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Kevin Alejandro Dishes On His Roles On Lucifer, Arrow, And More - Exclusive Interview

You may recognize actor Kevin Alejandro from any number of high-profile roles he's had over the years — from brujo Jesus Velasquez on True Blood to Brother Blood on Arrow. But he's arguably best known for playing Detective Dan Espinoza on the cult hit Netflix series Lucifer.

Lucifer follows the Devil himself — also known by his terrestrial name, Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis) — as he lives his life on Earth as a carefree playboy who also happens to help solve murders for the Los Angeles Police Department. Part of his crack crimefighting team is his frequent rival Detective Espinoza, ex-husband of lead detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German).

Lucifer, which is executive produced by Jerry Bruckheimer (CSI, Cold Case) and based on the DC comic of the same name, has had a wild ride on the air, having been canceled by Fox after three seasons and subsequently picked up by Netflix after the massive social media campaign #SaveLucifer. Lucifer's fifth season was supposed to be its last, but the popular streaming service made an eleventh-hour surprise renewal for a sixth and final season that surprised everyone — even the cast.

In an exclusive interview with Looper, Alejandro talked about that shocking renewal, what to expect from the eventual series finale of Lucifer, and how his time on Arrow scared the pants off him.

Kevin Alejandro and the cast of Lucifer were as surprised as anyone by the season 6 renewal

What can fans expect from Dan on this season of Lucifer?

You guys can expect to see a lot of the same — Dan trying to figure out how to navigate through life and make some pretty dumb choices, but all from a place of kindness and genuine heart. He's faced with some really big challenges in season five. And not only do you watch him navigate how to self-heal and deal with whatever is put in front of him, you also want to help push him along. This is the audience's opportunity to really sort of put themselves in Dan's shoes and say "What would I do?"

How surprised were you by the season six renewal?

Oh my gosh, it came out of nowhere. The season was written, the series finale was written. I think it was [while filming] the episode before the last episode of season five that we found out. At first I thought it was a joke. It was like, but everything's done! But thank goodness Netflix changed their mind for one reason or another.

We came into season five firing on all cylinders, from the writers to the actors to the crew... the entire Lucifer family. Everyone came in giving 110% thinking this was it. When we heard the news, there was confusion and joy and tears and fear of like, "How can we possibly do better than what we just did?" But the writers figured it out, and we're so excited to come back for yet another final season.

Is the season five finale going to be the same as it would have been had the show not gotten a sixth season or did you have to redo it?

Yeah, they had to tweak it. Because what our showrunners and writers did a really good job of was ending the series in such a way where I feel like our audience would've stepped away from the show at the end of season five going, "Wow." You know? And so, that being said, they can't do it that way anymore. They have to save that for next season. So yeah, they had to rewrite it. They had to make some minor changes to the season five finale to extend the show's life and end it the way it's supposed to for season six now.

Filming of season 5 of Lucifer was cut short

How does it feel to be on a show with such a strong fanbase that has helped save the show not once, but twice?

Well, yeah, without our fans, we don't have a show. They breathe new life into us, and we're all eternally grateful to them. And our fans are just another one of our series regulars. We listen to them, we hear their heartbeat, we hear what they want to see. And if it fits within the context of the world that we've all helped create together, we go in that direction. They're very much a part of who we are.

When you thought season five was the last season, did you start looking for other gigs not thinking there'd be a season six?

No. We didn't quite get to finish out the season because COVID-19 hit and we had to stop filming. And I thought, "Okay, it gives me a little bit of a break, a little bit of a reset, some time to get some work done and to reassess some things." And that lasted for about maybe a month. And then the reality of the [lockdown] situation hit and I really just started focusing on other things, like home and family.

Hopefully you guys get to finish shooting the tail end of the show sooner rather than later...

We will. We're expected to go back soon. The conversations are there. Nothing's been totally, totally approved yet, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. I was fortunate enough to direct the last episode of the first half of season five and I have been approved to direct another episode for season six, and I'm hearing that it might be the season premiere. So that gives me hope as well. I think we're all just anxiously waiting to go back and finish it off, and leave this show in a great, positive way that our audience is going to be like, "We did it, we did it together, what a journey."

Kevin Alejandro reveals a secret about his character on Lucifer

What initially drew you to the role of Dan?

