Lucifer - Kevin Alejandro

Exclusive: Kevin Alejandro on Lucifer's return, on playing Detective Douche and having 'cop face'

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Apr 28, 2017

Actor Kevin Alejandro is ready to make a deal with the Devil, or at least have his character on Lucifer, Detective Dan Espinoza, get in some trouble when the series returns to Fox on Monday, May 1 to finish out its second season, said Alejandro in an exclusive interview with Syfy Wire.

When Lucifer broke for hiatus with only a handful of episodes left to finish out Season 2, Chloe had nearly died and was ready to get up close and personal with the Devil, but Lucifer was MIA. Lucifer returns in the spring premiere, “Candy Morningstar,” to help Chloe and Dan solve a case involving the murder of a guitarist. Unfortunately for Chloe, there's a new mystery woman by Lucifer's side. Meanwhile, Lucifer's mom thinks she's found a way for them to return to heaven, Detective Dan continues his attempts to protect ex-wife Chloe, and Lucifer's dad, aka God, might just be coming to town. 

The series has also been picked up by Fox for a 22-episode third season.

Alejandro (True Blood, Arrow) chatted with Syfy Wire about the spring premiere of Lucifer, why he'd like to see Dan make a deal with the Devil, and he delved into two of his popular genre characters, Sebastian Blood on Arrow and Jesus on True Blood.

Congratulations on the show's return on Monday, and on the pick up for Season 3. What do we have to look forward to for the rest of this season, especially as far as Detective Dan is concerned?

They are trying to peppermint a bunch of little tiny hints and storylines for each one of us so that when we come back in Season 3 you'll have some great expectations, so to speak. Dan has taken a little bit of a journey standing up for himself and not being such a floor mat to Lucifer's insults, and he learns to stand up for himself a little bit. He's fed up and finally not going to sit there and take it. You get to some really funny banter back and forth between Lucifer and Dan and their relationship evolves in a really funny way.

Lucifer - Kevin Alejandro

Dan got himself in trouble a while back and appeared to be a dirty cop at one point. He's come back from that. From your viewpoint as an actor, what did that storyline mean to you? How did you approach it?

I was a little nervous. I didn't know how they would really get us out of that situation either, but lo and behold, here we are going into Season 3.

You look at a character like Dan... we're all flawed as human beings, and one of the things that I love about him is that he comes from a place of love. He is in love with Chloe, he does love his daughter, he loves his family, and a lot of the decisions that he makes are because he really thinks that's the only solution to make things right. And he ends up always digging himself into a little bit of a hole... When he falls down the hole you got to figure out an honest way to get out of it. That's one of the things that I love about the way they write this guy is that you can't help but think that maybe I would make the same decision. I don't know. You see him struggle with that and just squirm under his, “once again I've made a bad choice.”

His relationships are really interesting. He has a complex relationship with Chloe, he sure doesn't like Lucifer, and he had a thing with Lucifer's mom, even though he doesn't know it's Lucifer's mom. 

It's the ultimate mom joke, right? Cause how could she possibly be his mom, right? And not knowing what their celestial world is, he's in the dark. I think it really adds a different texture to Dan. Like, “Why are you so strange?” It would be really funny for him to say to Lucifer, “You can call me Detective Douche all you want, but never forget that I slept with your mom.” (Laughs)

Lucifer - Kevin Alejandro

How do you think Dan would he react to learning that his world includes the Devil and demons and angels and, I guess, even God. 

I think at first it would completely just dishevel and shake up his world because Dan is such a practical dude. He wants to be the best cop and he is one of the best cops and he wants all of this real world success, both in happiness and love and with his career and stuff like that. And for that to be introduced into his world, at first he would be like, “You're nuts!” But once the reality of it actually did set in, I think it would change him completely. Going back to him making rash decisions or the wrong decisions for the right reasons. I think it would take him down some sort of worm hole of ultimate protection of the family and make him so insecure and scared for them that he could change into the ultimate defender of them and want nothing more but their safety and he'd stop at nothing to make that happen for them.

Yeah, I think he would have more trouble with it then Chloe would. 

Oh. absolutely. Absolutely... I would love to see that happen, to see how he would cope with it. What he would do? What kind of a human being would he turn into?

What's been the biggest challenge in playing him?

What I love about it is being the straight man in such an insane world. He's the balance, the reality of what we are like and just to be surrounded in this world and not know anything about it, I think was just a good challenge to be unaware of it. To be genuinely stricken by some of the strange things that Lucifer says or that his mom says or that Amenadiel says. Slowly the people start to come together later towards the end of the season, but it's still like, he's in the dark about it all. I think that is the greatest challenge, is just being that one person to be like, “I have no idea what you're talking about, dude.”

Lucifer - Kevin Alejandro

What's it like on the set?

I think one of the things that makes this experience really great is that in the writing and as actors, as coworkers, we keep such a light sort of vibe on set. And we don't really take ourselves too seriously and we allow ourselves to go into this world and have a lot of fun. Sometimes it's so hard to get a scene done because we're having so much fun and laughing and joking around during those moments where you need to be really bad or very affected. And that's what I love about it that we approach it in a light way and we handle it respectfully and have a great time doing it.

