The star of 'Legion' on what's next for David, as he returns in the April 3 season premiere on FX.

Dan Stevens is back as the mutant David Haller in “Legion,” premiering April 3 on FX, as the series returns for another fascinating and offbeat season.

On the set of “Legion” Season 2, visiting press watched as Stevens filmed a scene between David and… Well, to even discuss who or what he was interacting would be saying too much. But suffice to say, things continue to be as intriguingly cerebral and surreal as fans would want from the show.

During a break from filming, Stevens sat down and spoke about how David, no longer sharing his body with the Shadow King (who continues to be a threat from afar), is different in Season 2. He also discussed the dynamic between David and Syd (Rachel Keller) after David returns from his long absence — having been taken away by that mysterious orb at the end of Season 1 — and why he loves “Legion” not always giving quick and easy explanations for what is occurring.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Question: We’re meeting up with David a year after we last saw him. How has that year changed him?

Stevens: For David, it hasn’t been a year. So, he’s kind of getting his head around that, for a start. For everybody else, it’s been a year, and a lot has happened in that year. And yeah, David’s had another strange experience. He thought his problems maybe were solved with the expulsion of the Shadow King, but actually, it’s not that simple.

Question: What’s it like for David now that we’ve gone from having sort of an internal villain [in Season 1] to dealing with something more external?

Stevens: There’s still a lot of internal conflict in David, and if you know the comic books, there’s still quite a few characters left in there that we’ve got to deal with at some point. The Shadow King was a big deal, and there is some sort of structural changes, I guess. The structure of the components of David have been reshuffled and they’re reconfiguring at the same time as, you say, there is this external threat. Everybody’s becoming much more aware of that. There’s maybe a partnership with Division Three that definitely wasn’t on the cards last time I checked, so that’s kind of strange. It’s an interesting thing where everybody assumes that this externalization means everything is really straightforward – “David is now on our side, everything’s going to be great and we’ll solve this war situation.” But it’s never that simple.

Question: How does the year away affect things for Syd and him?

Stevens: That’s the really interesting shift, and an interesting turn for their relationship, and we do see kind of a maturing and deepening of that relationship. But the great issue of trust comes along. I think anybody who gets into a relationship with somebody like David has to assume a certain amount of lies with the truth, or certainly a kind of [altered] perception of reality. But in some of these situations, it seems that David is just flat out lying. And even he’s not sure if he’s telling the truth some of the time. So that complicates the relationship for sure and they have to work on some of those issues together.

Question: What’s been really key for you with building the David and Syd relationship onscreen?

Stevens: I think it’s always interesting to develop those sort of long running romantic relationships and there’s obviously the classic ‘Will they/Won’t they?’ type trajectory. This being “Legion,” it obviously takes a slightly different angle on that, and I think it asks some quite complex questions about relationships. And like I say, putting David in a relationship with anybody is going to be quite a fascinating dynamic. Obviously, you still have the incredible obstruction of not being able to touch, so there are these psychic spaces that they continue to occupy. The mind play that goes on in a relationship is fascinating, and it fascinates Noah [Hawley] as a writer, along with the exploration of that kind of relationship. Putting that in our universe, it just gets weirder.

Question: Now that he’s free of the Shadow King, how is David evolving this season?

Stevens: Well, that’s another interesting question. You have somebody’s identity with an illness, or with some sort of external body inside them, and then their identity without that. So what remains and how attached to that was he? What’s the dynamic there? David’s obviously very fond of Lenny in a kind of weird, hostage-y way, but nonetheless, he feels that absence. So he’s got a bit of that, at the same time as dealing with Syd and her trust of him.

Question: How are David’s mutant abilities this season a reflection, or connected to his emotional life?

Stevens: I guess when looking at super powers in these sort of paradigms, there’s always the evolution, the sort of baby giraffe stage of not really knowing how to wield these things. And then there’s that sort of flush of ego, where you think, ‘Wow, I’m invincible, I can do all these things!’ We saw a bit of that in Season 1, and that sort of continues into Season 2. He also starts to feel that maybe he’s being used a bit as a weapon, and maybe nobody was actually interested in him after all and it’s actually his abilities, which, again, is a sort of interesting take on that kind of predicament. And, he certainly runs up against some characters who he can’t fully manipulate in the way that he seems to be able to manipulate most people, which is an interesting obstruction.

Question: Do you think audiences are more receptive now to this sort of show where you don’t necessarily get all the answers handed to you on a plate? And are you as an actor getting more comfortable with that ambiguity?

Stevens: I love ambiguity. And I hope that the audiences are entertained by that. I wouldn’t want a show that sort of told me everything in hour one, because if I got the joke and all the information in one hour, then I wouldn’t need to watch the other nine, or 20, or whatever. I’ve really enjoyed the response to Season 1 – that people have felt really, like, wonderfully confused by the show, and rewarded visually. Hourly, there’s a lot going on, and a lot to unpack. And like a great novel, it’s something you want to dive into and find out that you don’t really care how many pages there is because there’s just something delicious about that journey.

