When you think of the live-action TV show The Umbrella Academy, who’s the first person that comes to mind? It may be the series’ titular character, but you’re probably not picturing Phinneus Pogo, Reginald Hargreeves’ closest assistant (or rather, closest assistant left alive) and an intelligent chimpanzee. Whether you remember him from the comics or not, though, it might come as a surprise to learn that there’s more than one person behind the motion capture performance of this iconic character. Phinneus Pogo: The Voice and Face of Reginald’s Closest Assistant
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Introduction to the Character of Phinneus Pogo
One major staple of Mr. Laurence Fishburne’s performance in The Umbrella Academy was a brilliant character named Phinneus Pogo, voiced by Adam Godley who also provided facial performance capture for motion capture for all close-up scenes. A long time collaborator with both Fishburne and writer/director Steve Blackman, Adam has been involved with movies such as Batman Forever, Constantine, Spider-Man 3 (the genetically modified octopus), Antz, I Am Legend, Thor and Captain America: Civil War. He is truly a triple threat—actor, writer and now voiceover talent!
Where did you get your inspiration from?
Adam Godley, who plays Phinneus Pogo in my Netflix series The Umbrella Academy, sat down with us to talk about his inspiration behind taking on a role he has been preparing for his entire life. Find out what drew him to be involved in such an incredible project! You can watch Adam on season 1 of The Umbrella Academy now available on Netflix. Watch Now!
What was it like working with such a great cast?
My favorite part about working on an amazing show like THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY is working with such a talented cast. Everyone has brought so much to their characters, helping flesh them out in a way that wouldn’t have been possible if we had started out with just their words on paper. My favorite scene to shoot was when Reginald (David Castaneda) and Phinneus (myself) were facing off against Blackheart (Tatanka Means). It was so exciting getting to act alongside some seasoned professionals like Tatanka, John Magaro, Ellen Wong, Cameron Britton and Aidan Gallagher! And when I say seasoned professionals, I mean it.
What can we expect from Season 2?
It’s difficult to say, as so much of Season 2 is a secret. While many actors are confirmed to be returning, others may surprise us with new appearances. For example, Adam Godley will return as Phinneus Pogo, though it’s hard to guess what other characters he might bring back from Season 1. One thing we do know is that Season 2 will take place in a completely different place than Season 1—and it will have no connection to where we left off. It appears that Minnie Mouse is not returning after all; instead, viewers can expect all-new characters in a totally fresh setting (although at least one familiar face will remain). So get ready for brand-new adventures!
Any details about you upcoming projects?
What is it about your character that you are most excited about? What do you want viewers to come away with, after seeing your character on screen? What kind of impact would you like your character to have on a young fan? My excitement stems from his being such an important part of Reggie. He is definitely part human and part simian, but he plays an enormous role in driving Reggie’s actions throughout each season. I’m excited to play such a pivotal character.
How do you think this role will help you moving forward in your career?
I feel like it’s an opportunity to show that I’m versatile. Not many people know that I can do voice work, so I’m hoping that it will open up some new opportunities. My goal is to really bring Phinneus to life as a person and a character, so that we can get across his personality through his facial expressions, vocal performance, etc. Hopefully doing good work here will lead to other opportunities down the road where I have more screen time!
Who is the voice of Pogo in Umbrella Academy?
In a post-apocalyptic world, 43 infants are born to women who’d previously shown no signs of pregnancy. Seven years later, as more children emerge from their mothers, scientists learn that all 43 children have superpowers. These kids become part of an organization called The Umbrella Academy, headed by Dr. Reginald Hargreeves (David Castaneda), who tries to instill structure in them so they can harness their powers for good purposes—and protect Earth from otherworldly threats. Sadly, though, not all of his wards are eager to follow his rules; Luther (Tom Hopper) steals a drug he finds in Reginald’s house—despite warnings that it may be fatal to anyone but him—and eventually dies as a result.
What did Pogo do in The Umbrella Academy?
Based on a Dark Horse comic book series, Netflix’s new superhero series, The Umbrella Academy, follows former child prodigies as they come together to solve their father’s murder. This ensemble series stars Ellen Page (Juno), Tom Hopper (Game of Thrones), Emmy Raver-Lampman (Barry), David Castaneda (Nightflyers) Robert Sheehan (Misfits) and Aidan Gallagher (Shameless). Joining them are Godley as Phinneus Pogo, Reginald Hargreeves’ closest assistant, who is an intelligent chimpanzee; and Ken Hall, who provides performance capture for Pogo.
What is the secret between Pogo and Mom?
In season 1, episode 2 (Number Three), we see what appears to be Phinneus Pogo’s mother at Asylum #7. Of course, she does not appear in his memories. Throughout Season 1, Mom shows up as a recurring character who speaks often with Mrs. Hargreeves (the wife of Number One) but never directly interacts with any other member of The Umbrella Academy. How is it that Phinneus has seemingly no recollection of his mother? And why would they have to keep her a secret from him? What is their history together? Is he aware she was committed to Asylum #7? We may never know for sure!
What secret is Pogo hiding?
We can’t tell you what, but we can tell you that there is more to Phinneus than meets the eye. He’s an incredibly loyal assistant to Mr. Everett (Reginald Hargreeves) and he’s very close with his fellow members of The Umbrella Academy, especially Klaus. But Phinneus has a secret he holds close to his heart. Will it change how everyone else views him? At least for now, we don’t know what that might be—and neither does anyone else in Blackwood Manor…except for those keeping secrets themselves. After all, secrets are kind of our thing around here!