Shadowhunters Spoilers

Shadowhunters' Harry Shum Jr. Talks Playing Valentine, Fooling Alec

Harry Shum Jr. was never considered for the role of Valentine on Shadowhunters, but Monday’s episode (Freeform, 8/7c) does make for a pretty solid audition tape.

Following last week‘s 11th-hour switcheroo, Magnus and Valentine are now inhabiting each other’s bodies, creating a multi-layer challenge for the characters — as well as the actors.

“He’s a hard one to crack,” Shum tells TVLine of Valentine’s portrayer Alan Van Sprang. “He has a lot of nuances, all these little movements and smiles. I just tried to capture that without being too blatant or hokey about it, since [Valentine] is trying to hide those characteristics, trying to fool people as much as he can.”

Of course, there’s one thing Azazel didn’t consider when putting Valentine in Magnus’ body: “Valentine doesn’t really know Magnus that well, other than him being a ‘filthy warlock,’ as he says,” explains Shum. “He knows he’s a little flamboyant, but he doesn’t know much about his personal life,” including that Alec is his boyfriend. As Shum points out, it’s much harder to fool “someone he’s been intimate with.”

Despite being kept apart for most of the hour — “Valentine” remains in Shadowhunter custody, while “Magnus” roams freely about the city — the two do share a scene together, which Shum calls “really fun” for a number of reasons.

“I’ve never really gotten to act with [Van Sprang] before, so to do it this way for the first time — playing each other — made it even more interesting,” Shum says. “He’s such a great actor, and it was so cool to see what he did with it, seeing how he lifted those little hand movements and other things I’ve contributed to the character.”

And although it’ll probably end up on the cutting room floor, Shum is really hoping that his ad-libbed line at least makes it to the Season 2 blooper reel: “We looked at each other in this very serious moment, and I told him, ‘Magnus, you’ve never looked better.'”

Your thoughts on the Magnus-Valentine body swap storyline? Drop ’em in a comment below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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14 Comments
  1. ninergrl6 says:

    Excited to see how this plays out, especially “Magnus” and Alec.

  2. Ninamags says:

    This will be great to watch.

    Cannot wait. I wonder if “Valentine” will kiss Alec??

  3. Paula says:

    Fans pleaded for a meaty storyline and more screen time for Magnus. So the showrunners are giving us more Magnus… but portrayed by another actor? I want to watch Harry Shum Jr. and ONLY Harry Shum Jr. as The High Warlock of Brooklyn! And I bitterly resent seeing Alec being overtly sexy and flirty with his idiotic parabatai (yeah, that’s supposed to be brotherly bantering/roughhousing, SURE!) This show continues to suck and only loyalty to Magnus Bane and his charismatic portrayer is keeping me around (albeit in fast forward mode.) Why couldn’t Freeform have cancelled this awful show?

    • Puppies95 says:

      Damn Paula youse a thirsty gurl aren’t ya?

      It’s a tv show for sake sakes.

      Here go drink some tea ☕️ and chill.

    • Paula, you have serious issues.

    • Ninamags says:

      Well it’s hardly Daddario’s and Sherwood’s fault that they have excellent on-screen chemistry.

      Besides, wasn’t it shown that Jace is Alec’s true love?

      If you don’t like the show, don’t watch.

      • Gift says:

        Jace is Alec’s soulmate​ but Magnus is Alec’s true Love. Paula back off girl. If you want the show cancelled then you better disappear from here.

        • Paula says:

          You are obviously just another syncophanic (and delusional) Shadowhunters fan. I will be absolutely thrilled when this boring trash is nothing but a laughably bad memory!

  4. Kayla_F says:

    So if Valentine kisses Alec while in Magnus’s body does that count as cheating? 😂

  5. Anne says:

    Harry Shum is just the delight of this show. He’s so talented (and like the only cast member who can actually act) and he puts so much depth into Magnus. I just love him

  6. Kirsten Kaplan says:

    It is really fun to watch

  7. Lydia Odey says:

    Cool hahaha, I really can’t wait to see what happens.

  8. Gift says:

    Interesting, I want to see how Alec response to this.