10 Super Facts About Legion

FX Networks
FX Networks

For all the superhero stories that overwhelm our senses every year, month, and weekend, Legion is one of the few which truly displays how surreal a world filled with mutant abilities would be. Its primary theme is a distortion of reality thanks to its main character, Professor Charles Xavier’s telepathic, schizophrenia-diagnosed son David Haller (Downton Abbey's Dan Stevens), who revels in and struggles against the competing realities that he presents to us as a very unreliable narrator.

The show was created for FX by Fargo creator/executive producer Noah Hawley and based on the Marvel antihero whose disassociated personalities all control a different mutant power. The series is a fantastically inventive departure from the standard superhero show, which also wrestles with real world issues like mental illness and healthcare.

As the series readies for its second season premiere, here are 10 super facts about Legion.

1. RACHEL KELLER’S CHARACTER IS AN HOMAGE TO PINK FLOYD’S FORMER LEAD SINGER.

When you name a character Syd Barrett, you’re not really trying to hide it. Show creator Noah Hawley infused the show with a lot of Pink Floyd’s style, including using its former lead singer Syd Barrett’s name for one of the show's lead characters, played by Rachel Keller. Hawley was also interested in giving the show a score that echoed the band's famous The Dark Side of the Moon album, which he described as a “soundscape of mental illness.” Barrett left the band in 1968; many believed that he suffered from schizophrenia—just like the main character of Legion.

2. THE CAST LIED TO DAN STEVENS TO KEEP HIM CONFUSED. 

How do you ensure that your unreliable narrator remains unreliable? Lie to him. Stevens noted that other cast members knew more about the full picture than he did, and in a Vanity Fair interview where she playfully lied a lot, Aubrey Plaza confessed that she would pretend to know even more than she did, just to mess with Stevens’s mind.

3. IT'S THE FIRST LIVE-ACTION X-MEN TV SHOW.

Dan Stevens, Rachel Keller, and Aubrey Plaza in 'Legion'
Dan Stevens, Rachel Keller, and Aubrey Plaza star in Legion.
Chris Large, FX Networks

Over the last half-century, Marvel's X-Men heroes have appeared in or had cameos in almost a dozen television series, but they’ve all been animated. The most popular was the X-Men series on Fox, which ran from 1992 to 1997, but the mutant team first hit TV sets in 1966’s The Marvel Superheroes and once guest starred along Peter Parker in Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. Legion is the first live-action take, but a second show, The Gifted, premiered on Fox on October 2, 2017, approximately eight months after Legion's premiere.

4. THE MAIN CHARACTER'S NAME IS BIBLICAL.

While not really referenced beyond the title, the comic book version of David Haller earned the mutant name “Legion” because he had hundreds of personalities with different powers taking up residency inside his head. The codename is a reference to the biblical Gospel of Mark, which describes a scene where Jesus performs an exorcism on a demon named Legion, "for we are many."

5. AUBREY PLAZA’S CHARACTER WAS ORIGINALLY MEANT TO BE A 50-YEAR-OLD MAN.

Lenny Busker is an enigmatic, almost antique figure despite being played by the youthful and acerbic Plaza. That’s because the character was originally written as a middle-aged man and they didn’t change his dialogue when Plaza took the role. Plaza embraced the gender-blurring nature of the character who, because of her portrayal, is unstuck in time and uses unhip words like “moxie.”

6. JEAN SMART KNEW NOTHING ABOUT THE SHOW BEFORE SIGNING ON.

Jean Smart in 'Legion'
Michelle Faye, FX Networks

Jean Smart, who plays psychiatric therapist Melanie Bird, joined the project solely because Hawley asked her. “It didn’t matter what it was about. I kind of came into it blind,” she told The Globe and Mail. In 2016, Smart earned an Outstanding Supporting Actress Emmy nomination for her role on Fargo, Hawley’s other FX series. Coming into Legion, she claims she didn’t even know who Professor Xavier was.

7. THE NODS TO X-MEN ARE SO SUBTLE THAT THEY’RE UP FOR DEBATE.

Unlike other shows that are always angling to remind fans that they take place in the same universe as wildly successful film series, Legion is an island unto itself, prompting some to dive deep while hunting for homages and links to the comic books. Are the stripes on the asylum outfits a nod to X-Men uniforms? Is Sydney Barrett’s inability to touch people a nod to Rogue? Who knows for sure. The biggest connector to the comic world is the inclusion of Shadow King, but Professor X’s famous wheelchair also makes a brief appearance in a late-season episode (even though David’s dad is described as being an astronomer at one point instead of, say, the mutant leader of a special school for superheroes).

8. PROFESSOR X HIMSELF MIGHT MAKE AN APPEARANCE.

The show’s apparent reluctance to brand itself as an obvious X-Men story, or to thus far feature any of the more recognizable heroes (sorry, Wolverine), has led to a lot of speculation about when and if other X-Men will show up. The biggest name, and the one that makes the most narrative sense, is David’s father, Charles Xavier, who has been played in movies by both Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy. Hawley has confessed that he’s trying to work Professor X into the second season of the show and, for his part in titillating fans, Stewart has said that he’s game to appear in the series.

