HIDDEN REMOTE – Harry Shum Jr. explains how Malec will continue to develop in Season 2B of ‘Shadowhunters’ and teases a Magnus that we’ve “never seen before.”
Harry Shum Jr., who plays Magnus Bane, the High Warlock of Brooklyn on Freeform’s hit fantasy series Shadowhunters, sat down with us on set to talk about Magnus’ role in Season 2B and to tease what’s in store for the Malec relationship this summer (oh, and we obviously also talked about magical dancing…).
As a leader in the Downworld with personal ties to Shadowhunters, Magnus is likely to be caught in the middle of political tension from the beginning. “He’s in between it all,” Shum said. “He’s conflicted; he wants to have peace with the Downworlders and Shadowhunters, but obviously there isn’t because the Clave, they have old rules and they haven’t really developed or modernized to fit into what they’re dealing with right now.”
Shum went on to explain that his character is in a particularly difficult position because of his developed relationships with both Shadowhunters and Downworlders. “Specifically with Magnus it’s like, what does he do? His boyfriend is a Shadowhunter and obviously he understands what he needs to do to protect his people, but at the same time, these decisions like Raphael coming in and saying, ‘No, I want to kill the person who’s able to activate it,’ right?’” he said. Because of these relationships, we can also expect Magnus to be faced with “even harder choices” in Season 2B.
We’ve seen Magnus in a mentorship role for several Downworlders (particularly vampires) in past seasons, and we learned that this is something we can expect to see in 2B as well. “Yeah, I mean, how can you not with that much experience?” he said. Shum then commented on what he’d like to see for his character in the future. “I want to see someone mentor Magnus,” he said. “That’s what I would like to see because I think he knows a lot, and he’s wise, and in some ways he can be a little jaded in the sense that he’s just seen it all before. War is inevitable; war is something that just happens that he’s seen over the centuries. So I think the Soul-Sword wiping out Downworlders is something he’s heard of, but I think the fact that it’s happening to people that he’s so close to on the other side, because before it was just all Downworlders, and now that he’s caring for Shadowhunters, it’s been difficult for him.”
Showrunners teased earlier this year that Magnus would have a dancing scene, and since then we’ve learned that it was choreographed by Harry Shum Jr. as well. We don’t know too many details about how the scene will play out, but Shum was able to tell us just a bit more about what we’ll see in the dance. “We made sure Magnus is dancing like Magnus,” he said. “I tried to bring Magnus’ dancing flare into the sequence. So that was really fun, and what I can say is, there’s gonna be fun magic; it’s a magical dance, so there’s going to be magic involved with the dancing and that’s gonna be exciting. That’s all I can say.”
At the end of the winter finale, Alec and Magnus had an emotional, heartfelt reunion where they professed their love aloud for one another, and we asked Shum if this meant we can expect their relationship to grow stronger in 2B. “I think so. I think with Magnus and Alec, I think that what we all wanted to see was them sharing experiences together, and those experiences are what’s going to make them stronger,” he said. “Whether it be intimate moments, or whether it be them solving something together, or even fighting for their lives together. I think those are moments that we take each step of getting to know each other outside of just sharing kind of like past stories, you know?”
Similarly to what we learned from Matthew Daddario, Harry Shum Jr. also commented on how the Malec relationship will continue to be realistic. “We’re going to see a lot more of that and them getting to do more activities together that would cause some riff in one side or the other being kind of pissed off at each other, but there [are] going to be some great, delightful moments as well,” he shared. “I know the fans don’t want them to have any hurtful moments at all, but the reality is, that’s life. So yeah, they’re going to have to get through that.”
When we first see Magnus Bane in Season 2B, he’s going to jump into the action to try and help the Shadowhunters with Valentine, but he also teased that Magnus’ story will have a big twist. “Valentine does something with Magnus that just infuriates him, and that point, has a bigger reason to destroy Valentine,” he said. “So something crazy crazy happens, and that’s all I’ll say about that.”
Crazy crazy? We don’t know if we can handle crazy crazy!
Shum also revealed that he’s most excited to see Episode 12 on-screen this year, but for a very mysterious reason. “That whole episode, it was really fun for me,” he said. “I can’t say anything about it, but it was so much fun to shoot. It’s a Magnus that you’ve never seen before. I won’t even say a side, but it’s just a Magnus you’ve never seen before.”
