Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger on Freeform has quickly become one of my favorite television shows. But, I’m not the only one that is tuning in each Thursday at 8 p.m. EST; it seems that it’s one of Freeform’s biggest series debut in over two years!
During my recent visit to L.A., I had the opportunity to sit down with two stars of the show – Andrea Roth, who plays Melissa Bowen (Tandy’s mom) and Miles Mussenden, who plays Otis Johnson (Tyrone’s father). We also spoke with Tom Lieber, VP of Original Programming for Marvel Television, and Joe Pokaski, Showrunner and Executive Producer for Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger.
Why Cloak & Dagger Characters Resonate With Fans
Part of Tandy’s and Tyrone’s journey and their character have much to do with their home life, especially where they grew up and how they grew up.
“From the very beginning of getting a series order, Joe (Pokaski, executive producer) crafts really interesting character arcs,” Lieber said of the series,, “not just for Tandy and Tyrone, but especially for all four parents and for Brigid (played by Emma Lahana). I think Melissa’s in particular, Joe had a vision for that right from the beginning – I won’t say what it is because that’s a spoiler.”
“I grew up with three sisters, so I was witness to the many versions of the mother-daughter dynamic,” Pokaski said. “Someone told me at some point that the hardest two points in a woman’s life is when she’s 16 and when her daughter’s 16.”
As a mother of a young girl, I could not agree more with this statement.
“That was kind of the basis for the Tandy-Melissa relationship. Again, without spoiling too much,” Pokaski said, “we’ll find out that the mother’s arc in this case is one of the most secretly heroic.”
Pokaski said that as Cloak & Dagger goes on in the season, and hopefully into the next, the storyline for the character of Melissa will get much more raw and real and really show the sacrifices that she’s made for her daughter.
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“We want to make sure our drama is solid and hopefully we tell different parent stories than you’ve seen on television before,” Pokaski added.
Not Your Average TV Mom & Dad
“I feel incredibly blessed to have this man’s writing and his vision,” Andrea Roth, who plays Tandy’s mother, Melissa Bowen, added. “The fact that I am just ‘the mom’ of a superhero… it is so interesting. And, it’s not like I’m showing up to work and saying a few lines, or it’s easy and I leave. I get complex, interesting work, which I’m really grateful for.”
“I feel like this show has something for everybody. It isn’t just a young adult show.” – Andrea Roth, Cloak & Dagger’s Melissa Bowen
“When I watch the show I’m just amazed at the work I see,” admitted Miles Mussenden, who plays Otis Johnson/Tyrone’s father. “The thing to me that is so compelling is that, even though these are superheroes, these are real things that people go through and things that I think about as a father. To be able to show that in a real way to me is just tremendous.”
Mussenden said that the topics that are touched upon in Cloak & Dagger sometimes blur the lines between his character and his real life because they’re so relevant to what people are dealing with today.
Why New Orleans For Cloak & Dagger?
“New York is very well protected,” Pokaski joked. “They have way too many super heroes. We got to New Orleans and something felt very Cloak-and-Dagger about it. It feels like it has a history that’s older than the country.”
Pokaski said that the more they learned about New Orleans, the more they loved the location for the show. They even brought on staff writers that are from the area which allowed them to dig into things like Vudon and really understand the religion so that they could tie it into the show.
“The more we learned about New Orleans,” Pokaski said, “the more we were surprised that Cloak & Dagger weren’t there the whole time.”
Can We Hope For A Cloak & Dagger/MCU Crossover?
“If I had my way, yes,” said Pokaski, “but there’s so many lawyers…” He said that he’s dropped some hints to the powers that be – and to anyone that would listen – so the possibility definitely exists!
“Cloak and Dagger are the ultimate comic book crossover characters,” Pokaski added. “They show up in any book and you’re pleasantly surprised, so hopefully Aubrey and Olivia will be welcomed into some places and we will let them go – if we can.”