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18 February 2019, 12:32
The new mind-bending Netflix original ‘The Umbrella Academy’ features Canadian actress Ellen Page on a violin – but is she really playing it?
Based on an American comic book series, The Umbrella Academy is Netflix’s new original series about a family of superheroes.
Ellen Page stars as Vanya Hargreeves, one of seven foster siblings who were all born under mysterious circumstances and adopted as infants.
Although Page plays a character who has no superhero abilities, the actress learned possibly the most impressive skill of all: playing the violin.
“For me on a personal level, I have to say this is one of my favourite characters I’ve ever gotten to play,” Page told USA Today.
Vanya, an aspiring violinist who is stuck at the back of her orchestra’s violin section, finds her voice throughout the series and finally has a professional break-through.
Page just about moves her bow up and down in the right places – but most of her playing is dubbed by a young violinist. “She’s a 16-year-old prodigy named Imogen. It was a gift to listen to her play. I definitely know the stuff that doesn’t look as good.”
The violinist is Imogen Sloss, a young Canadian musician who won a first-place trophy at the 2017 Ontario Music Festivals Association (OMFA).
Having never picked up a violin before, Page took a few lessons for authenticity’s sake.
“I did my absolute best and had a wonderful, patient teacher. It is so hard. So hard. Really, the goal was to just try and make me look as comfortable as humanly possible.”
Page’s bowing isn’t perfect, but she has a fair go at it and even shows off a touch of vibrato in the left hand.
In the trailer for The Umbrella Academy, 43 women around the world mysteriously give birth on the same day… but none of them were pregnant that morning.
The first episode begins 17 years later, as six young superheroes born on that day reunite after their adoptive father dies, and they are faced with the daunting task of saving the world in eight days.
The Umbrella Academy is available to watch on Netflix.