Got any burning questions about Shadowhunters? Well you’re in luck ‘coz mega cutie Matthew Daddario is in town for Oz Comic-Con!
The actor plays mystic man Alec Lightwood, one of the most iconic TV characters in recent years not just because he’s super hot but also because he’s one of the few openly gay characters on the small screen RN.
During his time Down Under, I sat down with Matty boi for a nice long chat where he described playing the character as “an incredible responsibility.”
How did you react when you found out that Shadowhunters was coming to an end?
I sort of had a feeling for a few weeks based on some clues that the show was gonna come to an end and I was primarily concerned about how we’re gonna wrap it up because we leave the end of season 3 kind of open, almost absurdly open, and there’s a lot that needed to be done. But then I was pleasantly surprised to find out about the two extra episodes at the end so we managed to wrap up all these loose ends.
In the end it’s a sad thing but it’s gonna be bittersweet and there’s definitely a legacy left behind and we were lucky to get these two extra episodes to make it whole because a lot of shows get cancelled and that’s it, they’re left there hanging.
You will have noticed that the fan response has been huge, there was even a campaign to keep the show going. How does that make you feel?
We’ve been completely overwhelmed by it. We’re so impressed by their devotion to it and I mention it every single time, I mention The Trevor Project and everything they raised, it’s really amazing but I saw that our show was nominated for the People’s Choice Awards and these were done as write-in votes. The fans are so active and aggressive about their enthusiasm that they managed to get us multiple award nominations on their own. We can’t thank them enough.
Is there a storyline that you wish the show could’ve explored?
I would’ve liked to see a time jump so we could see the characters a little bit more aged because the show only took place across a few months so to jump forward and really have this new world they’re living in, maybe one that’s fallen into chaos, more so than it already is, and maybe a more grizzly and hardened Alec.
But what we managed to do with two episodes left is kind of impressive, I’m interested to see how the fans react, but you’ve gotta give the writers credit for what they were able to do with just two episodes to close out three seasons.
The show has received a fair bit of praise for having an LGBTQIA character as a main role, what’s it been like to play that out?
It’s an incredible responsibility and I look back at the last three years and it was a huge part of my life because of the impact it was having on fans.
I didn’t realise it was going to become as meaningful as it did and I didn’t realise it would become so important to people and we were really honoured by that so we spent an enormous amount of time to make sure that what we were doing was right and honoured that community.
Did you have lot of fans from the LGBTQIA community reaching out to you?
Oh yeah! You get these letters and they talk about how they were struggling with various aspects of coming out whether it was related to their family or related to themselves and just telling themself ‘this is who I am and I’m happy with it’ or at least being on the path to being happy with it. Or with family or friends or just society in general.
We receive these letters occasionaly that discuss their struggles and at the end they write ‘I came out’ or ‘I haven’t come out yet but I’m happy with who I am and I’m going to [come out] soon’ and they say Alec helped them and that’s incredible. I don’t feel like I deserve that kind of letter, it’s just so meaningful and amazing. What an incredible honour and it drove us to work harder and harder at it. The fan responses have been tremendously important to us.
You’re in town for Oz Comic-Con, what do you love most about conventions?
I see it as a way to repay fans for their support. They put all this time in, they put all this effort into supporting your career and watching your show and it’d be a disservice to not come out and see them and give them a face to the person they’re watching.
It’s really nice to come and see how happy people are when they meet the people they’ve watched on screen and have had an affect on their lives in one way or another. I think that’s the thing that I like the most.
What’s one of the tougher parts about doing conventions?
It’s emotionally draining because you’re meeting a lot of people and that’s always exhausting. The emotional energy of meeting a thousand people and speaking to them individually and making sure that you don’t just sit there and be like ‘yeah, hi, bye’. To me that’s really upsetting, I don’t want to get to that point, so really the emotional output to make sure you’re connecting with everybody you meet and doing the service for them that they do for you on a daily basis.
What’s your favourite costume that you’ve ever seen at a convention?
When you see people doing the show you’re on is an honour, so that’s my favourite.
Would you do another sci-fi/fantasy type series like Shadowhunters again?
Sci-fi, for sure. I’m very interested in sci-fi involving near future space things. It allows for a lot of comedic elements and it’s the same stories but just in a different place.
Would I do another show like Shadowhunters? I think I would take some time off doing it because it’s too close to my time on Shadowhunters, it would be sort of strange if it was in that fantasy world, but at the same time I wouldn’t count it out if there’s a great character to play. I would have to see if the story is there and the character’s there, for sure.
If you’ve got a question for Matthew that wasn’t covered here, head on down to Oz Comic-Con this weekend.
Oz Comic-Con Brisbane – Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre – September 22 and 23
Oz Comic-Con Sydney – International Convention Centre Sydney – September 29 and 30