When you first heard the basic plot for Lucifer, a tv adaptation of the Vertigo comic by the same name, you may have been a bit…confused. The devil retires to Los Angeles to solve murders. But there’s so much more going on!
With the third season premiering on October 2, 2017, the show has been able to find a groove and really expand on the characters. In late September, the show hosted some reporters on set in Los Angeles to dive more into the approach of the series and Season 3.
On Expanding Characters and Tricia Helfer Returning
Lauren German (Det. Chloe Decker):
I think season two leaves off from Chloe more or less thinking she’s finally going to get more out of Lucifer. Maybe he’ll reveal who he really is. He promises her that he’ll share more with her and then yet again she’s kind of let down by feeling that he trusts her but not really and lets her in but not really. So this season, we start off with Chloe really frustrated, feeling like he won’t let her in and she’s like, “You know what? Fine. Who am I? Who is Chloe on her own? What am I without Lucifer?”
I think she’s trying to go, “Okay, put all that aside, what kind of detective and what kind of person was I before he came along? Snd let me get back to those roots.” So, that’s kind of where season three starts off. I think we’re kind of in that phase. And we have a love interest coming in for Chloe, and then the end, I’m not really sure. They’re being very mysterious. I’m not usually one to ask what’s going to happen anyhow, but I’ve heard that there’s gonna be some big surprises at the end of season 3, which we haven’t read yet.
DB Woodside (Amenadiel): In season three, I think he’s trying to hold onto his sense of faith. I think he’s trying to take it deeper to try to understand more why he lost his powers. Now, I think the revelation that he’s God’s favorite son probably helps. I think it restores his ability to have a stronger faith in himself and his father, but I think he’s still in some turmoil. I think he’s just chosen the path of optimism and chosen to have more faith and hope this season and we’ll see where that takes him, we’ll see if that’s successful.
Aimee Garcia (Ella Lopez): What I love about Ella, even from that first episode, is that even though she’s doing her work, she makes these off the cuff remarks and they really land on the other characters. She is so clear in her faith that she’ll just say things and she’ll throw them away and to them they’re like, huh, they really land heavy. That’s what I love about her is she’s very charming that way.
Then we’ll meet another one of her brothers, so we’ll get to know more about Ella’s family. As we know she has an abuelita who taught her how to pick locks, her brothers taught her how to steal cars, her one brother is obviously a criminal, as we know from last year. We’re going to meet another brother. We’re starting to expand Ella’s family. She comes from Detroit, from humble beginnings, and we learn just more and more tidbits about her. I say she’s such an interesting little character that just when you think you know her, all of a sudden you’re like, oh, not only does she speak Klingon and Spanish and English, she speaks French.
I think she’ll just continue being a very relatable character. Still no love interest for Ella, which I actually really like. I think there’s very few women on TV who don’t lead with their sexuality, and what I love about Ella is she’s in her own lane. She’s not self conscious, she’s a woman of faith, she’s a woman of science, and she’s not defined by a romantic relationship. She’s just defined by her work, her faith, and her family. I think, like our showrunner Ildy said, that if you are just comfortable in your skin and you embrace your quirks–she’s clumsy, she talks a lot–but if you own it, then it inspires other people to own their quirks and that’s why I think that she’s become such a beloved character. She’s not the coolest girl in the room, but a lot of us aren’t.
Tom Ellis (Lucifer): I’ve never gotten this far in the process in the States in terms of multiple seasons, and so it’s really nice. Because you always get to a point where, if something’s been canceled or if you’d only just done a pilot or something, there’s a hunger to tell more of the story. Now it feels like, I wouldn’t say we’re in a comfort zone, but it just feels like we’re able to tell our story and keep doing that. The more characters that we’ve introduced, the more fun we can have, because we can start cross pollinating these characters and doing more with them. The fact that our audience have really sort of run with it and embraced the show the way they have has been [wonderful].
