Umbrella Academy Number Two
[Photo via YouTube]

Avid Umbrella Academy fans will quickly recognize that Number Two, AKA Diego Hargreeves, is depicted as a character that is completely different from Gerard Way’s comic. Now, actor David Castañeda has revealed why the change was prompted in the first place.

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If you’ve seen the show, (and let’s be real – who hasn’t) then you’re well aware of Number Two’s ability to throw objects with incredible accuracy.

It’s a pretty impressive power, but one that is completely different from his role as The Kraken in the comics—a character known for his ability to hold his breath underwater.

Castañeda sat down with Digital Spy to explain why the change in super power was necessary to keep the show rooted in reality.

“[Showrunner Steve Blackman] wanted to ground the comic book even more,” he shares. “So for example, Klaus doesn’t levitate in the show, whereas in the comic book he does.

And there’s something about seeing someone who has actually no real supernatural powers and only being able to throw things with precision that kind of makes people be like, ‘Oh, I can see that, I can put that person in real life and I can see it play out as a human being’.

He adds: “You have Luther who has super strength, and you have Allison who can change the reality… and the fact that he can’t even be the one on top in the show, the resentment towards the father plays out even more because he is obviously placed at number two because he doesn’t have the powers one would say are divine.”

Just a few short days ago, Gerard Way dove into the background of our beloved Number Two.

After saying that the show did a fantastic job in representing his character, Way goes into detail describing Diego’s relationship with Luther. However, their competition for “Number One” may not be competition at all. Instead, Way describes it as a tactic to encourage the characters to bring out the best in one another.

“Hargreeves numbered Diego Number Two because one of the things that drives Number One, is the tension between him and Diego,” Way says. “I could see one of Hargreeves’ notes being ‘Number 2 hates Number 1. Let’s explore this.’ Diego’s obvious resentment and competition toward Luther pushed them both to be better. This is important. Sometimes the people that challenge us the most provide the opportunity for the most growth, and become our greatest teachers.”

“Diego is on a journey of his own,” Way says. “Diego had to leave the house so he could be Diego and not just ‘Number 2.’ And the only place being Number One got Luther at the end of the day was living alone on the moon. Maybe they’ll learn the numbers don’t matter, as Five did, which is why I feel he embraced his number as a name instead of a rank, and rejected an actual name (which I hope we see one day!).”

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Number 2 AKA Diego Hargreeves AKA The Kraken OK, here’s the next character exploration. Firstly, I LOVE what they did with Diego in the show. His relationship with Mom is wonderful, and is one of the beating hearts of the series. It’s an improvement I welcomed gladly. So Diego, he’s got it tough. He has to be Number 2. In the comic, he can just hold his breath as long as he wants, but in the show, he can throw knives in an unnatural way. I do hope they will explore his power of being able to hold his breath as long as he wants, and I know David Casteneda, the amazing actor that plays him, would like to explore that. It kind of turns him into a gritty, knife-throwing Aquaman, which I think is fun. Now, let’s go deeper. His relationship to Luther— they are important to each other. Hargreeves numbered Diego Number 2 because one of the things that drives Number one is the tension between him and Diego. I could see one of Hargreeves’ notes being “Number 2 hates Number 1. Let’s explore this.”. Diego’s obvious resentment and competition toward Luther pushed them both to be better. This is important— Sometimes the people that challenge us the most provide the opportunity for the most growth, and become our greatest teachers. But it isn’t all about Luther. Diego is on a journey of his own. Diego had to leave the house so he could be Diego and not just “Number 2”. And the only place being Number One got Luther at the end of the day was living alone on the moon. Maybe they’ll learn the numbers don’t matter, as Five did, which is why I feel he embraced his number as a name instead of a rank, and rejected an actual name (which I hope we see one day!). Diego is relentless. His sense of duty and his dedication to justice is unparalleled in the academy. He’s a beast. He is played wonderfully by @castenedawong, who has talked to me about how he wants to further embody the character, and my favorite moment of his is when he is outside the academy with Klaus after “something happens to Mom” (no spoilers) and he starts to stutter. My heart broke. Lots of love. #umbrellaacademy #darkhorsecomics #netflix #numbertwo #diegohargreeves #thekraken #ucp

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How do you feel about Number Two’s change from comic to screen? Sound off in the comments below!

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