We caught up with Kevin Alejandro of “Lucifer” fame who shares with us his true passion for storytelling and representing the voices that needs to be heard.
“We tell ourselves stories in order to live,” said American author Joan Didion. When things go dark, we lighten it up with our imagination. This is why people love a good story; something that can transport us into another universe that may be beyond our imagination. This is also what Kevin Alejandro—currently best known for his role in hit TV series “Lucifer”—is mostly interested in these days, as seen through his growing list of director credits. In “Lucifer” alone, he has directed two episodes: season three’s “Once Upon a Time” and season five’s mid-season finale “Spoiler Alert.”
Before “Lucifer,” the Texas-born actor is known for playing Jesús Velázquez in HBO’s “True Blood,” a police detective in “Southland,” a gay hustler in “Big Love,” a principled D.A. in “Shark,” a federal agent in the film “Red State,” a low-rider guy acting alongside Ryan Gosling in “Drive” and a gangster in “Ugly Betty.”
Recently, we caught up with Alejandro to talk about his life during the COVID-19 pandemic, “Lucifer” and his passion to be a great storyteller that made him launch Alejandro Films.
DAMAN: Hi Kevin! Can you believe that it’s been nine years since we featured you on our magazine? How are you doing right now?
Kevin Alejandro: I can’t believe how quickly times flies. I can’t believe it’s been nine years already. As far as the pandemic goes, I’m trying to do the best I possibly can just like everybody else. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions, but fortunately, I have been in a position in life where I have had some time to really focus on what’s important. And that’s my family. I’m grateful for the amount of time that we’ve had together. It’s made us an even stronger family unit. We’ve gotten a lot closer during this time. I’m glad the world is slowly trying to find a new sense of normalcy and happy to see that local restaurants are opening again and I’m very grateful we’re back on “Lucifer” and starting to work and hopefully not get shut down.
DA: Have you developed any new hobbies or fun routines during the lockdown over there?
KA: Me and my son picked up disc golf. I was thinking that he’s 12 years old now and he’s getting older and there’s going to come a time when doesn’t want to hang out with his dad as much. We surf together and do other things, but I wanted another sport or something for us to do and one of my cousins in Texas introduced me to the sport so we have been doing it every single weekend. We throw weighted discs towards baskets with the same rules as golf and it’s really fun.
DA: Overall, what would you say what was the most eye-opening moment or thing that you’ve experienced during this pandemic?
KA: I took a moment to realize how much people need each other. When I look around and talk to different people one of the things I ask is: “What do you miss the most?” and it’s just a simple hug. This whole time has really made me appreciate and understand just how much we need a simple hug sometimes, or to hold someone’s hand. I realized what a positive effect it has on people and we are definitely missing it right now.
DA: What never fails to cheer you up? Especially these days…
KA: My wife and son. They have a really positive vibe about them. I can’t get sunken into any really dark place if they’re around me. They are my life.
DA: The 2020 Emmys was held just a while ago. How do you feel about this? What with the pandemic still ongoing and all…
KA: It’s really great that people are still being celebrated for what they love to do and it’s great that they are able to do that virtually. It would have been difficult in our industry if they weren’t able to celebrate people’s work.
DA: Also, congratulations on the latest season of “Lucifer.” In a nutshell, how would you describe your feelings for this season?
KA: I’m so happy that we are back and able to continue to do this show that we all love to do with the same people but it’s extremely challenging. I just directed the premiere of season six and there were a lot of changes that had to be made. We are very strict with the safety rules, we have an excellent COVID team that is on point. We are all just learning a new way of working. You’re trying to be creative in an environment that doesn’t really allow the rhythm to take place to be as creative as you want to be, which can sometimes be an issue. The scripts are shorter and there’s a bunch of rules now on the way things have to be shot. But, we did it and we are still doing it. The experience is not only challenging but it’s awesome. We are just learning a new way to work. It’s a new system we all have to learn to continue to do what we love.
DA: You also directed the mid-season finale episode “Spoiler Alert.” What was it like being behind the camera for that episode? And, looking back, do you wish you could have changed anything?
