Shadowhunters Interview: Matthew Daddario on “Malec,” Clary & More Shadowhunters Interview: Matthew Daddario on “Malec,” Clary & More
Interview with Matthew Daddario, "Alec" of the Freeform television series Shadowhunters. Shadowhunters Interview: Matthew Daddario on “Malec,” Clary & More

We are six days away from the January 12 series premiere of Shadowhunters on Freeform, the channel that to this point was known as ABC Family, and here at KSiteTV, we still have some interviews to share from our visit to the set!

Today, the spotlight falls on Matthew Daddario, who plays Shadowhunter Alec Lightwood on the series. To the many fans of The Mortal Instruments, Alec also happens to be half of the Shadowhunters supercouple known as “Malec.” When we first meet Alec on the new show, he’s a bit reserved…. but if Daddario’s words in this interview are any indication, the character will be opening up.

You can see video of the interview below; if written words are more your thing, a transcript follows. Enjoy:

Shadowhunters Episode 3KSITETV’s CRAIG BYRNE: Is it hard for Alec to be “out” with his family situation being what it is?

MATTHEW DADDARIO: I think Alec… he feels a tremendous amount of responsibility to his family, and to his career, and he wants to follow certain rules. Obviously, being gay is just not even sort of in his visible realm of things that he’s allowed to do or allowed to be. He’s a traditionalist in a lot of ways. But that’s at a tremendous cost to him, emotionally, and it affects him in a way that makes him less and less a human. When we meet Alec, he’s really a — almost, I don’t want to say robotic, but definitely a guarded person.

Alec and IzzyWould you say his sister Isabelle is one of the few people he can be himself with?

Yes. Izzy and Alec have a really interesting relationship, because Izzy is very much concerned with Alec’s happiness. She’s almost more aware of how much he’s shutting out than he is, because he almost does it instinctually. When he meets Magnus for the first time, he sees that, and there’s something there, but he does everything he can to kind of push that way, because that’s contrary to the rules that he must follow. Izzy is the one person who really maybe knows Alec better than himself. Possibly Jace, as well.

In this version of the story, what kinds of feelings does he have towards Jace?

I think that Alec is confused about his feelings for Jace. There’s a certain aspect; the fact that this is his parabatai. This is a person that he loves. And Alec is confused about his sexuality — well, not confused as much as simply ignoring the feelings he has for whomever. I think that it becomes difficult for him to differentiate between the love that he feels for his — essentially, brother — and the love that he might feel for someone else. So, we touch on it. I think that it’s a difficult thing for Alec.

ShadowhuntersWhat does Alec think of Clary when he first meets her?

No. Doesn’t like Clary. Clary comes in… Clary destroys the world that Alec has structured for himself, and the type of person that Alec is, you know these type of people in real life, they create a world for themselves to exist in, and they eliminate outside influences or inputs that they find to be destructive to their controlled world, and Clary is just this force, completely destroying everything along the way. She’s an interloper, and we don’t like her.

MalecHow does Alec’s life in general change when he meets Magnus Bane?

Once Alec meets Magnus, it becomes impossible for him to continue forcing things out of his mind and pushing things to the side. It’s at a very tumultuous time, with Clary coming in, and the return of Valentine, and the realizations about the Clave and other things like that. It just — it becomes too much, because he feels something that he can’t just push away.

Will the show take any liberties or change anything with how that story might play out?

We’ll see. We definitely follow the story, but if anything, we’re only going to just enhance the experience. Although, that’s not quite clear yet.

Before you all even started filming, the show already had a huge fan base. What was it like to enter that world?

Madness! It was madness! You’re entering into a world of people who have, in many ways, identified with these characters and identified with this world, and suddenly we’re here to play those characters on screen. So, it was really…. it’s a lot, you know? But we’ve been working extremely hard to make sure that we honor those stories and those characters, and the fans along the way.

How long did it take you to get used to having the runes applied every day?

Oh, man. You still don’t get used to it. Because you get them on there — and some people don’t mind so much, and really, they’re easy to have on… but it toward the end of the day, it becomes a bit of just ‘oh, I want to get them off.’ But they’re fun to have on for a lot of the time. It’s like play time.

Do you ever ask for them to put you in long sleeves so you don’t have to have as many?

No. I would never do that!

Matthew DaddarioWhere would you like to see Alec go in the course of the series?

I want to see Alec grow as a person, because who he is now is sad, because it’s a person who is unable to be honest with himself and honest with others, and I think that is a very upsetting thing. So, with the developments that occur and what happens with new people coming in, I think he becomes a real person, and a happy person, hopefully, over time.

Several of your cast mates said that you were the funniest person in the cast. What do you have to say about that?

I would say that I am the funniest person in the cast, and that’s simply because everybody else is so painfully unfunny, that it makes me, a not-funny person, seem very funny.

That’s not true. Everyone’s very funny. I don’t know why they say that. I think they’re poking fun at me.

Shadowhunters premieres Tuesday, January 12 on Freeform! Feel free to browse KSiteTV for more Shadowhunters coverage, including some official photos from the series!

Craig Byrne, Editor-In-Chief

KSiteTV Editor-In-Chief Craig Byrne has been writing about TV on the internet since 1995. He is also the author of several published books, including Smallville: The Visual Guide and the show's Official Companions for Seasons 4-7.