Shadowhunters interview: Isaiah Mustafa sets up Luke’s season 2 story

Isaiah MustafaCome Monday night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern on Freeform, Shadowhunters season 2 is back! With the arrival of Sebastian and with the aftermath of the Jace – Valentine reveal coming, there is a LOT to look forward to over the next ten episodes airing this summer.

For Isaiah Mustafa and his character of Luke Garroway, there is a great deal of content coming up! For one, the character has to take on some mounting threats, and on a personal level, has to continue recovering from some of the darkness from his past — including everything that has transpired between Luke and Valentine.

We had a chance to talk to Mustafa recently about all of this and much more; be sure to check out some of his responses below!

CarterMatt – What do you think about the evolution of Luke as we’ve seen it so far?

Isaiah Mustafa – It’s a nice, slow progression and I think it’s doing the show justice. I think you need to focus on the Shadowhunters and what they need to do in order to save the world, but the Downworlders have a really rich history and a great story also. Luke is just one aspect in that whole thing and he’s coming along quite nicely. In the first season you saw him become this pack leader, and he’s dealing with the newness of that just like Clary is dealing with the newness of being a Shadowhunter. It’s an interesting progression, and it has a lot to do with the character growing and learning from his mistakes.

When there are so many fantastic elements to the show and things that are beyond what’s normal, what do you reach for when it comes to common ground when you play him?

It’s not such a hard jump because it is the whole father-figure role. I look at that, and I look at how to mentor or coach someone younger than me or someone who is asking for advice. I also look at how to step out of the way from giving advice when it’s not wanted. I think that’s what Luke wants to do with Clary. He doesn’t really want to jump in and tell her ‘you have to go do this’ or ‘you should do that.’ He’s sort of letting her figure that out.

So how do you think Luke is feeling right now when it comes to the Clary – Simon relationship?

It’s interesting, because it’s coming at an interesting point in my life. My daughter is not dating anyone, but I constantly ask her ‘any boys in the mix?’, and she always tells me ‘no,’ but it also sounds like ‘no, but if there were I wouldn’t tell you anyway.’ As a dad, you don’t ever want to see your daughter date someone (laughs), and that’s the truth.

But, if you were going to do it, it would be with Simon. He is probably the nicest kid that you could find. You know that he is going to do the right thing — even though that does bite him in the butt sometimes. He’s such a good person and a good kid, so Luke, I assume, would be pretty happy. They are these two kids who have known each other for their entire lives, and they’re now exploring a more personal relationship. I think he’s okay with it — I don’t think he’s overjoyed, but he probably feels like ‘if it had to go one way, I’m glad it went that way.’

We have Luke in this leadership position, but as with any leader, there is this expectation to constantly be present, strong and never vulnerable. Do you get the sense that he’s going to have to internalize more?

I think so. I don’t think that Luke has the ability to compartmentalize a lot of different issues — everything is just on one plate and he’s like ‘oh, look at all of this stuff.’ I think he tries to take one thing at a time, but I think at some points it becomes a little overwhelming, so he’ll just try to take things as it comes.

Then, I think there are times where things are so overwhelming that he makes a rash decision and he’s like ‘I gotta do things this way.’ Sometimes that works, and sometimes that doesn’t. I do think he is very torn between the right thing to do and the wrong thing to do between these crazy things that are popping up and he’s learning to trust his own instincts a little bit more.

Some of the best material I think you have on the show often revolves around the Luke – Valentine dynamic. Will we see more scenes about that in the second half?

Yeah, you’re going to get some of that. I think that fans are going to get to see something that they’ve always wanted to see. How far that gets taken remains to be seen, but I think people are going to see an aspect of their relationship that they’ve been waiting for.

With season 3, is it good to have that renewal out there and out of the way?

Yeah, job security is always nice, so knowing that we’re going to be around for another 20 episodes and getting more opportunities to think about your character [is always good].

On our show, though, just because you get picked up for more episodes doesn’t mean that something can’t happen to you. You know what I mean? Things happen (laughs), so you always just hope that you make it through those episodes.

Finally, have you started to get used at all to the immense popularity that the show has? I mean, this show is frequently one of the most-discussed on social media out of any out there.

My Twitter now is just strictly Shadowhunters, that’s all I care to do on it now — though I’m sure I’ve lost some other fans that were like ‘all right, enough’ (laughs).

I genuinely like interacting with the fans on Twitter, as long as you’re keeping it as clean and nice as possible, because the internet can be an evil place sometimes. You try to keep everything above-board and make sure that nobody gets really hated. When people start debating this show they get really into it, but I like the debates that go on and I like being part of them.

Honestly, through Twitter is how I understand how much fans love this character. They’re constantly yelling at me for more screen time, and I’m always like ‘I don’t make that decision but I’m so glad you’re saying that. I’ll forward this off to whoever makes that decision’ (laughs).

It’s good to know that you’re loved. It’s a fun aspect of it, and I’ve gladly given my Twitter over to the Shadowhunters fandom.

Further Shadowhunters news

If you are interested in gathering up some further news right now when it comes to the series, including more sneak peeks and episode reviews coming up, head over to the link here! (Photo: Freeform.)

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