reality of it. The flip side is that you got a onscreen black couple out of it, which is portrayed as loving, healthy, and affectionate – and radically involved in progressive movements. I have a bad feeling, though, that her husband is inevitably short for this universe, and I’ll have to see how obnoxious I find his death/removal from the story.