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Shadowhunters' Matthew Daddario Previews "Rough" Times Ahead for Malec

Enjoy the short-lived bliss while you can

Lindsay MacDonald

It's pretty safe to say that Magnus (Harry Shum Jr.) and Alec's (Matthew Daddario) relationship on Shadowhunters this season has been a mix between what shipper dreams are made of and some A++ domestic Malec fan-fiction. It's been a joyous few episodes watching them be happy together, but don't get too used to it.

According to Daddario, while it's been mostly smooth sailing for Malec so far -- Alec's mom even got on board with their romance! -- there are very rough waters ahead for this fan-favorite couple.

On top of relationship woes, Alec has quite a few other hurdles to clear in his future. His mother is about to expelled from the Clave and stripped of her runes, and his Parabatai is acting super weird because he's secretly working with Lillith (Anna Hopkins), a.k.a. the Queen of Hell. TV Guide spoke with Daddario about how all this drama will affect his relationship with Magnus, plus his plans for Lillith moving forward!

Has it been nice to play a more comedic Alec this season and to see Malec at peace together after so much turmoil?
Matthew Daddario: I can't tell you how nice it was. [In the second episode], we had a lovely time filming the scenes at the warlock party and trying to get past this new interloper into the warlock world. We had a lot of fun with that. It was funny, it was amusing! And I think Alec and Magnus really lend themselves to that kind of amusing territory because they are both strong characters and they have very different ways of doing things. It kind of gives an interesting vibe.

At the same time, they love each other, so that's very endearing. We really like that, but I would urge people not to be too comfortable with that because it goes way downhill and it's pretty much just difficulty for the next 16 episodes. The little bit of bliss is very short-lived, and I would like to go back to it. I think that we will, but in the meantime, things are rough around the edges for a long time. A lot going on there, you know? Magnus is a complicated character.

What can you tell us about why things get rough between them for so long?
Daddario: I think that Alec just generally has a little bit of concern about Magnus' past, as you might with someone who's had that much experience. At the same time, there's the obvious element of -- you can't get worked up about people's pasts because you didn't know them. It's not your business really, or if it is, it's only if it continues into what's going on now. I think Magnus has had just so many that it maybe gets a little like, "Uhhh, this is a little tough to deal with." I think in the course of a person's life like Alec, he's happy that he's found someone, but it's a young relationship. It's early on in the relationship, but they've taken some big steps forward. I think that he'll get over it, at least he should, but along the way, it will be kind of an interesting thing to see how he handles it.

Shadowhunters' Matthew Daddario on Malec and LGBTQ Representation

Harry Shum Jr. and Matthew Daddario, Shadowhunters

Harry Shum Jr. and Matthew Daddario, Shadowhunters

John Medland, Freeform

There was a nice moment where Maryse (Nicola Correia-Damude) sort of embraced Magnus and Alec's relationship. How important was that for Alec to see her do that?
Daddario: That's a really good moment... First of all, Nic is a tremendous actress and her relationship with Alec has been one of the more interesting ones on the show because of how it's progressed. I think there's a real reality to her and how she treats her kids... There's some very interesting stuff coming up for her, and I'm very excited every time I get to work with her. It's very exciting.

This scene in particular had some very good and real moments with the kind of vulnerable woman who's been dealing with issues with her marriage and then also with her past and who she is and how she views that world. So we had all this come together into this moment with her son and her son's boyfriend, and then her acceptance of that was, I think, quite beautiful because of how real it was. Part of me hoped that would sort of be the, "That's it now, and things are now blissful and wonderful," but that's not the Shadow World. And we wouldn't have TV if we didn't have conflict. Conflict is coming.

How do you think Alec is going to react to the news that Jace (Dominic Sherwood) is secretly the Owl?
Daddario: First he has to find out about it, that's step one. Alec doesn't know yet, and I'm sure once he finds out that's going to be something of concern, you know, having your Parabatai taken over by the Queen of Hell... And in the meantime, it's likely that he's going to be spending some time trying to figure out exactly what's going on with Jace, especially considering what happened at the end of last season. That should be a point of concern... Is he going to tell Jace just to buck up and get it together or is he going to be very caring or is he going to be just worried? Alec is very distracted this season, largely with Magnus -- very, very distracted by that, and now he's got to deal with all these other issues, so he's definitely concerned. He's going to be concerned into the future, and hopefully he can figure out a way to help Jace out of this very unpleasant situation.

As the head of the Institute, how much pressure will Alec be under to take on Lillith and solve this Greater Demon problem?
Daddario: Alec's involvement with the Owl and Lillith is very administrative because Alec is dealing with things in his relationship with Magnus, with his relationships with the people around him, and there's a change in Alec. He becomes something removed from the goings on of the Owl situation, but he's concerned with Jace... Alec's involvement with the Lillith storyline in general is going to be more administrative... As head of the Institute, he's concerned about it and he wants to get to the bottom of it. I'll say that.

Shadowhunters airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on Freeform.