‘The Umbrella Academy’: Tom Hopper Shares the Thing That Helped Him Become Luther Hargreeves

Tom Hopper plays Luther Hargreeves, also known as “Space Boy” or “Number One” in The Umbrella AcademyWhile Hopper is a talented actor, he says there’s one thing in particular that has helped him become the fictional superhero created by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá. Find out what helps Hopper transform into Luther.

Tom Hopper
Tom Hopper | Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Netflix

Tom Hopper was looking for a role outside of the Game of Thrones and Black Sails realm

When Hopper was auditioning for The Umbrella Academy, he was looking for something that wasn’t in the style of “Dungeons and Dragons.” He didn’t want to do a period piece. Instead, Hopper was looking for a role that would challenge him, as he explained to Tribute Movies

More specifically, he was looking for something that didn’t require an elaborate costume, like the attire he donned in Game of Thrones or Black Sails

Luther’s look is quite involved — he’s a hybrid somewhere between man and primate. Ironically, Hopper loves playing the part, regardless of how elaborate the costume might be. 

Creating Luther Hargreeves requires a solid foundation 

Fortunately for Hopper, he was already halfway to achieving the massive build required to play Luther Hargreeves. 

“Tom Hopper is already huge, and then they put a prosthetic on him,” creator Gerard Way told The Hollywood Reporter. “I thought that was a big risk, and I thought that was awesome.” Showrunners used prosthetics on Hopper to enhance his already-built physique. 

Executive producer Steve Blackman explained: “We did all this research, and we gave [Tom] these extra muscles and bones that only apes would have.” 

Thanks to a stellar costume, Hopper was able to bring the comic book hero to life. 

Tom Hopper’s bodysuit helps him become Luther Hargreeves 

“I love superheroes,” Hopper admitted to Tribute Movies. He was looking for a character outside of the medieval times, but one with just as much depth. He feels Luther, along with the other Hargreeves siblings, are some of today’s most complicated superheroes. 

“The biggest thing was trying to learn how to be Luther in this suit,” he said. “[The suit] actually ended up making me feel even better because it made me feel who Luther really was. He was awkward in this body — he doesn’t want to be in this body.” 

Thanks to the discomfort of his bodysuit, Hopper was able to tap into his character. Initially, Hopper felt awkward maneuvering around in the massive costume, which made his portrayal of Luther Hargreeves all the more realistic. 

Getting into Luther Hargreeves’ bodysuit takes ‘two minutes’ according to Tom Hopper

Mentally channeling Luther might require a bit more effort for Hopper, but as for physically looking like Number One — well, that’s simple. 

The muscle suit took two minutes to put on — “you zip into it,” Hopper explained to SYFY WIRE

When it comes to the shirtless scenes — the ones that require the full-on, hairy-ape look — those take a bit longer to prepare for. 

“[Getting ready for those scenes] was a bit more elaborate and laborious as well,” Hopper said. “They stick it all on me and paint it.”