We’re having a lot of fun this year with mixing our characters up and our character dynamics, and introducing people to different people. I’m really excited about what we’re doing with Tricia [Helfer] this year…and it’s been a real challenge for her as an actress to kind of play someone else, but not play someone else. So just the overall feeling of we’re onto something here as a show. I feel confident about where we’re at, and being able to just play with that, and feel confident that people will respond to it.
Tricia Helfer (Charlotte Richards): Struggling with identity. I think for a lot of the characters in many ways…I sat down with the writer’s room, as we all did, I think, in-between the scenes. And then really just waiting to see what…You know, I obviously talked to them about it, but waiting to see what their stab at the script was. And the first script that I’m in that was written by Chris Rafferty [Ep. 5, “Welcome Back, Charlotte Richards” airing October 30]. Great writer and somebody that I have a really good [rapport with]. We could just kind of brainstorm and try and figure it out. And then we had a really good scene with Tom [Ellis] in that episode of kind of her trying to reach out. There’s a familiarity, but she doesn’t know why. And people are telling her that she was close with him, so she kind of reaches out to him in a way that she thinks and she knows how and is very quickly told by him that that’s not the case. And then follows just a really–I think not heavy scene, but in terms of him kind of giving her the idea that she has to make some changes in her life. So she tries to do better afterwards. She realizes she needs to make some changes and so then she’s on a quest to try and figure out how to be a better person. And that’s not sometimes the easiest [thing] to do.
Ildy Modrovich (Co-Showrunner): We just fell in love with Tricia Helfer, which is not hard to do, and we just…she’s just so good on the show, but we told her and ourselves,”If we can’t think of something as awesome as Mom for you to play, then none of us wanted to do it.” So, we sort of developed it for a while, and then decided okay, I think we’ve got something pretty darn good. We talked to her about it, and she was like, “I’m in.”
Joe Henderson (Co-Showrunner): It was fun, ’cause season two we were like, “Alright, we know exactly who this character is, what the fun of it’s gonna be.” But once we had Tricia Helfer, we were like, “How do we hold on to her? What could we do?” But like Ildy said, it really was like you don’t want to waste that talent. You really need to find a role that is equally juicy for her. I think we got a really fun one. It’s great.
Modrovich: And the bar was somewhat high. I mean, she played the goddess of all creation. Like how do you…everything else pales. But we found the character of Charlotte is even more complex in a way.
On Tom Welling Joining The Cast
Ellis: Tom’s brought a whole new energy into it this year, which is sort of this new dynamic in the police station. We now have this kind of like stoic lieutenant. Of course, Lucifer doesn’t really care about him being a lieutenant or anything like that, but they do literally stand toe to toe, because we’re like both 6’3. The main thing about Tom’s character is that he takes the eye of a certain Detective Decker, and the way that falls on Lucifer is quite confusing for him because he’s made a decision. He and the Detective are simply that. They have a great partnership at work, but it can be no more than that because of everything he’s found out. And of course, like most things for Lucifer, he realizes it’s not that simple and [these developments] make him feel stuff.
Tom Welling (Lt. Marcus Pierce): This is a great show. I actually watch this show and so,, when they called and they were like, “You want to go on this?” I was like, yeah. And then a funny little thing is they said, “Well we’d like to have you for 10 episodes,” and I said, “Well, I’m not doing 10 episodes.” And they said, “You have to do 10 or you can’t do any of them.”
“Well, how about 17?” And they were like, “Okay.” So, that just goes to show how much I like the show. I just wanted to be on it even longer. Greg Beaman, who was a showrunner on Smallville, and a good friend of mine, he had called me when he heard that I might be on the show, and he goes, “Hey man, don’t overthink this. You’re’ going to love these guys. You’re going to love the cast. They work hard, they have fun but they don’t really mess around. You know what I mean, it’s a good environment.” And so he says, “You’ve got to do it.” And he was right. Getting to set, everybody was really fun, really cool. As you can see we all get along. It’s fun.
And Who, Exactly, Is Marcus Pierce?
