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Isaiah Mustafa “Luke understands what it is like to go from being one thing to becoming something else.”

Isaiah Mustafa “Luke understands what it is like to go from being one thing to becoming something else.”

This week, we had the amazing opportunity to have our very own Isaiah Mustafa on the phone for an interview. We spent fun-filled quality time with him talking all things Luke and Shadowhunters. He teased a possible blooper compilation, talked at length about Luke’s backstory but also confessed about him possibly directing an episode in further seasons. Isaiah shared with us some of his thoughts regarding Luke’s feelings these past two seasons. Besides, we got the chance to talk about his relationship with Matthew and Harry, both on and off screen.

SDN: Over the past two seasons we’ve seen Luke progress and go through a massive emotional change – majorly triggered by the loss of Jocelyn earlier in Season 2. How important was it to not only show the emotional side and how it affected Luke but also how he moved on from it and progressed afterwards?

Isaiah: I think the driving force behind Luke in the first half of Season 2, was how he tried to mend the wounds of Jocelyn’s death but in the second half he started to realize that since he is the pack leader that he has to move his attention away from grieving and more so toward taking care of his pack.

SDN: We explored a little of Luke’s backstory way back in season 1, do you think there’s more the show could explore in terms of the aftermath of Luke becoming a werewolf? His struggles and how he coped with it? Did seeing everyone turning their back on him, including his Parabatai and his sister, forge him as a person?

Isaiah: The cool thing, the show is doing right now, is, instead of showing how Luke dealt with becoming a werewolf, they’re showing how just in general werewolves deal with what they have to go through. They’re including new characters from the books like Bat, and of course Maia, but while they introduce them, they take you through their transition and what they’re dealing with.

So, you don’t get Luke’s experience but you do get a general werewolf experience. Maybe later on, and hopefully in other seasons, you will get to explore a little bit more of Luke’s past and what was happening to him when he was turned.

And as far as dealing with his Parabatai and his sister, I think that’s a really big opportunity for future plotlines. If you want to show what Luke’s family life was like and also the bond he had between him and Valentine. I’m not sure what direction they want to go but I think that’s what they might touch on a little bit more in this season. Just to give you a deeper understanding of who Luke is.

SDN: So while we got a bit more of Maia’s backstory in Season 2, we can hope to learn a bit more about Luke’s in the upcoming season?

Isaiah: They don’t really tell us too much so I can’t really say whether that’s true or false but what I can tell you, is, that you will get a greater sense of who Luke is, towards the middle and end of the first 10 episodes.

SDN: That’s what you deserve. We can’t wait to see more of Luke!

Isaiah: I see a lot of people online saying that especially because Luke is a main character he could use more attention and while that might be true, he is not the main character so you have to construct his storyline around what Clary and the other main characters are doing. But, of course, you get pieces of Luke’s history and his life and as the show goes on you get a better understanding of who he is. It’s much like unfolding an onion; it’s about the layers.

SDN: As we know, Luke fought another Alpha in season one which made him the new leader of the New York pack. It must have been a difficult path for him as his position in the pack changed drastically. What would you say helped Luke be the leader that he is now?

Isaiah: I think being in the Circle definitely taught Luke about hierarchy and leadership. He probably learned a lot about being a leader by watching and following Valentine in the early days of the Circle but once Luke became a werewolf he had to adjust to their ways.

If you think of dogs and the way they behave in a pack; they understand what is going on and they simply fall in line. They know who their pack leader is and how to react to and with him. But being a New York City police cop, he definitely also learned some structure while being in the police department and during his training. So for the television version of Luke there are a lot of different aspects that came together to give him that impeccable sense of leadership.

SDN: Luke had some great fight scenes this season. His fight scenes are among the best on the show. Yet, his character always seems to be seeking peace and aiming towards that goal. We also got to see that, even though he has been betrayed by people close to him in the past, he puts his trust not only in those dearest to him, like Clary, but also people like Raphael, Magnus and Alec who so far only stood in professional relation to him. Do you think it is hard for Luke to trust others or does it come to him easily despite his past experiences?

