The Cast of Extraordinary on Their Heartwarming New Superpower Comedy
Jan 31, 2023
One person can turn back time. Another has the power to channel the dead. Meanwhile, another dude can move his body through walls. In a world where everybody has a superpower, being “extraordinary” is, well, quite ordinary. Welcome to the new Hulu show Extraordinary, an imaginative new comedy that makes the superpowers seen in DC Comics seem totally attainable. Sort of.
Not everybody is superpower-lucky here, however. Most folks find their power by the age of 18 in this show, but Jen (Máiréad Tyers of Belfast) isn’t one of them. Cue: small violins playing. Off she goes on a pity party in her desperate mission to find her special gift. Meanwhile, the show’s London flatmates Carrie (Sofia Oxenham), Kash (Bilal Hasna), and Jizzlord (Luke Rollason) have got their superpowers down, more or less. Seems becoming an adult is hard work.
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Created and written by Emma Moran, Extraordinary is directed by Toby McDonald (Ragdoll), Jennifer Sheridan (Rules of the Game), and Nadira Amrani (On the Edge). This is a rare, innovative comedy about being young and finding your feet in a confusing world. Interesting to note: the show is executive produced by Sally Woodward Gentle, Lee Morris, and Charles Dawson for Sid Gentle Films, the BAFTA, Golden Globe-, Emmy-, and Peabody Award-winning production company behind Killing Eve. Cast members Sofia Oxenham, Bilal Hasna, and Luke Rollason share more with MovieWeb.
When the pandemic hit, Zoom calls and streaming became the rage. They still are. These days, it’s challenging to keep track of the myriad series hitting streaming platforms. Curiously, according to one Extraordinary cast member, the Hulu series is launching at just the right time in history.
Related: Exclusive: Máiréad Tyers on Extraordinary, Hulu’s Inventive New Comedy
“This is a really great time for the series to come out because the messages are completely relatable, not only to young people, but worldwide. They’re very universal,” said Sofia Oxenham, who plays Carrie — her superpower is channeling the dead, but she’s feeling overshadowed by her own party trick. “Coming out of the pandemic, we’ve spent a lot of time online, and on our phones, comparing our lives to other people. I think the important message here is that being ordinary is okay. You don’t have to have something to be ‘special.’ I think, especially now, after everything that’s happened, that’s an even more important message.”
As for her character’s superpower (channeling the dead), Oxenham notes that, “you often use your power to try to undo the harm you do to people, like making mistakes with people, so I love that the series shows that power element from a kind of metaphorical level on how people relate to each other.”
Meanwhile, Bilal Hasna’s Kash, who’s in a relationship with Carrie in the show, can turn back time. Innocently, of course — to avoid a spill or a bump into somebody, let’s say. But in later episodes of Extraordinary, the character is tested and may go a bit too far with his gift. Hasna said audiences will relate to his character’s desire to maintain the status quo and appreciate how well the series captures friendships and relationships.
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“One thing I actually love about the show and something I find most moving is the relationship between Jen and Carrie, who have been friends for so long,” he noted. “That relationship is the emotional core of the show. And the way it goes up and down is mimicked in other people’s relationships. So often, this is really a show about female friendship, too, and about the ways in which you understand someone that you’ve known for such a long time. So much so that you can be a bad person in front of them. That’s rare.”
Luke Rollason on His Breakout Performance
While all the characters in Extraordinary are noteworthy in their own way, surely Luke Rollason’s Jizzlord stands out. (That hair! Those eyes!) As the fourth member of the gang, his “stray cat” character — best to just watch and see — harbors a mega secret: even cats have more power than Jen.
“It was enjoyable for me as a performer to play someone so new. Because my character doesn’t remember anything about their life, and before that, they were a cat for a long time, but we know they have a past that they just don’t remember,” Rollason said. “They’re arriving in the world fresh and they’re curious about everything.”
In what will undoubtedly go down as one of the most memorable breakout performances of the season, Rollason’s talent as a comic actor matches his ability to handle physical comedy. The guy is comfortable in his own skin. With Jizzlord, audiences are given a standout star and a standout character bound to be the subject of conversation.
“It’s a real gift for an actor to do this, especially, you know, for us, this is like our first big job,” Rollason added. “And I think that’s why I felt disorientated being on set. And that’s exactly how the character feels as well. So, every day felt like a huge adventure for me and the character. There’s so much joy and I learned so much. I didn’t have to pretend. I could be ‘me.’ And even though the show is about having superpowers, ultimately, it’s about just people being people, and that’s extraordinarily special.”
Catch Extraordinary on Hulu in the U.S. and internationally on Disney+ beginning January 25.
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