‘The Umbrella Academy’ Cast Reacts to the Backstreet Boys Fight Scene in Season 2

The Umbrella Academy has always made use of popular music on its soundtrack. Season 1 included such hits as “I Think We’re Alone Now” and “Dancing In the Moonlight.” Season 2 may have topped itself with a fight scene scored by the Backstreet Boys’ “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)”.

Umbrella Academy
L-R: Robert Sheehan, Justin H. Min, Aidan Gallagher, Ellen Page, Tom Hopper, David Castaneda, Emmy Raver-Lampman | Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix

Umbrella Academy showrunner Steve Blackman and cast members were on a Television Critics Association Zoom panel for season 2 on Aug. 4. Blackman and stars Emmy Raver-Lampman, David Castañeda and Ellen Page discussed the Backstreet Boys song in their show. Season 2 is now streaming on Netflix.

Backstreet Boys were a last minute addition to ‘The Umbrella Academy’

Normally, Blackman writes the songs into the Umbrella Academy scripts. Even if they don’t hear them on set, the cast knows what the song is going to be.

“We write a lot of the music into the show,” Blackman said. “I pick the songs ahead of time. I try to share with these guys a lot of it. Sometimes they change, but mostly we have a sense of it.”  

Backstreet Boys came to Blackman late one night.

Backstreet Boys
L-R: A.J. McLean, Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell and Kevin Richardson | Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

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“It was two o’clock in the morning in Toronto,” Blackman said. “These guys were shooting somewhere in the snow. I had to change the song. I had a couple of cocktails, I remembered a song that I love from them, I thought this can’t possibly work over the scene. The more I played it as I read and wrote the scene, I realized this was a perfect match.”

Emmy Raver-Lampman reacts to the Backstreet Boys

Raver-Lampman felt that viewers always feel each song that appears in the show is the best. So they had to drop Backstreet Boys to top themselves. 

“I feel like the show is constantly trying to top itself with the needle drops,” Raver-Lampan said. “At that point, you’re like, ‘It couldn’t possibly have another song that’s going to beat the one that we just heard,’ and then that happened.”

Emmy Raver-Lampman | Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix

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So much time passes between filming and streaming, Raver-Lampman got to enjoy Backstreet Boys all over again. 

“I think I forgot,” Raver-Lampan. “We shot this season a year ago, especially that scene specifically. It was a year ago, and I think it had just completely slipped my mind. So, when watching the episode, I was like watching the scene before where Robert was like speaking it, and my ears perked up. I was like, ‘Wait a minute. Why do I know those lyrics?’ And then it just like smashed into the next scene and I was like, ‘Oh my God, I forgot!’”  

David Castañeda reacts to the Backstreet Boys

David Castañeda listened to Backstreet Boys before filming the scene. 

“I get extremely attached when I read the script,” Castañeda said. “I’ll just put it on my Spotify and I’ll make a playlist out of it. I just make sure I never share it with anyone because I want to keep that song fresh. But, I listen to it every day while we’re shooting that specific episode.”

David Castaneda and Ritu Arya | Netflix

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Fighting to Backstreet Boys was easier.

“I was just happy it wasn’t me dancing,” Castañeda said. “I got to enjoy it as a viewer.”

Ellen Page reacts to Backstreet Boys

Page was asked her favorite song in season 2 of The Umbrella Academy too. She concurred with her castmates. 

Umbrella Academy: Ellen Page
Ellen Page | Netflix

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“I mean, the Backstreet Boys scene is just too f***ing good,” Page said.