It feels like you can't even tweet the word "Malec" without generating a frenzied response of, "OMG saaaaame, I can't even, love them, DYING!" from Shadowhunters fans. Actually, I know for a fact you can't, just go check my Twitter mentions. The experience is the same on an even larger scale for series star Matthew Daddario, who makes up one half of the Malec dynamic, Alec Lightwood.
While some shows deal with off-putting overzealousness from fans, the response Daddario has received has been overwhelmingly positive, not just for himself and for his character, but for how Shadowhunters as a whole has pushed the conversation forward regarding LGBTQ representation.
"As long as we're making some impact on improving the lives of young people, we're going to continue to do our best effort and work as best as we can to present this in an honest and fair way," Daddario says of the Malec storyline. "I think that we've hit some really good moments this past season and this season especially. I think [Episode 3] really showed this as well, that there can be a reality in all this fantasy that can really show people, especially young people, that their families will accept them. Obviously in the show it's a warlock and a shadowhunter, but their families will accept them no matter what."
A recent episode of Shadowhunters saw Alec's mother finally come to terms with her son's relationship with a Downworlder warlock named Magnus (Harry Shum Jr.). She'd previously been cold and disapproving of their romance, acting out on some very backwards prejudices, but her tune finally changed this year. She actually ended up thanking Magnus for loving her son the way every mother hopes her children's significant others will.
*Cue joyful tears*
As for overwhelming reaction fans have to had to the relationship, LGBTQ fans in particular, Daddario says he's just grateful to be part of something so impactful.
"When I see that online and I see that in person, it's really touching. It makes me feel like I'm doing something very worthwhile. Something good. Something more than just TV and more than just a show, more than just entertainment," Daddario says. "It's been wonderful meeting people and getting letters from people all over the world. I mean, that's been actually the most meaningful part of this job the past few years, just seeing that... without a doubt."
Shadowhunters airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on Freeform.