'Upload's Robbie Amell Offers Hope for Nathan & Nora's Future After Season 1
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for all of Season 1 of Upload.]
(After)life was both dull and risky for Robbie Amell's Nathan in Season 1 of Upload, the Prime Video comedy about an app developer who chooses to digitally extend his existence following a fatal auto accident. So he’s uploaded to luxurious (and virtual) Lakeview.
As the season progressed (and Nathan’s memories were repaired), viewers learned about his own code for a digital extension of life and the role he played in selling it. Plus, mystery surrounded the self-driving car accident that killed him — was it murder? As his Lakeview “angel” Nora (Andy Allo) looked into it, she too was put at risk.
In the end, the two remained separated — Nathan with the 2-gigs and Nora heading off with Byron (Matt Ward). But she did tell Nathan she loved him, only for him to run out of data and freeze before he could respond. Then, a surprise: His ex-girlfriend Ingrid (Allegra Edwards) uploaded.
Here, Amell discusses Nathan's journey in Season 1 and also teases his upcoming Code 8 series on Quibi.
Just how much danger is Nathan in?
Robbie Amell: There was protection when Nora was his angel and looking out for him and when Ingrid was in charge of his account. Both of those things are gone. Nora had to escape, and Ingrid is now in Upload. There's a certain amount of security with being in Lakeview, but people have gotten to him before, so he’s definitely in a little trouble.
Speaking of Ingrid, we see a bit of Nathan’s reaction... but then he’s out of gigs. How did that relationship change over the course of the season?
Allegra, who plays Ingrid, is so funny. She’s one of those people who get away with saying crazy things because she’s so sweet in real life. Nathan and Ingrid had that relationship where they could rely on the physical attraction and connection, but then Greg [Daniels], who created the show, always said, “You guys have a fun relationship, get along great, the attraction is there, but then one day, she screams at a waiter when you’re at a restaurant and you think, ‘This probably isn’t the person I want to spend the rest of my life with.’” I always thought that was a pretty interesting, funny way of looking at it.
Their relationship [changes] as Nathan gains a little bit of independence and realizes he wants that independence and feels like he can offer more to Lakeview. By the end, he’s pretty much trying to get away from her, and now she’s there. [He’s] maybe less angry and more shocked and freaked out that she would have gone and uploaded herself to be there full-time. It’s like in Wedding Crashers with the stage 5 clinger.
I really liked watching Nathan and Nora’s relationship develop. Is there hope for them?
I like to think there is. Obviously, the finale was tough on the two of them, with Nathan freezing before he could respond to Nora’s beautiful message. There’s still more there, and they’ll definitely try to find their way back to each other.
It seems like now more than ever, he'd want the reinsertion process to be perfected and to have that as an option, right? Get away from Ingrid, get to Nora…
Yeah, definitely. I thought the download scene in Episode 3 was so funny and so well done. But anybody who’s uploaded ultimately would love to go back to the real world so they can continue to live that life. As great as Lakeview is, it still feels like a life extension and not life itself.
Looking back, what did you enjoy most about Nathan’s character growth and the world of Upload in general?
I really liked how Nathan grew. At the beginning, Greg and I talked about it. We were like, “Let’s figure out how to make Nathan unlikeable but not too far gone for people to get behind him.” It’s nice to see somebody start out one way and become a better person. I just think it’s a relatable character flaw. A lot of people in their mid- to late 20s are coasting through life and because things are fun and easy, maybe they don’t realize they have a lot more to give to the world or could be fulfilled so much more. I never thought he was a bad guy. I just thought he was lazy or taking things for granted.
The show itself, Greg Daniels has done such a great job of world-building and creating this wild universe where things mimic what we see today. It’s funny, we shot the pilot a couple years ago and the series last year, and some of the stuff in the show has come true since we wrapped filming. It’ll look like we mimicked life but it was actually life mimicking Greg’s writing, and part of that was he did a lot of research and tried to ground the futuristic aspects in some kind of technology or reality. He did such a great job of letting the sci-fi blend into the background and creating interesting characters and relationships you can get behind.
You also have the movie Code 8 on Netflix. What can you say about its followup on Quibi?
The show picks up about five years after the movie ends. You won’t have to have seen the movie to enjoy the show, but it will definitely give you a little more context with the characters. We met with Quibi and really liked what they were doing. I’ve watched some of the Quibi shows—I think they’re really interesting.... We really liked their thoughts on the movie, and they liked our take on the sequel. We’re hard at work on the scripts right now—Jeff [Chan] and Chris [Paré], who wrote the feature, are writing it—and in preproduction. Hopefully when the world goes back to normal, we can jump right in.
... The cool thing about it is it’s essentially a two-hour movie cut into 12 10-minute episodes. You get to jump from exciting moment to exciting moment to exciting moment. The series is going to move really fast and be a lot of fun.