David Castañeda on How The Umbrella Academy Is a Superhero Friends : 'We Just Need Our Café'

·4-min read
David Castañeda interview about The Umbrella Academy
David Castañeda interview about The Umbrella Academy


This post contains spoilers for The Umbrella Academy.

The Umbrella Academy is shaking things up for season 3.

David Castañeda exclusively tells PEOPLE this season is all about the show's characters "realizing who they really are meant to be by facing their own fears."

Specifically, Castañeda's character Diego takes on a fatherly role with season 3 addition Stan (Javon Walton). "I knew from the moment we met how we were just going to riff off so well," he says about the Euphoria actor.

As he portrayed this new side of Diego, Castañeda says he was motivated by his own desire to one day be a father.

"Deep down, I would like to be a father someday, [so] edging on that yearning, I was open to the entire experience of what it would feel like to be thrown in a world where someone knocked on my door and said, 'Hey, you have a kid and he's 10 years old.' And I'm like, 'Oh, s---. What am I supposed to do?' I had a whole life planned and now I have to figure out a way to not be selfish, which is what Diego has kind of been."

David Castañeda interview about The Umbrella Academy
David Castañeda interview about The Umbrella Academy


Of course, Walton isn't the only well-known star joining the cast this season. Following all the Umbrella Academy's time-traveling hijinks last season, season 3 introduces a new group of superheroes called the Sparrow Academy.

After working so closely together over the past two seasons, Castañeda says it was an exciting change bringing in this new set of actors, including Jake Epstein, Cazzie David and Britne Oldford. In fact, even some of the original actors were starstruck over the new cast members.

"I remember Elliot [Page] was like, 'That's Jake, he was on Degrassi, I used to watch that show all the time. It was a big thing,'" Castañeda recalls. "Getting to meet everyone else off screen, you start realizing very quickly, it's like, 'Oh, they hired some really talented actors to come in and play with us.'"

He continues, "There's this mutual respect when we're going into the scene. Then once you've seen the finished product, it's like a kid in a candy store, you get to see what all of these actors were able to do, and it's like, 'Damn. Can we get more? Can we get more of the Sparrows? Can we get a spinoff?'"

RELATED: New Movies and Shows Coming to Netflix in June, Including The Umbrella Academy and Peaky Blinders

While season 3 has its fair share of action sequences as the Sparrows and Umbrella Academy go head to head, one particularly fun moment happens in episode 1 when the two groups do a full-on dance-off set to Kenny Loggins' "Footloose" — a scene that took roughly five weeks to prepare for.

"It was a whole thing," he adds, noting that the cast did multiple Zoom rehearsals together. "I have tons of video footage and I can't wait to share it with everyone. I showed it to a few family members and they were just like, 'What kind of show [is this]? What's happening? Why is this happening?'"

David Castañeda interview about The Umbrella Academy
David Castañeda interview about The Umbrella Academy


As with every season of the show, season 3 ends with another major cliffhanger for the Umbrella Academy as they lose their powers, and Castañeda is eager to explore that more in a potential season 4.

"I honestly really do like the fact that we don't have powers because The Umbrella Academy was never really about the powers," he says. "The power was just a little seasoning to [the show], [this season] has de-escalated and it's become much more about, 'Let's just watch these people that we really love bantering with each other.'"

In fact, Castañeda and his castmates joke that The Umbrella Academy is a lot like a superhero Friends. "Diego's Joey, 100 percent. Klaus is Chandler. And [Luther is] Ross [because he's] falling in love all the time. We've mastered this dynamic that, if you remove the powers, the dynamic's still there."

He quips, "We just need our café."

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The Umbrella Academy season 3 is currently streaming on Netflix.

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