Welling: Yeah, um, that’s the question. Lieutenant Marcus Pierce, he’s the new Lieutenant in town, as opposed to the new Sheriff. But, at the end of last season, which I watched, all these characters sort of got a little comfortable, I think, in their relationships with each other. And they needed…even Joe and Ildy, who run the show, they were like, we need a character to come in and sort of break everything up again. So that’s where Lieutenant Marcus Pierce comes in. You don’t really know who he is at the beginning, you probably won’t even like him at the beginning, but throughout the course of the season you’ll find out that he’s not who you think he is. And then when you do find out who he is, he might not even be that guy. And he gets closer to Chloe, and Lucifer probably doesn’t like that too much. So again, I’m just here to sort of shake things up.
Originally, they said, “We have a character in mind. We’d love for you to get on the phone with the show runners.” So I didn’t know what the character was. I got on the phone with Joe…and we just kind of like, geeked out. I geeked out on Lucifer a little bit on him, and he geeked out on Smallville…but he just started telling me about this guy. And then he’d be like, “But wait!” And then he’d go on again, and there were, like, three big movements in the character and the story arc that he sort of laid out in the course of about 20 minutes. And I was like, “Okay, this is going to be fun.”
On Knowing Character Arcs And Writing The Season
Welling: Funny thing is, this is true, the only people who know who I am are Joe and Ildy, the showrunners, and myself. We’re the only ones who actually know who my character is. The cast doesn’t’ even know. It was kind of a fun thing. Even on the first week…I don’t know if you guys gonna get a chance to talk to Aimee [Garcia, who plays Ella Lopez], but she’s like, “Who’s your character? I won’t tell anybody.” And she’s like secretly filming Instagram, posting as she’s asking me. I’m like, “Aimee!” And she’s like, “I know, I can’t help it.” So I think…we all know that Pierce and Chloe are going to get closer, and Lucifer probably will clock that maybe doesn’t like it too much. Whether it happens or not isn’t written yet. But I think [that] might happen, to be honest, [that we] go down that road.
Helfer: Yeah and, you know, there may be [some residual powers in Charlotte]. I don’t know. No idea where it’s going. To my knowledge there isn’t going to be, at least in the beginning or the long stretch of it. You know, there’s enough that she’s kind of dealing with on her own right now that to add that in might send her into a nervous breakdown. But there is some, with Lucifer, there’s sort of a connection and so maybe she is having sort of…she thinks they’re sort of nightmares or something, but there’s this thing that’s in her head that she’s remembering, but she can’t really put her finger on it and she doesn’t really know what it is. So maybe in the future there will be little flashes or something. It would certainly be fun to play. But at this point there isn’t.
Woodside: It’s great. They don’t really tell us a lot. We don’t really get that much advance notice so it’s just really flying by the seat of your pants. It’s a blessing to work with so many amazing writers. This really is a great writing staff. Our showrunners, Joe and Ildy, not only are they exceptionally talented, but they just happen to be two of the nicest people on the planet. It’s a joy and their doors are always open for us if we have any questions or if we want to make suggestions. It’s a great place to work. We’ll see what happens, we’ll see what they throw my character this season. I have faith and I’m just rolling with it and I’m excited to be back.
Modrovich: Well, we do change things as we go, which is why we don’t like to commit to telling things to the cast until we know for sure it’s gonna happen, ’cause we don’t want them to go, “Oh, but you said if…I was gonna have a relationship with a dragon.” Or whatever.
Henderson: I still think that’ll work.
Modrovich: But, yeah. We try to sort of do it in stages. Like at the beginning of the year we talk about…like this season we talked about it like a three-act play–like you know, Act One, Act Two, Act Three–kind of break it really loosely and very generally. Then we get One honed in, and then Two changes, so now we’re gonna change Two a little bit because One changed a little bit as we go. But we do try to map it out generally for the season before we even start writing.
Henderson: Like right now we have an end of Act Three that we love. It’s awesome. Will it still be the end of Act Three? We don’t know, and what I personally believe in is having goal posts, like our act breaks of here’s where we could go and we know this could be awesome, but allowing yourself the flexibility to just to discover things. Like season two, the Linda/Maze relationship was something that we didn’t quite realize was going to be as amazing as it was until we just kept adding scenes of them together and kept discovering it. You gotta leave yourself the room for discovery, otherwise you just end up breaking a story so regimented that you lose opportunities.
