You know that ticking time bomb that sometimes comes in the middle of a drama to shake everything up as we wait to see if it explodes or not? On Freeform's Shadowhunters, that time bomb is named Jonathan (Will Tudor), the emotionally fractured son of Valentine (Alan Van Sprang) and brother to Clary (Katherine McNamara).
As we saw in last week's episode, Jonathan, whether in his charred self or when he masquerades as Sebastian (who he killed a few episodes back), is both fragile and child-like in his emotions but also fueled by a hurt and anger that make him a lethal bundle of something that could erupt and destroy everything.
As we move into the final episodes of Season 2, Tudor took the time to give us a window into where Jonathan is, how that attempt to kiss Clary revealed much about him and how worried we should be now that young Max (Jack Fulton) has figured out that Sebastian and Jonathan are the same person. (As an added bonus, our Comic-Con video interview with Matthew Daddario and Harry Shum Jr is at the end of this post for your viewing pleasure!)
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How would you describe Jonathan's relationship with Valentine? Are they equal allies, or is it more of a father/son dynamic?
Will Tudor: It’s an extremely fraught, purely working relationship they have at the moment. Because of Valentine’s treatment of him as a child, Jonathan can never trust him, but their alliance is certainly of benefit to him at this point. Jonathan wants more than anything to have family—someone who will love him; Valentine has proven he is not that, although I think he will always have that hope at the back of mind. Overall, though, I think he sees Valentine as someone he can control and manipulate to further his own agenda.
It definitely will. Now he has achieved his initial aim of capturing and confronting Valentine after so many years, and as he now begins to fixate on Clary, his ruse within the institute becomes more difficult to maintain. He finds it difficult to control his emotions anyway, and after a while, he finds it very hard to retain that front. He is perhaps less in control now, and when he is backed into a corner his true feelings emerge.
Absolutely. He never had the chance to develop an emotional maturity due to the abuse he suffered as a child. His actions will forever be informed by that sense of isolation, loneliness, and abandonment he experienced when sent to Edom. Clary becomes the vessel for all his hope—she represents for him everything that could have been and, in his mind, potentially could still be. She is his only hope of salvation, and ultimately the only chance he might have to be loved. This becomes so overpowering that it slips into an almost sexual obsession.
Good news for Malec fans!
In terms of disturbing his emotional state (more than it already is!) I would say: anything that gets in the way of his plans, or causes him to lose control of situations and the world around him. Max’s confrontation, for example, or Valentine telling him that Clary doesn't love him. Ultimately, though, the thing that could make or break him is Clary. It all rests on her.
I think he should very much be worried! Definitely 10! Anything that could derail [Jonathan's] plans, or become an obstacle, is at huge risk. Perhaps Max doesn't understand how dangerous Jonathan is, or he may not have approached him alone. I think Jonathan sees Max as an example of what should have been for himself—he is loved, and accepted. I think, because of this, there will always be a certain amount of resentment towards him.
What is lovely is being able to play a role that is emotionally so complex. Not only is he unstable, but he is also a master manipulator, able to control people and utilize their emotions against them. His emotional state can be turned extremely quickly—by the slightest insult or knock to his confidence. As an actor, that very quick, mercurial emotional recall can be a challenge, one which has been immense fun getting my head around! It is a great honor to play a part that is so fascinating, complex and dark.
For you Malec fans, we caught up with "Shadowhunters" stars Matthew Daddario (Alec) and Harry Shum Jr (Magnus) at Comic-Con and talked about some of their TV obsessions and what they like to snack on while they watch. Check it out:
Shadowhunters, Mondays 8/7c, Freeform.