I caught onto Lucifer last season about halfway through, after coming down with a nasty cold and binge watching all of the episodes to that point. From there, I fell in love. The team behind Lucifer have managed to strike the perfect balance between drama and comedy while weaving in some great supernatural and sci-fi-esque themes into a weekly mostly-procedural show. One of my favorite things about it is its dedication to giving all the characters pieces of the story and not leaving anyone behind.
With that in mind, we had a great opportunity to sit down with Kevin Alejandro who plays Detective Dan Espinoza to discuss his character and what we can expect from season three. He also treated us to some delightfully funny stories from the set.
My first questions is along the lines of what happened last season. Your character got quite the storyline with Charlotte. How was it acting alongside Tricia Helfer?
Kevin Alejandro: Tricia is a fantastic actor, she’s one of the strongest actors on our show and she really dives into what the person or the character feels like. You know, I really just watched her and learned, [and saw] what she pulled out of her bag of tricks, which is fantastic. She’s not only a great actress but a wonderful human being and really beautiful so that made everything a lot easier.
So in the first episode of this season we saw that Dan is dealing with a little bit of hurt around the whole Charlotte situation. Are we going to explore those feelings a bit more, will Dan double-down on his improv?
KA: He will just hide all of his emotions through improv. No, this season we will pick up where we left off, he does have a broken heart, and Dan is very confused as to why she doesn’t remember who he is and what ever type of relationship they had. It is mind boggling to him.
We do get to see him confront her to see what’s going on and she has as many answers as he does. But they still try to sort of figure each other out and throughout this process you know, you as an audience and us on the screen are starting to discover whether the real Charlotte Richards and Dan can have a relationship. They do take us a little bit through that journey… as to how it is going to turn out, I have no idea.
Excellent, well it is good to hear that she is going to be back on the show it sounds like.
KA: Yeah, she absolutely is. She is part of the heart and soul of this show so yeah, we can’t let her go.
Going off the improv thing I thought it was such an interesting development for Dan’s character. Did that come straight from the writing room or did you have any input in that? And what did you think when you read the script and realized that Dan would have an underground improv life?
KA: When I realized they put it in the script I was a little surprised. It was really cool to see it in there because I have had conversations with and heard stories from police officers that I’ve known or have met through ride alongs, or other research that I’ve done for other shows who do take some acting classes and that sort of thing, particularly once you go undercover and deal with that part of being a police officer. It was really comforting and energizing to know that [the writers] actually listened and let me contribute a little bit to that world.
Switching gears a little bit I know that in previous interviews Tom [Ellis] has mentioned that music plays a huge role, and that the songs that are chosen are chosen very specifically. So I was curious, if you got to pick a song to represent Dan what would it be and why?
KA: Oh that’s a great question. I don’t know the answer to that. Man, I honestly don’t have an answer. I know that it would be really quirky, maybe like the Beach Boys.
I could see that for sure. One of the things I admire about Lucifer as a show is its dedication to character development. I feel like everyone gets their fair portion of the story. What can we look forward to from Dan in season three and where will he be going as a character?
KA: Well, like we talked about earlier we will follow his journey with Charlotte Richards to see if their relationship will work but not only that, Marcus Pierce is the new lieutenant played by Tom Welling and was introduced very early this season as the new alpha dog and that poses a huge threat to Dan and Lucifer. [It] changes the relationship between Lucifer and Chloe, and Lucifer and Dan, and the dynamic between them.
Everyone is sort of grasping their own reality to try and figure out how to keep relationships closer to themselves. So you’ll watch Dan fumble around much like I am with this interview, and he will continue to try and be one of the best detectives there is while also vying for the attention and acceptance of Lt. Pierce. I hope you got something out of that.
Yes, and you are totally doing fine on this interview. You mentioned Tom Welling and this is sort of his “return to TV,” how has it been having him on set, are you enjoying interacting with him as an actor, and how are you enjoying his character?
KA: He’s great [as] Marcus Pierce, he comes in and carries himself very sternly, he’s a man of few words, in charge, knows what he wants and tells you to do it. Tom [Welling] has got a great sense of humor and fits in well with all of our crazy, weird sense of humor. We’re such a big group of pranksters and he sort of just stepped right in.
For example, he’s coming down the steps in the first episode and we’re all anxiously awaiting the arrival of the new lieutenant and he stands there with his hands on his hips and says, “I’m Marcus Pierce” and that’s all he says and then he walks off, and during one of the rehearsals he comes down, literally puts his hands on his hips, and I start to play the theme song to Superman [laughs] and he got a kick out of it, so from that moment he was a part of the team.
