Exclusive Interview with Shadowhunter’s Dominic Sherwood


You could say Jace Wayland is having a bit of a rough patch. He’s seeing things, having wicked nightmares and he keeps losing time, as if he’s blacked out. He fears he may suffer from mental illness, like his mother, but he’s actually under the puppetry of another mother… the mother of all warlocks, Lilith. And she is pulling his strings in directions you don’t even want to imagine.

But for his portrayer, Dominic Sherwood, this season is a juicy, emotionally turbulent story arc with challenges, both physical and emotional. When we asked if you had any questions for him you answered with a resounding, “YES!” So, for the first time in Talk Nerdy history, we’re doing an entire fan-led interview… with a few bonus questions at the end. Hey, I’m a fan too!

Lucky for you, I read your questions to Dom over the phone. Lucky for me, I got to hear his answers in that luscious British accent. What? I’m not impervious, especially when he calls me by name or “love.” Would you be? 

Without further adieu, here are Dom’s answers to your serious and not-so-serious questions? (P.S. I combined the first two, as they’re similar)

Dom: From an emotional point of view, the hardest thing we’ve done actually hasn’t been seen yet, and all I can really say about it is that this creature has the ability to really hurt the people that Jace cares about. That’s all I can really tease. That’s the hardest I’ve had to do so far because, you know, I have to watch the people that I care about, both as an actor and a character, really be sort of emotionally and physically destroyed by the event surrounding these particular occasions. So, that’s really, really hard work because it’s soul destroying to see people convey that kind of sadness. It’s not been seen yet, but it’s on the way.

Dom: [laughs] How will he handle it? I think, wow… I think he’d probably spend a lot of time playing with his fangs because I think I would too. If you had fangs all the sudden that’d be neat. Ya know? And then I think very quickly he would hate it because he can’t eat anything, he can only drink blood. I think he’d hate it very quickly. And then… I don’t know, after that, I don’t know. But honestly– That’s so funny, Alberto’s calling me right now. What a weird coincidence. What a strange thing to happen.

Dom: Well, I would be a warlock from our show because they seem all-powerful. There’s nothing really that they can’t do. We sort of joke about it all the time, like, “Why do we walk around New York when there are warlocks everywhere that we could just maybe pay for their services or offer them something.” Like, “Hey, can you just portal me to here so I don’t have to walk 20 blocks in rush hour. Could you do that for me?” Warlock, hands down a warlock. They can do anything.

Dom: Yeah, it was great. Will and I’ve known each other for such a long time. We actually used to work together in Hollister, England. Six years ago. So, it was really nice to have him on set and, you know, on top of our friendship, he’s just an amazing actor. He’s really, really, really phenomenal at what he does. Having him on set just sort of elevates everyone’s game, which is fantastic. It’s not a bad thing to have him there because of that.

Dom: I wish, I wish I could tell you that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, or on the horizon. All I can say is that his friends and his family, they’re all there for each other, they all support each other and will always be there to support one another. You know, as long as they have each other everything is fixable, everything… There is a light as long as they have each other, that’s the best way of putting it.

Dom: Yeah, there’s a lot going on between the two of them in the next couple of episodes. There’s not a huge amount I can say without giving anything away. Yeah, I mean, yeah… I sort of… Jace kind of gets the drop on Clary a little bit and Clary kind of falls for it. That’s a good tease actually, isn’t it?

Dom: [laughs] Yeah, I’d say we’re pretty close. I think Matt and Esther are probably closer to being parabatai in real life because seeing the two of them together, and I say this to them all the time, they’re like the missing piece of each other’s puzzle. They really are, they’re just so wonderful together and they’re such a joy to be around, so I think it’s probably that. And now listen, don’t get me wrong, I’m a little jealous of both Esther and Matt, of their relationship with each other. Just a little bit, you know, not too much. I’m very respectful, but a little jealous. But Matt and I are very close, yeah, very, very close.


Terri: What is the makeup process like for the Owl, or is that a mask?

Dom: Yeah, actually it is. It’s a full face mask. So, as far as makeup goes those are actually really easy days because I don’t do hair and makeup, they just put the mask on. There’s nothing I needed to do which was quite nice actually. Quite nice. I got to show up… I get to be sort of 15, 20 minutes later than everyone else and just put a costume on and go to set. Quite nice, I quite enjoyed it.

Terri: I bet. But surely wearing it gets old? Do you have to keep it on for very long? I’d feel like I was suffocating.

Dom: Yeah, it can be… Well, it depends on the day too, right? If it’s cold, it’s not too bad because it’s quite insulated. But if it’s warm, you get really hot in that mask, real quick. And, you know, if it’s raining it sort of starts to fill up with water and you can’t really see. If it’s dark it’s hard to see. You can breathe but not exactly as you would, obviously not wearing a mask. So, you know, it’s something that takes some real getting used to.

Terri: I don’t think I could do it. I’d rather have the makeup than wear the mask. What do you think has been the most gratifying part of your storyline this year, as an actor?

Dom: Most gratifying? That’s interesting… I actually, this year, have had a lot of fun working with Anna Hopkins [Lilith], who just does such a fantastic job as this sort of evil, powerful, ethereal being. You know, during a lot of these scenes I don’t really say anything, so I’m just sort of under her control. Stood there watching and listening. And I get to really watch and really listen to performances without really any sort of thought of my own about reactionary acting with her. I get to sort of just experience what she’s doing, and it’s really amazing, she’s such a fantastic addition to this cast.

[laughs] I can’t even tell you how different she is from this character. She’s a real love and she’s really fun to be around. She’s just a really lovely girl; but she’s like the opposite of Lilith, which is nice, because if they were the same then everything would have gone wrong. But she is great, and that’s probably been some of the most fun I’ve had on set because she’s fantastic, really fantastic.

Terri: Is it hard to hold that blank state the whole time?

Dom: Yeah, that’s right. Yeah, it can be. Yeah, it can be. Especially when she’s sort of being so evil and like grabbing your face and those pointing arrows are all up in your grill the whole time. It can be, yeah, it can be a little weird.

Terri: Do you want to leave one more tease for the fans as far as what to hold out for in the remaining part of the season? I know they’re worried.

Dom: No, because it gets worse. We’ve not even gotten started yet. And it’s funny because I think a lot of the fans out there kind of think they know where we’re going and kind of think they know what’s going to happen at the tail end and stuff and you don’t. Trust me, you don’t. We’re going to send you for a loop, I promise. So, all I can say is hold out that hopefully at the end of season three things are all nice, but historically that’s not really been the case with our show, has it?

Terri: No, not usually. How long until you guys are finished filming the season?

Dom: We’re about to move on to 3B, episode 20 of 3B, so we’ve got about two weeks.

Terri: Oh, excellent. And then my last question: what do you nerd out over?

Dom: So I’ve got two right now. I’ve got a total geek crush, not even a geek crush, just a regular crush but because of… So Emilia Clarke is my new total crush and Tom Holland is my new Spider-Man, is my… These are my two like nerdy crushes. Emilia Clarke and Tom Holland. Total nerd over those guys.

Final note: If you didn’t see your question here, I’m sorry. Dom’s been a busy bee doing interviews, so I combed through all the posts and tried to select unique questions you likely wouldn’t see anywhere else. That said, with any luck, we’ll get to do more fan-led interviews down the line. (Fingers crossed!)

Please, let us know how you liked the interview in the comments section below! 

Catch Dom on Shadowhunters, Tuesday’s on Freeform at 8 pm (as if you didn’t know). You can also follow him on Twitter & Instagram. (Probably knew that too!)


This interview has been lightly edited for clarity. 

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