Isaiah: That’s a tough one to answer because how do you really gain trust? Just on experience. That is how trust grow, so I would say, that his experience is actually where he’s got it from. But it is also a day to day thing because you have to experience all kinds of different people and things to be able to really grasp what they are, individually, and learn the boundaries within the relationship you have with them.

SDN: And as a parent it all comes down to trusting your teenage daughter as well, doesn’t it?

Isaiah: Are you talking about Luke or about me? (laughs) Teenagers have more power than they realize. Parents are always kind of on edge with teenagers because they are highly emotional so they allow the Teenager to push their boundaries. You don’t want to clamp them down because you want to give them the freedom to express themselves, you want to see them grow and blossom. You let them go until they stumble and fall and then you are right there to pick them back up and point them into the right direction, hoping they will allow you to guide them.

SDN: We’ve seen the beginning of a professional relationship between Luke and Alec in season two. The two of them trying to do what’s best for their people, which in a way, brings them both together as leaders. How was it to work with Matthew on scenes like these, knowing that Luke had been an Alpha for a while and Alec was just named as Head of the Institute?

Isaiah: Matthew and I have a great relationship anyway so it is really easy to work with him in any kind of capacity. We hang out outside of set so I know him very well. But usually we don’t really discuss the storylines rather than taking the situation and just go with it and this one wasn’t that hard at all.

Luke has known Maryse and Robert for a long time so when the Lightwood children were born, he must have known what kind of family they had been born into. He’s got an understanding idea of this family and he knows how to negotiate with them but he also knows Alec is dealing with a different sort of thing. He just came out so he’s still also kind of dealing with that and I think, Luke understands what it is like to go from being one thing, being seen one way, to becoming something else so it makes it easy for him to be Alec’s liaison because he understands what he must be going through in a way.

SDN: Luke is a former Shadowhunter turned Downworlder. He knows how the Clave works better than most Downworlders, even older and presumably wiser ones. He’s got knowledge on both sides. How does that come into play in his actions and in your choices as an actor? Do you think that was what influenced his decision when it came to the choice of whether or not they should follow the Seelie Queen?

Isaiah: The way I look at it, Luke, having been a Shadowhunter himself once, he knows that world very well. I am sure he is not necessarily too happy with the way the Clave does their business but he knows what it is like to be a Shadowhunter, their ups and downs but now that he is a werewolf, his allegiance is with the Downworld. It is a tightrope and he has to walk it very carefully because he can’t turn his back on his own people but at the same time he understands what the Shadowhunters are trying to achieve and what their overall plan is. They are trying to save the world but the way they go about it isn’t always the best way. They act careless and sometimes hurt the Downworlders or put them in a bad position.

Now, when the Seelie Queen decided on the Downworld’s behalf, Luke clearly did not approve of that because he thought “Hey, I’m not striking a deal with them and I could easily do it because I know how they think. You shouldn’t strike a deal with them either, you should actually protect us first and we should try to exhaust all of our capabilities, all of our possibilities before we go to the Clave or go to Valentine to try and strike a deal.” That is where his reluctance to go along with the Seelie Queen comes from but he really has no choice because, like I said, he is loyal so the first thing, first cause and person he has his allegiance to he’s gonna follow that and that is first and foremost, the Downworld as a whole.

SDN: You’ve recently created an instagram account solely for your photography (@iam_photographs) and you seem to have natural talent behind a camera. Do you think you would ever be interested in directing an episode?

Isaiah: I don’t think it will happen this season. I have a couple of projects I am working on besides Shadowhunters and if they see those projects and like them, hopefully, if we get a Season 4, they would keep me in mind for something; it would be really nice. I would actually love to direct an episode because I truly believe our show is an amazing opportunity for any director to come in and really exhibit their own personality and skills within the genre because it is simply such a fun world to play with.

If you look at Matt Hastings and the way he directs episodes; he is such a throughout and well prepared director that it makes acting easy and that’s why his episodes are some of my favorites and that is also what I would like to do. Making it easy for the actors and have them just kind of step in and do their thing without really having to coach them. I would look forward to just watching them do their work, being able to sit back and watch those talented actors I get to work with, without being in the scene myself.

