Mark Pellegrino -- Lucifer
Ah, Lucifer ... I have had the opportunity to interview Mark Pellegrino a few times in the past, but this one was special; not only because it was for my own page, but because there was so much to talk about! So many storylines ...
The way you portray Lucifer is so multifaceted. From where do you draw your inspiration?
From every six-year-old boy that I’ve ever encountered. It just seems like one of the biggest characteristics that Lucifer’s been demonstrating in the last couple of seasons that seems to unite them all is the mischievous, boyish fun with everything that he does. When you’re the smartest, strongest dude in the room you can be at liberty to be that way with everything. I try to bring out my inner child and give him free rein.
What scene did you have the hardest time getting through and why?
Usually problems come from the physical environment and the obstacles in the physical environment. As an angel, you’re not supposed to feel cold or the effects of a Vancouver winter; but when you’re out there in just a little thin skimpy T-shirt and a thin skimpy leather covering over it, you feel those things. For me it’s just a matter of staying focused when you’re freezing your ass off and acting like you’re not freezing your ass off. Luckily in the last episode I could just use the environment because I was mostly human and had no grace, and I could actually freeze the way I felt.
I had to do a scene the day before yesterday in New Westminster and it had snowed the night before; it was really cold and I had a couple of top garments on; I was freezing my ass off but I had to pretend like that wasn’t there. It’s usually the physical obstacles of rain, cold, and any physical fighting that you have to do with any of the other actors that are hard to get through for me because I’m old.
Tell us about working with Danneel.
It was really fun, she’s really laid back and really humble. She hadn’t acted in about six years and she sort of made her self-consciousness of that fact, put it right out there in the open, from the first day, and said, “Hey, if you see me doing anything you don’t like, let me know. It’s been a long time since I’ve acted.
I could never do that, I could never critique other actors especially when I’m working because I know how monstrously difficult the acting problem is to solve and I admire anybody who tries to do it, so for me, I just said, “Hey, I don’t even think about that when I’m working, but it’s an enormously humble thing for you to say, and I appreciate your own perspective.”
I really enjoyed working with her, because she was open to anything, and I don’t know what I’m going to do from one take to the next; it’s really good to have a partner who is open and receptive to whatever happens, instead of someone rigidly attached to one way of doing things.
We had a good experimental time; I think our scenes are really fun, and sensual; she pushes Lucifer right to that boundary of humanness that he’s so uncomfortable with, and I like seeing those elements that her character brought out of Lucifer.
I felt somewhere in the back of my mind that it was a little awkward, as this was Jensen’s wife, and we had to do these scenes where I’m eating her grace but it’s very sexual, and all the body language and the falling down on the bed sort of implies a post-coital experience. But I pushed that out of my mind and Jensen’s very professional about it, she’s very professional, I’m professional … so that was sort of a minimal microscopic issue in the back of my mind at one point.
It was fun, I think she’s a really great girl.
What do you think Lucifer’s reaction to hearing that Gabriel is still alive would be?
I think it’ll be the Simpson “D’oh!” That’s a storyline that I’m interested in seeing where the heck that’s going to go. We’ve got the archangel blade out, and two full-powered archangels roaming around that can do Lucifer some damage.
If I were Lucifer I’d be a little nervous and want to make amends, since little brother was a little more clever than you thought … I think he’d try to combine forces and see if they can take out the big bad.
What is your opinion of where Lucifer’s story arc is going this season? (After we last talked, there was a lot of chatter about not wanting Luci to have a redemption arc …)
Everyone wants Lucifer to be the big bad. What would that do, would it throw everyone into existential crisis, the archetypal bad guy turns around? I don’t understand the anxiety over that. Right now I feel like there’s something appropriate going on, at least from my take on good and evil. Lucifer has this vibe of being a little over his head, a little grandiose, a little spoiled and there’s a smallness to him, a childlike thing to him that’s really evident this year, especially in the episode that I just did.