Watch the full interview above to hear more from Harry Shum Jr. about the Shadow World in Season 2B. Shadowhunters returns with “Mea Maxima Culpa” June 5 at 8/7c on Freeform and the Freeform App. Follow Harry Shum Jr. and the official Shadowhunters Twitter account to join the #ShadowhuntersChat each Monday!
I think it’s crazy that I even have fans! I’m just this shy asshole from Costa Rica who doesn’t know much about anything and now people are interested in what I have to say.
In celebration of our Fansite’s 1-year-anniversary, we’re bringing to you our EXCLUSIVE interview with the one and only (and the person this site is all about)- Harry Shum Jr.!
From the early stages of his career in the Step Up movies to hit series such as Fox‘s Glee and Freeform‘s Shadowhunters, Harry Shum Jr. stole our hearts from the first second he showed up on screen.
As the dancy High School Student Mike Chang or the Warrior Wei Fang in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny to a complete transformation turning into the magical High Warlock of Brooklyn, Magnus Bane..
We fell in love with them all, and the person behind all of these characters just made us fall deeper as he (Harry Shum Jr.) showed us his enormous care for each character he plays, his kindness and love towards his fans, the beauty in every dance move he makes and his big BIG heart.
As such big fans of him, it’s a pleasure to have gotten the chance to interview him. We asked him questions about his career that we were interested to know more about, and he gave us the perfect answers.
- We’d like to start the interview asking, how are you doing?
HSJ: I just consumed a large ca phe su da so I am WIRED.
- We know you’re currently working on the second half of season 2 of ‘Shadowhunters‘.
How has filming been? How’s it like working with the cast?
HSJ: Just wrapped the season and its a lot heavier in terms of subject matter compared to 2A. All the characters deal with some sort inner turmoil that they must confront and overcome. I think the fans will enjoy the journey. The cast is really great to work with. They all individually bring a different energy that allows the show to be unique and offer something that no other show does. It’s been fun to see the growth in not only the characters but the actors as well.
- Do you feel more connected to your character, Magnus, now that you’ve been playing him for 2 years?
And what is your favorite thing about him?
HSJ: Without getting too much into “actor talk” I have enjoyed and learned a lot over the span of two seasons getting to know Magnus. He has taught me that no matter how much you know or been alive for, you’re still a work in progress. I think in season one, we were introduced to a jaded and hardened Magnus. He was set in his ways and not much could change his mind. Season two, we find him opening his heart and mind to a once unthinkable relationship (Alec). It has given him a new perspective and insight to the world he was already so familiar with. I do love his sass which the writers have been bringing back. It’s been great to see a vulnerable side of him but his defense mechanism of making a joke out of dire situations was always fun to play.
- How do you feel about the impact that Malec have had on the LGBTQ+ community? And did you ever expect the show and the Malec storyline to become so popular?
HSJ: I think it’s incredible that the Magnus and Alec relationship has made an impact on not only the community but also outside of it. I usually root for the underdog story and to me this is one of them. The LGBTQ+ communities support has been amazing and what makes all the hard work worth it is hearing all the fan stories on how affected they are by these two characters.
- Obviously, you were on ‘Glee’ for 6 years. Do you sometimes miss Mike Chang? What are some of your favorite memories from set?
HSJ: Those 6 years were very special to me and I contribute a lot of my growth as an artist during that time. I have Mike Chang locked up in my basement so I see him occasionally on a full moon. He’s doing well, I think. My favorite memories on set were the breaks in between scenes. We would constantly try and entertain each other on a daily basis.
- You happened to also be in the opening show of the Glee tour with the LXD! Would you go back to working on the LXD series if you had the chance?
HSJ: In a heartbeat.
- Last year your film ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny’ premiered. How was it like working on a movie you’ve already been a big fan of? And how was it like working with big talents such as Donnie Yen and Michelle Yeoh?
HSJ: I grew up watching Donnie and Michelle in HK movies and it was a bit surreal working with them. Their stories and advice on Eastern filmmaking and techniques for on camera fight sequences was invaluable. Yuen Woo Ping is a legend that has shaped the way martial arts has been captured on film. Also, it was a bit intimidating working with a 70 year young man that can kick my ass with one swift kick. I had the best time learning from him. I will carry that experience with me through the rest of my career.
- Last year, you worked on ‘Single By 30’ with WongFu Productions. The show was so fun to watch and we’re sad it won’t come back for a second season. It ended on a bittersweet note, that left us all wondering what is going to happen with Peter and Joanna. Do you have any theories on how their story continues?