New and Further Developing Relationships
Woodside: I think the most exciting thing is the different pairings that they have. I’m starting off this season, I had one or two scenes with, Amenadiel did, with Ella Lopez. Aimee’s just, she’s just fantastic to work with. We had a lot of fun.
They’ve also re-paired Amenadiel with Dr. Linda. They really start a very, very real and nice friendship and so we’re going to see what happens to that friendship when our favorite demon [Maze] comes back, Lesley-Ann, after giving birth to her beautiful son. We’re going to see what happens when she comes back and her ex-boyfriend and her best friend are now friends and how does she feel about it.
Garcia: Ella gets to interact with a lot of other characters. Her relationship with Lucifer deepens and becomes more a brother-sister relationship. They…go on a really fun road trip to Vegas [Ep. 6, “Vegas With Some Radish,” airing November 6] where he discovers a nugget about her that he’s like, “What?” She says something and it’s the only moment we see Ella vulnerable. Ella’s so comfortable in her skin, she’s so clear about who she is, she’s so unapologetic about her lack of filter and it’s the first moment that she says something and it takes him aback. That’s something that will be explored later on in the season.
Her friendship with Chloe deepens, they definitely become…she becomes a sounding board for Chloe when she’s dealing with wondering why Pierce is acting a certain way towards her. Ella is the girl that she comes to and so we’ll see that. She meets Trixie for the first time, which I know a lot of people are saying that Ella’s like the older Trixie, so we’ll get to see both of them together. She’s a little amazing Latina actress, Cubana, and I adore her. I’m like, “When are we going to do scenes together Scarlett?” It finally happens this season.
Ella also has her first [interactions] with Amenadiel. Obviously she’s a woman of faith, a woman of science, so I love that they waited until season three for Ella to have her first interaction with a real life angel. I liken Ella to almost an angel in real life and she gets to finally meet a celestial being and almost show a real life angel an angelic perspective, which I think is so sweet.
German: The Maze scenes are fun. I think the audience really likes seeing sort of how…mixed with Chloe who’s just so by the book and…trying to do the right thing and Maze has a sex toy in one hand and a samurai sword in the other, inherently it’s funny stuff. Those scenes are always fun. Maze is such a badass. I’m hoping that [Lesley-Ann Brandt]…she’s been on maternity leave. She had a baby, maybe two months ago, so she hasn’t worked much this season at all, but we’re hoping to get her back ’cause the fans love her. She…kills it. She’s great.
You know, I rarely have scenes with Rachael Harris, Dr. Linda. Her little time is eaten up a lot with Lucifer, which makes sense, and then her and Maze have become really close friends. I don’t know how much of that was in the end of Season Two, I can’t quite remember, but they’re like best friends now. Yeah, I just love working with Rachael. I mean, I think the hardest I’ve ever laughed, ever, since I’ve been doing this, since I was 20, was when we shot the pilot and it was Lucifer and I doing the Dr. Linda scene. You know when you laugh so hard, you lose it? Usually at parties. Never at work, right? Or like, whatever, but I was laughing so hard, I couldn’t even look at her, and I just…on her coverage, when the camera isn’t seeing me, I literally was like this [shielding my eyes], and I just said, “I’m so sorry. I’ve never been so unprofessional. I’m just gonna stare at the floor. I don’t know what to do. You’re too funny. I can’t keep it up.”
The Real Life Impact of Ella Lopez
Garcia: At [this year’s San Diego] Comic-Con, I was so touched that these young girls from Australia had slept over two nights to win tickets for a signing with the Lucifer cast. One girl cosplayed Ella. She made a forensic jacket and she had a top knot and she had glasses. I was so touched because usually at Comic-Con people are cosplaying Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn and Catwoman and these superheroes, these larger than life superheroes. I was so touched that these girls were cosplaying Ella Lopez who is a scientist.
