Recently, the sixth and final season of Lucifer
premiered on Netflix. The series follows Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis) and his partner Chloe Decker (Lauren German) as they solve crimes for the LAPD, often dealing with celestials and other creatures.
On the series, Kevin Alejandro plays Chloe’s ex-husband and father to Trixie (Scarlett Estevez), LAPD Homicide Detective Dan Espinoza. Last season Dan was killed by a French mercenary, and because of the guilt he carried, he went to Hell. This season, after making a deal with Rory (Brianna Hildebrand) he is returned to earth, but as a ghost, until he can get rid of his guilt.
Alejandro recently spoke to Jamie Ruby of SciFi Vision in an exclusive interview about returning to the series, singing on the show, directing during COVID, and more. ***This interview contains season six spoilers*** SCIFI VISION: When you first got the part, did you ever talk to any real detectives or anything when you were were creating the character? Or was it just all from the script?
For this one in particular, I did not, but I've had a very fortunate career in this business, and a majority of my experiences, specifically on series regulars, have been cops or detectives of homicide, all kinds. I played a lot of cops, and with those came a lot of legitimate ride alongs and fly alongs. I've worked with the NYPD; I've worked with the LAPD. I've done small towns sheriff things. So, I came equipped already with a certain knowledge of the way things are done, and I try to pride myself in doing things, handling the responsibility of being a cop, respectfully. So, I’d already come equipped with some of those skills.
So, as far as like the personality traits and all that stuff, a lot of that is scripted, but as we grew closer throughout the years, Joe [Henderson] and Ildy [Modrovich], we all got to know each other a little bit, and they started to know that I could be funny and that I was not as straight laced as I may appear, and they started to incorporate those little cool qualities into Dan.
I have a question from a fan. How did “Detective Douche” come about? Was that something that was added?
No, that was scripted.
Oh, that was scripted. Okay.
That was scripted. Yeah. Well, to my knowledge it was scripted for me. I wasn't part of the pilot. I know that Tom had called the character of Dan, Detective Douche. I'm not sure if that was his original idea, or if they scripted it, but from then on, the moment it was said, most of the times it was said, it was scripted. Of course, Tom would throw in his own every now and then, because he loves saying it. But it's funny, because I was in a table read, and I heard it for the first time out loud in real life, Tom saying it, and I was like, “Oh, man, that is literally gonna stick.” And lo and behold, I am Detective Douche six seasons later. [laughs]
Last season you got to do two choreographed numbers. One was, of course, on the football field, and the other one was when you sang “Hell.” How was that? I mean, that had to be fun, but was that also nerve wracking? Can you just talk a little bit about that?
Yeah, absolutely. Well, I'm not sure if you know, or a lot of people know, that my background is theater. I love theater. It's my first love, everything about it. When I moved to LA, I haven't had as much opportunity to do as much theater as I'd love to do.
So, when Joe and Ildy were letting everyone know that they were doing a musical episode and asking our comfort zone with, “Would you like to sing? Would you like to dance? Would you like to do it all?” kind of thing, I just immediately felt [it was] my opportunity to have that feeling of what it's like to do theater again.
So, I jumped on, and I was like, “I don't know if I'll be good, because I haven't done this in forever, but I will take anything you throw at me,” kind of thing. I just had so much fun. Of course, the nerves were there, like, “Oh, shoot, can I still do this kind of thing?” but at the end of the day, it was mostly fun, and a really good challenge, because you had to learn everything so fast. And being surrounded by some of the best dancers in the world with our choreography team, it just made it so much more of a stronger, cooler experience.
Well, it looked really good. It was a lot of fun. I listen to the soundtracks. I have them both on Spotify.
I love it.
I like the music you guys do.
So, one thing I want to talk to you about is, although, obviously, it didn't actually show you flying, but when Amenadiel picks you up like you're going to fly, was that hard to film without cracking up? [laughs]
Everything we do on our show is hard to film without cracking out. We're such a bunch of pranksters and jokesters that sometimes the director is like, “Guys, we have to finish the scene. You're having too much fun,” but, yeah, we’re always like, for lack of better words, busting each other's balls on that set. Yeah, it was great. You know, every little quirky moment like that we strive for; we thirst for. So, when we get them, we want to live in them forever, and, you know, make fun of ourselves.
So, who's the biggest prankster on set then, and is there a crazy prank that somebody pulled?
It's got to be Lauren. I think Lauren's got the most devious mind out of all of us, as straight-laced as she may seem, she [isn’t].
We were still shooting in Vancouver, and we’d come down to LA to shoot a couple of scenes on the beach. We were all staying at this hotel next to the beach down in Santa Monica. I was like, “Hey, this is a perfect opportunity.” The hotel supplied bicycles and locks. So, I got a bicycle from the hotel, and I rode myself down the bike path and ended up at Basecamp, and it was all great and beautiful.
Then, by the end of the night, I came back to get on the bike, and it was gone. I was like, “Oh my god. Oh my god, someone stole this bike,” because, three months prior to that in Vancouver, I had just brought my bike to set, road it for the first time, and I was outside of my trailer, and by the time I'd gone to rehearsal and come back, someone had stolen it. I never saw it again, and it was my favorite bike ever.
So, all of a sudden, all these emotions start coming back. I’m like, “Oh, shit,” and now, it's not even my bike. It's the hotels. What am I gonna do? What am I gonna do?
