Shadowhunters Director Paul Wesley Teases Jonathan vs. Valentine, Reveals What Left Him 'Physically Destroyed'

Considering his history with vampires, love triangles and complicated family dynamics, Paul Wesley directing Monday’s episode of Shadowhunters (Freeform, 8/7c) feels almost serendipitous.

Still, the former Vampire Diaries star tells TVLine (with a laugh) that he was “very surprised” the Powers That Be would trust a newcomer to the franchise with such a critical episode, adding, “I guess they foolishly put some faith in me.”

To his credit, Wesley boasts quite a bit of experience behind the camera, having directed five episodes of his own series throughout its eight-season run on The CW. And just like his episodes of The Vampire Diaries, Wesley says his main goal here was to look underneath Clary & Co.’s supernatural drama.

Specifically referring to the scenes between Valentine and Sebastian Jonathan, Wesley notes that beyond the magical circumstances of their situation — hellish torture, demonic experiments, etc. — we’re left with “just a son who feels betrayed by his father, like he’s been abandoned. It ultimately does come down to two very human characters. Yes, it’s intermixed with supernatural themes, but it all comes down to humanity.”

Wesley says it was “really pleasurable” to watch Will Tudor and Alan Van Sprang work their proverbial magic; not only are they two “really talented actors,” but the director was also thrilled to finally be shooting indoors — even within the confines of a tiny cabin — after spending several days battling the elements. And losing.

“I had a 103 degree fever while we shot all the location scenes with Dom [Sherwood] and Kat [McNamara],” he recalls. “I was physically destroyed by the flu by the time we got to the cabin, which we shot towards the end of the run, so I was just happy to be inside.”

Shadowhunters Paul Wesley

As for whether or not Wesley sees any similarities between his TVD persona and Shadowhunters‘ No. 1 bloodsucker (aka Simon Lewis), he admits he never even thought to compare the two. “I didn’t make the association with Simon being a vampire. He’s just a sweet kid with a little naiveté, hopelessly in love with a girl.” (I don’t know, that sure sounds a lot like young Stefan Salvatore to me.)

Your thoughts on Wesley dipping his toe into the Shadowhunters universe? 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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  1. Lambsilencer says:

    I don’t watch “Shadowhunters”, but Paul Wesley did a good job with the five episodes he directed on “The Vampire Diaries”. It’s nice to see him keeping up directing.

  2. Nic the hybrid says:

    I LOVE SHADOWHUNTERS it’s the best again and again (it’s the kind of a show that deserves at least 10 SEASONS) And now Paul Wesley has Joined the club……#ITS GONNA BE EPIC……..#I am looking forward to the de’javu #TVD(except for 8 seasons cut thing)

  3. Karl Schantz says:

    What happened to Lola Flanery? She is so cute and played the role of the Seelie Queen so well. I’m very disappointed that they would just drop her in favor of some other girl (Sarah Hyland). I’m not knocking Sarah Hyland’s looks, but the way they did her makeup in the show made her somewhat unattractive, whereas with Lola Flanery, she was just too cute to hate, and in my opinion, that makes the actress more important to the longevity of the character.