The Freeform television series Shadowhunters airs Tuesday nights on the cable channel, and in that adaptation of the Mortal Instruments book franchise, the character of Alec Lightwood has taken on some serious new responsibilities as threats are growing all around him in the current season.
We got on the phone with the actor that brings Alec to life, Matthew Daddario, for some intel about Season 3 and what is happening for Alec and his various close bonds and relationships. Don’t miss a new episode at 8PM ET/PT tonight!
KSITETV’s CRAIG BYRNE: What is the current status of Alec and Jace’s parabatai bond? Is there a reason that Alec can’t seem to tell what Jace is going through?
MATTHEW DADDARIO: Alec is distracted by a number of things, first and foremost being his new role at the Institute which has provided him with a number of new obligations that he’s trying to juggle. But at the same time, his relationship with Magnus is taking up a lot of his time and a lot of his emotional energy.
So, Jace and Jace’s issues at the end of Season 2 are obviously weighing on Alec, but he’s having a little bit of a trouble making sense of it. I don’t think he thinks very clearly about exactly what’s bothering Jace. He makes some major errors going forward. We’re going to see some of that in Episode 4, and we’re going to see how that impacts his ability to help Jace through the first half of the season.
Alec also seems to be distracted by trying to find out who the Owl is. Will that get in the way of his relationship with Magnus at all?
No. His concern for finding out who the Owl is, it’s largely administrative. At this point, he doesn’t know about Lilith, so to him, you have this sort of possibly greater demon running around killing people, and that’s unpleasant, but that’s something that happens within the Shadowhunter world. So, yeah. He’s concerned, but he’s emotionally invested, obviously, in his parabatai and in Magnus, and those concerns about them are entirely separate. If anything, I think that Alec’s concern with Magnus and his relationship with Magnus play a much larger part in his head space than his concern about the Owl, and his concern about his job.
How much of an obstacle as Lorenzo Rey going to continue to be?
He’s a troublesome one, that Lorenzo. We’re not huge fans.
It was fun filming those scenes with him, because they’re very amusing and very entertaining. So we had a lot of fun filming that, which is interesting because as we’re filming it, we’re like “this is so funny,” but it’s also like “wait. I’m supposed to hate you. You’re a problem.” It’s kind of weird jumping between the Alec parts and the actor parts.
Lorenzo’s going to be a big issue. He’s got some sort of chip on his shoulder, and he’s not going to respond to reason, so we’re going to have to see what Alec does about it. But, I think Lorenzo’s going to be more trouble than we’d like.
How does Alec feel about the notion that there are people in the world that Magnus has known for centuries?
That’s something that I’ve thought about a lot, because Alec obviously is young and he just met Magnus, and he can’t be worked up too much about Magnus’ previous life. But usually in real life, for example let’s say two people are divorced and they’re in their 60s and they get married. Their way of viewing things is different becuase they’ve experienced this already. So, Alec doesn’t have the tools necessary to deal with the idea that the person that he loves has loved other people in the past. But, he’s going to work through that. We’re going to see a little bit of that in the middle of the season, and it’s definitely going to cause a little strain, but Alec learns from it and improves as a person as a result. So, it’s definitely a theme, but I think that in the end, Alec handles it properly. Although, he’s a dodo about it initially, for sure.
Is there a rune that could give a Shadowhunter better cooking abilities?
Oh my good Lord, wouldn’t they need it!
You know, when the angels were coming up with all of these runes, they weren’t eating food! They were eating manna… what is it that angels eat? They were eating that. But I think they never really thought of it, and now they’ve got Alec running around ruining food, and ruining the kitchen. It would be great if they did, but there’s not. There is no rune to make you a better cook; you’ve just got to learn.
Can you talk about what’s happening with Maryse and how that might affect Alec’s own relationship with the Clave?
First of all, Maryse is one of the most interesting characters on the show, and it’s always fun to work with Nicola, so it’s great to have the opportunity to do that a lot this season. Obviously, his Mom being de-runed, the whole situation with his father, it’s just a very unpleasant overall situation for his mother.
I don’t think Alec has the best relationship with the Clave as it is, and the Clave obviously isn’t a huge fan of Alec, but they continue to tolerate him, I guess, because there are a lot of worse choices at the Institute. Everybody they send over is kind of a sociopath. So, I don’t think that Alec is going to be thrilled about what’s happened to his Mom, but I think at the same time, he might be of the opinion that this is the best thing for his Mom, being removed from that whole world. Because that world has been noting but trouble for her. It taught her several lessons about Downworlders; I mean, you saw how she reacted to the Alec and Magnus relationship initially, and you see that when she removes herself from that involvement and the poison of the Clave’s mindset about the world, she becomes a better and happier person. I think that Alec is going to let his Mom make these decisions without interfering too much, and maybe she’ll be able to find happiness on the other side of this whole Clave and Shadow world. It’s definitely interesting going forward.
Will we be seeing Alec in the field again anytime soon?
A little bit. Not much. He’s largely administrative now. He pops up every now and then, to investigate some things or to fire the occasional arrow, but he lets his employees do the work. I’m calling them employees… they’re not really employees, are they? Soldiers? I don’t know what the exact term would be, but I’m going to call them employees because I like that more. I’m going to go with Alec is boss, they’re the employees, so he lets them handle a lot of that. But he’s definitely out in the field looking around and investigating… often with Izzy.
Is there a member of the cast that you’re really aching to work with more?
There are certain people who I never worked with who I got to work with a little bit, and that was really great.
I would like to work with Isaiah Mustafa (Luke) more, because I think that they have an interesting bond, the two of them. There’s something in the second half of the season that makes that relationship kind of interesting. And I’d like to work with Alberto (Simon) more becuase their relationship is truly weird, especially since Alec is like “hey, I know that you’re really heavily involved with Clary, and heavily involved with Jace and Izzy, but I never see you!” So I think that would be nice. And of course to work with Alisha who I haven’t really had a chance to work with.
So there are a lot of characters that I would like to spend more time with, especially just to see how they’d react with each other, because Alec is a very particular individual.
What is the pitch you would give fans for the next couple of episodes that are coming up?
I would say “don’t get too used to domestic bliss, but do get used to watching people get absolutely devastated by the things that happen around them.” Things are going to get a lot worse, as they always do, and then they’re going to get worse than that. And then maybe they’ll get better. But you’re going to have to watch to find out!
Shadowhunters is new tonight with an episode called “Thy Soul Instructed.” See some photos from the April 10 episode here!