Then, I come to find out, Lauren is in her trailer filming me go crazy. Lo and behold, the bike is in her trailer. She had called the hotel saying, “Hey, I’m Lauren German, and my co-star’s on set right now, but he forgot the combination to his bike. Is there any way you can give it to me?” And they were like, “Oh, yeah, sure.” So, she got the combination from the hotel, stole the bike, and then filmed me going crazy.
[laughs] That's funny. You're lucky though that it wasn't really some fan that called the hotel and made that up though. At least it was really her.
Exactly. And that's just the beginning. Like she's full of all kinds of crazy stuff.
You definitely wouldn't wouldn't think that seeing her character.
So, you got to direct two episodes this season. Can you talk about that and maybe some of the challenges with COVID? Also, is it harder to direct yourself? Because obviously, you're in some of the scenes in the episodes.
Yeah, you know, it was a challenge to direct during COVID. It was obviously fresh after the lockdown. We're all still figuring out together, what is the right process, and how does this work to keep everybody safe? So, it was really super stressful and just challenging, because the way you communicate is through your eyes, through your mouth, through your reflection, through the way you present yourself, and a lot of those elements were taken away with goggles, masks, and shields. So, it was almost learning a new way to articulate what you're trying to get across. It was stressful, because you can't hear; you can't see. You can't do all that, but once once we figured out our rhythm, and once we started to feel safe within the boundaries, we had the best COVID team ever. They were so on it and so strict with it that it became just part of the way things had to be done. And once we all wrapped our minds around that, that was normal. It became a lot easier. We learned how to communicate in such a way, but it was a challenge, and it was stressful. It was relearning; it was learning a different way to communicate, but we did it. We got through it, and I think we delivered some of the best performances and some of the best episodes of TV in all of our seasons.
Yeah, I mean, unless you know it, you wouldn't be able to tell.
Can you talk about when you found out that you were going to come back, how that discussion went?
Yeah, we found out kind of in the middle of shooting the end of season five, which we thought was gonna be the end. The decision had already been made to kill me off and stuff like that. Then, we got the news, and immediately, Joe and Ildy called and were like, “Hey, listen, we just got word that they want to bring it back and give us one more shot at the ending for one more season, and we want to do it, and we would love you to come back to the show to finish it out with us. We have an idea of how to make this work. Do you want to come back and finish it off? If not, then you know that we've killed you, and that could be an out?” And I was like, “Absolutely. I want to come back. I love this show. I love the people. And even though I wasn't there for the pilot experience, I feel like I've been there since the beginning, and I want to see it. I want to see it to the very end.” And they said, “We hoped you would say that, and let's knock this thing out.” And I'm so happy that they were gracious enough to to consider bringing me back and then to live up to their word and and shut it out the way I think it should have been. Yeah, that's I was going to ask you. Were you satisfied then with how they they wrapped it up in the end?
Oh, yeah, absolutely. I think, especially for my character, he's had one of the best, most involved arcs and evolution of a character that I've seen in a long time. Like, he started up one way and ended up at a totally, you know, same but different [way]. You got to see really the layers of who he was, and I thought they did that really well. Yeah. So, my question to you is, if there had been a season seven, and they showed more of Dan up in Heaven, other than, you know, dining with Charlotte (Tricia Helfer), what do think he would have been doing? I'm just kind of curious if you had thought about that at all, and what do you think Dan would be up to?
Honestly, I think Dan would be looking for ways to come back to earth like Lucifer did to help people on the force. I think he would constantly be trying to find a way to get down and stop bad guys. That makes sense. I can definitely see that.
So, is there something that you either were given or took from the set to keep to remember the show?
Yeah, there was this thing that was intentionally made for an episode as a little gift from Trixie to Dan, and it was a little bobblehead of a cop. It was a replica of Dan, but it wasn't made in time, so it never made the show, but it always sat on his desk in the precinct, and that's one of the things that I took as a keepsake.
Thinking back on the years that you've been there, do you have a memory that sticks out? Not even necessarily a scene, well it could be a scene, but just something that when you think about the show that memory comes to mind?
Yeah, you know, I have a lot of really wonderful memories. Like I said, we’re very fortunate. In this business it doesn't happen as often where you stick together until the very end and still like each other.
Well, I have a couple actually. So, I'm not sure what the episode number is, but the title is “Dan Espinosa Naked and Afraid,” and every moment in that, because I got on a real journey of absurdity during that episode. That is one of the highlights of my episodes shot on Lucifer
. I just loved every moment. I loved the pressure, what it felt like to go through all those circumstances.
But one of the highlights of the experience would have to be in between takes where the lot of us are hanging out in either Tom’s trailer, my trailer, Lauren’s trailer, whoever’s trailer it was, and just collectively sitting there talking about the day, talking about our experience, and none of us taking it for granted, and realizing how lucky we were to be part of something so cool, and all the while Tom having his guitar playing in the background, or singing a song. Those are really beautiful moments for me.
Awesome. It is a really good episode too.
Thanks. So, do you have any other projects you want to promote besides Lucifer that are coming out?
You know, I just want people to to know that I am a multi hyphenate filmmaker. I am a director. I'm a writer. I'm an actor and a producer. I have a production company, Alejandro Films, and we are actively developing project after project after project and getting them ready to be seen by the world. So, this isn't the last you'll see of me, not only as an actor, but as a creator. I'm in this business for as long as it will have me, because I'm obsessed, and I love it.