You guys as a cast seem to have an amazing chemistry and it comes out on the screen for sure.
KA: I think that’s what helps us and that’s why people like us. You can honestly see how much fun we’re having making the show.
Yeah, so you mentioned you guys are all kind of pranksters. Can you give me some examples of some of the hi-jinx that go down on set?
KA: One was, Tom [Ellis] [laughs] had worked really, really hard and long one night with an actor and there were struggles there and things didn’t run as smoothly as possible. The next day Lauren [German] bought like 500 balloons or something ridiculous like that and got this giant cutout of the actor and put it in his room with the balloons. So Tom rolls up the next day, y’know, tired and fatigued and he can’t even get into his room that’s loaded with balloons even all the way into the bathroom. We do things like that to cheer each other up.
Another one, I had just taken my bike to Vancouver. We’re in Canada, I brought it from LA, my bicycle, and I brought it to set on the first day and it got stolen. It was my favorite bicycle and everyone knew and I felt terrible. Several months later we flew to LA to do some of the episodes out here and we’re staying at this really cool hotel at the beach and they have bikes that we can borrow from the hotel.
Since we were by the pier I thought I would borrow a bike and ride to set. I got the bike from the hotel, made my way over, it was fantastic. I locked the bike up because I learned my lesson, locked the bike up with the combination and everything and I went to go shoot for the day.
Well, little did I know, Lauren had called the hotel and said, “Hey, you know, I’m one of the PAs for Lucifer. One of our actors borrowed a bike from you and he forgot the bike combination could I please have it?” And they’re like, “Yeah, sure!” so they gave her my bike combination and she stole the bike and stuck it in one of the AD trailers and then kind of hung out inside of her trailer and filmed me freaking out that someone stole that bike [laughs]. These are the kinds of things that we do to each other.
That’s amazing. Well played. Have you managed to do any good pranks on anyone?
KA: I have, but all of mine are dirty.
KA: I am known to always try to mess with people during takes. So you do a scene and the camera is on you and then you do it again and the camera is on the other person and they come around and do the other side. Once they take the camera off of me and focus on the other actor I’m always trying to make them lose their cool and mess up their take.
Just the other day we were filming a scene where I come into the precinct and Chloe is interviewing another character and I come up with a paper that has all this information on it and say, “Check this out, blah blah blah.” So every time I would do it, I would come in [differently]. I would fold the paper up super tiny so it would take her ten minutes to unfold it and for the last couple of takes I dipped the paper in water so it is all mushy [laughs]. So those are the kinds of things I do.
Nice. That’s hilarious and it just sounds like such a fun set and again, like I’ve said, it comes out on the screen.
KA: There’s no pretending, you can’t pretend to have fun and I know it sounds too good to be true but anybody, every guest star that we have ever had has said comes on our set like, “This is by far the funniest set I’ve ever been on,” and they want to be there because they have fun. And it isn’t just us, our crew works so hard and they still manage to smile at the end of the day.
Speaking of guest stars, are there any guest stars that you can tease for the season? Or anyone you’re particularly excited to have on the show?
KA: I can tease that I think Tom Welling will be on the show [laughs].
[Laughs] There it is, breaking news right there: Tom Welling.
KA: He may be coming back to television this season. You’ll have to tune in to see.
How about in the future, are there any stars you’d just absolutely love to see on the show?
KA: You know, I mean, I’m obsessed with Sylvester Stallone. I would love it if he could come in and be on the show.
You know, I could see that. I think they could make it work and find a role for him. I know you guys just moved back to Los Angeles after filming the last couple seasons up in Canada. How has that transition been, have you enjoyed it, and how has it impacted the show?
KA: Oh man, number one we love being back in L. A. I enjoyed what Canada had to offer but there’s something to be said about working at home that’s comforting. We love being here. It impacts the show in such a great way too, we don’t have to pretend we’re in L. A. [anymore], we’re really here.
It changes the look of our show and L. A. is really its own character. We’re really using that element to heighten the level of what our show is. It is fantastic all the locations we have here and [it is] beautiful. It is almost like a new show in a way.
I will wrap up with one final question. What would your one hope for Dan be this season, if you had a say?
KA: If I had a say, one of my hopes for Dan this season…
Or next season.
KA: Or next season – you know [pause], I want him to save the day. It would be awesome if Dan somehow saved the case or saved the person or saved something. Like it would be done because of him, that would be great.
We had a great time talking with Kevin Alejandro and are looking forward to what comes next for Detective Dan and the rest of the team. Remember, you can catch Lucifer every Monday at 8pm EST/7pm Central on FOX. You can also keep up with the show on Twitter.