Colm Feore Has A Lot In Common With His Umbrella Academy Character

Reginald Hargreeves is one of the most ruthless, apathetic characters on "The Umbrella Academy," and Colm Feore does such a good job of playing him that it's always a bit of a shock to see the contrast between character and actor. While Hargreeves is cold, demanding, and has no reservations about buying children, Feore is (thankfully) much more laid-back and friendly. Yet, the pair have something crucial in common: a fierce drive to properly achieve whatever they put their minds to.

It's a similarity that Feore's co-stars have picked up on, too. In an interview with ScreenRant, Robert Sheehan couldn't help but praise Feore's incredible work dedication:

"Honestly, Colm Feore, all messing aside, is an absolute inspiration of a being. Incredibly hard working, great work ethic. Our scripts change, scenes might be cut or they might expand more often. You might get ... replacement pages to slot into your episode, so the pages go from white to blue to green to pink to yellow sometimes.

That many small changes [happen], so that everybody's up to speed. Colm Feore, when he first gets the script, he writes out every word of his dialogue in a notepad, and then if the script dialogue changes in any way, he rewrites the scene again then goes back and writes the feelings that he's having as Hargreeves about the scenes."

While it's surely time-consuming to write everything out by hand, the actor's dedication to note-taking almost seems to parallel the careful notes that Hargreeves took while training his children. Who knows — the strategy might even help the actor get into his detail-oriented character's head.

Going back to the basics

This isn't the first time that we've gotten a peek into Feore's acting process. Though he's worked on tons of traditionally nerdy projects (he even made a brief MCU stint as Laufey, the frost giant king and Loki's father), Feore is a classically trained actor and has played lots of roles written by the Bard — experience that he considered necessary for his success in "The Umbrella Academy."

You might be forgiven for assuming that the process for playing a classic Shakespearean lead like King Lear is radically different from pretending to be a sociopathic alien, but as it turns out, Feore actually found his more imaginative roles to be similar to the Shakespearean ones. As he told Pop Mythology:

"The more speculative the role, the greater the need to relate it to basic human values. It takes a gifted actor, well-versed in the stuff of metaphor to be able to find the common motivations that the audience can understand and appreciate."

While it's easy to take Hargreeves at face value as an emotionally absent father (if you're generous enough to consider him a dad), many of Shakespeare's plays revolve around family tensions, obligations, and power struggles — all of which could just as easily apply to "The Umbrella Academy." Luther's season 1 obsession with identifying his father's killer practically mimics Cordelia's struggles in "King Lear" — both must grapple with honoring a cruel but wronged father. And Hargreeves' long-haul plot requires so much ambition that Lady Macbeth and Claudius alike would surely be proud.

Determination is key

As it turns out, Feore's penchant for note-taking also fits in with a larger philosophy about being successful in acting — namely, that "determination" is king. It's a lesson that Hargreeves surely understands, too. After all, there's no other way for someone to stay so committed to a plan for decades, chasing the fleeting hope of reuniting with his wife (amid unspeakable levels of riches).

But the actor's determination doesn't end when he copies his last line. The actor is dedicated to putting on a good show — and making sure that everyone else has a great time on set, too. Fans of "The Umbrella Academy" might remember the scene in season 1 where he shaves (and tells off) Klaus in the afterlife. But while Klaus rightfully criticized his father for never really caring about his children, Feore actually put an immense amount of preparation into the scene, telling Pop Mythology that:

"I took some pains to prepare for it and given that it was one of my only scenes with the adults, I was determined for it to be good! So, I went to one of the local shave shops here in Stratford, The Artful Badger. I said, can you sell me a straight razor and some advice? I went straight home and put a knife to the side of my face! Luckily the gashes were hidden by my beard and mustache! But I was practising to be good for Robert!"

In other words, Colm Feore might just be a kinder version of his "Umbrella Academy" character. Sure, the two both have incredible discipline and focus when it comes to achieving their goals, but the actor also cares far more about others than his fictional counterpart — and is much less harsh when dealing with them.