There’s something about that, that I like … that other people might not, because they don’t like to be scared; Lucifer is scary because he’s an unhinged six-year-old with a lot of power, that’s a scary thing. I think you should make fun of evil. At the end of the day, in reality, evil is very weak. We don’t perceive of it that way because we see life in terms of this dichotomy of good and evil constantly sort of equal opposite powers fighting against each other; in this existential struggle that just borderlines on chaos.
But really, in reality, evil depends upon the good in every way; it can produce nothing of its own; it can increase itself in no other way except by dependency. The criminal have to depend on the productive individual in order to steal their valuables, in order to steal anything from anybody. Bad guys are parasites.
Since evil is such an impotent fucked up, irrational, really in the world a nonsensical place to inhabit, we should make fun of it and lampoon it as much as possible.
I feel like in a way Lucifer’s the butt of the joke this year. I sort of like that, although I don’t know if other people will.
What has been your favourite line so far this season?
I think when Lucifer was running away from his feelings of closeness to Jo in the hotel room and he stood up and said he’ll be back, the Prince of Lies, and kind of going off on that …
What was your funniest moment with Misha this season?
I had a good time with Misha. We had a fun time at the bar, when I was trying to convince him to come over to my side … he was very skeptical and we improvised a lot and played a lot with the scene. Some of it they were able to keep and I think it added just a nice dimension of odd couple kind of dynamic between us. He’s busting my balls when we’re in the prison together; I was very interested in seeing where that dynamic would go, whether or not I could convince him to come over to my side. I thought I had him, but apparently not.
It’s been fun, it’s been nice seeing Misha experiment, improvise and roll with whatever punches I’m throwing at him.
Were any of your lines improv, or were they all scripted?
Most of them are scripted. Like 90 per cent, 95 per cent of them … I add little things in whatever improvisational way we’re doing it … with Cupid, when he started crying, it was, “Ohhh, don’t cry …” I was all trying to comfort him none of that was scripted, and when I said, “Sorry,” that wasn’t scripted… I just felt it added a texture of sarcasm to the moment.
The scene with Castiel in the dungeon was one of my favorites … what are Lucifer’s thoughts on Jack being more of Cas’s son then his?
Imagine being a father and being told that the stepfather is more loved … if you have any connection to fatherhood at all, you have a deep desire to be the primary influence in your son’s life. You’d hate someone taking over that role, and instilling values that you’re opposed to. I feel like Lucifer, for whatever reason, had an attachment to fatherhood and connection with his son, came from his own abandonment issues … wanting to make good to a degree on that, and produce someone who’s like him. We all want that, that’s what sort of love is – you want someone to mirror what you feel and think … I think Lucifer’s romanticizing the idea of fatherhood with Jack …
Cas throwing it in his face that he (Lucifer) probably has no value in his own son’s life, he would probably find him disgusting. That hurt. And Castiel knew it. That’s why he smiled.
Can you share anything else that you’re working on?
I’m doing 13 Reasons Why; there’s some talk about changing my status in that show for the next season, which may be interesting, so … there’s a potential motion capture game in the running, I did Far Cry last year, I’m enjoying that mocap world … this thing might happen, I don’t know, we’ll see. I also play Mr. Freeze in a Batman game series that they have. I’m just branching out in different areas, throwing stuff on the wall and seeing if something sticks.
Photo copyright Warner Brothers and The CW.
"Fabulous interview with Mark, I adore 'Kooky Luci' ~ the slightly out there, innocent, spoiled child having a tantrum thing is perfect! Loving Luci & Cas scenes, and Luci’s brush with humanity. Should you want to laugh with the Devil? Probably not.. Should you want to give the Devil a warm blanket and a cup of caffeine? Decidedly not good for ones health.. Unfortunately I want to do this, because Mark has made Luci a most appealing anti-hero/bad guy and dagnammit 'I Love Luci'" ~ Ani R.
"Love this interview with Mark, one of the best I've read in awhile! Mark is and will always be my favorite Lucifer!!!" ~ Eileen
"Very interesting take on good and evil, I must say it’s similar to the way I think of it, and it makes Mark’s powerful-six-year-old interpretation of Lucifer very appropriate. Great interview!" ~ Gina