KA: I don’t wish I could have changed anything on that episode. I am so extremely proud of it. It was the first window that I actually saw my own individual style starting to creep out. I feel like the experiences I’ve had up until that point really helped me start to develop my own style of filmmaking and I’m very proud of it. I had the most amazing team to work with on that project from the visual effects to the stunts. I had everything thrown to me during that episode because it was giant and I think we knocked it out of the ballpark.
DA: Not too long ago we had the opportunity to speak with Tom Ellis. And naturally we discussed the end of “Lucifer.” How do you feel about the show coming to a close?
KA: The show has had an amazing run and season five is going out in a huge bang. Every episode leads to what we thought was going to be a season finale. At the last minute, they changed their minds and said we are going for one more. Everyone put in 110 percent in order to create the best final season and that was season five. And now getting season six is like a cherry on top. The show has run its course in a special way and our fans still appreciate it and are invested in our story. Like every great thing it should come to an end before we don’t like it anymore. Everything is working out exactly the way it’s supposed to work out.
DA: “Lucifer” is not the first supernatural series you’ve played in, as you’ve also appeared in “True Blood.” What’s the most unique or fun part about working on a supernatural series?
KA: Your imagination has no limits. You can go into any universe that’s created and look around and see what rules are set in front of you for that particular universe and swim around as deep as you want into it. That’s really what I love working on those kinds of shows.
DA: Out of all the characters you’ve played so far, has there been any that really took an emotional toll on you? How do you handle that kind of pressure?
KA: I think almost every role that I’ve had the opportunity to play have taken some sort of emotional toll on me. I like to think that in order for me to believe it I have to give all of myself to each and every character. Luckily, the roles that I have played so far do have depth and range of emotion and I’ve had the opportunity to tap into different parts of my personality that I didn’t even know existed. The most challenged I’ve ever been was doing a play, it was Dostoevsky’s “The Brothers Karamazov” as an MFA project at the University of Texas at Austin and I played Dmitri, one of the lead brothers. That really challenged me to my utmost and I was exhausted every night after every performance. That was the changing point in what I realized I could do. It was that experience that made me go you know what this is what I’m going to do forever.
DA: As an actor, what is your biggest dream up until today? Or, perhaps, what would be your dream project?
KA: I would love play the titular character of Macbeth. That is a role that always connected to me for one reason or another and I would love the opportunity to play it either in film or on stage. My dream is to do it on filmm but I would take any chance I could to play that character.
DA: We’ve noticed that you also look really fit. What would be your go-to fitness or diet approach? And not just for this stay-at-home period but in general…
KA: One of my closest friends who happens to be one of the best personal trainers in all of Hollywood gives me my advice and I train with him. He also trains a couple people on “Lucifer” as well. Paolo Mascitti—I turn to him for advice, he is so educated not only in physical fitness training but also in nutrition as well.
DA: If you could ask anything for 2021, what would it be?
KA: That we come out of 2020 stronger than what we are and better than who we have been and that don’t have President Donald Trump anymore.
DA: What are your hopes for the future of the movie industry in general?
KA: I hope that the movie industry can figure out a way to continue to move forward. Telling stories and being entertained by those stories both in an intellectual and creative way is very important to our world especially for artists and an escape for an audience. If there’s anything I can hope it’s that the stories become more complex and elevate conversations. That’s why I have my own production company, Alejandro Films. Our intention is to elevate a conversation in an entertaining way, to tell culturally diverse stories, to tell the stories that haven’t been heard, to give people of my Latin heritage or my wife’s Filipino heritage a platform. I hope the industry moves in that direction, giving everyone the opportunity to tell great stories.
PHOTOGRAPHY IAN PHILLIPS
STYLING KIMBERLY GOODNIGHT
U.S.-BASED CREATIVE DIRECTOR MITCHELL NGUYEN MCCORMACK
GROOMING MICHAEL JANDA USING STARRING BY TED GIBSON
SKINCARE BY LAURA MERCIER
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