9. THE MAIN THING THAT TIES LEGION TO THE X-MEN UNIVERSE IS A STRANGE QUIRK OF COPYRIGHT LAW.

Rachel Keller, Bill Irwin, Jeremie Harris, and Dan Stevens in 'Legion'
Rachel Keller, Bill Irwin, Jeremie Harris, and Dan Stevens in Legion.
Michelle Faye, FX Networks

Besides the circled X in the show’s logo, the surefire way to know that Legion is an X-Men show is that David is called a mutant. That’s right. Fans will note that mutants Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver show up in the Disney Marvel movies, but Disney projects can’t use the word “mutant” due to the scattered nature of the property rights created over the years when Marvel was selling and leasing its characters to other companies. Since Fox owns “mutant” and the core X-Men characters, Legion can use it.

10. THE ACTOR WHO PLAYS THE DEVIL WITH YELLOW EYES WAS DISCOVERED WHILE WORKING AT A COMIC BOOK SHOP.

It's the ideal geek fantasy: getting hired for a comic book show because you were selling comic books. Quinton Boisclair had never acted before but stood out to Legion’s makeup team because of his height (he’s 6'10") and slender frame. One of the production team members spotted him working at a comic book shop, and they eventually hired him to play the big bad of the series.

“The funny thing was, he was actually a comic book nerd from way back, so he was feeding us information about the character," prosthetics designer Sarah Pickersgill told Deadline. "Honestly, we really didn’t know the background on the comic book, so he would fill us in while we were doing his makeup.”

Swear Off Toilet Paper With This Bidet Toilet Seat That's Easy to Install and Costs Less Than $100

Tushy
Tushy

The recent coronavirus-related toilet paper shortage has put the spotlight on the TP-less alternative that Americans have yet to truly embrace: the bidet.

It's not exactly a secret that toilet paper is wasteful—it's estimated to cost 437 billion gallons of water and 15 million trees to produce our yearly supply of the stuff. But while the numbers are plain to see, bidets still aren't common in the United States.

Well, if price was ever the biggest barrier standing in the way of swearing off toilet paper for good, there's now a cost-effective way to make the switch. Right now, you can get the space-saving Tushy bidet for less than $100. And you'll be able to install it yourself in just 10 minutes.

What is a Bidet?

Before we go any further, let’s just go ahead and get the awkward technical details out of the way. Instead of using toilet paper after going to the bathroom, bidets get you clean by using a stream of concentrated water that comes out of a faucet or nozzle. Traditional bidets look like weird toilets without tanks or lids, and while they’re pretty uncommon in the United States, you’ve definitely seen one if you’ve ever been to Europe or Asia.

That said, bidets aren’t just good for your butt. When you reduce toilet paper usage, you also reduce the amount of chemicals and emissions required to produce it, which is good for the environment. At the same time, you’re also saving money. So this is a huge win-win.

Unfortunately, traditional bidets are not an option for most Americans because they take up a lot of bathroom space and require extra plumbing. That’s where Tushy comes in.

The Tushy Classic Bidet Toilet Seat.

Unlike traditional bidets, the Tushy bidet doesn’t take up any extra space in your bathroom. It’s an attachment for your existing toilet that places an adjustable self-cleaning nozzle at the back of the bowl, just underneath the seat. But it doesn’t require any additional plumbing or electricity. All you have to do is remove the seat from your toilet, connect the Tushy to the clean water supply behind the toilet, and replace the seat on top of the Tushy attachment.

The Tushy has a control panel that lets you adjust the angle and pressure of the water stream for a perfect custom clean. The nozzle lowers when the Tushy is activated and retracts into its housing when not in use, keeping it clean and sanitary.

Like all bidets, the Tushy system takes a little getting used to. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll never want to use toilet paper again. In fact, Tushy is so sure you’ll love their product, they offer customers a 60-day risk-free guarantee. If you don’t love your Tushy, you can send it back for a full refund, minus shipping and handling.

Normally, the Tushy Classic retails for $109, but right now you can get the Tushy Classic for just $89. So if you’ve been thinking about going TP-free, now is definitely the time to do it.

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You're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat: How Jaws’s Most Famous Line Came to Be

Universal
Universal

The line "You're gonna need a bigger boat" from Jaws (1975) has gone down as one of the most iconic quotes in movie history. Spoken by Chief Brody moments after the eponymous shark appears behind the Orca, it's been referenced countless times in film and television, and ranks 35th on AFI's list of top 100 movie quotes. It was famously ad-libbed by Roy Scheider, but according to The Hollywood Reporter, the actor didn't pull the line out of thin air.

Carl Gottlieb, who co-wrote the screenplay for Jaws, revealed the origin of "You're gonna need a bigger boat" to The Hollywood Reporter in 2016. Filming Jaws on the water made for a troubled production, with the crew working off a barge that carried the equipment and craft services plus a smaller support boat. Crew members complained to producers that this support boat was too small, which was how they coined the soon-to-be-famous phrase.

"[Richard] Zanuck and [David] Brown were very stingy producers, so everyone kept telling them, 'You're gonna need a bigger boat,'" Gottlieb told The Hollywood Reporter. "It became a catchphrase for anytime anything went wrong—if lunch was late or the swells were rocking the camera, someone would say, 'You're gonna need a bigger boat.'"

Scheider eventually picked up the saying and started sneaking it into takes. One of his ad-libs came after his character's first confrontation with the shark, which is also the audience's first good look at the human-eating antagonist following an hour of suspense-building. Scheider's timing and delivery instantly made movie history. "It was so appropriate and so real and it came at the right moment, thanks to Verna Fields's editing," Gottlieb said.

The stories of the making of Jaws have almost become as famous as the film itself. Here are more facts about Steven Spielberg's classic monster movie.

[h/t The Hollywood Reporter]