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Exclusive interview: Luke Baines

Our team had the pleasure of interviewing the always delightful Luke Baines. Check out his answers on Jonathan’s relationship with Clary, Jonathan’s wings, and Luke’s own experience with the Shadowfam!


How do you think Clary and Jonathan’s relationship would have been if they had been raised together?

I guess that depends on whether he was still experimented on by Valentine. The demon blood coursing through his veins certainly makes him do horrible things, but I’d like to think with a loving family, nurture would override nature. That’s not to say he still wouldn’t have his fair share of challenges finding his place in the world, but he does have angel blood in his body too, and I’d love to know what it would’ve been like if he could lean into that side of him more. In terms of the dynamic between Clary and Jonathan, I would imagine they’d be incredibly protective of one another, and because they’re both such passionate individuals, I think they’d most likely get on each other’s nerves at least 17 times a day.

Jonathan seems to have a lot of emotionally draining scenes, how do you prepare for something like that? What’s it like for you after filming a scene that may seem emotionally daunting?

He certainly went to hell and back over the course of season 3, and portraying that, can be extremely draining. Personally, I don’t think it’s possible for any actor to truly convey an emotion without feeling it deep down, so a lot of the time I’d have to dig up old memories and use my imagination to feel what the character was going through, and then translate that on screen. Filming it is one thing, shaking it off is a whole other beast. The best way I know how to describe it is like a hangover. You’re not still drunk, but you can still feel all the effects in your body. A lot of the time I’d use music to help get into character, and once I got home I’d try and reverse that by listening to something upbeat – usually the happiest, cheesiest, tackiest pop music I can find. 

Siblings who terrorize the world together stick together

Clary and Jonathan are both so similar but so different at the same time, what are some villainous traits that him and Clary share?

I think from the beginning Clary has proven herself to be a bit of a rebel. She’s incredibly strong willed and won’t let anything or anyone stand in her way when it comes to the people she loves. Jonathan’s very similar. He’s like a bull that sees red when it comes to what he wants. I think the difference between them is empathy – a quality Clary has in spades, and a concept Jonathan struggles to understand.

Besides Clary, what are some other characters that you get to have some really intense scenes with?

I truly loved all my scenes with Anna Hopkins who plays Lilith, and Kimberly-Sue Murray who plays the older Seelie Queen. They’re both such incredible actresses (and humans) that you can’t help but be lured in by their magnetic charisma. The scenes we have together are some of my favourites. I just wish we got more.

Well, that was unexpected!

Is there anything you can tell us about Jonathan’s wings that we saw in the 3b trailer? When do they make an appearance? How does he have them?

Well, I guess because it’s taken me so bloody long to respond to this (apologies again), the 3×20 has already answered that, but they’re a symbol of the fact that when Lilith brought him back, she brought him back much stronger. The rune that was tethering him to Clary was holding him back from reaching his true demon potential, so when the bond was broken, the demon side of him took control.

Shadowhunters has changed the life of many of its fandom, how has the show changed yours?

In so many ways. No matter where my career takes me, I think I’ll always look back on Shadowhunters as one of the most extraordinary experiences of my life. It has been a dream and an honor to play such a complicated character and to have a chance to bring him to life. I’d say the biggest impact has been getting to know the Shadowfam. I feel like my friend circle has grown so big, and I just hope I keep on getting the chance to make them all proud.


Images courtesy from Freeform
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