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Despite the fact that his career is a fairly young one, Andrew Horton is being faced with dramatic challenges on Jupiter’s Legacy, not the least of which stems from the fact that his character, Brandon Sampson (aka Paragon) is the son of the world’s greatest heroes, the Utopian (Josh Duhamel) and Lady Liberty (Lesie Bibb). The good news is that he’s had no problem rising to the meta-human challenge.
Besides starring in the short films Ladies First and Breach, Horton made a guest appearance on the TV series Doctors and in the films It Came from the Desert and How to Talk to Girls at Parties. As he reveals in the following chat, he’s fully embracing the opportunity that Brandon and Jupiter’s Legacy is giving him.
WHO IS PARAGON?
NAME: Brandon Sampson
ALTER EGO: Paragon
POWERS AND ABILITIES: Telekinesis, which allows him to fly and move large objects; can survive in outer space; can project energy blasts from his eyes; super hearing
NEED TO KNOW: Son of Sheldon and Grace, brother to Chloe. In training to assume the mantle of The Utopian and become the new leader of The Union, he struggles to live up to his father’s mythic legend.
Den of Geek: As a relative newcomer, how are you handling being part of what could be a huge show?
Andrew Horton: Being an actor on any level opens you up to scrutiny, but when you’re on Netflix’s new superhero show, that’s definitely a bit of weight on the old shoulders. It’s intimidating, but also incredibly exciting.
What is your impression of Brandon and what kind of journey in this first season do you feel he’s on?
Brandon in the comics is kind of like this petulant dick, basically, for lack of a better word. He’s completely disengaged with his father, still trying to be part of The Union and impress, but he keeps failing.
How does this affect him?
It just makes him angrier and more disillusioned with everything that his father stands for. The series basically sets up the backstory where he gets to that point. In it, he’s incredibly earnest, works really hard, and has still got these rose-tinted glasses on. But he’s still not living up to expectations, though he’s very much in training to take over the mantle of The Utopian.
This is a good time to be in a superhero show, as there’s so much out there and audiences are responding to it..
It’s super lucky as well that the market hasn’t become totally saturated by it, because there is so much content everywhere. It’s not like people get bored by this stuff, which could have happened. But if it’s good, it’s going to draw audiences in. I think what’s unique about our show is the fact that it’s a superhero show, but it really focuses on those family dynamics as well and the human relationships, aside from their superpowers. And I think that’s what kind of really drew me to the comics is seeing these damaged people, that it’s not all hunky dory and that they are actually going through a load of difficulties in their lives.
How does the show handle the fact that it has to take place over so many decades?
One of the biggest challenges we faced in season one, as I think any series does, is when you’ve got a massive world to build, you have to devote a lot of the time to that world-building within the series, so that people actually know what’s going on, if they haven’t read the source material beforehand. So that’s a big part of the first few episodes is really introducing all of these characters to the viewers, and then establishing this world of the older generation and the younger generation.
You’ve got the moments in the present and then you’ve got the flashbacks in the past. So it’s kind of telling that story, going back and forth and seeing why characters are one way how they’ve developed through time.
Brandon didn’t have a costume in the comics, but you do on the show. What’s that like?
The clothing choices for the show were very, very different in the comics. He wears black, he’s got this long hair, doesn’t look at all like a superhero, like his dad does. And then in the series, I’ve actually got this amazing super suit, which I was so stoked to wear. So there’s quite big differences, but I think at the heart of it, it’s Brandon and Sheldon’s story, which is still integral there.
The costumes were immense and imbue so much to the character without even having to try. You see the Superman suit and it’s so iconic. Not saying that this is iconic — I hope it will be — but what an amazing feeling of power.
My favorite suit was the Utopian’s, because when you look really closely, it’s got all these very fine details of these kinds of celestial maps and things like that. And the costume team just knocked it out of the park. It was amazing, start to finish.
Jupiter’s Legacy premieres on Netflix on May 7. Read more about the series in our special edition magazine!