SDN: When we interviewed Matthew, we asked him a similar question and while he said he would like to direct an episode he would love getting to see you, and Harry, do it first.

Isaiah: We actually talk about this a lot- him, me and Harry also- and I believe that Harry will definitely direct an episode next season. I’m just as much of a fan as you guys are so most of the time I side with you. Whatever the fans want, I kind of find myself wanting the same thing so I think going into directing would be really fun, being able to give the fans the fun things they are looking for.

SDN: We know you guys enjoy working with each other and you always seem to have a great time on set, sharing lots of laughter, but we only get to see so very little of what is happening between scenes. Can you tell us anything about bloopers we might have missed out on, maybe?

Isaiah: Oh my gosh, I wish you guys could see the bloopers because what we do is just silly. Sometimes it is just so hard to keep a straight face. Two nights ago, when we were working, Emeraude was laughing so hard because of the way Harry would say the word “Catarina”. He kept saying it real funny for some reason but once one person starts to laugh, everybody else does too. You can’t control yourself and sometimes it doesn’t even take that much; just one person to kind of giggle a little bit and then it is like an explosion. It just starts to spread like a disease and you can’t help it. But I think they heard you guys. If I am not entirely mistaken, I heard Matt Hastings say something about having to keep the bloopers because he thinks people would want to see more of that.

SDN: Everyone knows what an amazing and unique friendship you share with Harry and Matthew off screen. How is it working with the two of them and can we hope for a closer connection between your characters in the upcoming season?

Isaiah: Two nights ago the three of us were in a scene together and it is always fun working with those guys because I am always at ease with them, not that this isn’t the case with anybody else but it is fun to know that when the fans see Luke, Alec and Magnus on screen together, they’re really watching to see what we’re up to and to see the little things we do, that only the fans would notice and pick up on. Two nights ago during that scene, there is a moment when Alec says “Alright, we have to do something. We have to leave.” and Harry and I, we go to leave, turn right through the door and then we wait and went back left. We kept doing funny things to see if the fans would notice. It’s just fun to work with those two. It’s really exciting.

SDN: We notice everything.

Isaiah: Oh, we know. We know you guys do and we love it.

SDN: When the three of you are in a scene together the ease just appears so natural and not forced or acted at all.

Isaiah: It is really easy to work with them. Out of the cast, I hang out with Harry and Matthew the most. They are closer to my age range.

SDN: We hope you get to continue to work together like that. We love the dynamic between your characters.

Isaiah: Oh, so do we!

Isaiah, thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions. It was a pleasure for us to have an in-depth conversation about you and your character. We look forward to finding out more about Luke, but also about your side projects and to see what you have in store for us with your photography and possible directing. We are excited about your character’s future storyline and what is planned for season 3 of Shadowhunters.

You can follow Isaiah on Twitter, Instagram and on his photography account!

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Matthew Daddario “Episode 215 was the first time Magnus and Alec were real with each other.”

Matthew Daddario “Episode 215 was the first time Magnus and Alec were real with each other.”

Last weekend during The Italian Institute Convention in Milan, Italy the ShumDario News team had the amazing opportunity to sit down and interview Matthew Daddario in person to talk to him about his experiences playing Alec Lightwood on Shadowhunters, as well as ask other questions about his career. This was really the pinnacle of what we have dedicated ourselves to here at SDN for one year and a half. Saying it was a thrill is most definitely an understatement. You could say one item has been checked off of our team’s bucket list and we hope you’ll enjoy reading these fascinating insights from Matthew as much as we enjoyed hearing them.

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Alberto Rosende “Simon is selfless and wants to be a better man, regardless of what people think of him”

Alberto Rosende “Simon is selfless and wants to be a better man, regardless of what people think of him”

Last weekend members of the ShumDario News team attended The Italian Institute convention in Milan, Italy, which featured several stars from Freeform’s hit sci-fi/fantasy series Shadowhunters. While at the convention our team had the privilege of sitting down to interview several members of the cast to ask them a few questions. In this first interview we spoke with Alberto Rosende about his character’s journey so far this season, and we were lucky enough to have Katherine McNamara join in for part of it as well. They were both an absolute pleasure to speak with and we loved hearing their insights about Simon and Clary.

