Exclusive Interview: Shadowhunters’ Joel Labelle Talks Season Two

As Luke Garroway’s gruff detective partner and loyal second-in-command, Alaric Rodriguez aids him in the drama of both human and Downworlder affairs. Last season of Shadowhunters saw him help guide and support Luke in his new Alpha role within the New York Werewolf pack, and season two looks to continue that trajectory. I had the opportunity to throw some questions to stunt performer and actor Joel Labelle, about Alaric’s role this year. Check out his interview below.

I know that packs have no choice but to follow the word of their Alphas, but to me, Alaric always kind of leaned favorably towards Luke despite being under Theo’s command. Was that a conscious acting decision? Or was my Alaric/Luke broship heart just seeing things?

(laughs) In all honesty, I have never thought of Alaric having an allegiance towards anyone but Luke. The broship between Luke and Alaric is as strong as you all think it is!

Alaric looks more relaxed and focused under Luke’s leadership, and he’s been his second-in-command in the way he’s been guiding him on how to be an Alpha. He’s like Luke’s pack-husband (laughs). Will we see more of their relationship this season?

As far I know, yes, you certainly will see more of the relationship develop. It’s a little hard to tell since we have been shooting as the scripts have been coming out this year. We are just as surprised as the viewers when things happen on the show because we don’t get all the scripts at the beginning.

On the topic of being Luke’s pack-husband, I imagine Alaric wants to keep Luke’s focus on the welfare of the pack and its future. I also imagine with Jocelyn awake, Luke’s attention may be a little divided. Is this going to cause any problems?

Well…I don’t want to give anything away and tell you too much. What I can tell you is that things get complicated for sure!

The pack’s focus last season seemed to be about closing ranks and readying themselves for what was coming, as well as helping Luke with his personal missions. What is the pack’s focus this time around?

The packs focus this time around is trying to keep it together. Oh dear, that may have been too much information. I’ll stop there… 

We’ve got a new character, Maia, in the mix this season. What does Alaric think of her?

Character wise, I truly don’t think Alaric gives a damn (laughs). He is so concentrated on Luke all the time. He keeps a distance but a vigilant eye on her.

So the pack has reverted to its ‘no vampires allowed’ stance and Simon is no longer welcome. Who broke up the band, dude? Was it you? (laughs)

(Laughs) Wasn’t me I swear. But let me tell you something. I’m pretty happy about it.

A lot of fans are wanting to see more Downworlder interaction. Is Alaric going to be interacting with any Downworlders outside his pack? Or even outside his own species?


Will Alaric be interacting with any Shadowhunters this season?

(Laughs) See my previous answer!

The show has a very heavy theme of racism between Shadowhunters and Downworlders, but neither race seems to care beyond their own views. Luke has been in both worlds, so he has different feelings on the matter, but what about Alaric? Is he still very insular in his opinions of Shadowhunters and other Downworlders or will we see him develop an understanding of sorts?

The show really does have some heavy themes. As much as I have grown to love Alaric, he does have his drawbacks. As time goes by, he remains insular and if anything, develops a distrust for others. He is as loyal as anyone could ever be and that comes at a price. He rarely thinks beyond what’s best for the pack and especially Luke.

Are there any specific characters anywhere in the show universe you’d like to see Alaric interact with?

Actor wise, I personally would like to work with Alan Van Sprang (Valentine) more because I think he’s a great actor and I have a lot of respect for him. Character wise, I think Alaric would like a few minutes alone with a few characters to teach them a lesson or two.

You have a stunt performer background – have you had to use that experience so far this season? Any fight scenes you’ve been a part of?

I won’t lie; I haven’t had to do any stunts yet. It’s been odd. But who knows what’s in store for Alaric. Things are changing fast this season!

Are we going to see more precinct-based storytelling? Or will it be mostly werewolf shenanigans?

Oh, that’s a good question. I’m going to say it’s a fifty-fifty split until things start getting a little crazy in episode…..(laughs)

Give us a one-word spoiler for season two. Make it juicy (laughs).

One word? Just one? Ok ok! Here it is: FUNERAL. That’s right, funeral. Things get bananas! It’s going to be great!


Shadowhunters airs Mondays 8/7c on Freeform, and Tuesdays internationally on Netflix.

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