HSJ: I think that Peter and Joanna still had a lot of growing to do together and individually. I would call them late bloomers that needed life to kick them in the ass a little more. Is it for their own good or for our viewing pleasure? I think both.
- This series was especially great for showcasing two Asian leads in a modern romantic comedy. How do you feel about the development of the Asian Community in the industry today, and what do you think Hollywood especially needs to change when it comes to Asian representation on TV and Film?
HSJ: Stories that come from real experiences from Asian-American writers/directors/actors. If that doesn’t happen then it’ll just continue to go down the road of what one thinks it should look like from a perspective of an outsider that will never equate to true empathy and full understanding of those experiences. That’s not to say that only Asian-Americans can tell those stories but we do need to strike a balance and it’s been lopsided since the birth of Hollywood. It’s not only tiring to see the same stereotypes but incredibly boring. The natural progression as the world becomes more connected is the need for more authentic stories told by an authentic voice in front AND behind the camera. It’s been encouraging to see how vocal audiences around the world have been over problematic castings and having some kind of impact on casting choices in the future. I have seen a spike in representation on tv and film but it’s just the beginning of the work that needs to be done.
- You’re coming from an immigrant family, your parents are from China but you were born in Costa Rica. How does it feel to be in such a culturally diverse family?
HSJ: I thank my parents all the time for exposing me to cultures that are nothing like my reflection. I was late to being exposed to the American culture and was in a constant culture shock for a good part of my adolescence. That shock was great because it taught me to realize that there is good and bad to every culture and not to put a label on a community by an individuals actions or beliefs.
- You’ve been a dancer for years! A part from being in the popular dance movies ‘Step Up’, you were a backup dancer for Beyoncé, Maria Carey and more. Can we expect to see any more dancing from you in the future?
HSJ: I’ll be dancing in my bathroom in a few hours while brushing my teeth.
- We know you recently talked about finishing your first script! Will we hear more about this? And are you planning to write more in the future or even try to direct?
HSJ: Writing is hard like all things that you’re new to. I have many stories I want to tell and I hope that I can share with the world in the near future.
- You’ve been married for awhile now to a talented, lovely lady, Shelby. How’s it like to be a married man?
HSJ: One of the best decisions that I have ever made.
- As you know, we are big fans of you. Do you have any celebrity that you look up to and that has influenced you in some kind of way?
HSJ: I have several for different reasons. JGL for his ability to jump into any medium and perform at a high caliber without compromising who he is. Matt Damon for his sustainability in this very weird weird business. The Rock for being a larger than life movie star with a heart of gold.
- Do you have any crazy fan story you can tell us?
HSJ: I think it’s crazy that I even have fans! I’m just this shy asshole from Costa Rica who doesn’t know much about anything and now people are interested in what I have to say. I’m very thankful to all the fans all around the world for accepting me into their lives. Here’s to more crazy adventures!
Thank you for reading and we hope you liked the interview! Share your thoughts with us in the comments or on our social media accounts!
Harry Shum Jr. and his Shadowhunters co-star Matthew Daddario are both featured on June/July 2017 OUT Magazine Issue, talking about their characters on the show, the relationship they formed and LGBT representation.
Harry Shum Jr.
FROM CHARMING GLEE CROONER TO BISEXUAL DEMON SLAYER
“Yup, he’s a bisexual warlock,” says Harry Shum Jr. of his 400-year-old character on the Freeform fantasy series Shadowhunters. “When you live that long, you have some stories.”
Ever since Anne Rice poured a sarcophagus’s worth of same-sex longing into her vampire novels, fans of the genre have jonesed for homoerotic acting among creatures of the night.
Shadowhunters has plenty of it. Shum plays Magnus, the immortal leader of a supernatural coven in modern-day New York City who pursues both demons and his mortal boyfriend, Alec (Matthew Daddario).
Magnus’s darkness was a big draw for the Glee vet, who was also eager to dive into a subculture- not bloodsuckers, but bi guys.
He links it to his own heritage. “Bisexuality isn’t really talked about in the mainstream,” he says.
“It’s like me being an Asian Latino American– there aren’t many of us.”
The 35-year-old actor’s main goal is to portray a queer relationship in a way that’s never been seen on TV.
Of course, the idea that Magnus’s love will literally never die helps, but for him it’s more than that.
“I look at it the same way as Asian stereotypes on TV,” Shum says. “Why would I want to play that? I want to find uniqueness and capture it every time Magnus and Alec have intimate scenes.”
