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?
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.
Oh… it looks like the whole team took part in creating this article!