'Legion' Series Finale: Navid Negahban on the Shadow King's Evolution & His Final Scene
[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for Legion Series Finale, "Chapter 27."]
Legion is over.
The wild Marvel-based series from creator Noah Hawley (Fargo) has been put to rest after three seasons on FX. We'll miss everything from its out-of-left-field musical moments to the psychedelic visuals that made our minds do somersaults. But we'll especially miss these characters.
Surprisingly, even the show's big bad Shadow King, Amahl Farouk, played by Navid Negahban (Homeland), grew on us after an incredible journey of redemption. He's definitely not just that creepy guy in David Haller's (Dan Stevens) head anymore.
TV Insider caught up with Negahban to chat about the final episodes and working with Hawley. He fills us in, below.
These last two episodes were huge for your character. How was it for you to play two different Farouks, the younger and the older?
Navid Negahban: It was kind of scary at the beginning because we’d already established the younger Farouk through the show without really realizing that we were establishing him. Sometimes Noah doesn’t tell you what he has in store for you. In Episode 7, we were able to find [the younger] Amahl. That was very interesting. It was lots of fun, just to play with it and be a little bit goofier.
And now that we’ve met this version of Farouk that Charles Xavier (played by Harry Lloyd) had met and battled initially, we have a much bigger idea of just how bad this guy was in his heyday. How much would you say the character has evolved over the course of the series?
See, the thing is that the journey made him get in touch with his softer side, his human, loving side — the father figure. Once he realized [he was] losing David, he realized how much it meant to him.
The conversation they have in Episode 8, I believe that even Amahl is embarrassed by who he used to be and he’s trying to make up for his own mistakes. Amahl was coming from a place of rage, and being looked at as a hero was misleading. Now Farouk is realizing that his younger self was kind of lost. I think throughout this season, he discovered himself. This season was a healing process for Amahl. That was his journey. He was healing himself.
I wanted to talk about your final scene in the series: Farouk speaking to his younger self. He shows him everything that's happened with those crazy glasses and his younger self says, 'thank you,' and then 'I’m sorry,' in English. Can you tell me a bit about what that’s all about?
When Noah was describing to me what that scene was about, and I knew the journey he had taken — I believe that inside all of us we wish we could sometimes rewind or redo things, and that was a chance for Amahl to see the pain that he’s going to be causing, and the pain that’s caused by his ego and arrogance. I think that’s the moment that he’s being saved. I think the 'thank you' is because he is being saved, and 'I’m sorry,' is because of the pain that his inner self would’ve caused if he wouldn’t have met his older self to guide him down the right path. Sometimes we are so arrogant and so ignorant; we are all so self-centered and only paying attention to ourselves, so we really don’t realize the pain that we are causing through our actions, even though we don’t see the end results.
Just imagine you are walking down the street and the person who you are meeting, you are very sour to the person. That will create a chain reaction. You walk into a restaurant; the waiter is coming towards you and spills a little bit of coffee on the table while putting the coffee cup down. You have two options: one is to take your napkin and tell the waiter, ‘Please don’t worry about it, it happens all the time,’ Or, ‘Can’t you do your job right?!’ Each of them, the outcome creates a different chain of reaction. With the first one, that waiter is walking around, feeling love and joy and kindness, and the next person, he might even be kind to the next person. But when you [are not nice], then every other customer who walks in, that waiter will look at that customer, thinking, ‘Oh my god, this person is a ____!’ ...I can’t even say the word.
We just need to pay attention to each other. We need to be kinder to each other. We need to forget about ourselves in order to become Us. It’s not me, it’s Us. The world would be a much nicer place. And Noah did an amazing job on that, I loved it. Noah and Noah’s brain, I just loved working with him. He has a beautiful, peaceful mind.
It’s interesting, because that chain reaction concept not only works with Farouk’s journey, but it also kind of parallels where we leave David and Syd in that final moment of the series while standing over the crib of Baby David, with them about to live their lives all over again.
Don’t we all wish we could see the fate of our actions and go back and make different choices? With power comes great responsibility.