“Legion” Season 2 premieres Tuesday, April 3 at 10:00pm ET/PT on FX. 

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Navid Negahban will play Amahl Farouk, while more is revealed about Season 2, coming to FX in April.

“Legion” is returning in April for Season 2 on FX, as David Haller (Dan Stevens) learns that freeing himself from the Shadow King’s influence in Season 1 hardly means his threat is over.

The executive producers and cast of “Legion” were present at the TCA (Television Critics Association) press tour today for a panel to discuss Season 2, which began with Executive Producer Noah Hawley revealing the true form of the Shadow King/Amahl Farouk will be played by Navid Negahban (“Homeland”).

Here are the highlights!

The Shadow King Revealed
The panel began with the debut of a scene from Season 2, as David awakens in a wheat field, where he finds a very out of place Fortune’s Teller booth. At first, no one else is present, but then a man appears and David realizes it’s Farouk (played by Negahban). Farouk boasts to David, “I hear everything. Or maybe I just read your mind,” before telling David he too is incredibly powerful.

Farouk goes on to say things like, “All the world’s a stage and you’re the star. You decide what is real and what is not. You are the creator of reality,” before proclaiming, “You and I are gods. What did John Lennon say? ‘Bigger than Jesus.’”

Seeing David is unreceptive to his words, Farouk notes his unhappy expression and then adds, “Now we have to figure out if you’re mad at me or yourself.”

Keeping Things Weird
“Legion” has a distinct, offbeat style and many moments of surrealism and the cast were asked just how much they question what’s happening in the moment when they read scripts. While Stevens said he certainly had questions at times, he noted it was “part of the fun of the show,” and added, “I don’t question too far into the future. I trust the writing will lead us somewhere and it always does and it’s always fascinating.”

As Hawley explained, “I’m just doing an experiment basically and using this genre to try to solve these characters and what’s fun about is because it is a genre show, you can do things that you can’t do in a linear drama. You can say, ‘Alright, I can literally take you into the memories of this character and try to understand who he is.’ These powers can be used in a more existential way than simply by fighting for dominance.”

Said Hawley, “The idea of making something unexpected is important, and this word ‘uncanny,’ which I know I’ve talked about.”

Referencing the Marvel source material of “Legion,” Hawley noted, “Originally it was called THE UNCANNY X-MEN and that word uncanny is very specific, referring in a lot of ways to the horror when familiar things act in unfamiliar ways. I like to question everything. ‘Why does the world have to be right side up?’, for example.”

Lenny’s True Self
In Season 1, the Shadow King also existed inside David’s friend, Lenny (Aubrey Plaza), and Hawley remarked, “He wore different faces. This season we’re meeting him for the first time, but that doesn’t mean he won’t continue to hide and he’s not continuing to use people like Jemaine [Clement as Oliver] and Aubrey [as Lenny].”

Meanwhile, Hawley said, “What was interesting for me for Lenny was to keep her evolving. This has been a traumatic experience for her as well. What’s on the other side of that? What is the collusion with this guy look like and what’s her culpability in all this?”

Hawley noted that and Plaza had had a lot of conversations where she’d asked him who Lenny fundamentally is, without the Shadow King’s influence, and “We’ve channeled that into the work.”

Said Plaza, “She was being used in the first season. [Now] she almost becomes like David in Season 1, in the sense that she doesn’t know what’s real or who she is or what’s happening. The power that I thought I had has been taken away from me and I’ve been slowly stripped down. We get to see who she really is.”

David’s Next Step
As for the man at the center of “Legion,” David Haller, Hawley said, “If the first year was sort of the story of an insane man in a sane world, I was interested in looking at David now being the sort of sane man in an insane world. We’ve established that he doesn’t have schizophrenia and he has these abilities.”

Suffice to say, David will return after his mysterious abduction at the end of Season 1, but Hawley said, “He comes back and the world is a very different place,” adding, “I was interested this year at looking at a mass psychology.”

Hawley said David, “Is on a journey here in which in the language of this world we have heroes and villains and it’s not determined yet where he’ll end up. A lot of that will have to do with what’s holding him on the new path. This love story with Rachel [Keller as Syd] and his experience with Farouk and so I think that’s really interesting to explore.”

Stevens said that in Season 2, David has, “Issues of trust. Who exactly has rescued him and what have they rescued him from? Where does he now find himself? Is he a force for good or evil and either way, is he being used? And what does that turn into?”

He added, “What team does he end up playing for is always in play and that’s really heightened this year, I think.”

Legion: Season 2 debuts in April on FX. Keep up with the latest from the show with @LegionFX on Twitter, the official “Legion” Facebook page, and @Legion_FX on Instagram!

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