Shadowhunters Interview: Harry Shum Jr. Talks Magnus Bane
The multi-talented Harry Shum Jr. is possibly best known to TV audiences as Mike Chang on the FOX series Glee. Now, he takes on a new and very different role as the enigmatic and long-lived Magnus Bane in the Freeform television Shadowhunters which premieres Tuesday night, January 12.
We spoke with Harry in August on one of the Toronto-based sets of Shadowhunters to talk about his character, and, of course, we got a question in there about being half of “Malec.” You can watch the interview below; a transcription follows.
>KSITETV’s CRAIG BYRNE: A lot of fans know you from your dancing prowess. Will any of that factor in to how Magnus Bane moves around and fights?
HARRY SHUM JR.: You know, I get asked that question a lot. I think what I am able to put into Magnus with my dance background is a fluidity and an almost cat-like movement, and the way that he is able to express himself through movement. I don’t know if you’ll see him full-out dance like Mike Chang did in Glee, but I’ll definitely utilize my dance background.
Because Magnus doesn’t age, does that mean we might see him in flashbacks to another time, maybe with a child Clary or something like that?
Yeah. I hope so. I think definitely within the story, if you look at how Clary was able to have her mind kind of, like, erased, you have to have a warlock to do that. So, you’ll definitely see some flashbacks. I hope to see some flashbacks with Magnus, because you have 400 years of history. I hope that we get to tap into that.
With those 400 years of history… have you read any of the books or looked into any of that yet?
I have. I’ve read The Bane Chronicles and City of Bones. Great books. It’s a lot to read, so I’m excited to dig into more of it.
What is it about Alec that gets Magnus’ attention?
You know, I think there’s this sense of innocence, but also this — almost asking that help, almost, to help me find who I really am, and I think there’s that quality in that is also a quality that Magnus hasn’t seen in a long time throughout his history…. especially the past relationships that he’s had, it’s been a little more difficult, so I think he’s finally opening up in that sense.