From the interview archives.
In Shadowhunters, you play Simon, a Daylighter who can withstand the heat of the sun. A pretty unique skill! If you yourself held that ability, what would you actually do with it? Is there a different ability you would prefer to have?
Well, having the ability to walk in the sun as a vampire is more of a super power than a skill. In the sense that it was thrust upon Simon and there isn’t much to do as far as learning to use it. Just walk outside HA! I know I would react very similarly to Simon. As soon as the possibility to live a normal life presented itself, I would jump at the chance and take it for all its worth. Very much like my belief about life, when presented with an opportunity, take it and run with it!
Most recently in Shadowhunters, we saw your character Simon profess his feelings for his best friend Clary. Will we see that develop some more as the season returns? -Should we be optimistic about their budding romance?
Absolutely! After making the decision to try this new version of their relationship they will both be starting the journey that is a real relationship. As with everyone, there will be ups and downs. There will be moments of triumph and moments of uncertainty that they will have to work through. As with everything in the Shadow World, things don’t ever stay perfect, so watching their journey will be very interesting!
Do you recall the first time you had a moment like Simon did with Clary? How did it go? Did you have any nervous jitters? Not necessarily about a relationship, mind you, but just a situation in which you had to summon courage within yourself; how did you pump yourself up?
I am actually a pretty shy guy when it comes to approaching girls, so I feel like Simon quite often! I approach it very much like the first time walking out on stage so thankfully I have a few tricks up my sleeve that always calm me down. Before I go on stage or before the first take of the day, I close my eyes, take 3 deep breaths and then just go. This doesn’t work as well in crowded room, you don’t really want to be the guy with his eyes closed, breathing to himself in the corner but the principle is the same, ground yourself and commit. No hesitations.
Simon is a guitar player on the show, have you always played or did you take up the instrument for the role?
I had played a little bit but took it on more seriously with Simon. I am still very much in the process of learning but I am happy that this show has given me a new hobby.
Speaking of learning things for specific roles, I understand you had to learn swing dancing for a previously, do you do any other dancing or is there a style of dance you’re hoping to learn?
Yes! For the short film we actually had a few rehearsal days learning the basics, then some fun things, then the choreography then we put it all together! I have always loved to dance. My family dances at every family party, we just love to move. I do not know why I have never done it but I see Ballet as a stunning art form. The control of the human body and the ability to make it move so beautifully has always inspired me. So I would actually love to learn ballet. Also a good friend of mine is an amazing tap dancer so I’m hoping he’ll teach me one of these days.
There were a number of cliffhanger moments in the season finale. Some are speculating that Clary doesn’t have pure angel blood – do you think if that were true that her relationship with Simon might change, in that he would view her differently, be less supportive?
If there is one thing that should never be questioned, it is Simon’s unfaltering loyalty and love for Clary. No matter her blood type, Simon will still be there for her. Frankly, it’s one of the most beautiful things about their relationship. It is grounded in such unconditional love and understanding.
If you were to play any other character on Shadowhunters, who would you want to be and what intrigues you about them?
I honestly have reason why I would want to play every single character. They all go through so much and have so much fun, choosing just one is way too difficult. If I must, I would choose Jace. His fight scenes are incredible and he is a very complicated character. He has these amazing moments of triumph and badassery so to speak and as you see in the series, expertly done by Dominic Sherwood. I might add, he also has these moments of incredible vulnerability. I would love to play both sides of that coin.
Out of all your castmates, who’s the most serious?
I’m not sure if I can answer this one. I feel blessed to be a part of a cast that knows how to have a lot fun and also knows that there are times to be serious. Everyone of us is a professional.
Who have you grown the closest to?
I would have to say Dominic or Matthew. Last season Dom and I hung out a lot but during the shooting of the second season, our schedules did not line up as much but my schedule with Matt did. We’re all very close so I think it becomes more about when our individual shooting schedules permit us to hang out.
Do you have any side hobbies that your fans might be surprised to learn about, like maybe you’re really into crochet?
I don’t know if this is a hobby but I love to travel. One distinction I like to make is traveler vs. tourist. I believe there is a time for each but I would like to consider myself a traveler. I love to experience new cultures and meet new people. I also love to read and very recently have started writing a bit. Nothing big yet, just for me, but I can see myself starting to write more and more.
What emoji would your friends definitely say you overuse in text messages?
I use the smiley face with glasses a lot or the monkey covering its eyes, see no evil.
Where are you hoping to go from here? Another TV series, perhaps another musical?
I would really love to dive into films and plays. I really miss being on stage. It was my first love and I really miss it. I would also love to do a few films. I have been exercising my craft in a TV setting for a couple years now and it has been a gift. I hope after Shadowhunters, I can continue to exercise my craft in as many ways as possible.