What's been your biggest surprise? The thing you weren't expecting that's happened with this character and with the show?

Honestly, the biggest surprise was starting the relationship with Charlotte Richards, with Lucifer's mom. I had no idea it was going in that direction and I have absolutely zero complaints about it. Tricia Helfer is an amazing, amazing woman, a great actress and is fun to be around. And it's really great the way they read each character to each other. They drop hints here and there and then you get to have a little bit of a relationship with everybody and I love moving us around between the family of characters. I'm really interested in seeing what sort of a twist or turn or how all of our worlds collide eventually together at the same time. That would be a really great moment in our show. 

Detective Dan is just one in a long line of cops in your career so far. Why do you think you get cast as a cop so often?

I've been really fortunate. I think one of the episodes of Lucifer explains it best on why I get to play a lot of cops. Because I look like a cop (laughs). There's this episode where Amenadiel and Lucifer and Chloe and everyone's around me, like, “You have the face of a cop. You look like a cop.” “I don't like a cop.” “You look like a cop.” I think in real life that is why I get to do it. I have a cop face, but I love it. I have been able to do so many different kinds of research with the LAPD or the NYPD, and I think all of that training and all those different experiences on other shows, and ride alongs and helicopters, and being in the middle of a gang fight or shooting in real life, and all those experiences have prepped me to handle the scripted situations, hopefully as honestly as possible. So I have been truly fortunate to play these guys. I have a huge respect for police officers. They're outnumbered, and when it comes to those tougher neighborhoods, they are looked on as the bad guys. They are the ones with targets on their back. 

Lucifer Cast

At least you're not always cast as the bad guy. 

Don't get me wrong. I like to play both ends of the spectrum. I did a round of interviews over at Warner Time and one of the questions they asked was, “What do you think would be a fun direction for Dan to go in?” And I was like, “Honestly it would be awesome to be faced with some huge decision where maybe he has to sell his soul to the Devil, again one of those situations where to protect Chloe and Trixie and make some sort of a deal, where it turned him into one of the ultimate villains to reckon with. I think that would be a fun direction to go with him and then see how he digs his way out of that.

You've had a couple of interesting roles on genre shows, Arrow and True Blood. Can you give me a quick thought about Sebastian Blood on Arrow?

Oh, man! Sebastian Blood, that was so much fun. That was the first time I got to play a character that existed in the world of comics and villains and he was a really great one for me to play. Because again, if you look at him that was sort of prepped for a Dan character as well because he wasn't a terrible person. He was just creating this army of people to protect the city that he genuinely loved and he was just so blinded by his love of the city and for the control that he wanted to have to create the place that he wanted. He didn't realize how truly a negative effect he was going to have on the rest of the world. It was just a fun experience to run through.

My other favorite character you played was Jesus on True Blood. I thought he was an amazing character. He had a great love story with Lafayette.

Me too, I think to this day I still have someone or two people walk up to me and they're like, “Man, thank you for playing that role.” Like I had everything to do with it (laughs). But they're like, “Thank you. We still love the character It's one of our favorite love stories.” It's definitely a very pivotal role for me in my career. It gave me the opportunity to step in the world that I didn't know much about with the witches and everything like that and dig into it. It was just so much fun. I've been really truly fortunate to work on really good projects. 

You couldn't have played more different roles than Jesus and Dan. I don't even know how they can exist in the same human being, those two characters. What was it like when you really started to see who this character was that you were digging into? You were on the show for a while. 

Yeah, they did it very much the way we do it on Lucifer. We don't really know. We see it when the script comes out so we don’t overplay anything or give anything away I guess to ourselves and cripple our performances. We learn it, script to script and I think that is the absolute best way to do it. 

Lucifer - Kevin Alejandro

Back to Lucifer, what are your hopes for Dan and what are your hopes for yourself as you go forth in your career?

My hopes for Dan... I hope that he continues to be flawed and I hope that he can grow into an individual that people will be able to relate to on many different levels... And that they don't kill him off (laughs).

I think he is too interesting to get killed off, but you never know.

I hope so because I really do love this job. And as far as what I want personally, I would love to do some directing and producing and enjoy the journey that my life has taken me on. Lucifer is really one of those shows that have given me that opportunity to just go with it and embrace and love the fact that I'm part of a good show and a good group of people. It is so rare to get a company of people that you just gel with and Lucifer is an example of one of those shows that comes along very rarely.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

I launched a little web series that I directed and produced that I put on YouTube on Kevin Alejandro Films. It's sort of in the sci-fi world. It's called The Keepers about this serum that was created in 1955 to enhance one of the five senses and things go wrong. Sort of a funny look at the superhero-ish world and two human agents trying to see where they fit into that world catching these super villains... Charlie Sheen was my executive producer on it.

Tell me about Alejandro Films.

Alejandro Films is just a place for me just experiment creatively and get better as a director, as a writer, as a filmmaker in general because I'm in this business until the end and I love everything about it and I want to learn as much as I can about it. But that's a way for people to get to know me on a more intimate level. It's a good escape.

Here's a look at what's coming up on Lucifer:

Lucifer returns on May 1 at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.