Tuesday’s Shadowhunters (Freeform, 8/7c) introduces Lorenzo Rey as the new High Warlock of Brooklyn — and if he looks like he’s having way too much fun, there’s a good reason.
Javier Muñoz, who portrays the latest thorn in Magnus’ side, was already a huge fan of the show before landing a recurring role. In fact, the actor admits to “totally geeking out” when he first arrived on set. “I was looking at all the different set pieces, being like, ‘Oh, that’s from that episode!’ and ‘I want to go touch this thing!'” he recalls.
Below, Muñoz — best known for succeeding Lin-Manuel Miranda in Broadway’s Hamilton — tells TVLine about his personal road to the Downworld, his character’s “sinister” plans for Magnus, and his fond memories bonding with the cast over their shared love of musical theatre:
TVLINE | I’d like to start by congratulating you on your promotion to the High Warlock of Brooklyn, which is probably a thing you never thought you’d hear.
[Laughs] Ever! I never get to play characters like this. Even Hamilton was the hero. I’m always the good guy, the nice guy, the one who works really hard. I rarely get the opportunity to be sinister and calculating and all that delicious, dark character stuff. And that’s Lorenzo. I get to be the bad guy, it’s so great. But he’s not just the bad guy for the sake of being the bad guy. He’s justified. As you’ll find out, everything he does is rooted in the history he has with Magnus. As it unfolds, you’ll understand why he has a chip on his shoulder and a grudge towards Magnus.
TVLINE | Most newcomers have to do a little research when they join the show, but I imagine that wasn’t the case for you.
Oh, I love the show. I hadn’t seen the first season, but it was all on my queue when Season 2 was about to start. In the thick of Hamilton, where there wasn’t even time to breathe, I found a groove and started Season 1. It was 11:30 or midnight one night and I told myself I was just going to watch one episode. Suddenly, it was 4 o’clock in the morning and I was still binging Shadowhunters. I was like, “This is going to be a problem for me.” I got sucked in right away. That’s actually how Kat [McNamara] and I met, and us forming a friendship was the impetus for everything that’s unfolded since.
TVLINE | I know that at least a few cast members are Hamilton fans, so it must have just been a big ol’ love fest when you got there.
It was mutual admiration, mutual fangirling. I don’t even know how to describe it. There’s already such great energy on that set, but when you add the layer of them loving Hamilton and me being such a fan of the show, it was wonderful. I’ve never experienced anything like this before. The last time I was up there, it was the end of the week and I was in the car with a few people from the cast, and we were going to chill out — which is great, because I rarely get to spend time with them off-set. We got in the car and Hamilton came on, and everyone checks in, like, “Is this OK?” And I was like, “Of course this is OK,” and we all geeked out over Hamilton together.
TVLINE | I’m imagining lots of singing on set.
Oh, yeah, absolutely. And how could you not when you’ve got Harry [Shum Jr.] and Kat? Even Matt Hastings has a musical heart, so you sort of can’t avoid it. I actually spoke a lot with Matt about the shows he grew up seeing and how music was a big part of his life. We connected over Shadowhunters and over musical theatre; our conversations could go all night.
TVLINE | From what little I’ve seen, you really look like you’re enjoying yourself. Now I know why.
As a fan of the show, Magnus was one of my favorite characters — if not my favorite — so I get to be on set agitating one of my favorite characters. It’s a little bittersweet being mean, since I am a fan of his, but it’s so great getting to explore this as an actor.
TVLINE | I think the fans will forgive you for causing Magnus trouble — as long as you leave “Malec” alone.
I may not forgive myself if that happens, but I’m not giving anything away.
Hit PLAY on the sneak peek video above, then drop a comment with your hopes for Muñoz’s Shadowhunters characters below.