How popular is Fox’s Lucifer? So popular that the 2016 San Diego Comic Con press room for the supernatural action/comedy/drama was standing room only, with not a single empty chair to be found. In fact, when series star Tom Ellis (‘Lucifer Morningstar’) and series newcomer Tricia Helfer (who plays the Devil’s mom) came to our table to be interviewed, only one chair was available for the two stars. I now have the distinction of having given up my chair to the mother of the Devil, something not many people can claim.
Lucifer will return for a second season on September 19, 2016 and will introduce Helfer as the mother of Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside) and Lucifer who has just escaped from a cell in Hell. Paired up together to discuss the series, Ellis and Helfer talked about what viewers can expect from the new season and from the introduction of this pivotal character.
Tom Ellis and Tricia Helfer Interview:
How is the dynamic going to work between Lucifer and his mom?
Tom Ellis: “Well, I mean from the start even with our celestial characters in this show, we’ve tried to work under the notion of making it relatable, making it like a real family. There’s a lot of other things that go on within that family. But, so there’s some unresolved stuff between mom and her sons. But at the heart of it she’s still their mom. We’ve not experienced that in the show yet where Lucifer experiences real love – unconditional love – which is a bit of a curveball for him.”
Tricia Helfer: “It definitely has, as mother’s do, has a tendency to bring out a side of their children that they don’t show sometimes to other people and how they relate to each other. There’s also going to be where you have a personal relationship, individual relationship with each one of your children as well. Meanwhile, still having a family one as well. So, it’s a fun dynamic to work with.
I worked with Tom first and I hadn’t even met D.B. because he wasn’t up there yet. I think it was good because the first time I had a scene with him was him alone – him and I. We had a scene alone together for the first time as opposed to, ‘Oh, it’s the family scene.’ Instead we kind of got to work on our individual relationships first before we had a group scene.”
Tom Ellis: “Before group therapy.”
When do we first see Lucifer’s mom?
Tricia Helfer: “In the first episode, yeah. But you definitely get to know…I mean, it’s not teased throughout the entire season who she is, is she there. We do get to meet her in the first episode and you really get to understand who she is and what she wants in the second episode.”
Tom Ellis: “Or so she says…”
The scripts are sharp. Do you just react that you can’t believe what you’re getting to say every single episode?
Tom Ellis: “Yeah. I mean, our writing team are amazing and I think one of the things I love about it is that they really love the show as well. I think certainly writing the character of Lucifer for them from the start was a bit of a muse as a writer. It’s like, ‘Oh my god, I’ve got this opportunity to have a character say what he wants to who he wants,’ and all of these gifts, basically. So, the standard of the writing on the show has been something that we wanted to keep from the pilot. The original pilot script, the original character that was realized by Tom Kapinos who writes these characters so brilliantly, we wanted to keep that voice heard. Our writers have just latched onto it and run with it, really. The show has really evolved.
When we’re at work, it’s not always as scripted. We throw stuff in when it feels right. It’s a very sort of collective sense of creativity.”
Can you talk about working with D.B. Woodside?
Tom Ellis: “Hate him! Hate him, hate him. [Laughing] No, he’s great. We have a lot of fun. We do love each other dearly off screen. It is fun to have spats with people when they’re your mates. But not just D.B. – the rest of the cast we are a bit of a family and we all really like each other and that really helps. We have a lot of fun doing the show. The show doesn’t take itself too seriously, which I think is a big saving grace. And as a group, and within the crew, we take our work seriously but we don’t take ourselves too seriously. It’s a great place to go and be creative.”
Tricia Helfer: “And coming in second season is sometimes very daunting to join a show because it’s already a well-oiled machine. You just don’t know how you’re going to fit in, but I was immediately embraced, immediately felt to feel comfortable. And then you’re past all that and you can just focus on the work. It was a real pleasure for me to come into the show.”
Tom Ellis: “It was a pleasure for us to have you.”
What do you think about the show’s big fan base?
Tom Ellis: “Obviously, when you do anything like this you want people to watch it. You want people to respond to it, and you hope they respond in a positive way because it doesn’t always happen like that. Believe me! I think there was a slightly nervous element, certainly from my side of things, about how it would be received because I knew the name of the show might get in the way of people’s feelings about it. But I think the nicest thing is that when people have watched it, they’ve gone, ‘Oh my god, I can’t believe it’s this funny.’ And it’s like, ‘I didn’t expect it to be that. I was expecting something that’s ominous and dark.’ And we have elements of that but, like I said, the humor was always the real attractive thing for me in the first place. I wanted to do something that’s fun. We could tell a story that does resonant at times, but it’s still fun and it’s entertaining for everyone. That’s been our objective from the start. And so the fans catching on and going for that is just [great]. And coming to Comic Con last year was amazing. It was the first time I’d ever been and the show hadn’t aired and they screened the pilot and people were laughing in the right places!”
Watch the full Tom Ellis and Tricia Helfer interview: