‘The Magicians’ Star Hale Appleman Talks a ‘Change of Pace’ Playing the Monster

The Magicians - Hale Appleman
Eike Schroter/SYFY

To quote Bugs Bunny, “Monsters have such interesting lives!” In the case of the evil one that’s possessed The Magicians’ usually quippy Eliot (Hale Appleman), they also take a lot of them.

But the childlike entity — known only as the Monster — that escaped a castle prison last season may not know what he’s doing: “He’s just trying to figure out what this humanity thing is about, and he’s pretty clueless,” the actor says. “He’s a fresh baby.”

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Formerly seen as a hedonistic Brakebills University student who is then High King in the fantasy realm of Fillory, Appleman is relishing the chance to play someone so darkly different. “It’s a nice change of pace,” he notes. “I love Eliot, but I also don’t mind stepping away and allowing the audience to miss him. I’m attempting to make a strange character — who has a really slow burn this season — likable, somehow. It’s a challenge.”

It gets even tougher on February 6 when the Monster decides it’s time to brutally dispose of Quentin (Jason Ralph), Margo (Summer Bishil) and the rest of Eliot’s friends. Then again, these are magicians, so surely someone has a spell for that?

All Appleman will say about the face-off is that fans can expect some “fun power shifts.” Like we said, interesting.

The Magicians, Wednesdays, 9/8c, Syfy