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Alisha Wainwright “If Maia believes in something, she will see it through.”

Alisha Wainwright “If Maia believes in something, she will see it through.”

Last weekend ShumDario News had the pleasure of attending “The Hunters of Shadow” convention in Paris, which featured several stars of Freeform‘s sci-fi/fantasy drama Shadowhunters. We had the privilege of sitting down to talk with Alisha Wainwright, who plays Maia Roberts on the show. We asked her a few questions about her character in a brief interview, which was a tremendous honor for us. She was simply delightful to speak with and so very gracious to tell us a bit about what’s in store for Maia this season!

SDN: What attracted you to the role of Maia? Were you familiar with the books? What aspects of her personality do you find the most interesting?

Alisha: So I didn’t read the books before I auditioned for the role. I actually didn’t know the character was part of a book series. I was familiar that Shadowhunters was a television show. So it wasn’t until I booked the role that I googled ‘Shadowhunters’ and realized that there was an entire fan base around the books.

In that way I met with the showrunners and they explained to me that my character would be very different in essence from the book. But if I wanted to, like there was no pressure to, read it. So what I did was I read the second book to get a sense of the world and then I watched the first season of the show.

The characteristics that drew me to her character is that she’s very defiant but she’s also very loyal. So if she really believes in something she will fully see it through. I think those are really fun, admirable qualities of a heroine, and of a person to look up to.

SDN: Now that Maia and Clary have sort of patched things up after their fight in 2A, do you think they can be friends? Or, considering what happened with Jace, is there more tension coming between the two?

Alisha: Yes, and no one at this stage of the show has dibs on anybody, right? Clary and Simon are boyfriend and girlfriend, so for Clary to be upset at Maia for having an intimate relationship with Jace I think it just goes against her fundamental nature. She’s in a relationship. Yeah, that might make her uncomfortable if anyone ever found out but at the same time I think Clary is a little bit more mature than that. And I do think that Maia and Clary could be friends, and I think that despite Maia hooking up with Jace I don’t think that would really have a huge impact on their ability to like each other.

SDN: We had a bit of Maia’s backstory in 2A, will we see more in 2B? Or will we need to wait until season 3 to find out more about her past?

Alisha: Well I can make you feel better in knowing that you won’t have to wait more. You will definitely get a very in depth insight into Maia’s past. Not in episode 14 or 15, but she’s in episodes 16-20. And in those later episodes you will be able to get more of her backstory.

InsanePetrova: How do you feel about the fact that as a black woman you get to play a badass and strong werewolf on one of Freeform’s top shows?

Alisha: I feel very honored. I’m really happy to be working at Freeform because they are so inclusive of women of color, people of different heritages, ethnicities, queer people, and a lot of their shows have queer centered relationships. And it’s not in a way to say, ‘Oh look we have two queer people on our show.’ It’s like no we have two people who are trying to figure out a relationship and they just happen to be gay, or lesbian, or whatever. So I think Freeform is a great network for being very progressive and Shadowhunters is great example.

SDN: We saw in Shadowhunters episode 13 that you finally had your first proper fight scene, can you tell us a little bit about how you trained for it? And is that something you want to do more of?

Alisha: It took one day to create the choreography and I had been taking boxing lessons for a few months prior, so that’s kind of how we trained. Dom is very great with stunt and fight scenes as an actor. He took to the scene very easily, plus he’s not really fighting that much he’s more defensive. He helped me along with Darren, our stunt coordinator, to make the scene look as fluid as possible. So we train Muay Thai in our dojo, so that’s kind of the base of Maia’s fight structure.

SDN: The cinematography when you actually punched, that was really good!

Alisha: That was a style choice by our director Michael Goi. He’s a cinematographer as well as a director so he has a really good eye for interesting shots.

SebDaddario: Since Magnus and Valentine were body swapped by Azazel in episode 11 of season 2, would you like to see your character body swapping with someone?