Here’s hoping for many of those scenes when the show returns in June.
Harry Shum Jr. attended the 28th Annual GLAAD Media Awards on Saturday, April 1st, 2017 at The Beverly Hilton, Los Angeles with co-star Matthew Daddario and wife Shelby Rabara.
Shadowhunters was nominated for ‘Outstanding Drama Series’ and won! Congratulations to Harry, Matt and everyone involved in the Shadowhunters team. Watch below Harry and Matt accepting the award:
Home > Events > 2017 > Harry Shum Jr. Attends The 28th Annual GLAAD Media Awards On April 1st, 2017
On Tuesday, March 28, Fullscreen released the Shadowhunters special episode for their original series Celebs react.
The 9th episode of the series is called “Runes & Tunes” and is starring Harry Shum Jr. and his Shadowhunters co-stars:Isaiah Mustafa, Alberto Rosende, Emeraude Toubia, Matthew Daddario, Dominic Sherwood, David Castro & Alisha Wainwright.
You can sign up for a 7-day free trial and watch the episode.
Best known for his role as Mike Chang on the Fox comedy-drama television series, Glee, and Magnus Bane on Freeform fantasy show, Shadowhunters, the momentum Harry Shum Jr. has created for his performing career continues as being one prolific artist himself. Harry, whose parent are originally from Hong Kong and Guangzhou, China respectively, is an American actor, dancer, singer and choreographer. He made his appearance in many productions such as Stomp the Yard, You Got Served, Step Up 2: The Streets, Step Up 3D, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny. Last year, he won “TV Breakout Stars – Male” in TV Scoop Awards, and was nominated “Ship of the year” in the MTV Fandom Awards. Following the heat of Shadowhunters, we invited Harry to share about his past roles, ongoing projects, and thoughts on current film industry.
What is your favorite character that you have played? And why?
I love them all! But currently, I think Magnus has been really fun to portray. It’s because there are no limits of him. It is a character you can do so much things with.
What do you think about your former role, Mike Chang, in Glee?
He is a kid who love dancing. In a lot of ways, I hold him a special place in my heart, because he is like how I grow up. I was very quiet, shy, and usually don’t say very much but I love dance, like Mike Chang. By dancing, my personality started to open up.
You have played a lot of different characters, is there any specific character you would want to try in the future?
I cannot really answer that question. It is because coming up to this point in my life, you know when you were a kid, someone may want to be an action star, or an action hero. For me, there is no definite like, “oh, this would be an ultimate thing.” To me, I feel like I am in the way playing a role, it’s just not a typical what people see as a bad man or superman. So, maybe that will be in the future? We will see what happens.
You did a good job at playing the action Hero Wei-Fang at the Chinese film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny, what do you think about that character?
I think it is an interesting movie that is different from what it used to be. It’s like a one dimensional superhero character that fights crime, right? Wei-Fang is a warrior that lost in no direction, he has the extraordinary ability, but doesn’t know how to use it properly. It was a great experience for me to work with those professional action stars.
What other projects you have been working on except Shadowhunters?
Right now I have a series out called Single by 30. It’s on YouTube. I have a great fun doing that, it’s a romantic comedy with Kina Grannis, and I am working with a great team. The story has an Asian American content, and I am playing a role with very unique characteristics.
Talking about Asian American content, have you experienced any special challenges in the film industry as an Asian American actor?
I am not speaking for other Asian Americans. But for me, I think as long as I tried, and overcome these obstacles that everyone goes through might be different, but I just want to figure out that how I can always be better? And I just doubt at many usually problem like: how to get a role? how to break through the stereotypes? I want to help other Asian Americans to see that, it is possible to be successful in the film industry.
Some time ago, Harry Shum Jr. and his fellow Shadowhunters cast mates- Katherine McNamara and Isaiah Mustafa, visited the Access Hollywood studios to do some interviews about Shadowhunters and… cooking!
Check out the video below:
NOC– It’s no secret that we’re huge fans of Glee alum Harry Shum Jr. here at the NOC. Ever since Mike Chang graduated from McKinley High, he has built quite the career — even though we might be sad that he wasn’t cast as Iron Fist. From starring in Netflix’s Crouching Tiger sequel to headlining YouTube Red’s Single by 30, Shum has gone on to become one of the busiest young Asian American actors in Hollywood. His highest profile role yet has been as Magnus Bane on Shadowhunters, the hit adaptation of The Mortal Instruments book series. The show’s second season winter finale airs tonight at 8pm on FreeForm.
