Harry Shum Jr. talks Malec, Downworlder mentorships, and dancing in Season 2B

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.”

“What we all wanted to see was them sharing experiences together, and those experiences are what’s going to make them stronger.”

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.”

Photo Credit: Freeform, Acquired from FreeformTV

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!