The strongest thing that I really related to Dan was how human he is and how flawed he is, because I feel like he was, for lack of better words, the one entity that was the most human and that really gave me something to attach to. And I think it does the same for the audience because we go through life and we navigate however we navigate things and we react to certain things. We just react and we try to lead from a place of goodness, but sometimes it's just the wrong choice. And that's really what attracted me to him — he isn't your hero. He isn't your bad guy. He is a human being who makes choices that are sometimes not the right ones.

What's something that fans probably don't know or realize about Dan?

That's a really good question, because I think Dan wears his heart on his sleeve and at this point the audience knows him pretty well. So, something that the audience doesn't know about Dan? That he can sing.

Is that something we'll see this season?

It'll come out.

Surely there's a ton of them, but any memorable moments from the Lucifer set that really stand out to you?

Our show is a gem. It's not often that you get to be part of something that everyone loves to be a part of. So the whole experience in general is just a real diamond to be a part of. We're all so happy to be there and stunned that we're coming back for season six, but also very excited that we get to go one more time. That being said, because we're so comfortable with each other, we're always cracking jokes on each other and pranking each other. It's those kinds of things that make our environment so fun, and it's not just among the cast, it's the crew as well. We're all a bunch of giant kids who get to show up to work every day and clown around.

Kevin Alejandro opens up about his role as Brother Blood on Arrow

Including Lucifer you've appeared on quite a few cult hit shows, including True Blood, Arrow, and Southland, which also experienced the same situation of being canceled then picked up by another entity. In general, what draws you towards roles?

If I can relate to it. There have been several opportunities that I just couldn't find within myself. I have to be able to relate to it, and I've been fortunate to be able to relate to all of those ones mentioned and have some part of my being that actually resonates within the characters that they've written. And if it's fun, it's got to be fun first and foremost, and a good challenge, something that will take me to the next level as an actor. I want to be challenged. We all want that next step, that next "Oooh, this one is going to be hard, but we're going to do it." So I look at the challenge of it as well.

Going back to Arrow, do you have any standout memories from your time on that?

I've been really fortunate to have a really good run so far, and knock on wood that it continues. But Arrow was a little bit nerve-wracking to come into a show that was already established and already had a big fanbase, and it was a world that I wasn't familiar with. So I really had to do my research with playing Brother Blood because I wasn't educated in it, and I knew how niche this world was and how it was important to not offend anybody with my portrayal of this character because it already exists in a world beyond me.

So the standout moment for me was actually moving to Vancouver to shoot my first few episodes and locking myself in my hotel room and really just figuring out how to play this guy. I wouldn't go out. I was like a crazy person talking to myself every day, walking around like a crazy person, researching what kind of a human being he could be... like all the actor-y mumbo jumbo stuff that not a lot of people want to know about, but I was that actor. That was a standout moment, figuring out who Brother Blood was, and it all happened because I was fortunate to be in a position where [showrunner] Greg Berlanti called and asked if I was interested in playing the character. And once everything worked out the way it was supposed to, that's when the real work began and I had to figure it out as I was going along. So that sticks out because it was a scary moment.

Kevin Alejandro loves getting up close and personal with fans

Because of your roles on both Arrow and Lucifer, you're now part of the DC Comics universe. What's that like?

I'm very lucky because it's not an easy world to become a part of, and I think if I had failed in my portrayal of Brother Blood on Arrow, I probably wouldn't have been invited back to the universe. You know what I mean? And that's just a testament to putting in the work, putting in the time, putting in the research. And once you're in, it's amazing. The fans are the most loyal and the most respectful — but they expect a lot. They expect you to do what you're supposed to do, but once you're there and you've proven to them that you deserve to be there, they love you for it. And I love being part of that universe.

When you attend comic cons, who are you most recognized for? Because you have a few roles that people probably geek out over...

You know what, for a long time it was True Blood, but now it's definitely "Detective Douche" on Lucifer. Yeah, that nickname stuck.

Any fun memories from a comic con or meeting a fan?

Oh my gosh, it's just a whirlwind of overstimulation. You have all these amazing costumes and the cosplay. People are there because they love it. This is their world. So I'm always just like a kid in a candy store who's wowed by everything that's going on. But there are some great parties and great people. I just love interacting with the fans because we do this for them, you know? And, like, my favorite moments are when I'm kicking it after hours where we're not... you know, for lack of better words... not on display. When I'm just like, "Oh, hey, I just ran into you at a party or at a bar or in the street" and we're just sitting there talking. Those moments are highlights for me.