Recently, I had the chance to chat with Harry and talk about what it’s like to represent so many communities — Asian American, LGBTQ, Warlock — on genre television.
KEITH: Thanks for taking some time to talk with us! I’ve been a huge fan of yours for some time. I’ve fancast you in everything, including Iron Fist.
HARRY: Wow. I appreciate that!
I mean, you’re one of the few legit Asian American stars on TV. What’s it like to be such a high-profile representative of the community?
I never look at it as, like, I’m representing a whole community, but at the same time I think it’s great that a community can look at a character like [Magnus Bane] on a TV show and be able to find ways to be proud of it. For me that’s really important.
We focus a lot on genre stuff here at The Nerds of Color. So for a show like Shadowhunters to be so diverse and inclusive is really important. Was that intentional?
It’s more about how do I make this reflect real life? Not just situations and events, but just the human side of what people go through. What I love about the show is that it never mentions “oh, he’s Asian,” not that they don’t want to, but it doesn’t matter. And the fact is the stories behind him can be so rich and different from what we’ve seen before because someone of that background has never been on television. I think it’s a cool part about it, you know?
For sure. I always thought advocating for diversity is as much about creating interesting characters as it is about opportunity for actors.
The fact that the writers can go “oh my god, look at this character we can write about!” We have these stories now. To me that is really exciting. It’s also been exciting to see on the other side of the spectrum of Asian America and the community and the warlock community. It’s really cool for people to find things they can be proud of. Just like, even on your website, you just want good stories and representation. I remember when I was five or six and watching Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan movies. As much as we want to see people who look like us, it’s important for us to have a diverse slate of films and television shows so that we can have cool stories.
Born in Costa Rica to parents of Chinese descent, Harry Shum Jr.’s upbringing is as versatile as the roles he plays on screen. At age 34, the budding professional has already made an impressive mark in the industry starting out as the renowned silhouetted dancer on iPod commercials to martial arts fighting in Netflix’s remake of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword Of Destiny.
Now the actor, widely known as Mike Chang on Fox’s Glee, is using his dancing prowess in a different manner: as the unique Magnus Bane on Freeform’s Shadowhunters. AsAmNews had the chance to phone chat with Harry in between his shooting schedule to further discuss his role on the supernatural series and the positive change he is witnessing within Hollywood and its audiences.
“What I’ve noticed is their appreciation for backstory,” Harry commented when asked about fan reaction to his season two character development.
“It’s cool to see the fans talk about how relatable [Magnus] is. He’s a half demon, half human, but in a lot of ways we all have our own demons as much as we have human qualities. The parallels are really interesting.”
While Magnus – the flamboyant warlock from Brooklyn – uses magic and movement to fight off evil in the supernatural dimension, the major attraction of his character is his bisexual orientation.
“The LGBTQ community is usually looked at in one way,” Harry explained. “But with Magnus, it’s cool to see a character whose sexuality is separate and doesn’t define what he can and can’t do.”
While progress on screen has certainly been the forefront of multiple conversations, for Harry, the fan reaction to his television character was one way of viewing this progress.
“It’s nice to see on Twitter that our audience, who range from 13 to 35 and beyond, are watching the show with their parents. They are rooting for a relationship that is not seen as much on television and for characters that look different. I think that is really cool, and I see that as progress.
“The idea is to keep pushing outside of the bubble and see different perspectives,” Harry continued.
“I do see people trying to figure out how to understand and also people who completely don’t understand. My job is to hopefully portray these characters as real as possible – whether in a sci-fi genre or not. And tell a good story where people are affected.”
While Harry has hit a high in his career, he didn’t always face success so easily, having to overcome battles and doubts throughout his acting path. Until today, his most rewarding moment is making his parents proud of his accomplishments. It’s safe to say that his journey is inspiring to many children who are pursuing the entertainment industry, especially of Asian American background.
When asked what words of encouragement he could offer, Harry stressed the importance of hard work.
“It’s said over and over, but for me, it’s hard work. Do your research. Look at the span of art out there – whether it’s acting, singing, or dancing. And try to figure out if this is really good work and how can I get to that place of doing good work. If it’s not, go back to the drawing board, then work a little harder.”
Catch Harry Shum Jr. as Magnus Bane on Shadowhunters’ mid-season finale, March 6 at 8/7 p.m. central.