Alisha: Wouldn’t it be hilarious if she body swapped with Alec? That would be hilarious. Oh my gosh, so awkward! Alec would be the strangest bartender. I would love to see Alec trying to be Maia, and then Maia being very much like Alec. That would be really funny.

We hope you enjoyed learning more about Maia and we really can’t thank Alisha Wainwright enough for taking time out of her busy convention schedule to speak with us. Our whole team is very excited to watch Maia’s story continue to unfold each week on Shadowhunters, as well as in the upcoming third season.

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Jade Hassouné “I just really wanted this role.”

Jade Hassouné “I just really wanted this role.”

Last weekend several actors from Freeform’s hit sci-fi/fantasy drama Shadowhunters were featured guests at “The Hunters of Shadow” convention in Paris. The team from ShumDario News had the honor and privilege of sitting down with Jade Hassouné who plays Meliorn on the show. Jade was kind enough to answer several questions about our favorite Seelie, giving us a wonderful opportunity to learn more about his fascinating character.

SDN: Tell us about your audition process for Shadowhunters. Was Meliorn the only role you read for? Did you know much about his character before you auditioned? Did you read with Emeraude before you were cast?

Jade: When I got the first email from my agent about « Shadowhunters », originally it was for the role of Alaric. I read that quickly, I saw he was a policeman, and I thought it was a police TV show. So I recorded my audition with a friend, I sent it, and I didn’t really think about it anymore. A week later, I got another email saying, « They want to see you again for Raphael Santiago, a vampire. » I was like « What? » So I read a little more of the email and I saw that it said, « Based on the series « The Mortal Instruments. » I thought I’d heard of that so I looked for it online and I saw all the fanarts and I thought it was amazing! Then I remembered that it was also a movie so I watched the movie. Then I went to audition, in person, in Toronto, and I did the scene for Raphael. I think that Joel and David are both perfect in their roles, but at that time I knew I really wanted this so I did it. But it didn’t really work out.

A week later, I had another audition and I see it’s for Meliorn, who is a Seelie/elf and I’m like « OH MY GOD IT’S THIS ROLE ». As soon as I saw that, I knew it, I felt it. You get shivers when you know it’s your role. I started seeing online that they were announcing the cast like Kat, Alberto, Dom… and I could feel that I wanted to be part of that group. I really wanted this role and I really focused on it. I studied the scene, it was a scene that had nothing to do with being a Seelie it was the first scene between Izzy and Meliorn. I went to do it and it was fine, just fine. Then they called me to come back and do the scene again because they really wanted me to get the scene right, and they gave me notes. Notes like « Don’t lift your head up, », things really specific, because they really wanted it to be good. It’s amazing when that happens, when the casting director has your back.

So after the second time, I got a call to come and do the final audition, and there were two other guys and me. They were completely different, their looks, their height, everything was really different. I already had long hair so it was perfect when I did the audition, and that was on a Friday. Then the next Monday I learned that I got the part! Immediately they asked me to make a video and post on social media to announce it. Which was amazing! Then as soon as I knew, I bought the books and started reading them. I wanted to get to Meliorn before I got on set. The audition process took a month but then once it was done, a week later I was on set.

ARTSYROSENDE: How does it feel to play a Seelie and what are the perks of it? Would you play any other character if you had that chance?

Jade: I’ve always wanted to play a creature like a Seelie or an elf, I really connect to that. I really like this side of them, not really bipolar, but this thing they have. I love that they’re very elegant but because they know more, they’ve lived for a long time, they see more of the big picture. They have more of a detached perspective on life. Their plan is a long-term one to do what they need to, in the moment, if it’s good for them and their race and that’s it, and I love that. We know that Meliorn is a little special as a Seelie and I was really looking forward to see what his magic was like. It changes a lot. It took a little while but we’re starting to see more of Meliorn and it’s really cool. I’ve always wanted to play a role like that, it was a dream. And we’ll see what they are going to do in the future. I don’t know if you watched True Blood? It’s funny because there are Seelies in that story as well and it took a long time to get to it and they didn’t even really get into it. They touched on it, but they didn’t dig into their world. So I hope we’re going to do it.

SDN: And if you could be any other character?

Jade: I would play a Warlock for sure, someone who’s different. Does it have to be someone from the books? Someone that we know?

SDN: Yes, someone from the Shadowhunters universe, it can be someone who’s not on show yet!

Jade: I love hybrids, I think they’re cool. And Meliorn *SPOILER ALERT* he’s a hybrid, so it’s cool. I love when it’s like that, like in « The Infernal Devices » there are several hybrids who are really interesting. They have this quality of being different. But there’s so many options in the Warlock category that it could be nice. But I would also love to play a Seelie from the sea.

SDN: Like a merman? Like @ShirmirArt’s drawing?

Jade: YES!

SDN: Matthew said during his panel at The Hunters of Shadow in Paris that now that Alec is the head of the institute he will be working towards bringing peace and equality between Shadowhunters and Downworlders, can you tease anything about Meliorn’s part in that and does that mean we’ll finally get to see Meliorn work with the whole team?

Jade: Well it’s cool that Matt talked about that. For me personally, every time Meliorn is joining the team, I love it so much! Like in the last episode (season 2 episode 13) with Izzy and Raphael, it was so great. We had so much fun! It’s like Scooby-Doo, a Scooby-Gang who gets together and fights crime. So the answer to the question is yes! And you’ll see this in the next episode!

SDN: Do you think Meliorn is jealous of Raphael’s relationship with Isabelle? Does he harbor animosity toward him? Will they ever be allies?

Jade: A little, just a little bit of « How did you get with him? ». But the night-children and the Seelies are allies. I don’t know if you remember the third book, they go to Idris and that’s when Clary creates a rune that gives the ability to the Shadowhunters and Downworlders to share their powers to fight demons in this big war. So when Meliorn arrives, Luke asks him, « Where are the Vampires, I thought you were friends? » But they’re not there and can’t be reached. So I took that like the Vampires and the Seelies are allies. But I think there’s also this friendship developing between Meliorn and Raphael because of Isabelle. But also, Meliorn doesn’t really care, like « Cool he was with Isabelle but whatever.» Plus the Seelies are bisexuals so maybe there’s something else there ? It would be cool on the show but I don’t know.

@SEBDADDARIO: Since Magnus and Valentine were body swap by Azaziel in episode 11 of season 2, would you like to see your character body swapping with someone?

Jade: That’s very interesting. Probably with Jace, I miss the scenes with Jace and Meliorn. Otherwise, maybe with Sebastian.

SDN: Who would you like to have more scenes with and why?

Jade: Alberto! Just because we haven’t done any yet. We’re really good friends. We became friends outside of the set, but we never really worked together. Alberto really is incredible as an actor and the way he talks about his art, it’s really interesting! I love him so much as a person, it would be fun to work with him. It’s already fun to live with him because we always talk about acting and we talk about the books, since we’re the two who’ve read all of them. We’re total nerds about the books! So it would be really cool to work together, if only because we haven’t done it. But I’d like to have more scenes with everyone: Kat, Dom…

SDN: We would really love to see more of Meliorn with Magnus because during what we called the « Downworlder Meeting » we felt like there was a past there.

Jade: YES! It’s cool, right? You’re going to see a little bit more, just a little bit. But yes, I would love that too. I would love for them to all come together for a big battle, where they all use their powers!

We hope you enjoyed this brief interview! We really cannot express enough how truly wonderful it was to meet Jade and have the chance to talk to him about his experiences on Shadowhunters. He is an amazing person as well as a passionately dedicated actor. We offer our deepest thanks to him and look forward to watching Meliorn’s journey continue each week.

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Joshua Butler “The secret to directing poignant scenes is finding unspoken moments.”

Joshua Butler “The secret to directing poignant scenes is finding unspoken moments.”

Shumdario News had the great honor and privilege of interviewing Joshua Butler, the director of Shadowhunters 02×10 “By The Light of Dawn“. Joshua comes to the show with an impressive list of directing credentials including Pretty Little Liars, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, and The Magicians. We are very excited to share with you his candid thoughts and experiences of working with Harry Shum Jr. and Matthew Daddario on the midseason finale of Shadowhunters.

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