I literally cried a little bit because I thought wow, I feel so lucky that…when I was little, there wasn’t a Latina scientist on TV. Someone told me the other day that I’m the only Latina scientist on prime time TV. It’s rad and it’s also, we need more. I shouldn’t be the only one, I should be one of many.
I was so touched that these girls from the other side of the world dressed up like a Latina scientist. They weren’t Latina, they were Australian. I was so proud of the fact that Ella almost has this superhero quality, except look, we all want to be Wonder Woman, but we’re never going to have a magic lasso. But we can inspire the next generation of women to go into the sciences and work for NASA and get us to Mars. That was such a pride for me.
I do hope that she’s relatable and I hope that she’s inspiring and I hope that she does more than just be the comic relief of a show. I feel like Ella is almost starting her own movement in her own subtle way and I feel very, very grateful to the writers and to the rest of my cast that there’s no ego. You know what I mean? Everyone wants everyone to shine. Lauren German is the first person to say, “Oh my God, that’s so funny, do that again.” Everybody wants everyone to feel comfortable and that’s why I think we’re such a good band because there’s no competition. I’m really proud to be part of this cast and crew.
On The Character Study Nature Of The Series
Ellis: It is fun…It’s an opportunity to really ground the character, as well, because on the surface Lucifer is this sort of flamboyant soul who just doesn’t care about anything. And that’s great, and that’s great fun to play, but to be able to sort of ground it in a sort of emotional reality is satisfying from an acting point of view as well. And I think it’s good for our audience because they can get taken along by this sort of whimsical character, and then all of a sudden something happens to them and they really care about him, and they hadn’t realized quite how much they care ‘cause they were just too busy just either rolling their eyes or laughing at him. It is very satisfying to do those moments.
Woodside: One of the things that I love about the dynamic between the brothers is…that a lot of the things that Amenadiel harps on Lucifer about, Amenadiel possesses himself. The difference, and this was something that the writers pointed out, is that Amenadiel learns quickly from his mistakes. There’s something that’s amazing about that because he will do something that’s very similar to what Lucifer does, but he, in some strange way, the consequences of his actions really impact him. Even though it tends to knock him back–which as an actor is always exciting to play, to have the rug pulled out from underneath you–the way in which he overcomes that is always exciting to me. It’s a testament to these writers also, to continually give me something to overcome, some incredible obstacle. I do think that’s the difference.
I think Lucifer doesn’t necessarily…I think he learns things, but his arrogance is so huge that…it’s usually something that turns into great comedy. Amenadiel’s not the funniest god around, he takes himself a little bit too seriously–which is also fun to play because I think I tend to be a very intense individual. I think there’s something exciting about that. Someone who’s intense. I think the mistake that we make is, oh, they’re super serious, but I also think that someone who’s intense, they know how to have fun in a very intense way. They love intensely. It’s just that everything that they do is with this intensity that can be overwhelming depending on who’s on the receiving end.
Modrovich: I think it’s the ultimate anti-hero, and a character who’s deeply flawed. And so, because we knew we were taking this ultimate villain and making him our hero, you have to get into the gray area. You have to constantly explore the gray area in that character. And if you’re gonna do that with him, you really gotta do that with everybody else, too. I mean, we knew that we wanted to explore an angel with flaws as well. So Amenadiel is this pious guy but he’s got an ego. He’s got an ego on him, and so everybody has human [qualities], our celestials are human and our humans have sort of some superpowers as well…I think just having that one character, Lucifer, be so complex, we knew everybody had to step up, too, and match that. So…we knew we were going to dig as deep as we could.
Henderson: The show has quite possibly one of the most absurd premises you’ve ever heard of, which I love about it, and I think the only way you can earn something like that is character, is grounding it. I love it when shows, comics, movies take an insane idea and humanize it. To me that’s the fun of what we do. It’s like, what greater challenge than making us care about the devil? I love that challenge. That’s fun. And then around him, how do you care about an angel? How do you care about the detective who works with the devil? The fun of it is this is absurd. Make me care about it. And if you make someone care about something like that, you’re along for the ride. That’s the TV I like watching.